Microsoft BASIC -86 5.x

edited September 2020 in Product Comments

imageMicrosoft BASIC -86 5.x

Although Microsoft did not invent BASIC, their founding product was a BASIC interpreter for the Altair computer. The descendants below includes Microsoft's BASIC-80 (MBASIC), BASIC-86 (pre-GWBasic), BASIC for Mac, BASIC Compiler 86/88, Basic Compiler for Mac, and Professional Development System 7.x. IBM Personal Computer Basic Compiler, GW-BASIC, QuickBasic, and Visual Basic are listed separately.

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  • The CP/M 86 was quite a challenge to get this working. Here is how I did this (on VMware):

    Go into WinImage
    Make a 360k diskette blank
    Inject all files from the archive
    Add a img file to Downloads
    Close WinImage
    Insert DOS Plus 1.2u into drive A.
    Insert WinImage newly created diskette into drive B.
    Now, go to and get the MS-DOS 6.22. Boot from the ISO.
    Here is how:
    Press Escape while VMware boot screen BIOS
    Choose CD-ROM
    Run "copy B:MBASIC.CMD A:"
    Remove CD-ROM from drive
    Run MBASIC

  • Here is the screenshot:

  • Regarding the BASIC-86 release for Seattle Computer Products: I tried to use it with the simh / Altair Z80 simulator (with 8086 CPU and Cromemco 4FDC disk controller) but was not able to use it. Is this a boot disk? ("att cromfdc0 basic86.imd" and boot but the simulator froze) Any hints?
  • No, it is not a boot disk. You have to boot 86-DOS or MS-DOS first.
  • @SomeGuy Interesting because I did like you suggested (86-DOS) and the content of the disk is:

    A:dir B:
    J< 212432011 14-10-82
    |; 218892250 07-08-70
    h,^^Vh O=Z 393195986 15-08-28
    Q[r i 298705197 06-02-38

    and so on. If I prepare a new empty disk and inject the files from the zip everything is fine. So I think the format is wrong.
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