A free, cross-platform emulator for the GW-BASIC family of interpreters.
PC-BASIC is a free, cross-platform interpreter for GW-BASIC, Advanced BASIC (BASICA), PCjr Cartridge Basic and Tandy 1000 GWBASIC. It interprets these BASIC dialects with a high degree of accuracy, aiming for bug-for-bug compatibility. PC-BASIC emulates the most common video and audio hardware on which these BASICs used to run. PC-BASIC runs plain-text, tokenised and protected .BAS files. It implements floating-point arithmetic in the Microsoft Binary Format (MBF) and can therefore read and write binary data files created by GW-BASIC.
PC-BASIC is free and open source software released under the GPL version 3.
See also the PC-BASIC home page.
Quick Start Guide
This quick start guide covers installation and elementary use of PC-BASIC. For more information, please refer to the PC-BASIC documentation.
If you find bugs, please open an issue on GitHub. It would be most helpful if you could include a short bit of BASIC code that triggers the bug.
PC-BASIC desktop installers for Windows, Mac, and Linux can be downloaded from GitHub.
Python users can obtain the PC-BASIC package from PyPI through
pip install pcbasic.
BASIC survival kit
PC-BASIC has a 1980s-style interface operated by executing typed commands. There is no menu, nor are there any of the visual clues that we've come to expect of modern software.
A few essential commands to help you get around:
||loads the program file named
||displays the BASIC code of the current program|
||starts the current program|
||saves the current program to a text file named
||immediately deletes the current program from memory|
||exits PC-BASIC immediately, discarding any unsaved program|
Use one of the key combinations
to interrupt a running program.
If started through the start-menu shortcut, PC-BASIC looks for programs in the shortcut's start-in folder. By default, this will be your home folder.
- On Windows, this is usually a folder with your user name, located under
C:\Users\. You can find this folder in Windows Explorer by typing
%USERPROFILE%in the address bar.
- On Mac and Linux this is the directory
If started from the command prompt, PC-BASIC looks for programs in the current working directory.
See the documentation on accessing your drives for more information.
The following pages have GW-BASIC program downloads, lots of information and further links.
- KindlyRat's archived Geocities page has a number of classic games and utilities.
- PeatSoft provides GW-BASIC documentation, utilities and some more games.
- Neil C. Obremski's gw-basic.com has some fun new games made recently in GW-BASIC.
- Leon Peyre has a nice collection of GW-BASIC programs, including the (in)famous first IBM PC game
- Brooks deForest provides his amazing Tandy GW-BASIC games, all released into the public domain.
- TVDog's Archive is a great source of information and GW-BASIC programs for the Tandy 1000.
- Phillip Bigelow provides scientific programs written in GW-BASIC.
- Gary Peek provides miscellaneous GW-BASIC sources which he released into the public domain.
- S.A. Moore's Classic BASIC Games page provides the BASIC games from David Ahl's classic book.
- Joseph Sixpack's Last Book of GW-BASIC has lots of office and utility programs, including the PC-CALC spreadsheet.
- Thomas C. McIntyre's GeeWhiz Collection has business applications, games and reference material.
- cd.textfiles.com has tons of old shareware, among which some good GW-BASIC games.