An Introduction to PowerBASIC
name is Bob Zale. I founded PowerBASIC, and I'd
like to offer you a quick tour to show
how we Compile without Compromise.
We offer compilers for DOS and Windows today. Our 24-year history started with
BASIC/Z, the very first interactive compiler
for CP/M and MDOS. We extended it to MS-DOS/PC-DOS,
and in 1987 Borland published it as Turbo BASIC.
In 1990, it was reborn as PowerBASIC, and
has flourished ever since. Whether
you're a novice or an expert, I think you'll find
our outlook refreshing. We don't believe in $2,000
compilers. We don't believe in BloatWare. But
more about that later.
"If you find that Visual Basic isn't fast enough for your code intensive routines, you absolutely owe it to yourself to add PB to your arsenal of tools. Two thumbs up!"
Karl E. Peterson, Contributing Editor
VisualBasic Programmer's Journal
We specialize in the BASIC language. It's easy
to read, easy to understand, easy to use at any
When you program in a standard BASIC, like
PowerBASIC, you'll find that your program is readable
today, and readable a year from today. Yet our
performance is unmatched by other compilers of
any dialect! Here at PowerBASIC, we're very proud
to say "We put the POWER in Basic!".
So who uses PowerBASIC? You might be surprised.
James Byrne, Chief Architect of the Strategic
Defense Initiative (Star Wars) used it to build
a model for the missile defense
system. Others use it for games and leisure. W
& B Observatory uses it to measure Near Earth
Objects, asteroids which might collide with Earth.
Theme parks use it for dancing parrots. It powers
ships, planes, and trains, and helps trap cheaters
in casinos. Our customers include the likes of
NASA, Rolls Royce, Duke Energy, Jaguar, and Boeing. Like to
know who else bought PowerBASIC? See if you recognize
any names on this Customer
PowerBASIC has long been associated with
performance. A few years back, I posted a small
wall sign for our development staff. It reads
simply, "Smaller-Faster. Smaller-Faster.
Smaller-Faster." We follow it faithfully.
Our philosophy requires that we provide the best
possible code generation. We simply don't believe
that sloppy coding can always be overcome by ever
faster hardware. At some point, every programmer
(ours included) must take on the obligation to
write quality code... and we take that obligation
very seriously. It's been said more
than once that PowerBASIC is the Consultant's
yes, as I mentioned earlier, we don't believe
in $2,000 compilers. I hope you find that refreshing.
Our product prices range from $25 to a maximum
of just $199. These levels have served us well,
and we expect no real changes in the forseeable
future. Frankly, we prefer a broader user base
with fair pricing to high prices from an elite
We offer a choice of three commercial compilers.
Our flagship compiler is PowerBASIC
10 for Windows. It creates GUI applications
and DLLs with the Windows "Look and Feel"...
Dialogs, Buttons, ListBoxes, and so forth. Team
it up with PowerBASIC
Forms, our drag'n'drop Visual Designer, for
But what if you don't need such a
fancy user interface? Maybe you want a web server
app with no interface at all? Measure the distance
from here to Mars? Port a text mode program from
DOS to Windows? No problem! Just look to PowerBASIC
Console Compiler 6! All the features of
Windows, but with a text mode interface! Multi-Threading.
Multi-Megabyte Strings. Macros. Built-in Assembler.
All the good parts of Windows, but without the
hassles of events and callbacks! Just simple,
familiar functions like PRINT, COLOR, LOCATE,
LINE INPUT, even LPRINT to the printer!
what if you really want a 16-bit DOS application?
That base is covered by PowerBASIC
3.5 for DOS. That's our fully supported DOS
compiler, at a very attractive price. PB/DOS programs
run under standard DOS (3.3 or later) or any 16-bit or 32-bit version
of Windows. 64-bit versions of Windows do not provide native support for DOS programs.
Lots more information is available on all of
our products in the PowerBASIC
Product Catalog. For a list of every statement
and function, and a comparison to other compilers,
check out the PowerFeatures.
Or, for an in-depth discussion of all three of
our compilers, Which
Compiler Should I Choose can help you answer
that very question.
So what does this mean to you? With PowerBASIC
you'll be more productive. You'll create faster,
more efficient code. Our syntax is simple
and self-explanatory. It's based upon the original
syntax of BASICA and GW-BASIC so it's very much
like QBasic, QuickBasic, TurboBasic, even Visual
Basic. As I mentioned earlier, PowerBASIC uses
readable source code. We do our best to limit
the curly braces, semicolons, and cryptic operators.
So how about a little test? Are you a C programmer,
or know someone who is? Find an old C program
that you haven't touched in a year or two... look
it over carefully, and see if you still understand
how it really works. But be honest... do you really
understand it? While C certainly has its place
in our industry, it's terse, it's cryptic, and
it's not very friendly at all.
PowerBASIC is a native code compiler,
not an interpreter of any sort. When you compile
a program, it's translated immediately into optimized
A single standalone executable (.EXE)
which requires no run-time libraries, no DLLs,
no support files of any kind unless you choose
that approach. The compiler is very fast -- it
compiles more than one million lines per minute
on a modern computer. Hundreds or thousands of
times faster than some of our competitors. But
perhaps more important, the compiled executables
are fast, too! Many times faster than some other
versions of BASIC, and always competitive with
any other compiler of any dialect. Perhaps that's
why so many Visual Basic programmers use PowerBASIC
DLLs to speed up critical portions of their code!
"PowerBASIC is Bob Zale's 32-bit implementation of his powerful PB Compiler. PB crunches standard BASIC code, then outputs true, standalone Windows executable or DLL files - no run times, no libraries, no ocx files. BASIC programs compiled with PB generally run circles around VB. I won't quote any benchmarks here, because your results may vary, but it's safe to say that PB code generally blows the doors off VB-generated code. This is one cool tool, and a must-have for any VB shop, bar none."
Rich Levin, Senior Editor
Information Week Magazine
One final comparison... I told you earlier that
we don't believe in BloatWare, and soon, you won't
either. PowerBASIC executables are downright
tiny! They can be 10 times, 20 times, even
100 times smaller than what you get from BloatWare
Compilers. You know, using PowerBASIC 10 for Windows,
it's not unusual to deliver a substantial
GUI application on a single floppy diskette. But
don't equate small size with small features...
Quite the contrary! You'll get an unmatched arsenal
of functions for high-level control, low-level
control, and everything in between. Check out
pages next. No room for it all here!
Each PowerBASIC Compiler includes a complete
IDE. An integrated editor is provided for convenience.
However, if you have another favorite, that's
fine, too, as PowerBASIC uses plain text source
files. And a debugger? Count on it. With PowerBASIC,
you debug the same machine code that's in your
final executable, not an "equivalent"
interpreter that isn't really equivalent at all.
You can set breakpoints, single-step source code
line by line, even watch variables and cpu registers
in real time. We'll generate trace files, call
stacks, and give you a profiler, too. All the
tools you need to Compile without Compromise.
"It's not your basic BASIC" -Infoworld Magazine
Thanks for taking the tour with me. I hope you
found it interesting. If you're ready to place
an order, just click
here to shop. We offer download delivery as
an option, so it's possible to be up and running
in as little as 30 minutes! But if you still need
a bit of convincing, I hope you visit the rest
of our site. You may even want to click
here for user forums, and see over 100,000
messages from PowerBASIC customers. There's lots
of information here, and I hope you'll be able
to use it to your best advantage. You can download
working PowerBASIC example programs with source
code right here. If you have a specific question,
here to leave Feedback. We'll do our best
to get you a prompt response. Thanks again for
joining us. I hope we'll see you soon as a PowerBASIC
Bob Zale, President
||Don't forget our free newsletter, The PowerBASIC Gazette.
It's published once a month... packed with serious information
you'll find nowhere else. Just click the red button at top-of-page.