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Pocket BASIC?????? Answered

Help! I am way into BASIC. Lately, I have been wanting to make a little DIY pocket computer with a basic gray scale screen and nav buttons that can run simple  BASIC programs uploaded from my computer. I looked around Google to find somewhere to start, and found out that no one has ever attempted building such a thing before. One site suggested that I should look at mobile motherboards by TI and Atmel. However, when I arrived at the websites, I found a bunch of complex, expensive boards that have unnecessary fetures such as WiFi and touch. I need some help on what hardware configuration to use (aka mobile motherboard, chip set). Help!


One of the best ways to get into microcontrolers when you are familiar with Basic is to use the BX-24, or Basic Stamp.
They are pretty easy to program, and the company has some experimenter/prototyping board that make the hardware part pretty simple. There are lots of add-on hardware pieces available as well.
Go to www.parallax.com to take a look at what's available. I've used them for some very simple projects as well as advanced robotics.


7 years ago

Graphing calculator! At school I had a Sharp EL-9600 (amazon link) which I had great fun programming BASIC programs on.  The one I had is showing its age now with limited RAM and a slow processor, but I could still write an orbit simulator, a bunch of mathematical and statistics programs, and a simple game a bit like Worms.  They are great as cheap portable devices with a screen and keyboard that you can write programs on.

I agree it's a shame there is no device like the one you describe, but building one from scratch will be a massive task.  The only vaguely approachable angle I can think of is a microcontroller (AVR?) running a BASIC interpreter, perhaps loading programs from an SD card, and connected to a cellphone LCD as a display.

Err. I used to have at least two computers, from Sharp, dating back over 25 years that were pretty similar to what you want, except they didn't have multi-line displays.

If you really wanted to do something with a working on board BASIC, I suggest you look at the old 8052AH-BASIC chip, in its latest re-incarnation in the P89V51RD2, done by http://www.efton.sk.