Terminal for a MAI Basic Four minicomputer MAI Basic Four (sometimes written as BasicFour or Basic 4) refers to a variety of Business Basic, the computers that ran it, and the company that sold them (its name given variously as MAI Basic Four Inc., MAI Basic Four Information Systems, and MAI Systems Corporation).
Basic/Four Corporation was created as a subsidiary of Management Assistance, Inc. in Irvine, California. Basic/Four sold small business minicomputers that were assembled from Microdata Corporation CPUs.
MAI Basic Four Business Basic was one of the first commercially available business BASIC interpreters. MAI Basic Four (the company) originally sold minicomputers but later offered superminicomputers and microcomputers. The computers ran a proprietary operating system, with the BASIC interpreter integrated.
In 1988, Wall Street financier Bennett S. LeBow, who had acquired a controlling interest in the company, used it as a platform for an unsuccessful attempted hostile takeover of much larger Prime Computer.
The Basic4 system was utilized by many small banks and credit unions. It was only when the system "ran out of dates," due to a design flaw in the operating system, that the company died.