Hands-on-Science: Write a simple computer program

Do you find computer programming daunting? Perhaps it doesn’t have to be when the folks at Microsoft are trying to make it fun and easy.   Let’s write a simple Small Basic program.

What do you need?

  1. PC


  1. Download Microsoft Small Basic 1.0 and install it in your computer.  If the link doesn’t work, lookup Microsoft Small Basic and install the latest version available.
  2. Type “Small Basic” on the Windows Start button.  Launch the application by clicking on it.
  3. Once Small Basic is started.  Click on New.
  4. Click on Save.  Name the file “Sample”.
  5. Now write the following program.   This is a simple program that sets the background color to Red, adds a rectangle, a circle and text.  It also moves the text to certain position on the screen.   Once you have written all the program lines.  Click on Run.  What happens? What do you see?

GraphicsWindow.BackgroundColor = “Red”
paddle = Shapes.AddRectangle(120, 12)
ball = Shapes.AddEllipse(16, 16)
words = Shapes.AddText(“Hello Science Explorers!”)
Shapes.Move(words, 25, 30)

If all the instructions you have given to the computer are right, you should see the following output window:

Want to tell the computer to do other cool things? To learn more about it follow the links below.  There are other interesting samples available within the Small Basic guide:







What’s happening?

When you click on “Run” to run the program, behind the scenes, Small Basic is converting the high level statements to machine language, which then produces the results you see on the output window.

“Microsoft Small Basic puts the fun back into computer programming.  With a friendly development environment that is very easy to master, it eases  students of all ages into the world of programming.”

Small Basic 1.0 Blog Announcement:


New Small Basic Home Page on MSDN:


Small Basic Teaching Curriculum in different languages:


E-Book content licensed for use on MSDN:



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