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BASIC Tape
mid-1960s

Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
In the mid-1960s, Dartmouth College professors John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz developed a computer language intended to be easy to learn and use. They called it BASIC--Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. Students learned BASIC on a teletype terminal that communicated with a central computer. Because they "time-shared" the computer with other terminals, students on remote terminals could use the computer without seeing it--or even knowing what kind of computer it was. This particular BASIC tape was used with an MITS Altair 800.


Learn more!
· Video History Interview with William "Bill" Gates, NMAH
· Computer History Collection, NMAH

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