Can you run programs from past issues of S&T, written in BASIC, on a Windows XP computer?

Can I run programs from past issues of S&T, written in BASIC, on my Windows XP computer?


Sample screen from software called Sec.

All the BASIC programs that have appeared in S&T since 1984 are collected on our Web site at All you need to run them is a BASIC interpreter or compiler. Interpreters let you edit and execute the BASIC listings; compilers can also turn them into standalone applications.

Back in the 20th century, Microsoft Windows included a BASIC interpreter. You can still obtain the program, called QBasic, by downloading a file called OLDDOS from Microsoft ( Unpack its contents into an empty folder, and you’ll have QBasic and its help file. (You’re supposed to have a valid licensed copy of MS-DOS or Windows 95/98 to have the right to install QBasic, per Microsoft’s Use of Software statement.)

You don’t have to use QBasic, however. Other interpreters and compilers exist — some for free — for various operating systems. To explore the options, see and

— Stuart J. Goldman

All comments must follow the Sky & Telescope Terms of Use and will be moderated prior to posting. Please be civil in your comments. Sky & Telescope reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter’s username, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.