BASIC vs Python

Adam DePrince adam at
Fri Dec 17 20:03:14 CET 2004

On Fri, 2004-12-17 at 10:14, Steve Holden wrote:
> >> Nobody is answering this question because they are shuddering in fear
> >> and revulsion.
> >> During the 1980's BASIC was the language to embedd into the ROM's of the
> >> computers of the day.   This was in a misguided effort to make computers
> >> understandable to their target audience.  The goal of the day was to
> >> build a system that a manager would want to buy; it was believed that
> >> the only way for a manager to see the value of a system was to make the
> >> language understandable to said manager.  The expectation, of course,
> >> that the manager would sit down and play with the computer instead of
> >> delegating the tasks to somebody more qualified is somewhat misguided in
> >> hindsight.  To do that, a language that closely resembled the process of
> >> micromanaging an untrained worker was employed.
> >>
> > But that language was COBOL, not BASIC. BASIC is actually an acronym for 

It was a common theme and more than one language embraced it.  The PET
20 wasn't exactly going to run COBOL any time soon.

To be fair, COBOL resembled the micromanaging of a well trained worker,
an accountant or actuary perhaps.

Notice that today every white collar employee that can afford to keep
the heat running in their office during the winter fantasizes their
operation as being "enterprise" class?  The same was true 20 years ago -
but it was the mere presence of the computer that served a similar
role.  If you were really enterprise class, you used COBOL.  And if you
were in the wannabe category, you got yourself a PET 20 and told it what
to do in BASIC.

> (mumbles into beard and drools quietly in the corner).

Adam DePrince 

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