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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Vintage Apple Microsoft Computer Manuals :Microsoft TASC The AppleSoft Compiler Intro (1981)

Microsoft TASC

The Applesoft Compiler

Microsoft Consumer Products
Consumer Division
400 108th Ave N.E., Suite 200
Bellevue, WA, 98004
(206) 454-1315

Catalog No. 2222
Part No. 20F22


Introduction

Microsoft’s TASC is designed to complement the Applesoft Interpreter, to extend the Applesoft language, and to enhance execution of Applesoft programs. The Applesoft interpreter itself was designed by Microsoft, Inc. and later modified by Apple Computer, Inc. The interpreter /compiler combination is the ideal Applesoft program development tool since programs can be quickly entered and debugged with the interpreter, then optimized for speed with the compiler.

The compiler supports the Applesoft language with only a few exceptions. Therefore most of the programs already written in Applesoft for the Apple II can be compiled with little or no change

Other major benefits provided by TASC are:

1) Increased execution speed
Applesoft programs compiled with TASC normally from two to twenty times faster than the same programs run under the interpreter.

2) Inter-program communication

Programs can be made to communicate with each other with the use of COMMON variables.
3) True integer arithmetic
Unlike the Applesoft Interpreter, TASC can perform true integer arithmetic. Integer arithmetic can greatly increase execution speed.

4) Source-code security

TASC creates machine language equivalents of Applesoft BASIC programs. This machine language file is all that needs to be distributed when a commercial application is sold. Therefore the Applesoft (called a “source” program) is protected from copy or plagiarism.

5) Disk- based compilation.

Unlike other Applesoft compilers that create the machine language version of the program in memory, TASC writes out the language program to disk as it compiles. This allows TASC to compile programs of virtually any size.

These benefits are important for speed-critical applications such as graphics, and for applications in which a large system of programs needs to be supported by a main menu. TASC is also outstanding for commercial applications sold in a competitive marketplace that require source code security.

TASC is particularly good for programs that are otherwise too large to fit into memory. By separating such programs into parts and communicating between them with COMMON variables, large systems of communicating programs can be created. TASC is an example of such a large system, since TASC was separated into parts and used to compile itself. This gives an indication of the impressive power of TASC as a programming tool.

Dated 1981

Full Microsoft TASC manual located for download pdf format at link:


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