SiriusHardware
Posts: 500
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:09 pm
Location: UK

Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:52 pm

I've tried searching this forum for the answers, I really have, but I just can't find them:

I've finally gotten around to firing up a card with RISCOS on it - looks nice. Now I want to write, save, load and run a simple BASIC program.

So far, I've only found that if I press F12, I get into a command line, and if I then type BASIC <enter> I get the BASIC system prompt ">". What I do after that is less clear.

I tried the obvious:

Code: Select all


>10 for x = 1 to 20
>20 print "this is great!"
>30 next x
>list

>Mistake
>run

>Mistake

(Am I in immediate mode?)

>print "hello"

>Mistake

Ok, so obviously I can't just guess what to do.

What would be the actual steps to enter that program, list it on the screen, run it, save it to disc, and load it from disc? And by the way, are the line numbers necessary, or can I just use labels?

Raeddie
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:09 am

Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:26 pm

Sorry no guide due to lack of time, but a hint: All BASIC keywords have to be entered in CAPS, otherwise the interpreter won't recognize them. On brighter side, you can do this:

Code: Select all

>10 print=42
>20 PRINT print
>RUN
42

sawdust
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:09 am

Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:49 pm

Type HELP in Basic for help on Basic keywords.

Or *help for help on OS commands.

Markodius
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:14 pm

Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:39 pm

Hi SiriusHardware,

Goto the 'Apps' directory and launch !StrongEd which is an editor that will make coding a lot easier. At the bottom of the StrongED screen about halfway across is the legend 'BaseMode'. Click with the center mouse button and select 'Basic'. The StrongED screen backround will change to blue to reflec t the chosen mode. You can save code by using the icons along the top of the StrongED window.

There are some BASIC examples in the standard load - goto Programming.BASIC.Routines. Double clicking will run them and holding down the shift key and double clicking will load them into the editor for your perusal.

It's difficult to know what you need to know.. what is it that you want to do? I'll try to help..
“In the modern age, to call a man unelectable means he cannot be bought”

AMcS
Posts: 184
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:35 pm

SiriusHardware wrote:I've tried searching this forum for the answers, I really have, but I just can't find them:

I've finally gotten around to firing up a card with RISCOS on it - looks nice. Now I want to write, save, load and run a simple BASIC program.

So far, I've only found that if I press F12, I get into a command line, and if I then type BASIC <enter> I get the BASIC system prompt ">". What I do after that is less clear.

I tried the obvious:

Code: Select all


>10 for x = 1 to 20
>20 print "this is great!"
>30 next x
>list

>Mistake
>run

>Mistake

(Am I in immediate mode?)

>print "hello"

>Mistake

As others have pointed out BBC BASIC is CASE SENSITIVE (so PRINT and print mean different things the first one is a BASIC keyword - the second a floating point variable name...).

Your code is fine and it would have worked perfectly if UPPER CASE had been used for the BASIC keywords. Just click on the CAPS LOCK to enter the commands in UPPER CASE (variables can be either UPPER or lower - but case must be consistently used and (if all UPPER) should generally not be the same as a BASIC keyword).

SiriusHardware wrote:What would be the actual steps to enter that program, list it on the screen, run it, save it to disc, and load it from disc? And by the way, are the line numbers necessary, or can I just use labels?
Line numbers are necessary IF you're entering them from the command line (as you are). Editors (like !Edit or !StrongEd) "hide" them so you can type the lines without line numbers (they are there but hidden). BBC BASIC only uses LINE NUMBERS (they ARE numeric) rather than LABELS.

Here's a VERY SMALL list of common BASIC keywords that you may find handy:

COMMANDS are things you type WITHOUT a line number, here are a few useful ones:

NEW - Makes the existing program disappear (sort of ... I'll explain in a minute...). You should type NEW before starting a NEW program but only if you've saved the previous one FIRST.

OLD - Usually reverses NEW - so long as you haven't started on a new program yet.

AUTO - well it Automatically puts line numbers in for you AS YOU TYPE. It (by default) leaves a space of 10 between each line number. To EXIT the AUTO line numbering press the <ESCAPE> key. Note AUTO 20 Starts at line 20; AUTO 10,5 starts at 10 but goes up in increments of 5.

RUN - Runs your program (surprise that...).

RENUMBER - Renumbers lines (to tidy programs after you've added a few lines less than 10 apart between existing lines). It's also handy if you have no line number gap - as it automatically renumbers things - putting the usual gap of 10 back.

To SAVE your program just type SAVE "yourfilename" - and it'll save a BASIC file called yourfilename in the current directory.

A useful trick is to put 10 REM > Yourfilename at the START of your program then when you type SAVE you can omit the filename and it'll take it from that line (cool or what...). Note the REM > is required (As an aside REM means a REMARK - a note about the program or comment left for yourself or other coders).

To LOAD the file just use LOAD followed in quotes with the filename you originally saved (e.g., LOAD "yourfilename").

General Purpose Statements that are handy...

CLS - Clear Screen

COLOUR - Sets the Colour of TEXT

GCOL - Sets the colour of Graphical Elements (G- Graphics and COL for Colour). If you use VDU 5 it also sets the colour of any text you plot like a graphic.

MOUSE X%,Y%,B% - Gets the Mouse X% and Y% co-ordinate - with B% containing any button pressed.

MOVE X%,Y% move to a point X% across and Y% up the screen without drawing (there's also a version of MOVE (MOVE BY) which allows you to move relative to your current position).

DRAW X%,Y% - Draws from your current x,y position to X%,Y% (there's also a DRAW BY for relative drawing)

CIRCLE X%,Y%,R% (X,Y and Radius - give you one guess...)

CIRCLE FILL X%,Y%,R% (rather than an outline the circle with FILLED inside).

Here's one you can try to impress your friends (and your parrot if you have one...):

With the DESKTOP visible just press <F12>

Type BASIC at the "*" command prompt

then enter the following program

When finished type SAVE to save the program (it's called RECTANGLY)

Code: Select all

10 REM >RECTANGLY
20 REPEAT
30   MOUSE X%,Y%,B%
40   RECTANGLE X%,Y%,400,500 TO 600,600
50 UNTIL B%<>0
And if I've made no mistakes there that should be nice enough... The REPEAT...UNTIL loop continues UNTIL you press a MOUSE KEY (B% then becomes set to a non-zero value - the UNTIL then becomes TRUE and the loop exits.

variables
Note the X%,Y%,B% are integer variables you could used ones named differently (perhaps more meaningfully like xcoordinate%, ycoordinate%, button%). Using Integer variables (ones ending with a "%" is faster than using real/floating point ones). You would, however need floating point ones where fractional results are expected... (x would be a floating point variable (could hold 1.86), x% is an integer one (1) and x$ is one that holds text like "Hello" (x$ is called a string variable) - all three are independent and distinguishable from each other....)

Variable names in BBC BASIC can be long - and all letters are significant. Case is also important - the variables called xyz% and Xyz% are different.

For speed some variables are stored at fixed memory locations (these are called the resident integers - single letter integers like (A% to Z%)).

That's a very brisk overview there are many more online resources that can "flesh" things out - if you have any further questions though please just ask here...


Enjoy...

SiriusHardware
Posts: 500
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Location: UK

Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:15 pm

Thanks all, on a whim I tried using CAPs for the keywords and surely enough things started to work a little more so I came back to add that, only to find this amazing array of information including AMcS's comprehensive mini-manual, all very much appreciated, thanks.

AMcS
Posts: 184
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Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:57 pm

SiriusHardware wrote:Thanks all, on a whim I tried using CAPs for the keywords and surely enough things started to work a little more so I came back to add that, only to find this amazing array of information including AMcS's comprehensive mini-manual, all very much appreciated, thanks.
Thanks Sirius but comprehensive it isn't! (BBC BASIC is quite an effective and capable language with many keywords and options and I only mentioned a few as a sort of "flavour").

I probably should have mentioned that after the BASIC command prompt ">" if you type HELP (upper case of course) it will list the available BBC BASIC keywords (a lot more than I included in my last contribution). If you type HELP followed by a BASIC keyword the system will give some information (it can be a bit terse - but gives a general flavour of what's available).

The StrongHelp manuals and "Google" should fill in some of the blanks.

If I get a chance I may try redeem myself by writing something a little more coherent as an introduction to BBC BASIC - now where did I leave that quill....

RoliPi
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Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:52 am

Hi,
there is a very good introduction to Basic in the Documents.Books.First steps... first.pdf, with detailled example codes and explanations.

SiriusHardware
Posts: 500
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:09 pm
Location: UK

Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:44 pm

Markodius wrote:Hi SiriusHardware,

Goto the 'Apps' directory and launch !StrongEd which is an editor that will make coding a lot easier. At the bottom of the StrongED screen about halfway across is the legend 'BaseMode'. Click with the center mouse button and select 'Basic'. The StrongED screen backround will change to blue to reflec t the chosen mode. You can save code by using the icons along the top of the StrongED window.

There are some BASIC examples in the standard load - goto Programming.BASIC.Routines. Double clicking will run them and holding down the shift key and double clicking will load them into the editor for your perusal.

It's difficult to know what you need to know.. what is it that you want to do? I'll try to help..
The offer was appreciated - I do appreciate all the responses so far and will follow up on all information, code samples and advice given. ...What do I want to do?

Well, my reasons for trying out RISCOS were twofold, one, to get a feel for whether it is (or is not) a less obstructive, more single-user OS than Linux - as I said elsewhere recently, I yearn for the time when the OS was your servant, not your master, modern OSes make you work in and around what they want to do. I had the advantage (?) of having no pre-Pi experience with either RISCOS or Linux, so I had no particular bias in favour of (or against) one or the other.

Second reason was to try programming on the Pi in traditional BASIC - since BBC Basic is integral to RISCOS and not just an invited guest, I was hoping that it might prove to be a fast, efficient version on the Pi, especially since it originally targeted machines with rather slower processors.

I'm reasonably familiar with BASIC in general, having used it in one form or another since the days of the ZX81. What I didn't know was how to get to the point of entering and running BASIC under RISCOS - nor did I know about the 'upper case' rule in this version, which narrowly defeated my original attempt to run three lines of test code, as you have seen. As those questions have now been rapidly and informatively answered, I can now get down to trying to write some code.

What would be handy (generally) would be a 'sticky' containing a consolidated rundown of all the 'Introduction to BASIC' information you've all given me here... For example RoliPi's information about the existence of a helpful DOC file on the subject... I didn't know it was there, so I would never have gone looking for it.

SiriusHardware
Posts: 500
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:09 pm
Location: UK

Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:52 pm

AMcS wrote:
RUN - Runs your program (surprise that...).
One question about that: How do you STOP a running program which is in a loop? I note you provided a controlled escape in your example (mouse button press) but, if I got into a never ending loop, how would I break out?

sawdust
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:09 am

Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:11 pm

SiriusHardware wrote:
AMcS wrote:
RUN - Runs your program (surprise that...).
One question about that: How do you STOP a running program which is in a loop? I note you provided a controlled escape in your example (mouse button press) but, if I got into a never ending loop, how would I break out?
Single tasking try the Escape key or in the Desktop try Alt-Break

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DavidS
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Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:11 pm

SiriusHardware wrote:...
Second reason was to try programming on the Pi in traditional BASIC - since BBC Basic is integral to RISCOS and not just an invited guest, I was hoping that it might prove to be a fast, efficient version on the Pi, especially since it originally targeted machines with rather slower processors.
...
BBC BASIC V is extreamly fast on RISC OS, actualy surprisingly so. I recently did some speed tests with pure BBC BASIC on my RPi in responce to some questions about how it stacks up, and as far as I can find interpreted BBC BASIC V is the single fastest interpreted language on the RPi on any available operating system (or even with out an operating system). The amazing one is that it holds its own against comiled laguages, being in most cases only 6 to 10 times slower than a well optimized compiled language for the same task.

Once you master BBC BASIC V you may wish to think about a BBC BASIC compiler for RISC OS, the best one that I am aware of is ABC which is distributed as part of the RISC OS DDE that can be purchased from RISC OS Open:
https://www.riscosopen.org/content/sales/dde
Or you can get it a little cheaper as part of the Nut Pi package if you are only ever going to use it on the Raspberry Pi:
https://www.riscosopen.org/content/sales/nutpi
RPi = The best ARM based RISC OS computer around
More than 95% of posts made from RISC OS on RPi 1B/1B+ computers. Most of the rest from RISC OS on RPi 2B/3B/3B+ computers

SiriusHardware
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Location: UK

Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:31 pm

DavidS wrote:
Once you master BBC BASIC V you may wish to think about a BBC BASIC compiler for RISC OS, the best one that I am aware of is ABC which is distributed as part of the RISC OS DDE that can be purchased from RISC OS Open:
https://www.riscosopen.org/content/sales/dde
Or you can get it a little cheaper as part of the Nut Pi package if you are only ever going to use it on the Raspberry Pi:
https://www.riscosopen.org/content/sales/nutpi
Thanks for the info-

I think this is almost repeating a question I asked a long time ago, but when you say 'compile', you mean to convert entirely to a standalone, ready-to run, executable machine language application? That's my definition of the term, but there seem to be some other interpretations around.

AMcS
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Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:27 pm

SiriusHardware wrote:
AMcS wrote:
RUN - Runs your program (surprise that...).
One question about that: How do you STOP a running program which is in a loop? I note you provided a controlled escape in your example (mouse button press) but, if I got into a never ending loop, how would I break out?
Generally pressing the <Escape> key does the trick. BASIC itself detects and responds to that and halts the program (I just used the contrived example to show how you could use the B% (Button) value returned from the MOUSE statement to halt the program/exit the REPEAT..UNTIL loop).

I could easily have used the value for "other purposes" and allowed the user to still exit the program by pressing <Escape>.

Do bear in mind <Escape> stops the WHOLE program (BASIC returns to it's command line), you might want a person to be able to "exit" a given loop but keep the program running which is where you'd use some other "trigger" to terminate the loop as against stopping the whole program.

As Sawdust pointed out - for multitasking (BASIC programs running in the WIMP) you have to use <alt><break> instead.

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DavidS
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Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:10 pm

SiriusHardware wrote:I think this is almost repeating a question I asked a long time ago, but when you say 'compile', you mean to convert entirely to a standalone, ready-to run, executable machine language application? That's my definition of the term, but there seem to be some other interpretations around.
By compile I mean transform into a stand alone Machine Language Program. I did not know that there was any other meaning to compile in reference to programming languages.
RPi = The best ARM based RISC OS computer around
More than 95% of posts made from RISC OS on RPi 1B/1B+ computers. Most of the rest from RISC OS on RPi 2B/3B/3B+ computers

SiriusHardware
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Location: UK

Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:39 pm

DavidS wrote:
SiriusHardware wrote:I think this is almost repeating a question I asked a long time ago, but when you say 'compile', you mean to convert entirely to a standalone, ready-to run, executable machine language application? That's my definition of the term, but there seem to be some other interpretations around.
By compile I mean transform into a stand alone Machine Language Program. I did not know that there was any other meaning to compile in reference to programming languages.
Nor did I, until I saw people using it to mean slightly different things. But obviously, we must have gone to the same school. ;)

SiriusHardware
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Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:42 pm

AMcS wrote:
SiriusHardware wrote:
AMcS wrote:
RUN - Runs your program (surprise that...).
One question about that: How do you STOP a running program which is in a loop? I note you provided a controlled escape in your example (mouse button press) but, if I got into a never ending loop, how would I break out?
Generally pressing the <Escape> key does the trick. BASIC itself detects and responds to that and halts the program (I just used the contrived example to show how you could use the B% (Button) value returned from the MOUSE statement to halt the program/exit the REPEAT..UNTIL loop).
So noted, thank you once again.

Markodius
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Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:06 am

SiriusHardware wrote:
Markodius wrote:Hi SiriusHardware,

Goto the 'Apps' directory and launch !StrongEd which is an editor that will make coding a lot easier. At the bottom of the StrongED screen about halfway across is the legend 'BaseMode'. Click with the center mouse button and select 'Basic'. The StrongED screen backround will change to blue to reflec t the chosen mode. You can save code by using the icons along the top of the StrongED window.

There are some BASIC examples in the standard load - goto Programming.BASIC.Routines. Double clicking will run them and holding down the shift key and double clicking will load them into the editor for your perusal.

It's difficult to know what you need to know.. what is it that you want to do? I'll try to help..
The offer was appreciated - I do appreciate all the responses so far and will follow up on all information, code samples and advice given. ...What do I want to do?

Well, my reasons for trying out RISCOS were twofold, one, to get a feel for whether it is (or is not) a less obstructive, more single-user OS than Linux - as I said elsewhere recently, I yearn for the time when the OS was your servant, not your master, modern OSes make you work in and around what they want to do. I had the advantage (?) of having no pre-Pi experience with either RISCOS or Linux, so I had no particular bias in favour of (or against) one or the other.

Second reason was to try programming on the Pi in traditional BASIC - since BBC Basic is integral to RISCOS and not just an invited guest, I was hoping that it might prove to be a fast, efficient version on the Pi, especially since it originally targeted machines with rather slower processors.

I'm reasonably familiar with BASIC in general, having used it in one form or another since the days of the ZX81. What I didn't know was how to get to the point of entering and running BASIC under RISCOS - nor did I know about the 'upper case' rule in this version, which narrowly defeated my original attempt to run three lines of test code, as you have seen. As those questions have now been rapidly and informatively answered, I can now get down to trying to write some code.

What would be handy (generally) would be a 'sticky' containing a consolidated rundown of all the 'Introduction to BASIC' information you've all given me here... For example RoliPi's information about the existence of a helpful DOC file on the subject... I didn't know it was there, so I would never have gone looking for it.
Phew.. that lets me off the hook. No worries SiriusHardware - thought I might actually have to do something for a moment there! A warm welcome to you.
“In the modern age, to call a man unelectable means he cannot be bought”

NigelJK
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Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:58 pm

In the programming section I uploaded a simple 'well behaved' WIMP programme which should help understand how to interact with the users on a a desktop. The whole thread is interesting from a 'beginners' point of view, but my post #53 is the one where the application is posted.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 4&start=25

SiriusHardware
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Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:16 pm

NigelJK wrote:In the programming section I uploaded a simple 'well behaved' WIMP programme which should help understand how to interact with the users on a a desktop. The whole thread is interesting from a 'beginners' point of view, but my post #53 is the one where the application is posted.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 4&start=25
Thanks for the pointer to that, although it isn't straightforward for me to import it into RISCOS as I don't have a working internet connection for the RISCOS Pi (In Raspbian and on the main Windows box, I use wireless access). I'll download it onto something else and shuffle it over to RISCOS somehow.

SiriusHardware
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Location: UK

Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:29 pm

Markodius wrote:Hi SiriusHardware,

Goto the 'Apps' directory and launch !StrongEd which is an editor that will make coding a lot easier. At the bottom of the StrongED screen about halfway across is the legend 'BaseMode'. Click with the center mouse button and select 'Basic'. The StrongED screen backround will change to blue to reflec t the chosen mode. You can save code by using the icons along the top of the StrongED window.

There are some BASIC examples in the standard load - goto Programming.BASIC.Routines. Double clicking will run them and holding down the shift key and double clicking will load them into the editor for your perusal.
I followed your steps, all of which are OK, including double clicking on source filesin the file browser (with shift held down) in order to invoke the editor with the file loaded for perusal - what seems to be missing - call me dense - is a method to load source files into the editor when already within the editor itself. I'm on the StrongEd blue-background screen having selected BASIC mode, and in the row of pictorial icons along the top, fourth from the left is a clear 'disc' icon under which I would normally expect to see 'save' and 'load' options - but if I left, centre or right click on it I only seem to see options for saving - is that right?

SEDev
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Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:07 am

SiriusHardware wrote:I'm on the StrongEd blue-background screen having selected BASIC mode, and in the row of pictorial icons along the top, fourth from the left is a clear 'disc' icon under which I would normally expect to see 'save' and 'load' options - but if I left, centre or right click on it I only seem to see options for saving - is that right?
Most RISC OS applications do not have a dialogue box for loading files, only for saving them. Loading files into StrongED works by double-clicking (for text files) or Shift-double-clicking (for non-text files).

You can also load files by dragging a selection of files and/or directories to StrongED's iconbar-icon. This makes it easy to load all source files in a project to work on them (having them all loaded allows you to quickly jump to function definitions, list all occurrences of variables/labels, etc).

The blue background screen is not a screen but a window (or a view in StrongED parlance) and you can open lots of them. There are options to hide or iconise the windows and only have the file you're working on visible. This is done from the LoW (List-of-Windows window) opened by Ctrl-L.

If you're interested in learning more about StrongED then please join the mailing list. Details on how to join can be found in the Contact page of the StrongHelp manual which can be opened by clicking Menu (middle click) over StrongED's iconbar-icon and then clicking on 'Help...'.

SiriusHardware
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Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:41 am

RoliPi wrote:Hi,
there is a very good introduction to Basic in the Documents.Books.First steps... first.pdf, with detailled example codes and explanations.
I started working my way through that last night and I agree that it is a fantastic manual, at least equal to the excellent manuals which came with the 80s-era home computers (Sinclair, Acorn, etc). Everything I need to know is in there - although I know BASIC I don't know BBC BASIC, so it is still essential reading for some of the features and syntax which are peculiar to this version. But even someone who had never, ever programmed before would be able to get up and running with that manual.

NigelJK
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Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:06 pm

The pointer to the file is a zip file (and to the dropbox file) which you can download onto a windows/mac then copy it over to the SD card. Only open it once you're inside RiscOS or you'll lose the file types.

SiriusHardware
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Re: Very basic guide to BASIC please?

Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:52 pm

NigelJK wrote:The pointer to the file is a zip file (and to the dropbox file) which you can download onto a windows/mac then copy it over to the SD card. Only open it once you're inside RiscOS or you'll lose the file types.
Thanks for pointing that out - I probably would have unzipped it in Windows.

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