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BASIC refers to a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages designed to be easy to use.

The original BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) was designed at Dartmouth College in 1964, the goal being to encourage students in fields other than science and mathematics to learn to program and use computers. Prior to the release of BASIC, computer use required writing custom software, and programmers tended to be scientists and mathematicians.

Many of the early computer video games were written in early versions of BASIC. The production of microcomputers in the mid-1970s led to the development of Microsoft BASIC in 1975, followed shortly by a variety of Tiny BASIC dialects. Soon, a version of BASIC was available for nearly every computer system on the market, and it became the default programming language for the 1970s home computer systems.

Other forms of BASIC include, or included, Altair BASIC, Applesoft BASIC, Atari BASIC, BASIC-256, BASIC for Qt(R), BBC Basic, Casio BASIC, Commodore BASIC, Creative Basic, Dartmouth BASIC, FreeBASIC, GLBasic, GW-BASIC, IBM Cassette BASIC, IBM Disk BASIC, IBM BASICA, IWBasic, Just BASIC, Liberty BASIC, Logic Basic, Objective-BASIC, Play BASIC, PowerBASIC, PureBASIC, QBasic, QB64, Quite BASIC, RFO Basic, RobotBASIC, Run BASIC, Sinclair BASIC, Smart BASIC, thinBASIC, TI-BASIC, Tiny BASIC, Turbo Basic, wxBasic, XBasic, ZBasic, and others.

As more powerful machines came on the market in the 1980s, BASIC fell from favor, with Pascal and C gaining in popularity. Nevertheless, several versions and dialects of BASIC continue to be used, often as learning platforms for students.

In 1991, Microsoft released Visual Basic, which combined an updated version of BASIC with a visual forms builder. Regularly updated and maintained, VB continues to be an important programming language, largely in the form of VB.NET. However, Visual Basic is covered in its own category here.

Websites whose topics are focused on any of these program languages are appropriate for this category. This includes pages offering downloadable programming language files and documentation, as well as tutorials and reviews. Individual BASIC languages may be separated into their own category if there are enough listed sites to warrant it.

 

 

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