GW-Basic – The Return of the Great Grand Daddy

I was not really planning on releasing a post on an ancient programming language but I have a small warm spot in my heart about GW-Basic. Microsoft recently open sourced the original code. Now, I have no intention of ever programming in this language but one of my earliest customers used it for his system. I learned on Q-Basic so it was very similar. It was a walk down memory lane.

Anyway, I heard of it this morning. I did my first posts about a modern programmer dealing with GW-Basic so it has a relevance to the site.

If anyone stumbles on this post looking for what to do about GW-Basic, let me know. I have several solutions to problems with running something that old on modern equipment. I might even dust off the old GW-Basic posts and re-post them. That is of course if I still have them. I hope so because my favorite was how to get it running on modern equipment.

Getting back on topic, go to GitHub and check it out. I will be curious if there is still a community willing to work on it or will it just be a little museum piece because all the people who loved it retired.

Here is a little GW-Basic help for any poor souls working on it.

Since I have had to work on GW-Basic in the past here are my notes for that project about the language commands.

  • ‘ = Comment
  • cls = Clear
  • Input = User prompt to store in variable
  • xxx$ = Variable
  • Dim = Variable declaration
  • Data = Declare constants
  • For = For loop
  • To = Range in for loop
  • Next = increment to next value in for loop
  • Read = Read Data Statement and assign to variable
  • Open = Open file assign to variable
  • Close = Release input file from open
  • Print = Print Input
  • If = If Statement
  • GOTO = a goto statment
  • EOF = End of file function
  • Common = Take variable and passes it to chained program
  • Chain = Call on another program

I am always up to talk about the old basic languages so feel free to send me an email or comment down below.

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