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Click on the Chipmunk Basic icon. Expand the window to make it bigger. In the instructions, any time I tell you to type something, you need to press "return" at the end of the line.

Type this:

10 Steve is cool.
20 But Celia is teh coolest!

Now type this:


The "list" command shows you your current program. Typing a number puts in program lines.

Now type this:

15 Jack is cooler.

The program keeps lines in order.

Now type this:

10 Mom is cool.

You changed line 10 to something else, and you got rid of line 15.

Now type:


Basic is telling you that your program is not very good. A program is a set of instructions that tell the computer to do things. But the computer does not understand the things you typed. Computers are actually very stupid, and have to be told what to do very carefully. For example, you already learned that "list" shows you your program. Try typing:

show me my program

Any 5-year-old would know that "list" and "show me my program" should do the same thing. But the computer does not understand human language. Instead, humans have to learn the simple language of computers.


Yes. It will take you years to speak French well enough to be able to function in a French-speaking country. But you will be able to program this computer in about 2 hours. That is because computer languages only look complicated. Once you learn what the commands and symbols mean, you will be disappointed. "Is THAT IT???"

Remember this: the whole point of a computer language is to tell a computer what you want it to do. The computer will not attempt to tell you things in its language. I.e. a computer language is not for two-way communication between you and your computer. It is one-way: you telling the computer what to do.

Ready for Sford Basic tutorial 2?

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