Future Microchips

F. George McDuffee wrote:


Thanks for the offering, George, but at this time I don't want to buy another event driven compiler.
I have a couple of versions of Visual BASIC, and hate all of them.
What I'd like to see is an updated version of QB 4.5 that can deal with Windows funkyness a little easier.
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On Fri, 25 Dec 2009 00:38:01 -0600, cavelamb
<snip>

As Michael mentioned, try looking at FreeBasic:
http://www.freebasic.net /
I've only messed around with it some, but liked what I saw. It compiles everything to an exe, you run that to see your program in operation. It has command line parameters that can make it QB4.5 compatible. A nice set of help files too, take a look at the chm help file for a taste of it:
http://downloads.sourceforge.net/fbc/FB-manual-0.20.0-chm.zip
You can find old versions of QB4.5, QBX, VB for Dos here:
http://basic.phatcode.net /
They can be interesting, problematic though to extract the working files on newer operating systems...
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Leon Fisk wrote:

I've got all of those - all the way back to CP/M versions.
Andrew Lynch (posts here some) has brought that back to life with his N8VEM group.
A while back I wrote a simple movie inventory system to keep track of the movie files on my external drives.
If consists of a series of (shelled) batch files to created directory files (got around the long file name issue that way) and a QB 4.5 back end that does the formatting and sorting, and write the inventory file, links, etc.
It took a couple of hours to figure out how I wanted it to work, how to make it work, and fine tune it. A very nostalgic and pleasant experience.
Dealing with the "Visual" languages, I seem to spend more time trying to figure out how Microsoft wants things done.
And they love complication! I suspect that's so the rest of us will leave programming to the pros (them).
There are really only two issues I have with QB running on a Windoze box. 1) the long file names. and 2) the huge file sizes. Dealing with gig and terra sizes in QB? not exactly simple.
So, ok, guys, as a Christmas treat for myself, I've downloaded FreeBASIC and will play with it and see how I like it.
Thanks.
Richard
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cavelamb wrote:

In the "for what it's worth" category, at first blush?
Not too bad.
It compiled my existing QB code (with the Lang qb option) without complaining. Good for it? Good for me? Maybe both?
Getting the code converted to Freebasic too a little doing. Not bad - a lot like VB/VC conventions.
I pulled the hot link part out (for now), and did away with the subroutine calls (for now) so all is inline.
The biggest change was explicit variable declaration.
It compiled and ran perfectly. But then, at this level, it's pretty trivial program. Less than 100 lines even with the subroutine calls changed to inline code.
Figure out the call requirements for subs and it will shrink to less that half that!
I do wish the documentation could be had in book form. Electronic documentation is easier to maintain, but, at least for me, a book is still the way to study things. Call me old fashioned...
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On Fri, 25 Dec 2009 17:11:02 -0600, cavelamb
<snip>

I feel your pain, perusing hard copy is my preferred method of learning too.
I like the electronic versions for searching and as a quick reminder for getting the syntax right. Bummer for just poking around in though and learning basic concepts.
It is good to hear that you got it working for your little project though. It should be able to work with long file names okay too.
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cavelamb wrote:

Then is choked like a first time girl on Def Seg...
That was for screen save/restore (direct hardware access).
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On Sat, 26 Dec 2009 23:30:10 -0600, cavelamb
<snip>

I had some problems trying to use Graphics screens with FreeBasic, like "SCREEN 12". I think it tried to create an exe using DirectX commands which are too new for my system. What I did was add "SetEnviron("fbgfx=GDI")" towards the beginning of my bas code. My old WinNT seems to be able to live with that. Not sure if what you are trying to do is related or not (shrug).
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Leon Fisk wrote:

I was just trying out several old programs to see what works and what doesn't.
This one is text only - just reading the screen memory so it can be restored after closing a pop up selection box (Dos style).
Bottom line - anything platform specific is going to fail.
Def Seg? On a Mac? I think that is probably sacrilegious. Segments? We ain't got no stinkin' segments!
I did play with the long file names. The FBC stuff worked first time right outta the box. Too cool!
But to make old programs work with the new stuff means total conversion of the old code to the new standards. They don't mix and match.
Still, it does look like a very good system for BASIC programming. And the in-line assembly means I can do just about anything I can figure out how to do... I like that - a lot.
Thanks guys! It was a nice Christmas present...
Richard
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cavelamb wrote:

Then you can try FreeDOS. :)
http://www.freedos.org
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Michael A. Terrell wrote:

I have it already - for an 8088 antique project.
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cavelamb wrote:

It sounds like you'll be busy for a while then. :)
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    Yes -- but I got my start in Motorola 6800 assembly language, and even wrote self-modifying code in that -- which resided mostly in ROM. :-) I had a lot of bad things to unlearn by the time I got to Pascal.

    While BASIC-09 (for OS-9 only) had most of those, the "CALL ABSOLUTE" did not exit, simply because all procedures and programs were position independent and reentrant, so there was no certainty that the code which you wanted to call would really *be* there. :-)
    But -- it allowed procedures to be separately compiled, and called from within any BASIC-09 program -- even if other programs were already calling the same procedure.

    Yes -- quite complex types could be defined -- with the major nuisance being that since each procedure had its own memory map, there could be *no* global variables -- so *everything* had to be passed. The only reasonable way to deal with the passing of large numbers of variables was to declare them all into a "TYPE", and just pass the whole type. And to return a lot of things, you had to return a TYPE too, IIRC.

    Only things running as parts of the kernel (device drivers and descriptors and such) could access hardware at absolute addresses, similar to unix.

    O.K.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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cavelamb wrote:

Have you tried FreeBasic?
http://sourceforge.net/projects/fbc /
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    O.K. Mine was an Altair 680b (the Motorola 6800 CPU machine, not the Intel 8080 machine or the later Z80 replacement for the 8080.

    *No* disks, 1K of RAM to start, with an added 16K board later. Another later board added the ability to save/load (at 300 baud) from audio cassette tapes.

    Try it at the 110 Baud limit of a Teletype ASR-33. :-) (And add the fun of a keyboard which had keys so stiff that you could balance a broom, handle down, on a keycap without actually activating that key. :-)
    My second machine was a Technico machine based on the TI 9900 CPU (16-bit CPU, with actual hardware multiply capability. :-)
    The third machine was the SWTP 6800 -- the first one for which I got a floppy controller.

    All three machines used stand-alone terminals instead of built-in graphics cards and a keyboard attached, so the resolution was limited by the terminal's own capabilities, not the computer's.

    My first hard disk was a 5.6 MB one -- for which I had to wire wrap an adaptor to talk to the controller card. Later, I did the same with 27 MB disks, and a card to convert those MFM disks to SASI (the predecessor of SCSI). At one point, I had two 5.6 MB and two 27MB disks running on the one system, along with four 8" floppy drives (1 MB each) two 5.25" DSDD floppy drives (400 KB on that OS), and two 80 track DSDD drives (800 KB on that OS.) The OS was SSB's (Smoke Signal Broadcasting's) DOS-68.
    Later was the SWTP 6809, running a choice of SSB's DOS-69 or Microware's OS-9 (A multi-user, multi-tasking OS in 56K of RAM.)

    Well ... the Altair 8800 (Intel 8080 CPU) had avaiable 8" floppy drives.
    I won't bother documenting the progression through many unix systems which followed. :-)

    Amen!
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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The 3 gigahertz processor is impressive and the fan being only 1/2 a foot instead of 6 is notable too.
Hul
In rec.crafts.metalworking Lloyd E. Sponenburgh <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:

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Surely Mr. Feynman was joking!
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EA


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Existential Angst wrote:

EA:
    Heh wasn't that the title of one of his books?
    Let me go look..... Dyamm, I got one right! "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character"
    But here's a lecture he gave in 1959. Small excerpt:
============================================================ http://www.kurzweilai.net/meme/frame.html?main=/articles/art0159.html
Miniaturizing the computer
I don't know how to do this on a small scale in a practical way, but I do know that computing machines are very large; they fill rooms. Why can't we make them very small, make them of little wires, little elements--and by little, I mean little. For instance, the wires should be 10 or 100 atoms in diameter, and the circuits should be a few thousand angstroms across. Everybody who has analyzed the logical theory of computers has come to the conclusion that the possibilities of computers are very interesting--if they could be made to be more complicated by several orders of magnitude. If they had millions of times as many elements, they could make judgments. They would have time to calculate what is the best way to make the calculation that they are about to make. They could select the method of analysis which, from their experience, is better than the one that we would give to them. And in many other ways, they would have new qualitative features. ============================================================     So Feynman proposed nano-computers when the state of the art computers at the time filled rooms.
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BottleBob
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On 12/22/2009 5:35 PM, BottleBob wrote:

Just noticed the site link: http://www.kurzweilai.net is Ray Kurzweil's site. He was (is) quite the visionary. Founded Kurzweil Keyboards. Maker of some bad ass electronic keyboards.
-- Bill
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BillT wrote:

Bill:
    That's pretty cool. It was just a coincidence that I ended up choosing his site. The first site I chose was a PDF that wouldn't let me copy any excerpts. I don't normally like to quote from private party blogs.
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Ergo PV's oh-so slimy wit... wait a minute.... that should have been "oh-so sublime wit"..... Heh, Feynman, a NYC boy, Queens/Brooklyn, Far Rockaways/Coney Island.... He was chided for his Brooklyn accent.
He had insights, dats f'sure. But I'm sure a lot of people grokked that 0's and 1's don't need thick wires, big spaces.
The thing is, you can only go so small before the probability of QM renders things, well, perty uncertain. Hey, where'd dat "1" go??? It was here just a nanosecond ago!!! WTF??? Oh, THERE it is!! How'd it get over *there*??
Could be a big proleng in bank accounts, eh? Your bank balance loses a zero or two, jumps over to mine! heh....
--
EA, QM'ly PV'd

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