Accessing and Running BASIC Programs

Some of my Web files are BASIC programs written in either GW-BASIC or QuickBASIC. To run them, you will need to download them to your own disk (for best results, give the file the extension .BAS) then load one of the two versions of BASIC and run the program.

To load BASIC, find the directory on your computer that contains it (usually the DOS directory). At the DOS prompt, type GWBASIC or QBASIC as appropriate (if neither works, search your directories for a file titled ???BASIC.EXE, where the question marks are other characters. Once you find it, type in the program name. You need not type in the .EXE part.)

All these programs employ low resolution color graphics. Any monitor with graphics capability will display them.

This is meant as a quick guide to BASIC for non-programmers so they can load and run the programs. If you wish to modify the programs (for example to upgrade the graphics) you are advised to consult a BASIC language reference.

You can copy, use and modify the programs freely provided you do not remove the author credit.

GW-BASIC

This is the older version of BASIC available with Microsoft DOS 3.3. It may also be called Microsoft BASIC. This version uses line numbers to label all program lines. Its main advantage is it is simple enough to fit on a single floppy disk and will run on just about anything. GW-BASIC will not run QuickBasic programs.

To run the program:

QuickBASIC

This is a newer version of BASIC available with Microsoft DOS 5.0 and above. It is a more Pascal-like BASIC. It does not use line numbers, and does permit indented program lines. QuickBASIC programs are ASCII files and can be edited using QuickBASIC, the DOS editor, or most word processors.

QuickBASIC will run GW-BASIC programs provided they have been stored as ASCII files (which they are if you download them from my WEB site).

To run a QuickBASIC program:

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Last Update 1/6/1997