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What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
03-31-2014, 10:03 PM (This post was last modified: 03-31-2014 10:05 PM by Garth Wilson.)
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RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
(03-31-2014 09:34 PM)Howard Owen Wrote:  
(03-30-2014 07:29 PM)Garth Wilson Wrote:  I have never seen such a good BASIC, even when I was working with Rocky Mountain BASIC 5.1 at work which was a huge disappointment compared to the 71 with math module and a bunch of LEX files from the Paris users' group.

Off topic:

Wow, I thought RMB was the best thing ever coming from mbasic on CP/M. I was struck by the elements it shared with Pascal and FORTRAN. It was also extendable with Pascal or 68K assembler. I loved the "knob" on the Nimitz keyboard too. But I was most impressed with its I/O capability. We were typically collecting data from radio navigation and bathymetry, plotting a fix and graphing and logging that in real-time, all on a 9816 with 256K. We also interfaced with a menagerie of other marine instrument systems, from pingers to sidescan to LORAN and on and on. HP71B BASIC was and is a wonderful handheld BASIC, but it can't do any of that stuff.

It was a fun start to my professional career. "Offshore Programmer" was not a typical job title. Smile
My use of RMB was on a 68000-based Viper board that plugged into a slot in a PC. RMB by itself took half a megabyte, without the user's application. This board had and IEEE-488 port and native support. I did the heavy I/O to several lab instruments at once on the 71 (and before that, even the 41, although not in BASIC on the 41) with the HP82169A HPIL-to-HPIB interface converter. RMB 5.1 did not allow certain things in the program editing, did not allow more than one program in memory at a time (whereas the 71 allowed any number, and your main application could take advantage of subprograms in other program files, with their own environments, without importing them), forced you to use a certain case for variables (I seem to remember it had to start with a capital letter and the letters after it had to be lower-case), and had plenty of other annoyances. (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, )
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RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer - Garth Wilson - 03-31-2014 10:03 PM

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