How Steve Wozniak wrote BASIC for the original Apple from scratch

Yesterday I posted a link to an article on the great works of software. My short list:

I would have placed Unix at #1, the original Mac OS at #2, Mac OS X at #3, and iOS at #4. But hey, that’s just me.

Yeah, totally missed the Apple I and Apple II, Apple DOS, and Woz’s version of BASIC. Not sure where they should go on the list, but Apple DOS and BASIC certainly belong.

The linked article is Woz reminiscing about his journey creating BASIC for the Apple I.

The key to games was BASIC. Bill Gates was unknown except in the electronics hobby world. Everyone in our club knew that he’d written BASIC for the Intel microprocessor. I sniffed the wind and knew that the key to making my computer good (popular) was to include a high-level language and that it had to be BASIC. Engineers programming in FORTRAN were not going to be what would start a home computer revolution.

The problem was that I had no knowledge of BASIC, just a bare memory that it had line numbers from that 3-day high-school experience. So I picked up a BASIC manual late one night at HP and started reading it and making notes about the commands of this language. Mind that I had never taken a course in compiler (or interpreter) writing in my life. But my friend Allen Baum had sent me xerox copies of pages of his texts at MIT about the subject so I could claim that I had an MIT education in it, ha ha.

A great article.