A book to teach ANYBODY how to program a computer.
The original vision for this book was to create a hands-on introduction of computer programming for Middle School and High School students. It has been written without much of the jargon and complexity of many programming books and will be suitable for anybody 10+ who wants to learn to program and is ready to experiment.
Programming a computer is considered by many to be a task that is beyond a typical middle grades learner. I personally know this is not so because, I learned to program my TRS-80 home computer during those years of my life. Programming was different: simpler in that we didn't need to worry about hard disks, color, or graphics; and harder for the same reasons.
This book attempts to engage through programming media (sound, color, shapes, and text to speech) and then working in the typical concepts of programming (loops, conditions, variables...) to make animations, games, and fun applications. Full source code to example programs are given so that experimentation can really hone the skills learned.
Recent updates to the book include: sprites, sorting, stacks, queues, linked lists, error trapping, databases, and networking.
James M. Reneau - email@example.com - 2010/09/09
Monday, June 21, 2010, 14:08
Last week I lead a group of 12 middle school students through an introduction to BASIC programming using the book. We had a great time and the experience seemed to be a great success.
Thursday, June 17, 2010, 08:48
I am currently working on two new chapters and several revisions of the book. I am inserting a new chapter 12 that will cover Images, WAV files, and Sprites (recently added to the language). Also I am adding a new chapter at the end that will cover stacks, queues, and a couple of sorting algorithms.
This week I am also teaching an summer enrichment class to 12 middle-school kids using the book (without the new additions) and they are having a really good time. Several of them are programming at home and really shining. I will post a more complete discussion of how it went and how the schedule worked, once the week is over.
Sunday, June 06, 2010, 04:46
Moved the book project to the domain name basicbook.org. I really like that it reflects what this project is all about.
Monday, May 31, 2010, 11:29
Just uploaded new version with a new chapter added on flowcharting and pseudocode. Have also added a couple of flow charts later in the book. Will be adding more as I revisit chapters.
Was thinking about a couple of new chapters to go at the and and was hoping for some input.
Proposed chapter X: Elementary data structures (stack and queue) implemented on top of arrays and sorting (using bubble and insertion sorts). I can see this chapter as an introduction to CS101 topics at a level for the advanced users of this book can use. It would include flowcharts, pseudocode, sample programs, and re-usable gosubs.
Proposed chapter X': Graphics ^ 2: BASIC-256 has several graphics statements that have not been covered in the book. GETSLICE/PUTSLICE allow us to copy sections of the screen to a string variable and then paste them back later. These with the IMGLOAD statement (added today) will allow for more advanced animation and game control. Also the WAVPLAY and WAVSTOP commands for asynchronous sound playback would be explored.
What do you all think?
Jim - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, May 20, 2010, 18:37
I am working on a new chapter 4, that will slide the rest of the book out, on how to think like a programmer.
Monday, May 17, 2010, 08:25
The first full proofing for grammar is complete. I have released a new PDF.
Tonight my 13 year old daughter is giving a presentation on programming using chapters 1-3 at her middle school "Technology Fair". I am so proud.
Saturday, May 08, 2010, 21:21
Minor edits to chapter 13 and 14 of the book and added a couple of more games.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010, 19:59
Reformatted the document to print on 8x10 inch paper with a gutter for easier binding.
Finished appendices B, C, D, and J and worked on little bits of grammar.
Monday, May 03, 2010, 10:33
Uploaded a new version of the book and changed the license to a less restrictive (CC-BY-NC-SA) license.
Saturday, May 01, 2010, 22:38
Repackaged book as a single PDF, updated examples, edited grammar, added detail Table of Contents, and cleaned up quite a bit.