Comic - Ringmaster

Author Commentary

No, I've never actually done this.  But damned if I didn't do everything I could to push QuickBasic 4.5 as far as I could back in the day - the last game I started writing in QB (abandoned in mid-college due to...well, college)  was a graphical RPG and featured sprites using a sprite creator/editor I'd written myself,menu-driven battle sequences a la Phantasy Star ,etc.,  joystick support, and SoundBlaster support (playing ScreamTracker songs.)

I met someone in the mid-2000's who was still making a living doing BASIC programming for an old project (presumably a government project of some sort - just guessing here) that still needed to be supported.  He'd been doing this for years.  I remember being somewhat jealous that he got to play in BASIC all day, but also wondering what the hell he was going to do with his life after that job ended, and how it would feel squirming in a suit across the desk from an interviewer while he/she slowly absorbs the word "BASIC" sitting right next to the current year in my resume and stares at me as if I were Amish.

That, along with my own worries about remaining relevant in my chosen field as I rapidly approach 40, inspired this strip.

MRS. SHOEBOX'S ASSESSMENT OF TODAY'S STRIP:  *snortchuckle*  Congratulations, that's very weird.

See you all next week!  Have an awesome new year!


Current Rating

2.00 stars with 1 votes
Your Rating
Log in to rate the comic

Recent posts... (See full thread)

Daniel Barkalow
12/31/2014 06:49 am
I thought he'd be repairing an 802.5 LAN, given the title.

Brass Orchid
12/31/2014 12:01 pm
Oh heck yeah! I'd pay to see that.

12/31/2014 05:01 pm
Graphical RPG? I thought RPG was mainly for generating reports. Then again, I know Cobol now has an object model and DB2 support, so things do change.

Speaking of QB, I have a copy of QB45, QP10, and TC sitting in zip files, probably never to be extracted again. Somewhere I also have Brief, and I might have its source control system, Sourcerer's Apprentice, somewhere.

01/02/2015 01:02 am
@Wayne. Yeah, me too. I was just imagining the unacknowledged love-child of IBM Report Program Generator and LabView. Shudder. Anyway, some Atari pinball machines were programmed in PINBOL, which was clearly descended from RPG, at least on the milkman's side.

01/04/2015 06:05 pm
Heh, I've worked for a company hat lovingly (i.e. extreme penny-pinching) still uses DOS prompts and Cobol databases. Its got a beautiful, shiny web interface for basic interactions and specialized little web-apps for certain queries, but all of the heavy lifting, end of day updates, advanced searches et al still has to go through the Cobol mainframe first.

Brass Orchid
01/07/2015 10:09 am
QBasic is still relevant. Microsoft has spent tens of years and millions of dollars to find something that could replace it and has consistently come up short. Eventually, they may exceed their capacity for error and bring it back, updated to work in both the Windows and Metro systems. Or not.

01/07/2015 08:29 pm
Wishful thinking BO, .NET Visual Basic and C# threw the last shovelfuls of dirt over QBasic's grave. I too miss it. I was such an unanticipated surprise when it showed up in whatever version of DOS that it came out on. I didn't write any games, but I wrote a nifty Dungeon Master's Assistant program with it that I used for years.

01/08/2015 12:20 am
QuickBasic 4.5 was awesome because it included a compiler.

Speaking of which, I just discovered there was a BASIC with a compiler for the Atari 8-bit computers called "Turbo BASIC XL." I am irked that I just learned of this, and I am worried at how much free time I may spend screwing with it once I acquire it.

Being an old nerd is weird.


Gerry Quinn
01/09/2015 03:13 am
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2033318/ ... -seen.html

I'm not sure if it did actually make it to Steam, but this QBasic game was released last year to a fair amount of acclaim (some of which was doubtlessly due to the platform, but still...)

06/23/2015 02:30 am
I wrote HTTP and SMTP clients in Business Basic. Does that count?