Basically Useful Basic
A Quick-Fix Approach To Calculating Tables
Some programs that purport to solve simple problems are, in themselves, too complicated to justify the effort of keying them in. A quickie program should, by definition, be simple and to the point. In my work as an archaeologist, I am often called upon to convert archaic units of measurement to modern units. Old surveys, for example, are expressed in "poles" or "perches", which are 16½ feet long.
To create a quickie conversion table from poles to feet, I wrote this jiffy program:
5 OPEN 1, 4, 0 6 PRINT # 1, CHR$(147) 10 FOR F = l TO 320 20 R = F*16.5 30 PRINT#1, F "POLES EQUAL" R "FEET." 40 NEXT F 50 CLOSE 1 60 END
1 POLES EQUAL 16.5 FEET. 2 POLES EQUAL 33 FEET. 3 POLES EQUAL 49.5 FEET. 4 POLES EQUAL 66 FEET. 5 POLES EQUAL 82.5 FEET. 6 POLES EQUAL 99 FEET. 7 POLES EQUAL 115.5 FEET. 8 POLES EQUAL 132 FEET. 9 POLES EQUAL 148.5 FEET. 10 POLES EQUAL 165 FEET. 11 POLES EQUAL 181.5 FEET. 12 POLES EQUAL 198 FEET. 13 POLES EQUAL 214.5 FEET.
My 2022 printer obediently produced a table to convert poles to feet, from one pole to 320, which is a mile. It's a totally unremarkable program; there are no fancy columns, headings, or symbols.
But such fancy programming would have been time-consuming, and would have defeated the initial purpose of providing a quick chart. Since the program is so short, it can be typed for each use, more quickly than it could be loaded from tape.
For those who must frequently calculate conversion tables, a library of quickie programs can be kept on Rolodex cards, ready for instant reference.