Contents of the BASQUIZ.TXT file
Brainware The BASIC Quiz
Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code -- known better by its
acronym BASIC -- was devised back in the 1960s for use on the Dartmouth time-
sharing system by students. It rapidly became a popular language for
educational computing on mainframes; and, when microcomputers came along in the
mid 1970's, BASIC was the language included with just about all computers (or
at least those which were more advanced than the early hobbyist kits where the
owners would toggle in programs in binary using switches on the front panel).
Since then, BASIC has been attacked mercilessly by programming purists for
what they consider its encouragement of non-structured, messy programming style.
Pascal is generally preferred for educational use -- though, as a compiled
language, it doesn't have the "instant gratification" of interpreted BASIC,
which lets you type in a command and see it executed right away. There are
others who are advocates of COMAL, a language with Pascal-like syntax but BASIC-
like immediacy; this language is standard in the schools in some European
countries, but has never caught on in the United States.
But, like it or not, BASIC is still the most widely-available language for
micros; and it is the language most novices who wish to begin programming their
PC's must learn. BASIC compilers, such as Microsoft QuickBASIC, bring BASIC
into the realm of professional programming -- although at the cost of
sacrificing the immediacy of the BASIC interpreter. (ZBASIC combines some
elements of both; the immediacy of an interpreter and the speed of a compiler.)
This quiz tests your knowledge of BASIC. In particular, it centers on BASICA
(or GW-BASIC), the form of BASIC used on IBM PC's and compatibles. This is a
Microsoft BASIC, the descendant of the original Altair BASIC that gave Bill
Gates his start in the software field in 1975, when he was still a college
student. The first Microsoft BASIC spawned later versions for: CP/M; the Apple
II (Applesoft); the Commodore Pet, 64, and 128; and the Macintosh. However, the
IBM-and-clone version proved the most popular, riding on the coattails of
another successful Microsoft product, MS-DOS.
Try BASIC Quiz to see if you're a PC BASIC wizard, or if you can stand to
learn a few things from more grizzled "hackers."
To run this program outside Big Blue Disk, type: BASQUIZ.
DISK FILES THIS PROGRAM USES: