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Getting Started with FUZE BASIC

FUZE BASIC is a marvellous programming language to begin learning to code with. It greatly mimics the ’80s BASIC versions from the 8-bit machines of the time, such as the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and BBC Micro.

BACK TO BASICS

Let’s begin our programming journey with FUZE BASIC, an environment where you can create anything, from simple scripts to complex games with graphics and sounds.

STEP 1: Getting Started with FUZE BASIC

In the bottom right panel, the one that’s coloured white on a red background? Click it and you launch the FUZE BASIC, complete with a C64-style retro interface. You can also double-click the FUZE BASIC V3 icon on the desktop.

STEP 2: FUZE BASIC on Windows

Don’t worry if you don’t have a FUZE Workstation. FUZE BASIC is available for Windows, the BBC micro:bit and the BBC micro:bit and the Raspberry Pi (since it’s already running on a RPi). Open a browser to www.fuze.co.uk/download-fuze.html and follow the download instructions for FUZE BASIC for Windows and the step-by-step instructions to install it on a Raspberry Pi.

STEP 3: FUZE BASIC Interface

The retro style interface of FUZE BASIC has several themes that you can cycle through, depending on your taste. The default view is that of a Commodore 64 but if you want a different view press the Insert key to cycle through the available interfaces. You’ll no doubt recognise some of them, so find one you like.

STEP 4: Immediate Mode

The screen you’re looking at now is called Immediate Mode; pressing the Enter key will reveal a cursor where you can start to enter code. Try this: press Enter, then type: Hello everyone and press Enter again. The output on the screen will display whatever you’ve typed into the quotation marks.

STEP 5: Print

You can also Print the total output of several numbers from within the Immediate Mode. For example, try: print 10 + 20 + 30, and press Enter. The sum of the numbers you’ve entered will now be displayed on the screen, in this case the number 60. Try more numbers and even different mathematical symbols.

STEP 6: Clear

If you find the screen getting a little full, enter cls to clear the BASIC display. BASIC in Immediate Mode is also capable of storing variables, something which we’ll look at in more depth in the next tutorial. For now, try this and press Enter after each line: A=10 Print a

STEP 7: Clear

If you find the screen getting a little full, enter cls to clear the BASIC display. BASIC in Immediate Mode is also capable of storing variables, something which we’ll look at in more depth in the next tutorial. For now, try this and press Enter after each line:

A=10 
Print a

STEP 8: Print

If you’re old enough to recall BASIC from the early days of the BASIC display. BASIC in Immediate Mode is also capable computing, you’ll no doubt remember that coding came with line numbers. FUZE BASIC works the same way. Whilst still in Immediate Mode, enter:

10 print “Hello”
20 goto 10

Now enter run. The word Hello should now cycle down the screen. Press the Escape key to exit it.

STEP 9: Print Hello

Before we get into variables and other such programming terms, let’s have a little play around with a quick listing to ask for user input. Enter this:

10   cls 
20   input “What is your name? “, n$ 
30   print 
40   print “Hello “; n$ 

Enter run to execute the code.

STEP 10: Clear the screen [CLS]

Dissecting the previous code, we have the command to clear the screen [CLS], then the Input command asking for user input and storing the input as the variable n$. The Print at line 30 puts a blank line on the screen, whilst the Print command at line 40 displays the message Hello and the contents of the variable n$.

STEP 11: Start the program editor

There’s a lot you can do in Immediate Mode; however, to unleash the full potential of FUZE BASIC you’re best working in the Program Editor. To enter the Program Editor type in the command new to clear any programs already stored in memory and press the F2 key. As you can see, Program Editor looks significantly different to Immediate Mode.

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