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[翻译]Technology Report - 50 Years of BASIC, the Computer Programming Language That Changed the World

来源:慢速英语   时间:2014-05-12 10:26:22

From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.

这里是美国之音慢速英语科技报道。

May 1st marked the 50th anniversary of a special computer language. The new code was designed to permit college students not trained in mathematics to use computers.

5月1日标志着一门特殊计算机语言的50周年。这种新代码的目的是让未受过数学培训的大学生使用计算机。

50 years ago, computer owners were mainly governments, businesses and universities. Programmers wrote pages of commands in mathematical expressions to operate these early computers.

50年前,计算机所有者主要是政府、企业和大学。程序员用数学公式撰写成页的命令来操作这些早期的计算机。

John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz were two professors in the mathematics department at Dartmouth College. They wanted students in other departments to be able to use their school's computer. So they developed a simpler set of computer commands called Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, or BASIC.

约翰·凯梅尼(John Kemeny)和托马斯·库尔兹(Thomas Kurtz)是达特茅斯学院数学系的两位教授。他们希望其它系的学生也能够使用学校的计算机。因此他们开发了一套更简单的计算机命令,它被称为初学者通用符号指令码,简称BASIC语言。

"We deliberately invented a language that was almost devoid of many of the technical details that were present in other languages," said Kurtz.

库尔兹说,“我们特意发明了一门不包括任何在其它语言有的技术细节的语言。”

BASIC puts English commands, such as IF…THEN, or GO...TO, into a numerical language computers can understand. Mr Kurtz says almost everyone at Dartmouth College began using computers.

BASIC语言将IF…THEN或GO...TO之类的英语命令转换成计算机可以理解的数字化语言。库尔兹说,达特茅斯学院几乎所有人都开始使用电脑。

"Not only our students loved getting onto the computer any time they wanted to, for whatever purpose they wanted to, but even the faculty got interested. Of course not everybody, but many of them," Kurtz said.

库尔兹说,“不仅是我们的学生喜欢随时使用电脑做任何事情,甚至我们的教员也产生了浓厚兴趣。当然不是所有人,但也是很多人。”

BASIC was a major step toward the development of personal computers. Peggy Kidwell is the Curator of Mathematics at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. She says BASIC was created just as computers became fast enough to perform many commands at the same time.

BASIC语言是个人计算机发展的重要一步。佩吉·基德韦尔(Peggy Kidwell)是美国史密森国立历史博物馆数学馆馆长。她说,BASIC语言产生于计算机快到可以同时执行多条命令之际。

"Now, that whole notion that anybody could run a computer permeates the whole world. And I would say that is not the immediate legacy of BASIC but it is a part of what was involved in building up on BASIC," said Kidwell.

基德韦尔说,“现在,任何人都可以使用计算机的这种理念扩散到全球。而我要说的是,这不是BASIC语言的直接产物,而是基于BASIC语言所进行的开发的一部分。”

Mr Kurtz and Mr Kemeny released BASIC to the public for free, the computer language quickly became very popular. Mr Kurtz says they hoped the language would solve what they saw as a major upcoming problem.

库尔兹和凯梅尼向公众免费发布了BASIC语言。这种计算机语言很快就大受欢迎。库尔兹先生说,他们希望这种语言可以解决他们认为即将发生的一个重大问题。

Mr Kurtz says he and Mr Kemeny believed that the computer would become very important in the world. He says most people didn't know anything about computers because they were only used by experts.

库尔兹先生表示,他和凯梅尼先生认为计算机在世界上会变得非常重要。他说,大多数人对计算机毫无所知,是因为只有专家才使用计算机。

The speedy development of computers was followed by many improved versions of BASIC. Over the years, code writers created other easy to use computer languages.

随着计算机的迅猛发展,出现了多种改进版的BASIC语言。这些年来,代码编写者还创建了其它易用的计算机语言。

Today, few people use BASIC, but personal computers owe their existence to the first programming language that anyone could speak.

今天很少有人使用BASIC语言,但个人电脑的存在要归功于这种任何人都能使用的首门编程语言。

And that's the VOA Learning English Technology Report. For more technology stories, go to our website www.voanews.cn. I'm Jonathan Evans.

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