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Qbasic, Quickbasic/Basic for science computations


Hi Alex,

I have a MacBook Pro (10.7.5, Intel) and am looking for cheap way to do scientific calculations on my system. Right now, Matlab is too expensive and other languages like Python look too involved. Is Basic a good tool for me? I looked into free software and came across KBasic from Germany which I assume would be fine.

I want to be able to implement algorithms such as one for the Knapsack Problem and other optimization problems. I do a lot of calculations in Excel, which I find very useful, but need an environment that is more flexible for algorithm development.

Thanks for any insights and suggestions you may have.

Hi Randy,

I would suspect python and basic would generally require the same involvement.  I hadn't heard of KBasic before, but it looks as if they are moving to resemble some sort of VisualBASIC for QT?  That will likely mean that you'd have to have at least a basic understanding of the QT library.  It may still be a good option, but I'm not sure of your skill level when it comes to software.

If your programming only lies in the realms of doing equations, these are the languages I'd recommend using:

- Javascript (you might enjoy it this way: )
Pros: You can test your math out on basically any computer with a web browser.  Also, javascript is a very forgiving language.
Cons: Refreshing a webpage to check your formulas may be irritating

- Python
Pros: The interactive python shell will make things easy
Cons: Python is a very stylistic language (whitespace/indentation sometimes makes a huge difference).

- Go
Pros: It's light-weight
Cons: It's compiled, and roughly the same sort of investment to learn as C or C++, which isn't too bad, from a programming perspective, but perhaps too much for the sort of things you are doing.

I really enjoy the BASIC language, but you will find that most modern variations are compiled languages rather than scripted, which means every time you want to update your formula, you will have to recompile.

I hope that gives you a bit of a starting point,

Qbasic, Quickbasic

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Alex Barry


I have been a qbasic programmer since 2000, creating games, minor libraries and various small programs. I have experience using interrupts, graphics, file input/output, the mouse cursor, and using libraries. I have also learned FreeBASIC, QB64, c/c++, python, lua, php and html.
I do not claim to be an absolute authority in any language, but I don't mind looking things up and learning with you.


I have been programming in *Basic dialects since 2000, as mentioned in my expertise. After a year of QBasic, I learned C and C++, and dabbled a little in ASM (I don't program in ASM - I literally just played around to see how things work). When QB64 and FreeBASIC were released, I played with those languages. At the time, FreeBASIC offered more functionality and I sided with that language for a while. During that time, while I was learning new languages, that I would see what scripting languages are available, where I took up python and lua. I started to notice a staleness to QB64's development (which I kept tabs on from time to time), and am now trying to be active in it's community and maybe in it's development in the future. Currently, I am only active on the forums, but I appear on occasion on's forums as well.

Highschool - 2007

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