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HP 2000 Access TS Basic

Posted by Davis S. MOORE on 24 Aug 2007, 12:58 a.m.

I've been reading the entries in your HP 2000 Computer "Memories" with a lot of nostalgia. We had a TSB 2000 Access system at the central administration of Norfolk Public Schools in Virginia that looked something like the system shown in your entry from Fred Stone. It had similarly gotten to that Access stage via a long sequence of upgrades. (We started as a batch machine for a FORTRAN-implemented CMI application.)

Part of the changeover to Access and a strictly interactive environment came after I too met Dr. Gilpin Brown on a visit to the Richmond, Va. Math & Science Center. Several of our instructional departments had been requesting to use interactive computing in CAI, in computer assisted test construction, and in guidance support. So when Dr. Gilpin showed me their communications setup, with banks of Vadic modems, I could hardly wait to get back to Norfolk and copycat the arrangement. We had 32 modems, with two being for "high speed" operations. The system was used for a number of instructional computing projects carried on in the schools - plus a couple of planning and evaluation applications.

Our central TSB system also resided in its own operations room - on carpet that had interwoven strands of conducting material, with its own supplemental A/C, etc. It was installed right next to the hallowed, environmentally isolated "computer room" that housed the administration's IBM 360-30 system. The HP was kept in use through the 70s at least and abandoned only in the early 80s I think. (I had moved to another department but was still a user.)

You know, even after having worked with MS office, SAS programming, etc., I miss BASIC in the version supplied by the TSB system - with its intuitive string-handling features, neat matrix variables and statements, etc. Can anyone suggest an interpreter or compiler that emulates some of TS BASIC's flexibility and simplicity of coding and is available for programming enjoyment in, say, a Windows environment of today?


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