May 2014

MacBASIC 1.0 Found

I found MacBASIC 1.0 on Mac GUI. It wasn’t part of a disk image file so was easy to transfer to my Mac Classic II. I put it on the same disk as the older version. It ran, showed an error in the Airfoil pgm and then bombed out. I gave it more memory in Get Info but it still bombs out in any pgm that I tried. Maybe I will look at the two books I have and see if I can resolve the Airfoil pgm error and type in another pgm to test. It has more extensive menus than the older version.

Anyway, here is proof that it exists. Someone must have hacked it

MacBASIC 1.0

MacBASIC Nipped in the Bud

Today is the 50th anniversary of BASIC developed at Dartmouth College in 1964. My first use of BASIC was during a Summer job at the GM Tech Center in 1969 using a teletype connected to a General Electric computer system. I later used BASIC on my TI99 Home Computer starting in 1980. When I switched to the Macintosh in 1985, I used Microsoft-BASIC. I still have an original floppy of MS-BASIC that still works.

Early in the Mac development, Apple was also developing their own
BASIC after using Microsoft’s on the Apple II. Apple dropped their MacBASIC in 1984 when Microsoft threatened to drop their support of the Apple II.

When I read the
Times article about BASIC this morning, I was reminded of MacBasic and that I had tried to find a copy of it 5 years ago. I did obtain a couple of books: Using Macintosh BASIC by Richard Norling (of which I have an autographed copy) and The Macintosh BASIC Handbook by Thomas Blackadar and Jonathan Kamin. There are at least a half-dozen more available on Amazon.

Anyway, I did another search for MacBASIC and found a copy on
Macintosh Garden. This is version .335 dated Feb. 27, 1984. I downloaded a copy to my PowerMac G5 where I run the Classic MacOS under OSX 10.4 Tiger. The copy is a disk image file in the old MFS 400K floppy format and would not mount on the G5. Taking up the challenge, I managed to get it on 2MB floppy which I was able to read on an old Mac Performa from the mid-80’s. I was able to mount it on the Performa running Disk Copy, but it wouldn’t run under the Performa’s MacOS 7.6. Not to be deterred, I copied the files from the mounted image disk to an 800K floppy and moved it over to a MacClassic II from around 1992. The MacClassic II was running MacOS 7.1, but MacBASIC wouldn’t run there either. Since the floppy included an old version of Finder & System, I tried to boot from it. Did not boot, but I found that I could run MacBasic off the floppy instead of the HD.

Following are a few screen shots that shows it running an Airfoil graphing program.
There are about 50 BASIC programs on the floppy. There is supposed to be a 1.x version of MacBASIC that I am still looking for.
MacBasic - 5

MacBasic - 4

MacBasic - 1

MacBasic - 2

MacBasic - 3