Posts tagged with “Li-Chen Wang”
When the TRS‑80 Model I was introduced on August 3, 1977, it came with Level I BASIC, a 4K BASIC interpreter, in ROM. Level I BASIC was created by Steve Leininger, the designer of the TRS‑80, who based it on the public domain “Palo Alto Tiny BASIC” that Dr. Li-Chen Wang wrote in 1976.
But Radio Shack’s plan was always to upgrade to a more advanced Model I BASIC later. The very first TRS‑80 brochure said that “planned expansion includes an extended Radio Shack Level II BASIC.”
Jack Crenshaw has a long history with computers, and one of his first microcomputers was a TRS‑80 Model I. Readers of 80 U.S. Journal might remember his comments about the Exatron Stringy Floppy. Others will remember his “Let’s Build a Compiler” tutorial series. His “Programmer’s Toolbox” column appears in Embedded Systems Design magazine, for which he is also a contributing editor.
This interview was conducted over January and February 2009.
When the TRS‑80 Model I was first released in 1977, the BASIC interpreter that Microsoft was writing, Level II BASIC, was still months away from completion. Instead the Model I originally shipped with a BASIC interpreter known as Level I BASIC.
Level I BASIC was based on “Palo Alto Tiny BASIC”, a 2K version of Tiny BASIC written by Dr. Li-Chen Wang for the May 1976 issue of Dr. Dobb’s Journal. Because Dr.
Dr. Dobb’s Journal was one of the longest running microcomputer magazines, lasting 33 years in print form. It was first published in January 1976 as Dr. Dobb’s Journal of Computer Calisthenics & Orthodontia with the subtitle “Running Light Without Overbyte”. The title of the magazine was eventually shortened to Dr. Dobb’s Journal.
The name “Dr.