Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Waterloo Structured BASIC

Waterloo Structured BASIC
Waterloo Structured BASIC




0  43467  00159  3

Release Date: 1/1/1983
Manufacturer: Commodore
Donated By: Vicki Robson
Waterloo Structured BASIC (product number VIC-1001) was a utility cartridge for the VIC-20 providing an extended form of the BASIC programming language. The cartridge was manufactured & sold by Commodore Business Machines in Canada (and possibly only in Canada). Confusingly, CBM Canada chose the product number VIC-1001, which was a number already in use for the VIC-20 computer as sold in Japan.

The cartridge was actually called "Waterloo Structured BASIC". This is the proper name of the language, the name shown on the cartridge box and the name printed on the manual. However, the cartridge label was mis-printed as "Waterloo Structural BASIC".

Waterloo Structured BASIC was developed as a programming language at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. The Computer Science department of this University had previously assisted Commodore Canada in the development of the SuperPET computer. The SuperPET used the programming language Waterloo Structured BASIC (among others). The University of Waterloo had also established a company called "Waterloo Computing Systems, Ltd." to act as the commercial face of products the department had developed.

These cartridges seem to have been produced in low quantity (burned onto EPROMS and distributed in generic brown utility cartridge cases with stick-on labels). The cartridge was not known or even suspected to exist by the majority of VIC-20 users and collectors until 2006 when the ROM image was finally archived.

From Brent Santin - Original article at

User Comments
Trevor Grove on Monday, August 9, 2010
The VIC-20 product was a follow-on to the equivalent product developed for the Commodore PET (both 40 and 80-column versions). This was sold only as a drop-in EPROM chip for the vacant slot on the motherboard. A couple of different versions of the chip were sold, depending on the model of PET one had (the address of the vacant slot changed). A bootleg "soft" version was created somewhere along the way. It was quite amusing when someone would call for tech-support on the bootleg version, only to be told that they had an illegal product. I was one of the two authors of the original product. Somewhere in my basement I have the original source-code (on paper) and a full set of chips. -trg
Have a comment about this Software (personal stories, additional information)? Post it here (no registration required).

Share |

Return to the software index.