Thomas E. Kurtz

a.k.a Fearless Leader, etc..

Tom Kurtz was the most senior and distinguished faculty member, primary founder, force, and spirit behind the Computer and Information Science Masters program at Dartmouth. He served as Chairman for many years and was the "power behind the throne" at other times. We miss his animated conversations, especially when he was alone with his keyboard!

An Open Letter from Thomas E. Kurtz, co-inventor of BASIC

BASIC was invented at Dartmouth College in 1964 to give students a simple programming language that was easy-to-learn. It turned out that easy-to-learn and use was also a good idea for faculty members, staff members, and everyone else. The official languages (then, Fortran and Algol; now, C, C++ and Java) were designed for professionals. There were very few choices for students, teachers, and others who didn't want to dedicate their lives to programming. Our programming language provided the solution and has played an important role in the field ever since. Even with all the new languages introduced since then, BASIC use continues to grow.

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1964 from History of Programming Languages

APL\360 is implemented.

At Dartmouth College, professors John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz invent BASIC. The first implementation is a compiler. The first BASIC program runs at about 4:00 a.m. on May 1, 1964.

PL/1 is released.

Overkill. That's what Thomas Kurtz thinks of today's software. "The public has been sold the most complicated word processing systems imaginable, when all they want to do is to write a letter." Aching for simplicity in a computer programming language, Kurtz and John Kemeny codeveloped BASIC in 1964. It has its detractors, but BASIC is still bundled on virtually every microcomputer sold. They never copyrighted it, so dozens of variations appeared. This horrified the Drs. K, who dubbed the dialects "Street BASIC." In the 1980s, they formed a company to develop True BASIC, a lean version that meets ANSI and ISO standards. Kurtz is currently a professor emeritus at Dartmouth. Kemeny, once president of Dartmouth, died in 1992.

----- THOMAS KURTZ -----

-- Predictions for the Year 2000 --

On Voice Recognition

"I believe that voice recognition will become more important in the future but only for trivial functions. The problem is that spoken English is terribly imprecise, even when used by experts. I cannot imagine a more efficient interface for complicated tasks than a combination of mouse pointing and a standard keyboard."
--Thomas Kurtz, BASIC inventor
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Why True BASIC?

Every day we are asked the same question,

"Why should I consider True BASIC instead of other BASICs?"

Here are 5 big reasons:

[1] Productivity. True BASIC allows you to create useable software solutions with maximum productivity. It allows you to complete your work many times faster than with other solutions.

[2] Portability. Only True BASIC allows you to use the same program code with its Macintosh, MS-DOS, and UNIX versions. You'll never obsolete your True BASIC code. Use the same programs on your personal computers and workstations.

[3] Programming Power. True BASIC remains the world's standard of simplicity and power in one easy-to-use package. It is used in every area of education, science, and business. It has pioneered every phase of modern BASIC development, including machine-independent graphics, powerful built-in matrix functions, libraries and modules, and accommodation of sound and animation.

[4] Pedigree. Created by the original authors of BASIC, John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz, True BASIC remains true to their vision of an easy-to-master, powerful programming language that fully meets international standards and runs on all major operating systems.

[5] Price. True BASIC continues to be one of the finest software values available today.

There are 100-plus additional reasons why True BASIC continues to be one of the finest all-purpose programming solutions ever created. One of these editions is perfect for your current needs!