REALbasic for TI XB Programmers

Blog for TI XB programmers experimenting with REALbasic.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Introduction to This Blog

This blog is intended for TI XB programmers who are interested in doing some programming in REALbasic, a cross-platform language similar to Visual Basic for Windows.

RB has two advantages over VB: (1) the same RB source code will run on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and (2) RB requires no runtime file or complicated installation procedure in order to run an RB program: everything can be put into a single .exe file on a CD, and the program can be run directly from that CD!

The RB community in some ways is similar to the TI community (and by "TI" I mean "TI-99/4A," referring to the popular computer "orphaned" by Texas Instruments decades ago, during the "home computer wars").

First, let me say something about the "TI," for the sake of those too young to know of the history. The "TI" was way ahead of its time, offering mathematical precision, a 16-bit microprocessor (when its competitors - like the Commodore 64 and the Apple II - were only 8-bit), mainframe-style assembly language but with relocatable code, inexpensive speech synthesis, 16-colors (some of the TI's competitors claimed that, but the difference with the TI was that you could have all 16 colors visible on the screen at the same time!), multi-voice sound, hardware support of genuine sprites, etc., etc.

Most important, the TI-99/4A had (and continues to have, to an amazing extent) a devoted following, people accustomed to helping one another, a caring "family."

Because of its smallness, the REALbasic community is in many ways similar to the TI community. Member of the RB community help one another through user forums and mailing lists. If you happen to be an old "TI'er" and if you enjoy(ed) programming in TI Extended BASIC, you may want to consider trying out REALbasic as well. Although there are many who use REALbasic professionally, there is also room for those who enjoy "Programming as a Hobby":

A free demo of REALbasic is available, and - if (after trying out the free demo) you decide that you like REALbasic - the standard version of REALbasic costs $100 (which may sound expensive, but it's no more than the original price of TI Extended Basic).

IMPORTANT: This blog is an experiment, to see whether there are other TI XB programmers besides myself who are interested in REALbasic. If you are one of them (even if only at the "free demo" stage), please send me a private email at the following address:

btraver at ix dot netcom dot com

(replacing, of course, the "at" and the "dot" with the appropriate symbols). If you want this blog to continue, let me hear from you!

Former subscribers to the Genial TRAVelER (especially any who may have subscribed to the unfinished volume 3) are also encouraged to get in touch with me, as well as any other TI friends from the past.

Warm regards,

Barry Traver