From the pages of the past! Ads of yesteryear – BASIC: A Tutorial

BASIC: A Tutorial ad 1984

So how about it, chummer? Ready to run against Zurich Orbital with my BASIC ICEbreaker riding shotgun?

BASIC was the computer language that many cut their teeth on for years thanks to its relative simplicity and English-like conventions, so a number of computing platforms had a simple BASIC compiler included as a part of their standard software package such as on the Apple IIc.

This gave the opportunity for many to cut their teeth in the world of programming with their first language and a number of magazines, gazettes, and newsletters back in the day during the 1980s catered to that with pages and pages of code that you could punch in yourself and watch things explode on the screen. Years before CD-ROMs and floppies were included with mags, this was one of the only other options to try out free software. But having hardcopy versions of those also helped in studying just how programs ticked and gave ideas to a lot of would-be programmers eager to dive deeper into the iron.

But unlike the ad above, programming languages in general weren’t expected to be edgy or sexy, though Orbyte Software certainly wanted a play on the idea that BASIC would be the “Street Talk of the Future” for their tutorial ware. And this is the idea that they came up with. Add in a few ‘trodes, razornails, and mirroshades, and you might actually see a little cyberpunk in this. Not quite how I imagined BASIC to be, but hey, they get points for trying.

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