QBASIC in Retro Computing

In the fast-changing world of computers, we often forget to appreciate the beginnings of modern programming languages. One such classic language is QBASIC, which brings back nostalgic memories of the early days of personal computing. QBASIC was a vital part of the 1980s and 1990s, introducing many people to the world of programming. In this blog, we’ll explore the charm and simplicity of QBASIC, its importance in retro computing, and share some code examples that will take you on a trip down memory lane.

QBASIC: A Blast from the Past

Launched in 1985, QBASIC had a simple text-based editor and an easy-to-use integrated development environment (IDE). This IDE offered useful features like line numbers for organizing code, highlighting syntax, debugging tools, and a menu-driven interface. With QBASIC, people who were learning to program could easily create games, design graphics, and develop simple applications.

Reviving the Classics: Why QBASIC Still Matters

1. Educational Significance

QBASIC played a crucial role in influencing an entire generation of programmers. It acted as an entry point to the coding world for many beginners, offering a simple language that encouraged them to explore and try things out. Its straightforward syntax allowed newcomers to concentrate on the basics of programming, grasping concepts like variables, loops, and conditional statements.

2. Nostalgic Appeal

For people who were raised in the 80s and 90s, QBASIC holds a unique and sentimental value. The memories of typing code to make graphics, text games, and basic animations are cherished by many. Bringing back QBASIC brings back nostalgic feelings, reminding us of simpler times when computers were not just tools but pathways to creativity and imagination.

3. Understanding the Roots of Modern Programming

QBASIC’s structure and design have had a significant impact on modern programming languages like Visual Basic, Python, and JavaScript. When developers go back to QBASIC, they can better comprehend the building blocks that form the basis of today’s languages. It offers a special chance to observe how programming methods have developed and changed throughout the years.

Code Examples: QBASIC in Action

Let’s take a look at a few code examples to relive the magic of QBASIC:

1. Hello, World!

10 PRINT "Hello, World!"
20 END

This classic example demonstrates the simplicity of QBASIC. The code prints the phrase “Hello, World!” to the screen, and the program terminates at line 20.

2. Guess the Number

10 CLS
20 PRINT "Guess a number between 1 and 100:"
30 INPUT "Your guess: ", GUESS
50     PRINT "Congratulations! You guessed it!"
60     END
90         PRINT "Try a higher number."
100    ELSE
110        PRINT "Try a lower number."
120    END IF
130    GOTO 30
140 END IF

In this code, the computer generates a random number between 1 and 100, and the user must guess the number. The program provides hints, guiding the user to guess higher or lower until they get the correct answer.

3. Simple Animation

   FOR X = 1 TO 320
      LINE (X, 0)-(X, 200), RGB(RND * 255, RND * 255, RND * 255), BF
      SLEEP 20

This code snippet creates a colorful animation by drawing vertical lines of random colors on the screen. The animation continues until the user presses any key.


QBASIC symbolizes a wonderful time in computing when programming was easy and fun for everyone. Its return in retro computing brings back fond memories and also provides valuable knowledge about the beginnings of modern programming languages. The straightforward and appealing nature of QBASIC continues to motivate developers and serves as a reminder that, regardless of technological progress, the basics of programming will always be timeless.

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