ASIC programming language

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ASIC version 5.0
ASIC version 5.0
Original author(s) Dave Visti
Developer(s) 80/20 Software[1]
Initial release before 1993[2]
Stable release
5.00 / 1994; 22 years ago (1994)
Development status Discontinued
Written in MASM, TURBO C
Operating system DOS
License shareware

ASIC is a programming language, a BASIC dialect and shareware compiler for DOS systems. Written by Dave Visti of 80/20 Software, it achieved brief popularity in the 1990s as one of the few BASIC compilers legally available for download from BBSes. However, ASIC understood only a small subset of the BASIC language, with most versions having little or no support for logical operators, control structures, and floating-point arithmetic. These shortcomings are the reason for the software's tongue-in-cheek motto, "ASIC: It's almost BASIC!"[3][4]

Notably, however, ASIC did feature a rudimentary integrated development environment and an RS-232 communications library for writing terminal and BBS software, as well not requiring line numbers.[5] The last release of ASIC, version 5.00, was more compatible with GW-BASIC and offered a utility to convert GW-BASIC programs to ASIC syntax.

ASIC allows compiling to a DOS EXE file or COM file. The low overhead of the COM file format lets ASIC make one of the smallest compiled executables of the Hello world program, typically 360 bytes.[4]


  1. ^ IBRARY: Library for the ASIC compiler. Current Version: 3.1...David A. Visti, Catalog - Updated :February 1, 1996, Charon Software
  2. ^ ASIC 4.0 - Download
  3. ^ ASIC is the work of David Visti and his compiler takes code that is "almost BASIC" and compiles it down to a very small executable. Archived November 4, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., Programmer's Corner: TIPI: A Small Programming Language for Small Comp, By Kent Peterson
  4. ^ a b ASIC, Area code magic with AC Hunter (computer program) (On Disk) (evaluation), by George Campbell, COMPUTE! ISSUE 126 / FEBRUARY 1991 / PAGE 86
  5. ^ ASIC: The Beginner's Inexpensive Alternative ...ASIC's integrated editor is small but useful. It supports the fundamental operations needed by the language. The fact that there is any sort of an editor bundled with a $10 compiler is miraculous., Basic is back, by Tom Campbell, COMPUTE! ISSUE 126 / FEBRUARY 1991 / PAGE 64

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