Way back in the old days of Apple IIEs people could go to libraries or bookstores and borrow or buy books to code. Actually, they didn’t teach you anything. They were just a book for you to copy line by line codes to make a game or whatever else you need. It was well before the days of the internet and complex coding languages that we use today. Actually, there has been a curve now and some are becoming easier, but that is a blog for another day.
Back to the books. The books were in the programming language “BASIC.” BASIC goes something like this:
10 INPUT “What is the first number?”, A$
20 INPUT “What is the second number?”, B$
30 PRINT “The Total”, A$ + B$
40 GOTO 10
This will allow a user to enter two numbers and then the program will show the total.
But imagine 4,000 lines of this? Do you think you could learn to program by just copying this and then playing whatever you have copied? You would be amazed at the amount of people that actually did it this way.
In today’s day and age, you can go to the internet and ask Google whatever it is you want to do and it will give you some code made by someone else that you can copy and paste. The beauty of it is, there will usually be an explanation of how they came to this, and how it actually works attached.
So you can learn.
But in the old days, you just copied code and the logic of how to code (it was called programming in the old days), transferred from the keyboards to your brain.
The Most BASIC Programming
There was so much you could do with the BASIC programming language but it was always inhibited by the RAM and CPU size in the old days (remember that time that Bill Gates said no one will ever need more than 640K of RAM?). It was always a very slow and round about way of doing things. The language is still used today in mostly an influential sense. But can you imagine what a creative mind can do with it today? Everything in the olden days was made in BASIC, and to tell you the truth, languages haven’t progressed that far. They have just became prettier. They can handle better graphics and better sounds. But really, the programming remains the same.
Actually, VB.NET which is Visual Basic .NET had a release in 2015 (it launched in 2001). And is supported by iOS and Mac OS X. And this is based on a programming language that was invented in 1964.
BASIC is a fantasy rabbit hole that you can fall down if you have a computer that can support it. If you want to experience the life of a programmer from 50 years ago, I suggest you give it a try and see what you can do. Have a look at Black Annex – http://www.pcworld.com/article/2033318/black-annex-is-the-best-qbasic-game-youve-ever-seen.html for inspiration.
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