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An antiquated version of the BASIC programming language. This procedure oriented language worked exclusively on the MS-DOS platform and as such suffered from many of its limitations.

Most of the problems with QuickBasic had to do with memory. For example, each module of code could only use 64k of memory. Also, QuickBasic was unable to dimension variables in the upper memory unless it was declared as a dynamic array. Unfortunately the IDE did not support the compilation option for this feature, and as such made developing such applications unpleasant.

One of the nicer things about QuickBasic is that it was a compiled language, meaning that it could translate code into binary executable files. It also included a very nice IDE, complete with syntax checking and a suitable editor.

QuickBasic was such a success that a crippled version without a compiler and even grosser memory limitations was shipped with MS-DOS 5.0 under the name QBasic. However this was only really suitable as a platform for budding programmers looking for a first language.

Much of QuickBasic's syntax has been preserved in the VisualBasic language, although many language constructs have been added to make VisualBasic object oriented. Still, many QuickBasic algorithms will run under VisualBasic with a little manipulation of the I/O routines and program flow.

First off, there is a distinction to be made between QBasic and QuickBasic.

QBasic 1.1 is the free QB IDE that comes with DOS, Win3.1 and Win95/98 (check the /oldmsdos folder on the CD's for Win9x). It suffers from the 64k limit as described above, but cannot compile exectuables.

QuickBasic 4.5 is a standalone product, using pretty much the same IDE, but with no memory restrictions (invoke qb.exe with the /ah switch to remove memory restrictions) and the ability to compile to executable.

Modern QuickBasic programmers (yes, we are still around!) have found ways to do many weird and wonderful things with QuickBasic, including a DirectX wrapper, the DirectQB graphics library and, of course, WetSpot.

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