Visual Basic: Early Beginnings

Before Visual Basic There Was BASIC

When Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Micro-Soft (later becoming Microsoft) back in 1975, their initial software product had been Altair BASIC. BASIC was the acronym for Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code aimed at expanding the reach of computer programming. Monte Davidoff was also involved with development, in particular with floating point arithmetic. It was designed for the Altair 8800 using an Intel 8080 processor made by MITS (Micro Instrumentation & Telemetry Systems) based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.

 

altair8800

MITS Altair 8800.

The original Altair BASIC was released on a punched tape and an agreement was made with MITS to distribute the interpreter after a successful demonstration. By the end of the 1970s, additional releases had been created and distributed by cassette tape for other platforms such as those that used the MOS 6502 microprocessor.

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