The Software Factory – BABBLE (Tape and Diskette Distribution)

This archive contains the 13-sector DOS 3.2 disk images for the tape and diskette distributions of BABBLE. What’s BABBLE? An ad in Softalk describes it this way:

“Have fun with this unique software. You write a story, entering it as a BABBLE program. As you write the story you specify certain words to be selected by the computer or entered from the keyboard at execution time. Run the program and watch BABBLE convert your story into an often hilarious collection of incongruities. The ways in which BABBLE can entertain you are limited only to your imagination. You can compose an impressive political speech or write poetry. You can plan a dinner menu. You can even form images on the screen or compose musical tunes with the help of BABBLE. The cassette version requires at least 16K of RAM and the diskette version requires at least 32K of RAM. BABBLE is written in machine language and runs on any Apple II computer.”

Get the archive here.


5 thoughts on “The Software Factory – BABBLE (Tape and Diskette Distribution)

  1. Don Worth

    Babble was based on a program a friend of mine wrote in the LISP programming language at UCLA. It was a grammar generator program. You would define sentence structure – such as “name verb name pronoun article noun” then give a list of words to substitute for each of the parts of the sentence above – such as name=”Mary”,”John”,”Robert or verb=”hit”,”kissed”,”licked” etc. You could also have definitions within definitions (such as noun=article thing) or have it pick randomly from a list of sentence structures or sub structures. Then it would spit out random sentences like “Mary’s horse’s lawnmower hates your toreador’s left ear” It went over like a lead balloon in the US (for obvious reasons – LOL) but was a big hit in Japan where people wanted to learn English.

  2. Don Worth

    One of the samples I included in Babble was a grammar for generating random Nixon tapes. ” hates Colson because to jail.”

  3. Marco Verpelli

    A very nice program, I don’t know it before this post . Thanks for sharing. I’ve converted it to 16 sector version (emulator friendly). Works fine on AppleWin and Virtual ][ (mac).

    1. Mike Post author

      BABBLE is available in plenty of other places (Asimov,, etc.) The copy here is significant because it’s an image made from Don Worth’s original floppy diskette.

      1. Marco Verpelli

        I can’t find a disk image named BABBLE in the Asimov ftp site. Maybe is under another name or it’s included in some “compilation”. IMHO is very hard to find what you want in that archive.

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