Question: What's a good program to help you program...?


  1. We use programs called “compilers” to translate something easy for us to write into the millions of instructions needed by the computer.
    To print out the number 1 to 10 and their squares in a computer language you might write:
    for i = 1 to 10
    print i, i * i
    next i
    (This is in a very simple language called BASIC). In a simple computer language (it is really all numbers but we can give the instructions names) this might look like
    cla ;; clear the accumulator (a)
    clb ;; and the second accumulator (b)
    start: ;; a label
    tba ;; copy the contents of b into a
    ina 1 ;; add 1 to a
    call print ;; We overlook the thousands of instructions to see if we CAN print and turn the value in the accumulator into printable characters
    tab ;; make a copy of a in the a second “register” (b)
    mula ;; multiply a by b
    call print
    call newline ;; to move to the next line
    tba ;; copy b back into a
    deca 10 ;; subtract 10 from a
    bnz ;; start
    Now if I got that all right, it would be the same as the original.
    Which do you think is easier?
    There are hundreds of computer languages. The one I am mostly using at the moment is called “C” (it followed on from an earlier language called “B”) and looks a little like BASIC. Some of them are really simple, some very complex. C is somewhere in the middle. We choose a particular language because it is available on the computer we are using and because it suits the problems we are doing.



  1. So, BASIC isn’t that basic after all.