Monday, March 21, 2011

3/21/2011 Quite Basic

There are Web sites for everything these days, including computer programming. Anyone remember that? In my day, being "tech savvy" meant that you understood how to write programs, not download apps.

This Web site Quite Basic is a Basic language simulator, mostly for nostalgia. Turns out, it's decent for teaching kids too.

For some reason, Gabriel spent his rainy-day indoor time at the CDC this afternoon writing a Basic program.

He was very motivated to test it out on the Quite Basic Web site, so we had a rare night in which he did everything asked after being told only once. He'd already done his homework at the CDC, so I had him work on his March book report, then he had dinner with no fuss, took his bath and got ready for bed. Computer time around here has to be earned, and he earned it, so he spent the rest of the night on the computer testing his program. (He didn't want me to scan it because it has mistakes, but I did anyway, sorry dude.)

One could make a strong argument that a decades-long obsolete computer language has no practical application as compared to setting up a ring tone on an iPhone or drawing in Powerpoint, but you won't convince me. This is "tech-savvy," and this is the basis of actual computer science -- not Web-surfing or drawing in Powerpoint.


1 comment:

markv said...

BASIC is really not a "decades-long obsolete computer language". It is alive and well in various forms. For instance, the software product (Microwave Office) of my employer uses a derivative of BASIC as the scripting language for our users.