BASIC History: Kemeny & Kurtz

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Comments

  • Gordon,

    I agree. JS acquired a bad reputation. Mostly for security and other things that were almost always the fault of the environment it was put in and the APIs available to it. A lot of that is still true today. It's amazing the endless list of things you have to take care of if you want to create a secure web app. It's amazing that a lot of that is disabling default browser behavior or trying to protect yourself against it.

    I don't mean to rewrite history. Obviously JS was created, first and foremost, specifically to be a browser scripting language. It's just that I like to make a distinction between a language and the environment/API's/libraries etc it is operating in. As such I think charges of insecurity against JS are misplaced and should rightfully be directed at the browser and WEB protocols. These issues would apply no matter what language was in the browser.
    On local files only, please!
    Oh yeah. I was thinking to fire up an old RedHat in a virtual machine. I just can't find my boxed set of RedHat installation CDs so easily.
  • As long as websites don't require javascript in the browser then I'm happy.
    "Since 1978, the cost of textbooks has risen 812%, outpacing even the cost of medical services and new housing."
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 18,971
    edited March 18 Vote Up0Vote Down
    evanh,
    As long as websites don't require javascript in the browser then I'm happy.
    I know what you mean. But I don't want to make web sites. The browser makes a great GUI engine. I want to do stuff like this:

    http://babylonjs.com/Demos/V8/

    Which I guess you cannot see because you have JS turned off.

  • I maxed out @ 12fps on my phone. Must have a miss somewhere.
  • Enabled single site scripting ... One tracking script only. And it works without any third party sites.

    That's first time seeing WebGL in action. Ick! Controls are totally backward! How to spin it on the spot?

    Burning the CPU ... framerate 10 fps fullscreen and 30 fps at tenth of screen. Software rendered I'd say. I guess that's Firefox playing it safe.
    "Since 1978, the cost of textbooks has risen 812%, outpacing even the cost of medical services and new housing."
  • Oh, no, it's using 35% GPU at full screen! What CPU hog!
    "Since 1978, the cost of textbooks has risen 812%, outpacing even the cost of medical services and new housing."
  • Good old basic one of my favorites. I still have all of my commodores C64, C128, with big 5" floppies, and cassette recorder storage. Back in college we ran basic on the Digital VAX-11
    along with Fortran, Cobol etc. the Vax had a great keyboard editor.
    The HP1000 had a another great basic interpreter. It had what looked like cassette tape storage but these where only made for HP they had no spindle holes.
  • Well yeah. That is an extreme example. I get 3fps on my cheapo Samsung Galaxy.

    60fps on the MS Surface Pro.

    No idea about the controls. It's a demo after all.


  • For street cred, I own one of these...

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Sometimes, when I was a kid, I would go with my dad to work on Saturday. They had one of those machines in the office. It was fun watching it churn and churn and churn on a divide by zero. Oddly, Dad didn't share my enthusiasm.

    Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Frikken awesome.

    Beats the socks of the mechanical calculators were using for a statistics course in 1973. They had levers to slide up and down to enter the numbers and a handle to crank to get the calculation done. Calculating square roots on those was a bit tricky.

  • erco wrote: »
    For street cred, I own one of these...

    Credit given.

    That machine looks like it was caught in a technological timeline. What looks like LED Indicator's may date it. That has to be the epitome of electro machanical. Who used such an item, an auditor maybe?

    What did you give for this big pocket calculator.
  • I see nothing that looks like LED indicators there. This thing is totally mechanical. It dates from 1952 or so. No LEDS or transistors at that time.

    Given it's accuracy I can see engineers using such things as well.

  • This seller says cir 1950. But what a pristine example erco presented.


    http://m.ebay.com/itm/232237724623
  • Heater, no fair you looked it up.
    225 x 300 - 22K
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 18,971
    edited February 26 Vote Up0Vote Down
    No, I did not. It's right there in the YouTube video page.

    Besides, I'm old enough to know approximately what year is what in recent technology.

    Thanks for the linked image. I love the "extra thinking" part. Must try that sometime :)
  • It was fun watching it churn and churn and churn on a divide by zero. Oddly, Dad didn't share my enthusiasm.

    Phil

    That's EXACTLY what the old-school engineers at Pratt & Whitney GPD said they used to do when they were having a bad day. :)

    Let it grind off some metal, carriage sliding, wheels spinning, etc.



    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • GordonMcCombGordonMcComb Posts: 2,943
    edited February 26 Vote Up0Vote Down
    My brother, a math wiz, had one of these in college in the late 60s:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curta

    It's still one of the coolest things I think I've ever seen. And yes, before you task, the more expensive model sold only in Germany doubles as a pepper grinder.

  • yetiyeti Posts: 275
    edited February 26 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Tech Icons: Cliff Stoll - The Curta Calculator



    His huge electric slide rule not so complex but fantastic too...



    He has some form of virulent enthusiasm... \o/

    Edit... this one may not be missing:

    The iPhone of Slide Rules - Numberphile
    (The cool nerdy thing is shown starting at 4:20...)


    Windows.
    No Source – No Go!
    Please help: http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Category:Spin
    Why Asimov's Laws of Robotics Don't Work - Computerphile
    DNA is a four letter word.
  • Lovin' that Cliff Stoll! He looks like Dr Emmett Brown (Back to the Future) and he sounds just like Jake Mendelssohn, who created the Trinity Home Firefighting Robot Contest.
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Cliff Stoll has a few hundred or thousand glass Kline bottles in his cellar. You can buy one if you like:
    http://www.kleinbottle.com/

    Cliff out geeks all of us.

  • Heater. wrote: »
    Cliff Stoll has a few hundred or thousand glass Kline bottles in his cellar.
    And a RC robot manages the storage space:


    Windows.
    No Source – No Go!
    Please help: http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Category:Spin
    Why Asimov's Laws of Robotics Don't Work - Computerphile
    DNA is a four letter word.
  • evanhevanh Posts: 3,760
    edited March 18 Vote Up0Vote Down
    evanh wrote: »
    Oh, no, it's using 35% GPU at full screen! What CPU hog!

    I just tested this out again with the new Ryzen. It's actually less GPU now at 29%! Same GPU, same drivers, exact same OS install in fact. I just dropped the graphics card and SDD/HDD pair from my old box straight into the new one.

    It's weird because at full screen it's now getting 39 fps instead of 10 fps - about 4x faster even though the old Athlon64 CPU was clocked almost as fast. The apparent GPU usage must be tied up with the CPU as well.

    Clearly this WebGL is hugely CPU bound.
    "Since 1978, the cost of textbooks has risen 812%, outpacing even the cost of medical services and new housing."
  • On the BASIC topic, I have a quickie project, using a 7" Android tablet for the front end and I decided to try the RFO BASIC interpreter instead of my usual B4A (BASIC for Android). I am quite impressed with this thing when used with the suite of tools from http://mougino.free.fr/rfo-basic/

    It is possible to code directly on the device (nice editor) or on the PC and directly transfer/execute via WiFi.

    Doesn't support USB serial comms but I use BT anyway. Doesn't get easier than this.
    PropBASIC ROCKS!
  • Heater. wrote: »
    Mickster,
    Gates has been quoted as telling his development teams that he could get the same job (no matter what it was!) done using BASIC in just a few minutes.
    Do you have a link to such a quote?

    Sounds silly given that doing anything interesting in BASIC is all but impossible.

    Of course things improved with Microsoft's Visual Basic and such. But they are not children of BASIC as much as they are children of ALGOL.
    Agreed on modern BASIC being better. Though I would not include VB, it is terrible.

    Modern BASIC implementations like FreeBASIC, bBC BASIC V, GameBAS, etc are great and completely usable language, and yes they are definitely more of an ALGOL base than they are of a BASIC origin.
    David Betz wrote: »
    KeithE wrote: »
    Heater, a little research finds quotes such as:

    "Around 1975 or so we ceased using line numbers at Dartmouth, and what a relief"

    Thomas E. Kurtz
    Co-inventor of BASIC

    That's over 4 decades ago!
    Interesting. When the got rid of line numbers, what did they use as targets for "goto" and "gosub"? Did they use alphanumeric labels?

    I think that structured programming had likely hit BASIC by then, though I could be wrong (I know there are structured BASIC implementations from the late 1970's on CP/M).
    PASM The simplest programming language for the propeller.
    Low Power for everything, max average whole house draw for a day is 2.4KW/hour total:
    That is 400 watts per hour to produce for the 6 good power hours (minimum in late December/early January) from solar, now how to use less.
  • By the early 80s second generation BASICs were being released that did away with things like line numbering. In '85 we had QuickBASIC, and if you used line numbering you were considered a Luddite.

    Hamstringing a language by its initial incarnation will always end up zero sum. Look at the first JavaScript/ECMAScript, and compare with today's Back in the day there was no try/catch error handling, no regular expressions, no collections, no extensibility to use objects like a DOM, and the list goes on. No line numbers either, but as a language, the versions in the first years were extremely crude by today's standards.
    I agree with you on BASIC issue.

    Though we had CBASIC in 1977 (or there abouts) on CP/M. CBASIC was a structured language that did not allow line numbers, while being based on BASIC it was more along the lines of QuickBASIC or similar.

    PASM The simplest programming language for the propeller.
    Low Power for everything, max average whole house draw for a day is 2.4KW/hour total:
    That is 400 watts per hour to produce for the 6 good power hours (minimum in late December/early January) from solar, now how to use less.
  • Heater. wrote: »
    evanh,
    As long as websites don't require javascript in the browser then I'm happy.
    I know what you mean. But I don't want to make web sites. The browser makes a great GUI engine. I want to do stuff like this:

    http://babylonjs.com/Demos/V8/

    Which I guess you cannot see because you have JS turned off.
    It locked my RPi 2B trying to download and buffer something, that took the last 42MB of the 1GB SD Card, and tried to kick out the page file.
    PASM The simplest programming language for the propeller.
    Low Power for everything, max average whole house draw for a day is 2.4KW/hour total:
    That is 400 watts per hour to produce for the 6 good power hours (minimum in late December/early January) from solar, now how to use less.
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 18,971
    edited March 18 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ah, yes, that demo is it bit heavy duty for a Pi. Besides I don't think webgl is working in any browser on the Pi yet. So it's a no go on the Pi.

    Not sure why it is taking 42MB of your SD card. It runs in the browser and should not need any file space.

    Edit: Seems webgl can work in the Pi today, https://www.scirra.com/blog/ashley/24/a-better-way-to-get-webgl-on-the-raspberry-pi-2

    However, when I enable the opengl driver in raspi-config I get no display at all. It does not like my Samsung monitor.
  • Heater. wrote: »
    Ah, yes, that demo is it bit heavy duty for a Pi. Besides I don't think webgl is working in any browser on the Pi yet. So it's a no go on the Pi.

    Not sure why it is taking 42MB of your SD card. It runs in the browser and should not need any file space.

    Edit: Seems webgl can work in the Pi today, https://www.scirra.com/blog/ashley/24/a-better-way-to-get-webgl-on-the-raspberry-pi-2

    However, when I enable the opengl driver in raspi-config I get no display at all. It does not like my Samsung monitor.
    OpenGL on the RPi also does not like any DVI monitor, yet.

    PASM The simplest programming language for the propeller.
    Low Power for everything, max average whole house draw for a day is 2.4KW/hour total:
    That is 400 watts per hour to produce for the 6 good power hours (minimum in late December/early January) from solar, now how to use less.
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