Happy 50th, BASIC!

10 FOR X=1 TO 50
20 PRINT "Happy ";X;"th, BASIC!"

Basic wird heute 50 Jahre alt! Print „Herzlichen Glückwunsch“, Du oller n00b-Code!

Das ganze haben wir John G. Kemeny (ehemaliger Mathe-Assistent von Einstein, im Bild oben rechts) und Thomas E. Kurtz vom Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, zu verdanken. Die entwickelten BASIC als Einsteiger-Sprache für Algol und Fortran und die ersten Programme liefen simultan genau heute vor 50 Jahren, am 1. Mai 1964 um genau 16 Uhr im Dartmouth Time-Sharing System.

Der „Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code“ dürfte für die meisten meiner Generation der Einstieg ins Coding gewesen sein, ich weiß noch genau, wie ich mit 12 meinen 64er ausgepackt hatte und begannt, die Basic-Anleitung durchzuarbeiten. 10 Print "Hallo", gefolgt von RUN, so oder sehr ähnlich dürfte die erste Zeile Code gewesen sein.

Das Time Magazine hat einen langen, tollen Artikel zum Geburtstag mit jeder Menge Basic-Coding-GIFs:

The historic moment at Dartmouth on May 1, 1964 at 4 a.m. was actually two historic moments. Not one brief BASIC program but two or three of them–accounts vary–ran simultaneously, proving both that BASIC worked and that the Dartmouth Time-Sharing System was capable of dealing with more than one user at a time.

In June 1964, they became generally available to Dartmouth students, initially on 11 Teletype machines. The first version of BASIC had 14 commands, all with straightforward names and syntax that made sense:

- PRINT output text and numbers to the Teletype (and, later on, displayed it on the screens of time-sharing terminals and PCs);
- LET told the computer to perform calculations and assign the result to a variable, in statements such as LET C = (A*2.5)+B;
- IF and THEN let the program determine if a statement was true, vital for anything involving decision-making;
- FOR and NEXT let a program run in loops;
- GOTO let a program branch to another numbered line within itself;
- END, which was required in Dartmouth BASIC, told the computer that it had reached the program’s conclusion.

Then there was INPUT, a command that let a BASIC program accept alphanumeric characters typed in by a user. It wasn’t among the initial 14, arriving only in the third revision of the language in 1966. But when it did, it made it possible to write far more interactive programs. Without INPUT, BASIC was mostly for solving math problems and doing simple simulations; with it, the language could do almost anything. Including play games, which many people came to consider as the language’s defining purpose.

Time: Fifty Years of BASIC, the Programming Language That Made Computers Personal

Guardian: Thank you, Basic: developers remember 50 years of creative coding
Guardian: Baby we were born to RUN: celebrating 50 years of Basic
The Darthmouth: College celebrates half century of BASIC language
Dartmouth College: Basic Fifty
heise: 50 Jahre BASIC: die Allzweck-Programmiersprache für Anfänger feiert Jubiläum
Bitsavers: http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/dartmouth/

Vorher auf Nerdcore:
Standalone C64-Basic für’s iPad
Apple I Basic plucked from vintage cassette tape, turned into MP3
10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10
10 Print “Wallsticker” 20 Goto 10