When I got my aboriginal computer, a additional duke 386 active MS-DOS 6.22, I didn’t accept an Internet connection. But I did accept QuickBASIC installed and a assemblage of programming magazines the bounded library was throwing out, so I had affluence to accumulate myself busy. At the time, I anticipation QuickBASIC was added or beneath duplicate from magic. I could address simple cipher and abridge it into an .exe, put it on a floppy, and accord it to somebody abroad to run on their own machine. It seemed too acceptable to be true, how could this technology possibly be bigger upon?
Of course, that was abounding years ago, and things are actual altered now. The programming languages du jour are worlds added able than the banausic BASIC variants of the 80’s and 90’s. But still, aback I begin a billowing abounding of programs I wrote decades ago, I couldn’t advice but admiration about accepting them active again. With article like DOSBox I articular I should be able to install the QuickBASIC IDE and run them like I was aback on my accurate 386.
Unfortunately, that was not to be. Maybe I’m aloof not able-bodied abreast abundant in DOSBox, but I couldn’t get the IDE to absolutely run any of the antecedent cipher I pulled off the floppy. This was disappointing, but again it occured to me that avant-garde BASIC interpreters are apparently actuality developed in some bend of the Internet, and conceivably I could acquisition a way to run my about 30 year old cipher afterwards accepting to await on 30 year old software to do it.
After analytic about a bit, I begin the actual air-conditioned QB64 activity (alternate site: QB64.org) This is an accessible antecedent QuickBASIC development ambiance that is not alone absolutely accordant with absolute programs, but adds in functions and capabilities that were absurd aback on my 386. Announcement a PNG, loading TTF fonts, or arena an MP3 in the accomplishments can be able with aloof one or two commands.
Such things were accessible with the aboriginal QuickBASIC, but existed added in the branch of tech demos than annihilation else. Oh the amateur I could accept fabricated aback in the day with software like this! I had to be agreeable with bleeps and bloops, and alike that appropriate you to amount out the timing for the tones yourself.
Even better, QB64 is cross-platform and supports accumulation into built-in binaries for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. That meant that not alone could I run my old cipher aural the IDE, but I could absolutely abridge it into a bifold for my Linux desktop. I don’t own a Windows computer anymore, but with WINE I was able to run the Windows adaptation of QB64 and abridge an .exe that I could accord to my accompany who are still active in the aphotic ages.
You can alike use QB64 to abridge QuickBasic cipher into an Android application, admitting there’s ample hoops to jump through and it currently alone works on Windows.
This adeptness be absent on those who never wrote BASIC cipher on a best machine, but the afterward cipher creates a 800×600 screen, puts a abounding awning PNG up, plays an MP3, and writes a bulletin appliance a TrueType font.
As a comparison, this QuickBasic apparatus for artlessly announcement a JPEG angel clocks in at 653 curve of code.
In my anxious boyish days, I created a graphical adaptation of the “Drugwars” appearance game. You confused a little stick man about a pixelated environment, affairs and affairs substances that I had heard about in movies but absolutely had never apparent in person. It was terrible. But it was allotment of my adolescence and I anticipation it would be fun to see if I could admit in some avant-garde beam appliance QB64.
As it turns out, cellophane PNGs and the adeptness to affectation able fonts makes things a lot easier. Actuality able to comedy music and ambient complete furnishings in the accomplishments makes alike sloppily done amateur assume a lot better. The afterward screenshots are of the capital card of my little boyish abomination fantasy, afore and afterwards the appliance of QB64. Note that the amount antecedent cipher itself is added or beneath the same, I’m aloof interleaving it with the adeptness to amount and affectation alien files.
No, you absolutely should not. I didn’t address this to try and argue anyone to jump on a programming accent that ailing afore abounding of our readers were alike born. QuickBASIC is an aged language, ashore with anachronous methods and limitations that are abashing to the avant-garde programmer. But QB64 does do an accomplished job of modernizing this archetypal language, if alone to a almost baby amount in the admirable arrangement of things, for those of us who cut our teeth on it.
Being able to booty a deejay with BASIC cipher I wrote on a DOS 386 in the aboriginal 90’s and about-face it into a Linux bifold in 2018 is a appealing accurate accomplishment, and I address the QB64 development aggregation for authoritative it possible. I won’t be autograph any new cipher in the language, and I don’t advance you do either, but it was a lot of fun actuality able to revisit this aeon in my activity and annoyance it blame and agreeable into the avant-garde era.