I enjoy Microsoft QBasic Version 1.1 for its inherent limitations and its delightful end user experience. It’s a system that achieves its goals in a comprehensive, compact, and efficient manner. It also runs well using DOSBox on my laptop, which is much more convenient for me than keeping my Pentium 233MMX based, DOS 6.22 system setup in my limited desk area. It’s too bad that I don’t have room for the old Compaq Deskpro 4000, because I do get a kick out of using the old beast… Nostalgia can be beautiful thing!
That said, nostalgia can also be a right pain the arse and such is the case when attempting to locate excellent documentation about using Microsoft QBasic 1.1. Not the various other iterations of Microsoft BASIC that were similar, not the countless modern remakes of QBasic that feel absolutely nothing like the original, certainly not the poorly written and painful to read shenanigans of nerds the world over, just… Microsoft QBasic 1.1 damn it!
There are many guides and books for beginners that all scratch the surface of what one can do with QBasic, but they are all essentially more verbose versions of the help references that are built into the QBasic IDE itself. That’s helpful for beginners who will benefit from a greater understanding of the fundamentals, but it certainly does little for people who want to use the advanced features and functionality of QBasic. If only there were a “Programmers Reference Guide for QBasic”, like the one I have for the Commodore 64, that covers absolutely everything there is to know.
The following links are the best resources about using real, actual, Microsoft QBasic Version 1.1 that I could find on the Internet…
Gary Beene’s Information Center
– Explains the differences between QBasic and the original QuickBasic.
– Has tutorials about lesser discussed, yet important topics.
Load Sprite From File
– Written by Balau.
– Shows how to load sprite data from a file, as well as the general info one needs to reach that point.
Pete’s QBasic Site
– Lots of information about many topics, but you have to sift through things that aren’t applicable to QBasic 1.1.
– Useful downloads and information about running QBasic on modern hardware.
– Provides full copies of QBasic 1.1, Quick Basic 4.5 and Quick Basic 7.
– OK general purpose manual, but the latter, more detailed, portions are specific to QB64 rather than QBasic…
Progamming in QBasic
– Technoloy University
– Complex math and other useful examples.