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#993202 - 28th Nov 2015 12:53pm BASIC
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1279
Loc: Wallasey Village
Ludite here!
I used to write lots of programs in BASIC. Nothing fancy ie no graphics, just text or numerical display outputs after data input/ calculation procedures. Some of the programs will have had thousands of lines of code, others just a few hundred lines

These are all on ---- 3 1/2 " 1.44MB disks !! Remember those?

I do have an ancient but fully working desk machine with a 3 1/2" drive and running XP.

Questions
a. Is there any way I can even LIST the BASIC program details so that I can (hopefully) print them?
or
b. In a perfect world, actually RUN the BASIC programs on an XP machine (albeit probably with some software help)?

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#993218 - 28th Nov 2015 3:58pm Re: BASIC [Re: Snodvan]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10272
Loc: Birkenhead
What computer were the disks used on?

Do you know what "flavour" of BASIC they were written in?

If they come from a PC compatible computer then there will be no problems.

Microsoft qbasic (and quickbasic) is in the public domain now which is what I tend to use, there are many thousands of other BASIC compilers/interpreters around but I can never be bothered learning how to use them.

If you open notepad on your XP then open the files using that (you might have to set file type to *.* in the file open box to see the BASIC files), then this might read the BASIC files - or it might not, depending if it has been saved as text or tokenised form.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#993315 - 28th Nov 2015 8:25pm Re: BASIC [Re: Snodvan]
Snodvan Offline

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Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1279
Loc: Wallasey Village
DD
Thanks for that. Just what I wanted. BASIC was standard MS Basic so should not be a problem. I did also write a LOT in BBC BASIC but I can dismiss those - even though it was a beautifully structured form of the code.

I am now in the process of linking the old desk machine to the Interweb to do the download. The machine has not been run for a couple of years so I suspect there may be rather a lot of updates waiting !!!
Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#993331 - 28th Nov 2015 9:49pm Re: BASIC [Re: Snodvan]
Mark Online   Reading


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21062
Loc: Wirral
Print them out??
Push them up to drop box.
Log in to drop box with your printer pc and you can print them from note pad.
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#993333 - 28th Nov 2015 10:44pm Re: BASIC [Re: Snodvan]
Excoriator Online   content
Guardian

Registered: 21st Jan 2010
Posts: 903
Loc: wirral
If you have a 3 1/2" drive, treasure it. They are becoming rare.

Sadly 3 1/2" discs degrade with time, and you may well find the files are corrupted. In this case you will need to find a free file recovery program. Hopefully any errors will be few enough for you to recover them manually.

Some years back I had the task of going through an engineering archive, deciding what could be kept and what could be thrown out. All the ancient stuff was perfectly readable, being in the form of Indian ink on film etc. but was no longer needed. The more modern stuff was on punched cards, paper and magnetic tape, 11" and 8" floppies, 5 1/4" floppies and up to date stuff on CDs and DVD. This would have been useful had we been able to read it, but much of it we no longer had the hardware to read it, and worse still, the DVDs which were in theory readable, turned out to be useless too as the design software used to produce it had been superseded or had been updated with newer versions and the old files proved incompatible!

I was shocked to find how ephemeral our archive proved to be. It is a serious problem and one which will get a lot worse! Much of the equipment which we thought we could produce was lost to us, because we could no longer access the design files! I retired at that point, so its no longer my problem, but my advice is to print it out whilst you still can and store it on old fashioned paper! Granted, this is pretty difficult with microchips with billions of transistors on them, but the lesson is to think carefully about storing electronic information if you need it for years. It can turn out to be impossible!


Edited by Excoriator (28th Nov 2015 10:45pm)

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#993334 - 28th Nov 2015 11:36pm Re: BASIC [Re: Snodvan]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10272
Loc: Birkenhead
USB floppy drives are less than a fiver on ebay, might be less messing around than resurrecting the XP machine.

Turns out I need to use DOSBOX or similar to get qbasic to run on Windows 10.

I lost a load of 3.5" disks due to a damaged/dirty head on a floppy drive not so long ago, I though it was just magnetic fade but the score marks suggested otherwise. Its the one size of drive that I haven't got a head cleaner for.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#993359 - 29th Nov 2015 2:51pm Re: BASIC [Re: Snodvan]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1279
Loc: Wallasey Village
A fair degree of progress last night with the old XP desk machine. QBasic was easy enough to instal - and amazingly I seemed to be alble to load up BBCBASIC86 so I should even be able to handle the programs I wrote in BBC BASIC.

Yes, listing the programs onto paper is a first job.

USB 3 1/2" drive sounds a good idea if they are so cheap because I want to get rid of the old desk machine. Good machine for general typing/ MS Office etc but too slow for internet when compared to the other machines in the house

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#993365 - 29th Nov 2015 4:53pm Re: BASIC [Re: Snodvan]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10272
Loc: Birkenhead
Well done!
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#993372 - 29th Nov 2015 6:34pm Re: BASIC [Re: Snodvan]
Paintboffin Offline
Addict

Registered: 1st Aug 2011
Posts: 242
Loc: Pensby
BBC Basic, well that's a blast from the past, I too wrote programs in BBC Basic originally on a BBC B+ computer in the 1980's.
I wrote a couple of programs to read Electric and Gas meter readings however these can still be read and used on my daily computer which is a virtual Risc PC.
There is also a native program/text editor called StrongEd that can read, run, sort and edit BBC Basic files which is what I use on a daily basis.

On a real Risc PC the 3.5 floppy discs can read 1.44 Microsoft formatted discs and its native ADFS disks and with an add on read Atari discs but sadly not on the virtual Risc PC.

However you can indeed buy USB 3.5 floppy drives which will read the same format so you can then access the data, that's what I did.

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#995617 - 21st Dec 2015 9:48am Re: BASIC [Re: Snodvan]
SoundLad Offline

Are you SoNutz?
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Aug 2007
Posts: 2987
Loc: Birkenhead, United Kingdom
Snod i know you have this answered but there is also a great program out there which you may be able to run the basic programs.

Its called BeebEM you could try and either load the disks via this or sit and relax and type them out again haha.

www.mkw.me.uk/beebem

Enjoy
Lee
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