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July 11, 2015 / no comments, on General

FUZE BASIC V3 ew things divide the programming world as much as BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). Once a standard inclusion with all home computers, BASIC was the first language an entire generation of programmers discovered. FUZE BASIC has quietly earned its reputation as the best version of BASIC for the Raspberry Pi. Part of this success can be put down to sales of the FUZE Workstation to schools (you don’t need one to run FUZE BASIC). This provides a huge range of highquality support materials: Project Workbooks, Reference Guides and Project Cards, all available as free downloads. Installing FUZE BASIC V3 In previous versions, FUZE BASIC was installed using a preconfigured boot image (based on Raspbian). Now it is installed as a separate download. We did have to dive into the Advanced Options using sudo raspi-config and enable I2C support to get it to work, though, but a preconfigured boot image for newcomers is said to be on the way.

There’s a lot to discover in the latest version. It includes new sprite handling tools, enabling rotation, size, and transparency. You can also import, rotate, and scale images, and new audio tools enable music playback and up to four channels of sound effects. These join a stack of comprehensive functions that make programming more fun. FUZE BASIC can control a Maplin USB Robot, draw on-screen graphics, and manage GPIO. Is FUZE good for you? FUZE BASIC V3 comes with a text editor and we found it ran programs windowed by default. So it feels more up-to-date than many versions of BASIC. Mind you, it still starts with a command line (known as Direct Mode) where you can use line numbers and good old-fashioned commands like LIST and RUN. Nostalgia aside, this throwback is faintly ridiculous in the modern world. The mere presence of line numbers and, God forbid, the GOTO function is enough to make most programmers shudder. While you can define procedures, this isn’t an object-orientated programming (OOP) language. The argument that children should move from Scratch directly to another OOP language carries some water. But it could be argued the leap between Scratch and Python is too big for many newcomers, and FUZE BASIC is a great intermediate step that’s fun to use.

From July 2015 7

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