Li-Chen Wang

Dr. Li-Chen Wang (1936 - ) wrote Palo Alto Tiny BASIC for Intel 8080-based microcomputers. This was the fourth version of Tiny BASIC that appeared in Dr. Dobb's Journal of Computer Calisthenics & Orthodontia, but probably the most influential. It appeared in the May 1976 Vol 1, No. 5 issue, and distinguished itself from other versions of Tiny BASIC through a novel means of abbreviating commands to save memory, and the inclusion of an array variable ("@"). The interpreter occupied 1.77 kilobytes of memory and assumed the use of a TTY for user input/output.

An erratum to the original article appeared in the June/July issue of Dr. Dobb's (Vol. 1, No 6.) This article also included information on adding additional I/O devices, using code for the VDM video display by Processor Technology as an example.

Dr. Wang also wrote a STARTREK program in his Tiny BASIC that appeared in the July, 1976 issue of the People's Computer Company newsletter.

The original prototype TRS-80 Model I that was demonstrated for Charles Tandy to sell the idea ran Li-Chen's BASIC.

Dr. Wang's mark also shows up in and on the Exatron Stringy floppy ROM for the TRS-80 Model I. According to Embedded Systems columnist Jack W. Crenshaw, Li-Chen's Manchester encoding code, achieving 14K read/write speeds, is a "work of art." In 2001 Dr. Wang was re-elected for a 2nd term as chair of the Infrared Data Association's Technical and Test committee. In 2004 Dr. Wang was employed as Chief Technical Officer at ACTiSYS in Fremont, CA focused on IR/mobile products.


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