by Bob Taylor / / / AZW3

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Back-2-Basic is a 70-page manual teaching non-programmers, even accomplished programmers, the story of the phenomenon we call computer programming. Believe me, you'll have fun with these exercises. The course is built around original Basic, a highly creative idea conceived in the 1960s and 70s in the labs at Dartmouth College; one that has blossomed mightily in the last half century and has breathed life into the personal computer field.

The course is a learn-by-example study. Its teaching points explain the unique features of the original Basic interpreters. Study, run, and test the programs in the exercises. Then compare to the examples. Nothing helps scholars learn better than hands-on.

The student learns that numeric and alphanumeric data are different and when each should be used. The reader learns about ram; that fifty years ago the cost of a single byte of memory set the buyer back a dollar, about the same as an entire gigibyte (a billion) does today.

The reader learns by designing, writing, and testing simple programs. He or she learns how bytes connect to become fields; how fields link to become records; how records unite to become files. You'll discover the whys and the how-tos of OldBasic commands, such as GOTO, IF, GOSUB, PRINT, INPUT, RUN. And the mathematical meaning of the characters +, -, *, /, and ^.

This course will grip your interest as the philosophy of computer programming sinks into your mind. OldBasic in no way competes with today's Perl, C++, Java, Python, and others, but the theory is the same. It can provide you and your family and friends a barrel of fun as you design and write your own programs, test them, and maybe even use a few in your home.

Use this manual and study using your personal copy of "Old_Basic." If you don't have one, let me know when you order, or email me at the address on the book's copyright page. I can have one in your possession quickly at no cost.

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