BASIC (Was: Reading HP2000 tapes

Fred Cisin cisin at
Sat Jul 14 15:53:49 CDT 2018

On Sat, 14 Jul 2018, Ed Sharpe via cctalk wrote:
> isn't the  basic  programs  also stored in tokinized  forms!?!?

And the tokens are not the same between different brand implementations, 
or even between different versions, such as MBASIC 4 and MBASIC 5.
I don't know the token list for it.  You MIGHT be able to find that 
in one of the early manuals for it (1969), possibly as an appendix. 
newline is 0D,0A
Saving a file in UN-tokenized form is done with "CSAVE".  (similar to the 
"SAVE xxx,A in Microsoft BASIC)

If writing a conversion program for it is an unsurmountable obstacle, then 
all that you need to do is to send me back in time to 1960.  That will 
give me almost a decade to get established and get the money together, so 
that when the machine is first released, I will get hold of one, and write 
a program in BASIC to detokenize a stored BASIC file, and save it in 
untokenized form.  I will then put a copy of that BASIC utility program 
onto the tape that you will end up with.  To leave enough space on the 
tape for the other stuff, I will store that program in tokenized form.

Optionally, I can set up a portfolio for you then, to fund the time 
NOTE: I have made a similar open offer to John Titor.  So do it quickly to 
be first!   Offer is for a ONE-WAY trip.  Round-trip is not acceptable.

NOTE: the language BASIC is an acronym for "Beginner's All-purpose 
Symbolic Instruction Code."    ALL CAPS !
The basic programs and utilities that come with the machine that are not 
written in BASIC are not tokenized.

The language was developed by Thomas E. Kurtz and John G. Kemeny at 
Dartmouth College in 1963. One of their "basic" oremises was "a number is 
a number", and that people using the language shouldn't have to understand 
the difference between integer and floating point.

They abandoned their offspring for decades, and it wasn't until mid 1980s 
that they ever even looked at the BASIC that was present, even built-in, 
on most personal computers!  They finally noticed how the adult had grown 
up, and were SHOCKED at "street BASIC", and how people such as billg 
(MICROS~1) and Gordon Eubanks (CBASIC) had corrupted it.  So, they 
created and marketed "TRUE BASIC" in 1985, which was a structured 
compiled language, that returned to the true faith.

"I think I'll pass up the opportunity to become a born-again True BASIC 
believer. I'll enjoy my Microsoft and CBASIC heresies."  - Jerry Pournelle

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at

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