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ASIC is an inexpensive (shareware) compiler that generates very compact, fast-running executable programs that run in a DOS environment. It is a subset of the BASIC language, lacking most of the more complex functions and graphics capabilities of QuickBasic or PowerBasic. The author of ASIC is David Visti of 80/20 Software, P.O. Box 2952, Raleigh, NC 27602-2952, U.S.A. (firstname.lastname@example.org). The most recent release of the program is Version 5.0 (1994).
The limited number of ASIC commands (about 80, but several of these are for experts only) makes it a particularly easy language in which to learn to write really useful stand-alone programs. The author's documentation is unusually well written and easily understood. Although they are DOS programs, ASIC executables can also be run from Windows, either in a DOS box or from the Run item of the File (Win 3.x) or Start (Win 9x/NT/2000) menu.
A useful feature of ASIC is that it lets you write and compile object (.OBJ) files that can be linked with other ASIC programming code. There are two shareware libraries of useful routines written in assembler, and these too can be linked into .EXE files written with ASIC. The libraries are IBRARY by Tom Hanlin and ASILIB by Douglas Herr. Both are well documented; IBRARY is easier to use, but ASILIB is a larger collection. The routines in these libraries could not be written directly in a simple language like ASIC, and they greatly enhance the programs in which they are used. It is necessary to use an external linking program to incorporate .OBJ files or library items into a .EXE file compiled by ASIC. The LINK.EXE included with earlier versions of MS-DOS is ideal.
If you would like to try your hand at programming in ASIC, download it and have a go. David Visti's shareware is not crippled in any way, and it includes no "nags." The libraries by Tom Hanlin and Douglas Herr are also fully functional. These are not free programs, however, and if you decide to go on using them you are obliged to "register" by paying a small fee ($10 to $25) to the author. Shareware programs are great value for money, and I urge all users of ASIC-related software to pay the small registration fees.
Download ASIC programming files:
|Click on each item that you want to download||Visti's ASIC Version 5.0 (335203 bytes)||Hanlin's IBRARY library (48810 bytes)|
|A huge archive of public domain (completely free)
code, written in all variants of BASIC, 1995-2006, including about 60 ASIC programs.
Basic Source Repository (formerly ABC: All Basic code)
MoonRock is a program that translates BASIC-like code to assembler, by Rowan Crowe.
MoonRock compiler and development language
Programmers Heaven is a huge archive, with information and software for all kinds of programming, web site construction etc.
Programmer's Heaven home page
Command-line operation even when you have Windows Vista! I recommend Take Command from JP Software. It lets you control the ways you copy, move and back up files. You can even go to a web site by typing its URL at the prompt. You can write one-line batch files that bypass all the Windows wrubbish of clicking and waiting. Take Command is not freeware, but in my humble opinion it's well worth the $40 for a fully registered version.
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Last updated: February 2010
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