More basic - the IBM 1130

The IBM 1130 had a version of BASIC. I remenber playing a star trek game for a bit of time.
Since those old disks still seem readable, digging around for physical copies might find something on the net.

There’s a report on the Web about computer education programs
for high-school students in the state of Delaware in the early

Walzl, F. Neil
The Development and Implementation of a District Computer
Education Program. Final Report.
Newark School District, Del.
Nov 75

That paper comments “[D]uring the summer of 1969 and the following
school year. . . [t]he time-sharing service was provided by an IBM 1130
computer housed at the University of Delaware and funded jointly by
EDTECH and DSAA. . . After the sophistication of the equipment utilized
the previous year, the three EDTECH high schools were generally dissatisfied
with the service. . .”

Or, as a Usenet commenter once noted about a similar service,
“I remember using a multiuser BASIC interpreter that
was running remotely on an IBM 1130 at Central High School
in Philadelpha in the late 1960’s. It was godawful slow…”

It sure was! I experienced the transition between the “sophisticated”
service provided in the spring of 1969, which I used informally, to
the 1130-based service in the fall of 1969, which was used in an
“official” BASIC programming class I took. It was an agonizing chore to get
assignments completed.

The 1130 multiuser BASIC that was inflicted on high-school students may
well be the one mentioned at Software :
“A BASIC interpreter was created, but we have no detailed information about it.”

I guess Brian Knittel et al. have been “digging around” for 1130 software for
more than two decades now, but BASIC doesn’t seem to have been among their

There is also this thread on Usenet ( ):

Stephen [Orso]
Apr 3, 2015, 11:07:48 AM

In the early 1970’s, the Baltimore County [Maryland, USA] Board of Education used an
IBM 1130 solely for instructional and academic purposes. . .

In the mid-70’s, the County asked me and a colleague to develop a batch BASIC compiler
(not interpreter) for their 1130 so that they could expand their computer program down
to as low as 7th or 8th grade. . .

Many years later I ended up on a tech support call to someone who had used that
BASIC compiler–what a thrill. . .

Peter Flass
Apr 3, 2015, 6:32:59 PM

Stephen - is your BASIC compiler available enywhere?

Apr 5, 2015, 8:13:51 AM

Not as far as I know. My copy of the compiler and runtime sources and documentation
were destroyed in 1988. . .

So it goes.

The copies I know of were dumsptered in 1983.
The IBM1130 was retired, and replaced with a VAX for computer science.
I suspect that PC’s replaced the VAX soon after that, and computer science
became something else.

BTW, the Wikipedia entry on the IBM 1130 has what must be the most affectionate description of a system, I’ve ever seen on that platform:

The total production run of the 1130 has been estimated at 10,000.[4] The 1130 holds a place in computing history because it (and its non-IBM clones) gave many people their first direct interaction with a computer. Its price-performance ratio was good and it notably included inexpensive, removable disk storage, with reliable, easy-to-use software that could be in several high-level languages. The low price (from around $32,000 or $41,000 with disk drive)[3] and well-balanced feature set enabled interactive “open shop” program development.


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