Computer Programming

I wonder how many computer users these days actually write programs? Even something like VBA script will do. People write documents, play games but write programs? No, not very often. In the 80's though, lots of people did. If you switched your computer on then typed:


Then you had a program (which printed Hello World on the screen - pretty impressive?). It was so easy to get started that lots of people did. That line is written in BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) if anyone is interested enough to find out what it meant. If anyone programs today in VB.Net - the latest Microsoft offering - then that is still a version of BASIC. BASIC had two things going for it:

1. It is an interpreted language. Put simply, you type in some lines, type RUN and the computer reads them line by line and follows the instructions you entered. If line 50 is wrong then change it and type RUN again. You can see what is going on, make changes, do what you like and have fun.

2. You did not have to define variables, the program sorted things out for itself.

Variables? Probably time for a BASIC primer.