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A serious attempt is being made by Victor Reijs and some friends to resurrect interest in the old system of BASICODE. This was a system evolved in the early 80’s (before the days of Windows) whereby use was made of the way the early Home computers often stored and retrieved data from Cassette tape, even when these were also capable of making use of Floppy disk drives and sometime the early hard drives. The system involved feeding in codes by way of audio signals from the tape into a computer while running a suitable program, which converted the data to a program readable by the system. Additionally the beauty of BASICODE is it should be easily possible for the same program to run by a variety of different computers or BASIC dialects, by the use of different codes to suit a variety of computers. As you can see from below attempts were also made to transmit the audio signal on the Medium Wave, but this can prove extremely difficult over any great distance due to considerable atmospheric and man-made interference.

Modern PCs do not have any simple way of recognising data fed in by way of audio signals, although auteur Hand Vosman has published a circuit diagram whereby signals can be fed in by the Printer Port. The former BASICODE team has developed a simple system whereby the conversion codes for a variety of BASIC dialects take the form of a simple program (with line numbers) that constitutes the first few lines of any program for pasting into the start of any program. The main program then makes constant reference to the early lines by way of GOTOs and GOSUBs. This of course makes the whole process difficult to follow, and breaks many of the golden rules relating to Structured Programming.

However it does constitute a serious attempt to make a variety of (old) programs easily available to be run in a variety of different BASIC dialects, and like many of these ideas can form the basis of creating new programs from the original ideas. A BASICODE e-group has been created for those interested ( ) and a number of these BASICODE translators and programs can be found in its Files area.


ORIGINAL BASICODE (copy from article published 1980’s)

Welcome! - Welcome to the growing group of BASICODE users. On this side of the cassette are a number of example programs in the BASICODE standard. You can try loading them. Check to see if they run. We have chosen a number of programs for the CHIP SHOP take-away, and we hope you find them useful. As you should know from Chapter 3, the BASICODE protocol assumes your video monitor has a screen size that consists of 24 lines, each of 40 characters. If your computer screen is smaller than this, then you may have difficulty running a program without making a few changes. How much work this involves depends on the program and the screen size. If your screen size is larger than by 40 you won't need to change anything. There are programs that can measure the screen size automatically, and make adjustments accordingly (This program is an example!). As with any normal program, if you can't run it, LIST it and check the REM statements. Often the author has put in useful comments. The purpose of BASICODE is to stimulate interest in home computers. A universal hobby computing standard has to make some compromises, but thousands of users in Europe are already using BASICODE, so we know the system works. If BASICODE makes you treat your computer as more than a black box, then it has worked. BASICODE programs are transmitted regularly on the European continent: each Sunday at GMT on 747 kHz medium wave on Hilversum 2, and during the <KNOW HOW> programme on West German TV, WDR-3, Enough talking. Remember BASICODE doesn't stop with this cassette. Try writing a few programs yourself. For now, best wishes from the BASICODE developers in The Netherlands. SUBROUTINE DEVELOPMENT BY RIEN VAN DONGEN ZOETERMEER, HOLLAND ADAPTION FOR CHIP-SHOP BY JONATHAN MARKS.
Anyone interested in the revival of this 20 year old system of creating translators to enable the same program to run on both Qbasic, GWbasic, BBC Basic for Windows, and Liberty Basic etc just click on NEW BASICODES from below:-

Gordon S.
I have just uploaded my latest attempts at 4 Basicode Translators to below. Feel free to comment.


Gordon’s Basicodes ver. 1.2

Here are 4 Basicode Translators covering GWbasic, Qbasic/QuickBasic, BBC Basic for Windows, and Liberty Basic along with 2 programs all shown below. Keep in touch for updates / more programs.

BC12GWB.BAS Translator for GWbasic
BC12QB.BAS Translator for Qbasic/QuickBasic
BC12BBC.BAS Translator for BBC Basic for Windows
BC12LB.BAS Translaotor for Liberty Basic
Basicodes.htm Table list of all Translators
Alltests.bas Program of tests
JuliaPatterns.bas Julia Patterns Program
Short.mid Very short midi test
Mona.bmp Bmp file for Alltest program
Read1st.txt This file

You must copy and paste the relevant translator to match the programming language above with a program code, and you can also use Notepad for this. Remember to change the file setting to allow BAS files to be opened with BBC4W. Note there are a number of un-coded routines in the LB translator best left at the end after the program code.

I must explain my approach to producing Basicodes is different from previous versions by others, in that here the Translators contain very few calculations, mainly Functions as sub routines, unlike other Basicodes where the Translators are part of the program. The translators above you will see it should be possible to convert any simple working program in any of the above languages, and adapt it to run on any of the languages, using the relevant translators. You do not have to write a program specially to suit any of the programs, but as you can see from the example programs obviously some special tailoring is needed to suit some of the languages.

Assuming you have a reasonable knowledge of a least one of the languages, and if necessary access the relevant Help file, then by studying the codes alongside in Basicode.htm you should be able to see the identical purpose of the functions in the other languages. The old DOS GWbasic never came with a Help file, but as the subsequent Qbasic is almost identical, you can refer to its Help file. There are a few notes of where the purposes of the lines may not be obvious.

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