Tiny BASIC was a minimalistic version of the BASIC programming language that was developed in the early 1970s specifically for microcomputers with limited memory. Unlike traditional BASIC interpreters, Tiny BASIC used abbreviated commands instead of tokenization to save memory. For example, instead of the “PRINT” command, Tiny BASIC used the abbreviation “P.”. Similarly, “IF” was abbreviated to “I,” “THEN” to “T,” and so on.
Tiny BASIC was quickly adopted by hobbyists and tinkerers who were experimenting with early homebrew computer projects, as it allowed them to quickly write and test programs without the need for expensive hardware upgrades or specialized software tools. As a result, Tiny BASIC played a significant role in popularizing BASIC as a programming language for hobbyist and personal computers.
A lot of credit goes to Li-Chen Wang for his Tiny BASIC implementation and his version was eventually superseded by Palo Alto Tiny BASIC (PATB), which was developed by Li-Chen Wang and Bob Albrecht in 1976. PATB included additional features like string manipulation and support for multiple input/output devices. It was also the first version of Tiny BASIC to be published in Dr. Dobb’s Journal, a popular magazine for computer hobbyists and enthusiasts.
Dr. Dobb’s Journal was instrumental in spreading knowledge about Tiny BASIC and other programming languages among the growing community of computer enthusiasts in the 1970s and 1980s. The magazine published articles, tutorials, and source code listings for a wide variety of programming languages, including Tiny BASIC, and played an important role in fostering a culture of experimentation and innovation among computer enthusiasts.
All numbers are integers. Range -32768 to 32767 in signed mode, or 0 to 65535 in unsigned mode. Variables are A through Z and array @(0)..@(N) where N depends on amount of free memory.