How do I learn QBasic

BASIC tutorial (preface, installation, chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)


Author: Ing.Andreas Hammer, MSc (WU)

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Last update: December 31, 2008
This tutorial was written by me in 2001. In 2008 I proofread the tutorial completely, improved it in many places, made additions and tested all source code examples. I will now explain QBasic under DOS and Linux with DOSBox, but also the use of FreeBasic. The tutorial is kept in a very simple and easy to understand form. I consciously tried to keep this style.

Addition from April 30th, 2020:
This tutorial is no longer maintained or updated, the original text is now almost 20 years old.
Unfortunately, QBasic is no longer available on the Microsoft FTP servers.
I advise beginners to learn common languages ​​such as C or Python instead.

What is BASIC? Is BASIC suitable for me? Chapter 2 of the introduction.

Why learn BASIC?

Granted, most of the forewords start out more euphoric. With many thanks and particularly important and noteworthy things on the topic. If it is also a new Programming language, about which much has been said and written, the reader must be told how precisely this language will change the world.

It's different with BASIC. The days of BASIC are over.
But BASIC is one thing: history! In a positive sense.
Few languages ​​have shaped computer history like BASIC!

BASIC is a family of programming languages ​​and dialects without standardization. The first BASIC dialect was developed back in 1963 (Dartmouth BASIC) to make computers easier for non-tech students. This was followed by numerous other dialects, Bill Gates developed with Paul Allen Altair BASIC up to QBasic and modern languages ​​derived from BASIC.
Interesting links on the topic: BASIC generations, BASIC history from the point of view of Visual Basic.

Learning BASIC is a good idea if you want to test and try out nostalgic software. If you aren't the youngest reader here, you'll still be DOS games as well Text adventures know. Many of them are written in BASIC. But BASIC interpreters can sometimes still be found on newer hardware. If you have a Texas Instruments pocket calculator (graphics calculator), e.g. Voyage 200 or TI89 (both current models!), You can program this calculator in BASIC (TI BASIC, unofficial name).

Another possible reason is that you are using applications for Windows platforms Visual Basic .NET, VBScript and want to develop similar languages ​​and also want to get to know the "Ur-BASIC". With Visual Basic .NET you can "Create Windows, Web, Mobile and Office applications"(Source: Microsoft).

For Linux users, be the programming language and IDE Prawns (recursive abbreviation for Gambas almost means basic) called. Gambas is object-oriented, based on BASIC and is similar to Visual Basic, but is not compatible with it (not a clone!).

The aim, meaning and purpose of this tutorial

When I announced my plans for a relaunch of (around May 2008), one of my plans was to revise the BASIC tutorial. I was then advised not just to let it go, but to take it completely offline and to concentrate more on more up-to-date languages.

However, it was clear to me that the BASIC tutorial had to stay online in 2008/2009 and beyond. There have been no books on BASIC for at least 10 years and online sources are also decreasing. Although this is offset by falling demand, the tutorial should nevertheless provide the necessary information - albeit for a small target group - and in a certain way contribute to gaining knowledge.

The tutorial is aimed at beginners in programming. Programming skills are not required. However, it is important to have a basic knowledge of the operating system used (e.g. Windows or Linux)! The latter is always a prerequisite before you want to start programming. I am describing a BASIC dialect of a "higher" - third - generation. The source codes printed in the tutorial are with QBasic compatible.