Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
The original BASIC language was invented in 1963 by John Kemeny (1926–93) and Thomas Kurtz (1928–) at Dartmouth College and implemented by a team of Dartmouth students under their direction.
The language was based partly on FORTRAN II and partly on ALGOL 60.
Versions then started appearing on other platforms under license, and millions of copies and variants were soon in use; it became one of the standard languages on the Apple II. By 1979, Microsoft was talking with several microcomputer vendors, including IBM, about licensing a BASIC interpreter for their computers. A version was included in the IBM PC ROM chips and PCs without hard disks automatically booted into BASIC.
Newer companies attempted to follow the successes of Altair, IMSAI, North Star and Apple, thus creating the home computer revolution; meanwhile, BASIC became a standard feature of all but a very few home computers. Most came with a BASIC interpreter in ROM, a feature pioneered by the Commodore PET in 1977. Soon there were many millions of machines running BASIC around the world, likely a far greater number than all the users of all other languages put together. Many programs, especially on the Apple II and IBM PC, depended on the presence of Microsoft's BASIC interpreter and would not run without it; in this way, Microsoft used its copyright licenses on its BASIC interpreter to gain leverage in negotiations with the computer vendors.
100 A$="ACHTUNG! ACHTUNG! HIER SPRICHT DEIN COMPUTER!" 110 GOSUB 1000 120 PRINT 130 A$="IN MEINEM SPEICHER HAT SICH EIN BIT VERKLEMMT." 140 GOSUB 1000 150 PRINT 160 A$="BITTE DREH MICH UM UND KLOPF MIR AUF DEN RUECKEN!" 170 GOSUB 1000 180 PRINT 190 END 1000 FOR I=1 TO LEN(A$) 1010 PRINT MID$(A$,I,1); 1020 NEXT I 1030 RETURN