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article.gifIII. Palm Freeware - 9. tinyBasic


  • Version : 1.2 (September 2007)
  • Freeware for :
  • Language :
  • Screen :
  • Downloadable File : (170 Kb)

tinyBasic is just a developer's game, the development of a minimalist Basic interpreter for Palm by using iziBasic. I then ported the source code to PP & NaPP for Palm and also to Free Pascal for PC.

What is tinyBasic?

tinyBasic is a quick & dirty Tiny BASIC interpreter for Palm.

Source code versions are available in Basic (iziBasic) and Pascal (PP, NaPP and Free Pascal), to be found in the download package together with full documentation. These source codes are of course in "Copyleft", as my small contribution to its original author's great philanthropy (read below).


Tiny BASIC started out as a way to get a BASIC running in the minimum amount of memory space (~2 KBytes), because RAM used to be very expensive and home computers would only have a few KB of RAM back in the 1970's.
Here is an interesting link about Tiny BASIC:

Nowadays, Tiny BASIC is no more than a programming game that still a few people have fun with
But, nevertheless, my work inspired some other people, including Carl Gundel, who is the author of the well-known Liberty Basic. Read the full story here:
And play online with Carl's port of my tinyBasic here:

My Tiny BASIC dialect, that I just called "tinyBasic", is similar and loosely based on the Intel 8080 Tiny BASIC written by Li Chen Wang and appearing in Doctor Dobb's Journal of Computer Calisthenics & Orthodontia in the May 1976 Vol 1, No. 5 issue. It is worth mentioning that Li Chen Wang's Tiny BASIC interpreter was released with full source code, showing the "copyleft" label for the first time, and occupied only 1.77 KBytes of memory.

The main differences between my tinyBasic dialect and Li Chen Wang's Tiny BASIC are:
- the use of float and not of integer numbers (because it is written in iziBasic, there is no need to bring a limit in this area), and the use of the integer division operation ("") to easily get the integer part of a number;
- the no use of GOSUB/RETURN to avoid a stack (and because you can easily simulate a GOSUB/RETURN call with GOTO and a variable set to the return line);
- the addition of the LOAD/SAVE statements, for allowing to keep working on a source code;
- the addition of the HELP statement, to get an immediate onboard reminder;
- the addition of the MEM statement, to get an idea of the free remaining storage;
- the addition of the CLS statement, to clear the screen;
- the addition of the TICKS/TICKSPERSEC functions, to show how to integrate functions in the math parser and to get an idea of speed execution (benchmarking).

Note: tinyBasic's bytecode in iziBasic is 3.20 KBytes long, to be compared with the 1.77 KBytes of Li Chen Wang's Tiny BASIC.

Updates Description

1.2 (09/17/07)
- recompiled this program with the latest iziBasic version 6.1 to avoid device freezes or soft resets on some devices

1.1 (04/30/07)
- minor update of iziBasic's source code to retrieve correctly values like -3 or .5 (before one had to write a=0-3 or a=0.5, when now a=-3 and a=.5 are valid entries)
- another minor update was to only accept integer values as line numbers
- ported the iziBasic source code to PP, NaPP and Free Pascal

1.0 (11/04/05)
- initial release (iziBasic source code only)

Creation date : 02/11/2005 @ 23:01
Last update : 25/09/2007 @ 17:04
Category : III. Palm Freeware

react.gifReactions to this article

Reaction #4 

by Markus Mangold 15/01/2008 @ 12:10

Hi Laurent,

of course I will send you the code and the URL if my web page is online. I hope you don't mind that I renamed the Basic to XTTBASIC (i.e. e-X-ten-T-ed -T-iny BASIC)
But as I told earlier I removed the code for Palm so far, because I don't own a Palm nor the compiler and the code is much more readable (to me) without the specific settings. But a "copy&paste" should do ...
(I also tested the code only for Linux as I have no working installation of freepascal for windows, yet).

Best wishes,


Reaction #3 

by aldweb 15/01/2008 @ 09:28

Hello Markus,

Sure, you are allowed to extend my tinyBasic. I gave away the source code, so that any good willing people could do that kind of enhancements.

May I kindly request you to send me working copies of your extended version, together with the source code if you don't mind, so that I can see how I could further implement the enhancements for Palm?

And if you set up a web page for your version, I would be very happy to link to it from here.


Reaction #2 

by Markus Mangold 14/01/2008 @ 18:16


I like your tinyBasic because it`s written in Pascal. Am I allowed to extend the BASIC (if I pay the credits to you?). I implemented PEN, PAPER, LOCATE and WAIT so far and wanted to add FOR..NEXT, GOSUB..RETURN, GETKEY and STRING Variables and many more ... (but only for FreePascal).

Reaction #1 

by georgy boy 29/01/2006 @ 13:36

Quel courage !
Je m'apprête à faire pareil pour traiter des miniprogrammes basic d'acquisition de données sur un PIC16F877,qui fera aussi mini serveur Ethernet de ces données ... je vois que ca promet !...
Special !

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