True Basic Student 2.72b

I have very successfully been using True Basic Student 2.72b on a Mac platform with my students for years (Classic operating system). My district's tech department is no longer going to support Classic after this current school year. Is there a version that works on OSX??




I've done it with the DOS version and Silver on a PC.

Also made stereo pairs that way.


True Basic for current Macs

True Basic was developed on the Macintosh, but some time in the last couple of decades the organization was taken over by the kind of people who used to insist that the Mac's graphical user interface meant that it wasn't a real computer like their DOS machines. True Basic for Mac was crippled long before OS X came out or Steve Jobs returned to Apple. True Basic 5 was such a step down from your True Basic 2.72, the true best version (no PC version has ever been able to save vector graphics), that, had it come out first, True Basic would never have succeeded as a commercial language. Adapting one new version per decade, a rate sufficient to keep up with the Mac's change to PowerPC processors and later to OS X, hardly seems like too much to ask. True Basic 3 for DOS won't run on Vista, either.

If you have PowerPC Macs with OS X 10.4 or earlier, True Basic 2.72 will run fine in Classic mode. If you have either OS X 10.5 or Intel Macs, no such luck. You can try running Mac System 7.5.3 in the Basilisk II 68K emulator, but that's complicated for a classroom.

True Basic 5 for Windows does run in Crossover Mac ( -- Intel Macs only), a commercial version of WINE, which has a subset of the Windows API in libraries so no actual version of the Windows OS is needed. This will run your current True Basic programs with minor caveats like the need to replace MacTools calls and different 8-bit character codes (if you use them). But it's much more annoying for development, lacking immediate mode and the smooth fluidity of the TB2 interface, plus Crossover can be confusing. A possible alternative is FutureBasic, which is free from and runs in OS X, but it's significantly less powerful and easy to use. I'm not sure what I'd inflict on students.

Re: ... save vector graphics ...

LRhodes ... I don't understand what you mean in the Subject phrase. I have implemented animated vector graphics using TB Professional/Gold in my TB program FLOATECUBE.TRU. If I remember correctly, I think I paper-printed a 3D graphic of the floated "cut cube" after the animation stopped.

I've never encountered anyone who has written a TB program that uses the 3DTK library/module in TB Professional (TB version 4) or TB Gold (version 5). Regards ... Tom M

Re: ... save vector graphics ...

Perhaps I should have said, export vector graphics (drawings rather than pictures). The True Basic language works in pixel-independent vector graphics (one of its many great features), but the only way to export a created graphic, such as a graph, has been the MacTools calls Copy_PictFile and Copy_Done, which journaled the Macintosh PICT graphics instructions to disk. These vector PICT files can be inserted in any word processor or opened and edited in most (classic) graphics applications like MacDraw, Canvas, Illustrator, etc; they scale and render without pixelation problems, and are remarkably compact (my graphs were typically ~4 KB). This counts when including a dozen graphs in a Word file.

Files saved from BOX KEEP strings, on the other hand, are bitmaps, which are bulky (mine were ~1 MB, or ~30 KB if converted to .png format), non-editable, and pixelate if enlarged. True Basic 5 and earlier DOS versions of are limited to this; as far as I know there has never been a capability of journaling .wmf files.

TB Gold claims to journal PostScript, which would be a desirable feature on Mac OS X; it can easily convert PostScript to PDF, its native graphics format, which is viewable on all platforms. But the current implementation is faulty -- it fails to record MAT PLOT or any changes in font/size/style. If this could be fixed, it would be a significant plus.

Re: TB and the Mac ...

jbohnsack ... These days, the only way one can run the current versions of TB ( to 5.6-beta) on an OSX Macintosh is with the Leopard OS version, and you have to use "parallels" or something like it. I'm not a Mac enthusiast because it doesn't support the running of legacy software, like Windows does. My latest notebook is a Gateway with Vista SP1. I have installed MS Office 97 Professional on it and also Office Home & Student 2007. They both run without any problems. I just have to be patient with the 2007 for a while as I decipher the new screen style in it. When I'm in a hurry with Excel, I create the spreadsheet in 97.

As I say to my Mac friends at the Philadelphia Area Computer Society (, "I don't buy a Mac because Steve Jobes changes the Mac OS as often as he changes his underwear". I'm sticking with Windows.

TB Inc isn't planning to develop a Macintosh version of TB because they know they won't get their development money back. Regards ... Tom M