Exploring Business BASIC

When Apple introduced its powerful new business computer, the company also shipped a fresh version of BASIC, newly built from the ground up and designed specifically to take advantage of the ///’s improved capabilities. In addition to being able to directly address the ///’s graphic modes and 6-bit DAC sound chip, Business BASIC for the Apple /// also introduced a new concept called “invokables”, which allowed programmers to call assembly language routines by name, regardless of their location in memory, a welcome improvement over Applesoft’s PEEK and POKE method.

Taylor Pohlman, project manager for the Apple /// during its problematic heyday, was also a programmer on the team assigned by Apple to develop the new language, so he was uniquely qualified for his position at Softalk magazine,  moonlighting as a columnist penning a monthly piece focused on teaching readers the ins and outs of Business BASIC. Initially called “Business BASIC Bylines,” the column later came to be known as “Exploring Business BASIC” and appeared in twenty-three of Softalk’s 48 total issues.

Pohlman’s lessons generated enough positive reader feedback for Softalk to agree to publish the column as a book, but the magazine ceased publication before any action was taken and nothing ever came of it. The text of the articles eventually appeared as files on various diskettes in the Washington Apple Pi public domain collection and have now been collected in a single file in a modern format.  This PDF is the complete text of the published column and is probably as close to the book as you’ll be able to get.

Taylor Pohlman's Exploring Business BASIC series

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