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Basica and GWBasic

Basica was Basic interpreter included with IBM DOS in early PCs.

GWBasic was a Basic interpreter 100% compatible with Basica wich was shipped with Ms DOS. The main difference between both interpreters was that Basica required the so-called “ROM BASIC”.

To execute gwbasic code in a modern PC you need either:

  • GWBasic and a PC emulator (Bochs, for instance).
  • The Qb64 compiler and a GWBasic file in ASCII format (see DecGwBas).
  • Pcbasic, a basic interpreter emulating legacy pc hardware.

Here you can see some info and programs you can run with GWBasic.


  • tic-tac-toe : tic-tac-toe with CGA display but text interface (say “A1” to place a piece on top left square).
  • Avengraf (translation in progress): an interactive text adventure with some added text and menus made with gwbasic. It shows the power of the gwbasic instructions CHAIN and MERGE, deprecated in qbasic and visual basic. I did not end all screens due their big size, but it was my most ambitious Gwbasic project. I developed a graphics editor and printed out many meters of code.
  • avion-5 (not yet translated): A clone of that game about dropping bombs over a city in order to make a landing track. Text mode.
  • el_muro (not yet translated): A brick breaker game similar to Arkanoid. Slightly modified. Text mode.

Utility soft

  • decgwba: DecGwBas and DecGwBa2, two programs to transform binary (compressed) gwbasic files into ASCII (text) files. Useful for those interested in porting gwbasic programs to other interpreters. Notice you don't need this if you already have GWBasic (use SAVE “FILENAME.TXT”,A instead).
  • teclas (not yet translated) adds 8 function keys to gwbasic hotkey menu (so you have 18 hotkeys instead of 10).

Game creators, drawing software and computer-aided-programming

  • logcomp1 (not yet translated) was an attempt to make a logo compiler from gwbasit. i had tried to make some sililar for a ZX-Spectrum, that remained as a paper program never feed to the computer. That pc version worked reasonably… having in account I only knew few logo commands at that time. But Logo was the first structured language I knew about.
  • pinta / zoomdraw (not yet translated) is the graphic editor I used to make avengraf screens. You draw on the screen, avengraf writes gwbasic code for you. Stopped being useful when I switched to qbasic, since qbasic does not allow using MERGE with shared variables.
  • graficos.bas_y_edipant.bas is a test program I made to create arcade sprites and levels. Its main flaw is it uses the slow “pset” instruction to draw on the screen – GWBasic had no fast “GET/PUT” instruction.

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en/basic/gwbasic/start.txt · Última modificación: 2018/01/04 08:31 por nepenthes