Friday, November 20, 2009

Visual Basic- A personal experience Part 2

 That only computer immediately became the sweetheart of everybody, and everyone can't wait to have a hand on it! And it could run BASIC! 

There was no hard disk, you need a boot diskette to start it, then you insert a 5 and a half inch floppy disk that contain the BASIC program to start the  BASIC DOS-based IDE. I can't remember what version of BASIC was it, could be GWBASIC, a dialect of BASIC developed by Microsoft from BASICA, originally for Compaq. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Visual Basic- A personal experience

Do you know that computer software have been around since world war II? However, before 1975, most of the software were free, and one of the earliest computer language was BASIC. Those were the days without any PC, you have to type your programs on the punch cards and then feed them to the main frames and pick up the outputs the next day, how tedious and slow was it!

I was one of the hobbyists of BASIC back then, Bill Gates was one too! Programming back then was simple ,  the program is  sequential  and you need to type in the line numbers . However, the program can become very messy if you need to program something more complex, the line number can run to a couple of thousands, which means you have to punch a few thousand cards! 
A BASIC program typically looks like this

10   Let  X=100
20  Let Y =200
30   Z=X+Y
40 Print   Z
 One good thing about programming those days was that we get a lot of freebies! However, since Gates and his partner Paul Allen started commercializing BASIC, we no longer enjoy such benefits. But this is a good development because we learn to respect intellectual properties, and this will encourage creativity and innovations. True enough, with the advent of personal computers and commercialization of software, we get faster computers and more efficient software! We no longer have to use the punch cards and we can get the output of a program instantly, how nice!
That' enough for today, lets go programming!