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Book Cover PictureBASIC for the Newton

Programming for the Newton with NS BASIC

By John Schettino and Liz O'Hara

ISBN: 0-12-623955-X

Published by AP Professional

BASIC for the Newton shows owners of Newton devices how to become Newton programmers using BASIC, the world's most widely used, beginner level programming language. The authors use a straightforward, "programming by example" approach, which should have you writing your own Newton programs in very short order.


John Schettino is a Senior Member of the Technical Staff at GTE Laboratories, Inc. He is actively involved in research into mobile/wireless computing, user interaction, and object oriented systems. John is a contributing editor for PDA Developers Magazine.

Liz O'Hara, Ph.D., is an Information Technology consultant and author. She has taught graduate courses in Software Engineering and Computer Science.


Newton device with at least 305KB storage memory free
Macintosh System 7 or higher or IBM PC compatible running Windows
Newton Package installer and serial cable


Beginner. Programming knowledge helpful but not required.

In the first printing, Demo NS BASIC is the same version as the full NS BASIC version 2.04. This version does not work with Newton 2.0. The only restriction is that you are limited to saving a single program (named "DEMO.BAS") on the Newton. In the current printing, Demo NS BASIC is the same as the full NS BASIC version 2.5x. This version works with Newton versions 1.3x and 2.0. The same limitation regarding saving a single program remains.
This book is available now - Book & Demo NS BASIC Disk, Paperback, $34.95, c.404 pp. AP Professional books are available in major bookstores. Books may also be ordered directly from AP by calling 1-800-3131-APP. Here's a link to a review  of the book in Mobilis, and another link to "Thor's" review.



What You Need
What You Need to Know
How This Book Is Organized
Limitations of the Demonstration Version
Example Programs on the Disk
Conventions Used in This Book

Chapter 1: Getting Started

System Requirements
Installing the Demonstration
Version of NS BASIC
Using NS BASIC on the Newton
Using NS BASIC with a Computer
The Example Programs

Chapter 2: Using NS BASIC

Immediate Execution of Statements
Program Entry and Maintenance
Executing a Program
Debugging Your Programs
Sharing Your Programs

Chapter 3: Fundamentals of NS BASIC

A Simple Program Explained
Programming Concepts
Programs and Their Line Numbers
A Hands-on Program

Chapter 4: The NS BASIC Language

Data Types and Operators
Function Calls
Data Structures
A Program Line
NS BASIC Statements
A Hands-on Program

Chapter 5: Creating an Application

The Trading Card Collector
Database Programs
Structuring a Program
An Application with a Character Interface
Programming for Error-Free Execution

Chapter 6: GUI Programming

Graphical User Interfaces
GUI Fundamentals
Creating Windows
Using Windows
Creating and Using Widgets
Designing a Usable Interface
GUI Templates

Chapter 7: Adding a Newton User Interface

The Big Picture
Customizing the GUI Templates
TCC GUI Initialization
Try It Out

Chapter 8: Error Handling and Debugging

Error Handling with ON ERROR GOTO
Debugging Your Programs

Chapter 9: Advanced Topics

Accessing Built-in Newton Applications
Serial and Infrared Programming
Optimizing Programs for Speed
Graphics Programming

Appendix A: NS BASIC Keywords

Appendix B: NS BASIC Reference


Appendix C: Special Character Codes

Appendix D: Newton File Structures

The Names Application
The Notepad Application
The Date Book Application

Appendix E: NS BASIC Error Messages

Compile-Time Errors
Nonfile Run-Time Errors
File Input/Output Errors

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