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© Lewis Westbury 2024

Hello, World!


I learned to code on a computer called the BBC Micro, released by the BBC in 1981. I was also released in 1981, and I have a bit of a bond with these 8-bit wonders.

Coding is a joyous experience, and anyone can learn to do it. This is a post about retro-coding, and my first written post for this blog.

Hello, World! is most likely to be the first program you’ll write. It’s a simple way to start, and an easy way to make sure your coding environment works for you.

The first piece of code I ever wrote looked like this:

10 PRINT "Hello, World!"

That’s BBC BASIC - programming language for the BBC Micro, affectionately known as the ‘Beeb’.

10 is a line number. That’s something we don’t really use any more - but it helped to organise code in the days before proper text editors. Lines were traditionally numbered in steps of 10, so that you could add extra code by creating extra lines with numbers in-between, if you needed to.

PRINT is a command that asks the computer to print what comes next to the screen.

RUN is a command that runs the whole (one-line) program. You’ll see this:

Hello, World!

If you’d like to have a play around with BBC BASIC today, or relive the glory days of 8-bit computing, you can try out the @BBCMicroBot tutorial Coding like it’s 1985, from Dominic Pajak.

If you want to learn to code from scratch with modern technologies, watch this space. I’ll be posting some thoughts about how to get started for yourself.