52

People nowadays think of BASIC as something lesser and generally tied to puny microcomputers, but BASIC was the language of choice for many scientific, engineering and business computers in the 1970s. It had a strong foothold with mini computers, years before the microprocessors made its debut on the desktop. Think HP (Instrument) BASIC for all their ...


20

If we're not talking about BASIC as a programming language, but the operational commands that surround it, then the answer is that they surely reimplemented the command structure of existing timesharing systems that offered BASIC, in particular the 1964 Dartmouth Time Sharing System (the progenitor of BASIC). There are nits to pick, however. The "command ...


19

This was more of a marketing question than a technical one. The historical fact is that most vendors of 8-bit personal computers chose to include BASIC. The simple answer as to why they made this choice is pretty obvious - It was the standard. So, slightly restating the question posed, one could ask "Why was BASIC the standard?" It was a standard in the ...


19

LOGO was intimately tied up with research into educational methods, and in teaching children how to use computers. The project proposal by Seymour Papert mentions "research on children's thinking and elementary education". Further LOGO memos are found here. The question remains is, is this what the language was "originally" for, or was the language co-...


11

Wikipedia has a long list of Logo implementations, but I'd like to know what the earliest implementation on a microcomputer is or, more likely, what the earliest ones are if there isn't one with clear priority. (I am not interested in mainframe or minicomputer implementations.) A good starting point is here, as a quick introduction to understand from where ...


9

According to Wikipedia: Logo, second paragraph fragment The language was conceived to teach concepts of programming related to Lisp and only later to enable what Papert called "body-syntonic reasoning", where students could understand, predict, and reason about the turtle's motion by imagining what they would do if they were the turtle.


7

I see 3 main reasons: The 8-bit computers were targetting amateur computer enthusiasts, and a lot of beginner children. BASIC were specific to each machine to allow easy access to keyboard, sound and graphics, with simple syntax, global variables, not too many concepts like functions, scopes, etc. to avoid losing the users. Imagine having to count the ...


7

Seymour Papert was a developmental psychologist, and in the early days of computers had lots of interesting ideas about how children might be taught using them. His work's online if you're interested. The "real" turtle wasn't like the autonomous robot "tortoise", it was simply a plotter on wheels. A domed robot with 2 large wheels, one per side, that could ...


7

BASIC was cheap on resources. Cheap on ROM, cheap on RAM, functional and productive. Nothing else came close -- not even Forth (which really required a disk drive to be truly usable, though there were exceptions). In the microcomputer BASICs, program code and the source code were the same. The original text is consumed and parsed in to the internal token ...


5

Unlike many languages which require the use of a text editor separate from the language implementation, a BASIC interpreter includes a text editor built in. Further, someone with e.g. a VIC-20, a television set, and the manual would have everything needed to make the computer do something (e.g. play the Tank-versus-UFO game printed in the manual). ...


5

I started programming in 1981 at university & my first job (in 1982) was on an 8-bit Business Computer (The Durango). BASIC was one of the big three languages - FORTRAN and COBOL were compiled and on bigger computers. The expectation was that business programming was somewhat English-like. Forth had a significant presence in technical and laboratory ...


5

Given that much of the early '70s work on Logo was done at the MIT AI Lab (link from ignos), it seems quite possible that the microcomputer implementations that they started in 1980 were at least among the first, if not the first. The sources for various early versions (and some other software and documentation) are available in the files/aplogo/ subdir of ...


4

This disk image is probably built from files/aplogo/logo.299 in the PDP-10/its-vault repo on GitHub.com, or very similar source. That same directory has a documentation file, usage.doc, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to document the screen editor commands. (It also seems to document a number of things not in that particular version of LOGO.) The ...


3

Unix-style shells are optimized for environments with a lot of files in a relatively stable and fast to access, but complex structure - essentially, shells are programming languages that use files and directories as their main data type. You found simple shell style environments on early office computers running CP/M and similar systems (still much more ...


3

I have something to add. It's not exactly an answer, but it's too long for a comment. You are linking to 11Logo (which I put on GitHub, courtesy of CSAIL), but this wasn't the first version of Logo. It was first implemented on PDP-1 at BBN, and later updated for a PDP-10. The PDP-10 version was moved to MIT (the files still have a BBN copyright notice), ...


2

Isn't this discussed in the book, Decoding Liberation: The Promise of Free and Open Source Software By Samir Chopra, Scott D. Dexter? (See page 13). Basically, copyright issues and monetization strategy for LISP ended up spawning the open source movement. BASIC was more readily available with license, or easily pirated.


2

I can't answer the question "what was the earliest microcomputer Logo implementation", but I can give some details on one early microcomputer Logo implementation, namely MIT Logo. As ignos has outlined in his excellent answer, LOGO started as a simplified Lisp variant on a PDP-10 mainframe, and then was ported to microcomputers, among those the Apple II. ...


1

Do you consider the LSI-11 a microcomputer? It's an implementation of a PDP-11 using an 8-bit microprocessor under the hood. 11Logo was ported to the LSI-11, which was the processor for the commercialized Logo computer (the 3500) from General Turtle. This happened around 1978, which is clearly before the earliest "true micro" Logo ~1980.


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