Applesoft BASIC

In 1977, a new dialect of Microsoft BASIC was developed specifically for Apple II computers. Developed by Marc McDonald and Ric Weiland, Applesoft BASIC was supplied by Microsoft and its name is a combination of “Apple” and “Microsoft“.

Apple employees, including Randy Wigginton, adapted Microsoft’s interpreter for the Apple II and added several features, including support for floating-point math. This was a necessary addition as the original Integer BASIC written by Steve Wozniak for the Apple II did not include support for floating-point math as it was primarily intended for writing games, a task that could be accomplished with integers alone.

Applesoft BASIC quickly became the go-to BASIC for Apple II computers, superseding Apple Integer BASIC and becoming the BASIC in ROM for all Apple II series computers after the original Apple II model. It was also referred to as FP BASIC (from “floating-point”) because of the Apple DOS command used to invoke it, instead of INT for Integer BASIC.

The first version of Applesoft BASIC was released in 1977 on cassette tape, but it lacked proper support for high-resolution graphics. However, in 1978, Applesoft was released, which was available on cassette and disk, and in the ROM of the Apple II Plus and subsequent models. This version included syntax differences and support for the Apple II high-resolution graphics modes and is the version that is most commonly associated with the term “Applesoft”.

45 years later, Applesoft BASIC remains a significant part of Apple II history and continues to be celebrated by retrocomputing enthusiasts.

Applesoft BASIC
Source: wikimedia.org – Applesoft BASIC

Applesoft BASIC General Information

ReleasedApril 16, 1977
DiscontinuedUnknown
System RequirementsApple II
DistributionCassette

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