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Could anyone advise me about a program/software that may allow me to transfer the basic programs that run on the HP86/87 in order that they may run on MSDOS GWBASIC? It would be sufficient to know how I could do it - perhaps through WORD or another program that runs in WINDOWS XP,which is the platform that I mostly use now. I know that those computers/calculators are very old, but it is for personal reasons that I want it.

Please answer to my e-mail: oswech@cantv.net

Thank you for your help.

Oswaldo (from Caracas, Venezuela)

Hi Oswaldo,

As someone who worked with both HP-85/87 BASIC and FW-BASIC, I have to say that there are significant differences in handling matrices and strings. HP-BASIC uses intrinsics (predefined-functions) and constructs for strings that are fairly different from the intrinsics of GW-BASIC. When it comes to matrices the gap is even wider. GW-BASIC does not support advanced matrix commands.

There are many other differences between the two flavors of BASIC, such as the absence of SUB routines in GW-BASIC, and multiline functions in GW-BASIC.

Translating from BASIC dialect to another is a project by itself.


And you don't even speak about graphic commands :-)

Good point!!! I also did not mention file I/O operations.

The HP-BASIC and GW-BASIC dialects are quite different!!


Edited: 29 Nov 2006, 5:41 p.m.


I am deeply moved with the responses I have obtained. I am now more obliged to try to do a good project, which most probably shall be a totaly new one. Please rest assured that I will keep you informed of my progress (if any).

My best to you all.


Is gwbasic even available these days? There have got to be better languages, surely?


--- Les


Edited: 29 Nov 2006, 9:02 p.m.

QBASIC is a worthy successor of GW-BASIC. I have QBASIC on my PCs and do use it for testing some algorithms. QBASIC is more structured than GW-BASIC. It has no mandatory line numbers, and can use Function and Sub routines. It also supports multi-line IF-THEN-ELSE and SELECT CASE decision-making statements, and Do-LOOP loops.

In the early 90s I wrote a book about it, "Teach Yourself QBASIC in 21 Days", which was published by SAMS Publishing.


Oh, that's right - I'd forgotten about QBASIC. Thanks, Namir.

However, my question still stands, with slight amendment: I can't find QBASIC on my Win2K laptop, so is it still available? Or does one have to resort to a DOS 5 floppy to get it?


--- Les

[And currently programming in Java, OCaml and Prolog, would you believe?]


You can download an old DOS version (with QBASIC) at this link



Thanks, Namir. Memories. . .


--- Les