Monday, March 14, 2005

My wanderings today took me back to the beginning of the personal computer revolution: the MITS Altair kit computer.

Click here for a look at Altair Basic. This was Bill and Paul's first BASIC language product at a time when Microsoft Corporation was called Micro-Soft.

Check out the scans of the original manual as well as Bill Gate's complaint about hobbyist piracy in a 1976 issue of Radio Electronics. Some things change and some things remain the same.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I know, I know. This blog has been dormant a long time. Life happens -- new wife, baby on the way. Life is good.

Liberty Basic continues to evolve slowly -- version 4.01 is the current release. Carl is busy at work on a new more interactive Basic. I don't think it will be backwards compatible with Liberty Basic, but my forum research is incomplete and Carl does not seem to be telling. This new Basic may also be cross-platform.

He believes strongly in a small core language that remains close to the roots of the language. In a .NET world, this is a refreshing direction but it is not without its consequences. Namely, lack of readily available power.

I continue to use Liberty Basic for small projects, but the language presents roadblocks to COM, database and Internet technologies. Thanks to LB's DLL access, intrepid programmers have been working around these limitations and publishing their work in the monthly online newsletter. The problem is that it's much easier to use another language than to work with LB at such a low level. More on this in future posts.

Oh, I almost forgot. Carl has his own blog now.