SteveWh - 10:16 am on Oct 10, 2010 (gmt 0)
My old GWBASIC and QBASIC versions work in 32-bit Windows XP. QBASIC appears to be still available in the olddos package from Microsoft at [support.microsoft.com...] , but it doesn't work on 64-bit. GWBASIC probably doesn't, either.
As far as I can tell, the type of BASIC you were familiar with, and that so many people used for programming on the original IBM PC and clones, has been universally abandoned, replaced by languages with "BASIC" in their names but that are so complex that they barely deserve to be called BASIC derivatives.
If you are ever tempted to go the route of pseudo-BASICs, it would be better to learn C++, the granddaddy of modern languages, which the others attempt to "be like" without actually being it, and, they claim, without being as complex. If you learn C++, you get a good understanding of concepts that are useful in any language, but it's not easy, and it's almost certainly more than you're looking for.
One BASIC that looks like it might be a potential candidate is FreeBASIC, [en.wikipedia.org...] .
Microsoft has something called Small Basic. I don't know what it is:
In spite of having much C++ experience, the language I now use for simple tasks is Perl. I can write a Perl program that will work in either Windows or Linux, and can copy it just by copying the .pl text file. Perl programs are compiled (just before execution) and fast, and Perl has commands that make it possible to do quite a lot with very little code. The downside is that I don't consider it to be in the C++-like family of languages, and it is like learning to program all over again. I have to look up every little thing in the manual, but it's worth it.
For file-format conversion, text substitutions, and other text processing tasks, my "language" of choice is the utility program sed ( [en.wikipedia.org...] ) or SuperSed (ssed). There is a Windows version of ssed available free online. It uses Perl-compatible regular expressions, which are well worth learning, and, obviously, the same as what Perl uses. Whatever I can't do in ssed, I can do with Perl.
I think the most popular Perl for Windows is ActivePerl, which is free: [en.wikipedia.org...]
It's also possible to use PHP ( [en.wikipedia.org...] ) to write utility programs that you run from a command prompt. That might be of interest if you intend to do any web programming. One language could serve both your purposes. A disadvantage of plain PHP is that it's interpreted and slow, but compilers are apparently available.