Microsoft's modular implementation of BASIC released with DOS 5.0. It got away from the whole concept of line numbers to designate program flow, and instead used labels as targets for GOTO statements.

M$'s first step toward the land of Visual Basic.

Ah, geek nostalgia. I still remember the day my dad brought home that shiny new 286. There was a shark game that was pretty cool and a Tetris like game, but with triangles and squares instead of groups of blocks. But the greatest treasure on that machine wasn't accessible by the little blue menu that popped up whenever you flipped the big red switch.

No, the real treasure was buried deeper, in folders and subdirectories, things I really didn't understand but was gleefully exploring late at night. Folder by folder, cd by cd.., and file by file, I found out what each and every single thing did on that computer. One night, I tried the file, 'qbasic.exe'. It looked a lot like the 'edit.exe' program, not too exciting. Then I looked at the help files, and gave it a whirl. That night, I wrote my first program.

I never paid attention during English class again. I remember trying to figure out how to write a slot machine program with the simple QBasic circle and line graphic commands. I always tried projects that were way too much for me and the simplistic QBasic, but it was fun to try. Now I shudder at the thought of programming in Basic, but I still smile every time I see that blue screen.

QBASIC is a programming language which can be associated with death and almost everything evil. It signifies the Evil Empire, namely Microsoft. It is a descendant of the now-defunct BASIC, BASICA, and GW-BASIC. It has been shipped with all versions of DOS since 5.0, and Windows 95 or greater somewhere or another on the CD. It seems that it was a pitch originally for Microsoft QuickBasic, a somewhat superior language. BASIC, BASICA, GW-BASIC, and QBASIC were Microsoft's only "free" programming language until Visual Basic 5.0 Control Creation Edition was posted for free download somewhere under msdn.microsoft.com. It mangled the original BASIC language to add some semblance of object-oriented programming, and is typically taught improperly by the computer programming teachers who teach it. Remember, forget about the LET statement, always DIM your variables and avoid the GOTO statement if at all possible.

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