Definition of CBASIC

CBASIC, short for Compiled BASIC, is a programming language and a variant of the original BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) language. CBASIC compiles the program’s source code into machine code, which provides faster execution speed compared to interpreted BASIC. It was mainly used in the late 1970s and early 1980s in computers such as the CP/M operating system for business applications.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “CBASIC” is: /ˌsiːˈbeɪsɪk/In the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), it can also be written as:[si-beisik]

Key Takeaways

  1. CBASIC is an early high-level programming language designed specifically for the CP/M operating system, making it more accessible for developers working on microcomputers during the 1970s and 1980s.
  2. The language was developed by Gordon Eubanks and provided an efficient compiler that produced fast-executing compiled code compared to interpreted languages like early versions of Microsoft’s BASIC, which made it popular among developers for its performance.
  3. Though CBASIC gained traction during the earlier period of microcomputers, its usage has faded over time due to the dominance of more versatile and powerful programming languages. However, CBASIC played a significant role in the development of early microcomputing applications and influenced subsequent programming languages.

Importance of CBASIC

CBASIC, or Compiled BASIC, is an important technology term because it played a crucial role in the early development of microcomputers.

Developed by Gordon Eubanks, CBASIC was one of the first compilers designed for the BASIC programming language, providing improved performance and faster execution of code, compared to the interpreted BASIC.

Used extensively during the late 1970s and early 1980s, CBASIC enabled developers to create sophisticated applications for early personal computers and provided a more accessible platform for software developers.

Its significance lies in its contribution to fostering growth within the software industry and promoting a broader adoption of home computing.


CBASIC, short for Compiled BASIC, is a version of the widely known programming language BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) created by Digital Research Inc. in 1980. Pioneered by Dr.

Gary Kildall, CBASIC stemmed from the necessity to introduce an enhanced BASIC compiler that offers quicker and more efficient execution of computer programs in various industries and domains. By retaining BASIC’s ease-of-use and learning, CBASIC managed to maintain its appeal to non-professional programmers, students, and hobbyists. Over the years, CBASIC has found its niche in several industry applications, including business management, data processing, educational environments, and even scientific research.

Since CBASIC programs are pre-compiled before being executed, they provide increased performance and efficiency compared to their interpreted counterparts. Additionally, CBASIC comes with improved error-detection features that boost its reliability for use in large-scale software development. The popularity of CBASIC and its derivatives continues to resonate among those who prefer a simple yet effective programming solution for various problem-solving tasks.

Examples of CBASIC

CBASIC is an interpreted computer programming language developed in the late 1970s, designed for business-oriented operations. Here are three real-world examples in which CBASIC was used:

Data Management: In the late 1970s and the 1980s, businesses and organizations used CBASIC for tasks related to data management, such as creating, reading, updating, and deleting database records. CBASIC’s syntax and functions simplified these tasks and allowed users to perform complex calculations, handle large amounts of data, and create custom reports.

Accounting Software: CBASIC was widely used in the development of accounting software, as it allowed programmers to implement features like general ledger, payroll, and invoicing. Its straightforward syntax made it easier for non-technical users to understand and modify the code as needed, providing flexibility for businesses with unique accounting requirements.

Educational Institutes: CBASIC was a popular teaching tool in educational institutes during the 1980s, especially in computer science and programming courses. Instructors would use CBASIC to introduce students to programming concepts and techniques, as the language was relatively simple to learn and provided a foundation for understanding other, more complex programming languages.

CBASIC Frequently Asked Questions

What is CBASIC?

CBASIC is a programming language and a high-level compiler for the BASIC language, which was created by Dr. Gordon Eubanks, initially for the CP/M operating system. It is designed for ease of use, making it accessible for beginners in the world of programming.

When was CBASIC created?

CBASIC was developed in the late 1970s, with its first release in 1978. It became quite popular during the early days of personal computing, particularly among CP/M users.

What are the key features of CBASIC?

CBASIC is known for its simplicity and ease of use, making it beginner-friendly. Its key features include user-friendly syntax, support for structured programming through loops, conditional statements, and functions, and providing the ability for users to create and edit programs in plain text files, making it highly accessible.

Which platforms and operating systems support CBASIC?

CBASIC was initially developed for the CP/M operating system, but later versions have been made available for MS-DOS and other platforms. It can still be run on modern systems using emulators or virtual machines capable of replicating legacy operating systems.

How does CBASIC compare to other BASIC dialects?

CBASIC is one among many BASIC dialects that were popular during the early days of personal computing. Compared to other dialects such as GW-BASIC, CBASIC tends to offer a more structured programming approach with better support for structured programming elements. However, each dialect has its own pros and cons and may be suited for different applications and user preferences.

Related Technology Terms

  • Programming language
  • Compiler
  • CP/M operating system
  • Control structures
  • Data types

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