BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use. In 1964, John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz designed the original BASIC language at Dartmouth College. They wanted to enable students in fields other than science and mathematics to use computers. At the time, nearly all use of computers required writing custom software, which was something only scientists and mathematicians tended to learn.
The advent of the personal computer was crucial to the success of BASIC. The language was designed for hobbyists, and as personal computers became more accessible to this audience, books of BASIC programs and BASIC games surged in popularity.
BASIC is generally not regarded as the easiest way to take the first steps in learning the art of programming. But it does not hinder beginners from learning how to program, or teach them bad habits. And it’s the highest low-level language. Even today, there remains value in learning BASIC.
By Richard D. Clark and Ebben Feagan (255 pages)
FreeBASIC is a 32-bit BASIC compiler that outputs native code for Microsoft Windows, Linux and DOS via DJGPP.
The book is published under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or later.
By John W. Rittinghouse, Jon Nicholson (364 pages)
A Beginner’s Guide to Gambas introduces the Linux-based programming language to developers of any skill level. Intended for the Gambas novice, this book quickly introduces all of the major features of Gambas in a step-by-step manner with easy to follow sample programs and clearly written code.
The book is published under the terms and conditions of the OpenContent License (OPL), Version 1.0.
By Ulf Nilsson and Jan Maluszynski (125 pages)
This book is intended for school students and others learning to program in Visual Basic. It assumes no prior knowledge of programming, electronics, Visual Basic or the Visual Studio environment. Programming concepts are introduced and explained throughout the book. Each chapter is structured in a similar way: firstly a new concept to be learned is introduced, secondly there is a step-by-step tutorial on how to develop a simple example in Gadgeteer which uses that concept, and finally a set of exercises is given which enable the reader to practice the main points.
The book is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution – ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
By James M. Reneau (380 pages)
BASIC-256 is an easy to use version of BASIC designed to teach anybody (especially middle and high-school students) the basics of computer programming. It uses traditional control structures like gosub, for/next, and goto, which helps kids easily see how program flow-control works. It has a built-in graphics mode which lets them draw pictures on screen in minutes, and a set of detailed, easy-to-follow tutorials that introduce programming concepts through fun exercises.
This book is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
By Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian BogostJeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael MateasCasey Reas, Mark Sample, and Noah Vawter (324 pages)
This book takes a single line of code — the extremely concise BASIC program for the Commodore 64 inscribed in the title — and uses it as a lens through which to consider the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture. The authors of this collaboratively written book treat code not as merely functional but as a text — in the case of 10 PRINT, a text that appeared in many different printed sources — that yields a story about its making, its purpose, its assumptions, and more.
They consider randomness and regularity in computing and art, the maze in culture, the popular BASIC programming language, and the highly influential Commodore 64 home computer.
This book is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.
By Jonathan E. Sisk (462 pages)
This book provides an overview of the PICK editor, explains commands used in the PICK/BASIC programming language, and includes useful sample programs.
This book is published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.