ok here i go on QB..

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sphyenx 101 Sep 13, 2004 at 19:56

ok. my teacher started on QB, i been reading, but not even my Windows cd has qb on it, were can i get a Q basic compiler?? for umm free. cause im just learning this to move to vb, then java or C++

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anubis 101 Sep 13, 2004 at 20:09

take a shotgun and shoot your teacher. nobody in his right mind would tell somebody else to start programming with qbasic, unless he was very sadistic. i only know qbasic from DOS and i’m not sure where else to find it. should find it i beg you not to start out with it… please !

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Mihail121 102 Sep 13, 2004 at 20:13

Ehm exucuse me but QBASIC was microsoft’s try to bring programming to kids! Perhaps your teacher recommended it to ya cause he doesn’t know nothing better :) But anyway anubis’es suggestion with the shotgun is cool…

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NomadRock 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 02:39

QBASIC is a 16 bit language, and Windows XP has no support anymore for that, so you are not able to use QBASIC under modern windows. I suggest you look into Java, C++, or even Pascal.

Pascal was also invented to help people learn programming, and imho it does a wonderful job.

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anubis 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 03:58

pascal is great for that. the language is quite a chatterbox but that’s a good thing when you start plus it’s very structured

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Nick 102 Sep 14, 2004 at 07:24

Pascal is nice, C is even nicer. The two most popular programming languages in the industry are C++ and Java. C is the perfect step-up for both. But don’t stick with C for too long, just use it to get started and understand how programming really works (it’s quite close to directly programming the processor).

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NeZbiE 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 08:10

If you’ve absolutely *never* have done anything programming related, go for Pascal, as its a nice stepping stone, and has quite a bit of functionability.

And I’d have to disagree with Nick. Don’t start with C, as it is imho, one of the ugliest and less esthetically pleasing languages out there. When you start off, you don’t want to go too “low level”.

For free compilers, try gcc/devcpp/devpascal (for c/c++ and pascal)

Anyways, I think my first “program” was in TI-Basic, some 7+ years ago =’)

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Mihail121 102 Sep 14, 2004 at 08:34

Agreed with the most but pascal is by far not only a ‘learning’ language. It was created in the late \~1970 by Mr. Wirth with the intention to be powerful language and it really is! Just consider all those stuff like TI-pascal, FreePascal, Delphi, Symbian-pascal and etc.

So my advice is to go with pascal for a short time till you learn what’s going on and then move to the ‘C’ type languages(C, C++, C#, Java, D, etc.)

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Tufty 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 10:00

Agreed. My first _real_ language was Borland Turbo Pascal. The experience I gained using that made it much easier for me to understand C/C++ and indeed PHP and Perl later on.

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Def_Base 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 10:11

If anyone cares, I actually still have QBX somewhere, which was Qbasic with a compiler. Teehee.

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Nick 102 Sep 14, 2004 at 11:11

@NeZbiE

And I’d have to disagree with Nick. Don’t start with C, as it is imho, one of the ugliest and less esthetically pleasing languages out there. When you start off, you don’t want to go too “low level”.

It’s just as “esthetical” as C++. The implementation part of C++ is still totally C. And if you refer to the habit they had to use short variable names, many underscores and meaningless abbreviations, that has nothing to do with the language. You can perfectly write elegant C code.

And I believe you absolutely have to start as ‘low level’ as possible. At my university, the primary programming language is Java. It’s a good language, but not for beginners. They understand absolutely nothing about programming after their first few lessons. I’ve known students who, after a full semester, still didn’t fully understand execution flow. Syntax errors were their worst nightmare.

In my opinion, the first programming lesson should be in assembly. This sounds crazy, but really isn’t. Teaching someone how add, mov, jmp, etc. works isn’t harder than using a pocket calculator. They will instantly understand execution flow and even pointers. You don’t have to teach anything about advanced instructions or complex addressing. Just one or two hours (practical excercises) is sufficient. Give the students a simplified list of what the basic instructions do.

Stepping to C is really easy then, it’s just like using the basic assembly instructions, but with expressions that look like mathematical formulas, that are executed one operation at a time. They will appreciate C’s features, and understand syntax requirements. It’s also the perfect time to let them look at the (debug) assembly output. They will instantly understand what a compiler really is, and how to debug an expression if the C debugger doesn’t give them enough information.

Then you can step to C++. Execution flow is harder to understand here, but you can teach them how it saves you from some tasks, and how to organize data and functions in classes. Again they will appreciate every new feature, and won’t fear the syntax. They will instantly understand that constructors/destructors are just like regular C functions, but implicitely called by the compiler, they will understand that virtual functions are just function pointers.

They would simply know how things work, instead of thinking of Java as some magical language spoken by all processors. Working bottom-to-top will keep them excited to learn new things, and they’ll never ask how something can be broken up into simpler steps they can understand, they’ll already know. Trust me, everybody I know who became a good C++/Java programmer in a short time, started with a very ‘low level’ language.

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Tufty 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 12:00

If only things worked like that. Friends of mine (one of whom just finished uni, the other is just starting this year) are/will be Java people. I certainly agree that Java is not a beginner’s language, and that C++ would be more useful in the end. But the uni’s like it because they don’t have to pay for Visual Studio - yes, I know that you don’t have to have VS to code in C++, but there’s that whole belief thing involved, and it does make it nicer :)

Thankfully I get to learn C++ as part of my course. I did C last year, and would have gotten a Distinction if not for slightly misreading some of the instructions for my assignment :) It just makes logical sense to me. Most of the rest of the class were struggling with even the basics though. And by and large, those were the people who’d done Visual Basic the previous year (owing to the fact that I’d previously passed a few modules, I was learning VB, C, and Perl at the same time :)). I guess once you’ve had your hand held for a bit, it’s hard to understand when you’re left on your own.

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TheNut 179 Sep 14, 2004 at 12:10

There’s nothing wrong with QB =) It was the first language I ever played with. Very fun, easy, and you can easily design some classic games like Ultima 1 -> Ultima 3. Of course you can use a more popular language, but you’ll be missing out on the BEEP command!

No matter the language used, it’s easy for any programmer to be lazy and not give much thought into their design / programming. I’ve downloaded and used quite a few API’s to date and I haven’t been pleased with any of them. Too few people look at the big picture and to many look at the low level details.

I agree with Nick on learning lower level stuff first. When I learnt about memory (RAM, stacks, heaps, cache, etc…) it improved my understanding and use of pointers/references, function stacks, and memory heaps so much better. Knowledge like that comes in handy.

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Nick 102 Sep 14, 2004 at 12:36

@TheNut

…but you’ll be missing out on the BEEP command!

printf(“\a”); ;)

No matter the language used, it’s easy for any programmer to be lazy and not give much thought into their design / programming. I’ve downloaded and used quite a few API’s to date and I haven’t been pleased with any of them. Too few people look at the big picture and to many look at the low level details. I agree with Nick on learning lower level stuff first. When I learnt about memory (RAM, stacks, heaps, cache, etc…) it improved my understanding and use of pointers/references, function stacks, and memory heaps so much better. Knowledge like that comes in handy.

Exactly! People who learned a high-level language first, always seem to have trouble doing something simple. Either that, or they try to perfectionate the high-level design so much that they end up overcomplicating things and miss the actual goal of an elegant and functional design. People who learned a low-level language first realize that programming languages are nothing more than a tool to write assembly code in a more readable and structured form, and they will use this tool more correctly.

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davepermen 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 12:51

i started short with vb, moved over to c++, ran down to asm, and now back up to c#. with some java and stuff inbetween.

going down to asm helped me HELL OF A LOT to understand how it all goes on.

i don’t think it’s that nececary to really learn much asm. a pseudo-asm in a virtual pc could be enough (a small pc, where you can visualise registers and all, would’be fun). then, you can move upwards..

but the other side is, i too often have the feeling of writing code that doesn’t fit well to asm when coding in c++, knowing too many of it’s language pitfalls. i’m quite happy with c# now to not need to care about that anymore.. still, the design from lowlevel is in the background. and it helps..

still, it’s more than 5 years now since i started programming.. it takes time to learn, espencially understand. the chess-rule.. you can learn the language/logic fast. but really understanding, mastering it, can take long.

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NomadRock 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 12:55

Sorry, Nick, but I have known people who start with C for a year, do C++ for another year, and then do Java for a semester at my college STILL not understand execution flow. I would actually have to say that those people are the majority. In Computer Science most people just get by. It is not about the language you start with, it is about your own drive to learn and of course your own mental ability.

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anubis 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 13:11

But the uni’s like it because they don’t have to pay for Visual Studio - yes, I know that you don’t have to have VS to code in C++, but there’s that whole belief thing involved, and it does make it nicer

funny… my university has no windows machines at all for the students… maybe a few with NT4.0 ? nobody uses them anyway :)

at my university we only learn java because we share the first two semesters of comp.sci with the more media orriented computer courses (probably web designers or something along those lines :)). it’s exactly how nick describes it. most of the people have no clue at all what they are doing. it’s like they don’t grasp what’s happening behind the curtain of java. i think starting out with C and running a little assembler course on the side would be great. in my courses we covered assembler briefly (on a virtual MIPS processor) but we only had to come up with one program

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davepermen 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 13:57

no mather where you are and what you learn, most surrounding you don’t have a clue, and just learn because.. they don’t know bether.

i have this in my it business, others have it while learning how to plant flowers, and others again while operating on your heart, lungs, or what ever. just be sure YOUR doctor CARED about what he learned! :D

most don’t. but thats normal. everywhere.

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NomadRock 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 16:36

Yeah, dave, unfortunately that’s true.

edit: though fortunately in many other proffessions it doesnt matter that much and the end user has an easier time to be discerning. When I am buying tomatoes, it is easy for me to pick out the bad ones even though I do not grow them regularly.

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davepermen 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 16:45

it doesn’t mather as much in this business as well. they are just ****ing students. who cares about them? they will not make it far in the end. they will not even TRY to. they’ll find something else, bether suited to them.

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Mihail121 102 Sep 14, 2004 at 17:57

dave… the word is “better” ;D

But you’re right most of the people just learn something.. like my brother. He didn’t really wanted to learn tourism managment but my parents game him the idea cause he didn’t knew better :). Now he’s happy with it though!

Oh, and if you people continue to be so interested in that old junk QB, i remeber there was a windows port around there somewhere…

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Nosferax 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 19:10

Pascal is a great language for starter because it is highly typed and structure. Ada is another one of those. C and C++ is too permisive.

By the way, as my teacher at my university said to us lowly student :lol: , we are there to learn how to program. We are not there to learn a particuliar language but the general concept and technique of software development.

Once you know the concept and technique, learning and using a language becomes trivial. All you have to learn is the syntax. A link list is a link list in any language. It’s the same concept, only the way it is written change.

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sphyenx 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 19:34

“I agree with Nick on learning lower level stuff first. When I learnt about memory (RAM, stacks, heaps, cache, etc…) it improved my understanding and use of pointers/references, function stacks, and memory heaps so much better. Knowledge like that comes in handy.”

were can i learn about stacks’ and things like that??? cause i know of none of that.

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anubis 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 19:59

right, the question is if it is the best to learn concepts by overwhelming people with object orientation and other high level concepts

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NomadRock 101 Sep 14, 2004 at 20:00

@davepermen

it doesn’t mather as much in this business as well. they are just ****ing students. who cares about them? they will not make it far in the end. they will not even TRY to. they’ll find something else, bether suited to them. [snapback]11443[/snapback]

I have to disagree with you there. They do in fact make it into the industry, because the current system of no reuse of software requires more programmers than good ones exist, therefore everyone must call on these code monkeys.

Having held a number of programming jobs, I can faithfully say that in each case most of the work was done by code monkeys, and the real programmers spent their time fixing that which was made by the code monkeys. This is why programming languages that make it harder to screw up at the expense of efficiency are extremely cost effective.

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davepermen 101 Sep 15, 2004 at 04:39

most won’t make it into industry. at least here. i don’t have a clue about the USA, but here, you get a job if you’re good at something. nothing else. to be good in programming doesn’t mean you have to have studied it. exactly the opposite, actually. you just have to be able to prove you can handle the job.

oh, and, even code-monkeys can be good. they don’t need to have passion for their job. but they have to be good..

well, thats here.. then again, i remember how my dad tried to explain me the way the US part of the ciba (now novartis, and part of it syngenta) works.
it’s really ugly. ‘code-monkeys’ in the chemical way. behaving in a way that makes you wonder why the us hasn’t nuked itself yet :D

oh, and, anubis. thats why i think the over-conceptuation of university and students in the us is wrong. people work for too long not at all with what they learn. they get extremely far away from reality, and thus, just.. bad at their job. not all, of course. but a big part.

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Nick 102 Sep 15, 2004 at 05:04

I probably shouldn’t have started talking about school at all. (By the way, today I have a re-examination of, you’ll never guess it, computer graphics. :blush: This clearly shows how far school is from reality…)

Anyway, the learning steps I proposed was for someone who does want to learn how to program. I very much believe that if such person is taught a high-level programming language first, he/she can become confused and demotivated, or just fails to become a good programmer in little time. When starting with the basics, there’s always something exciting and new to learn when stepping to a higher-level language.

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NomadRock 101 Sep 15, 2004 at 05:14

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I started with Delphi 4. Object pascal with heavy emphasis on simple gui design and database connectivity without worrying about the internals. Am I worse off now? No.

If someone is truely willing to learn it doesnt matter how they start, but starting in a high level language gets you cool stuff quicker. Instead of making an input output program as my first on, I made a notepad replacement as my first program.

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sphyenx 101 Sep 15, 2004 at 08:54

@NomadRock

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I started with Delphi 4. Object pascal with heavy emphasis on simple gui design and database connectivity without worrying about the internals. Am I worse off now? No.

If someone is truely willing to learn it doesnt matter how they start, but starting in a high level language gets you cool stuff quicker. Instead of making an input output program as my first on, I made a notepad replacement as my first program.

[snapback]11493[/snapback]

ok, you have any good resources on a tutorial for pascal.

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NomadRock 101 Sep 15, 2004 at 11:36

FreePascal looks somewhat promising and you can find more at
the Bloodshed free compiler list

I wish I could find one that is just the origional pascal and not object pascal. Oh well, maybe I should write one :)

You can also just go ahead and use Delphi. I spent $50 for my first version. It is a little to powerful to start out fresh with though. I got very very lost for a while trying to teach myself. Nothing a couple of weeks of pouring over and compiling source code didn’t fix, but still…

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anubis 101 Sep 15, 2004 at 13:46

to be good in programming doesn’t mean you have to have studied it. exactly the opposite, actually. you just have to be able to prove you can handle the job.

university isn’t only there to teach you how to be a good programmer. actually being good at programming is not very hard at all. it just takes experience, that’s all and that is why you can easily teach it yourself. university is there to teach you about general concepts and bring the more abstract ones into context. imo, in university you can be expected to to have a at least a little interest in what you are learning and take care of axquiring good programming yourself (that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be taught how it is done, just that you also spent enough time at home to practise and find out about things on your own)

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davepermen 101 Sep 15, 2004 at 16:52

well, it depends on what a university represents. it represents a much lower base level in germany and the us. ergo, you get much more much less interested people that are just.. intelligent enough to do it, and.. like the easy life.

in switzerland, there are much less actually going to an uni, the level is much higher. most, that care, learn by themselfes/by finding an appropriate job. only the really big brainies actually get that far to go to the uni. and they are freaks anyways ergo they care about what they learn.

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anubis 101 Sep 15, 2004 at 19:06

it represents a much lower base level in germany and the us

that might be true for the bachelor degrees but the people who go for master/diploma degrees are usually of a different kind. bachelor is enough to get you a job so that’s what most of the people do who only want that. anyway… what do you know about my university and what people go there ?

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davepermen 101 Sep 16, 2004 at 21:59

i know that a much higher percent get to the unis chez you, and overthere, than here.. here, only the really top-elite of ordinary school gets further to the uni. your elite can’t be that much bigger. and definitely not the us one.

uni is much more normal as an option after school. here, uni is a ‘gift’. the ordinary men all, even at high level, go to afterschools, or to work..

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NomadRock 101 Sep 16, 2004 at 22:09

Actually, the human genome mapping project is getting very far along and it has been found that nearly every american is in fact born with the ‘elite’ gene. This gene tends to make the person elite in basically every way possible. So actually a lower percentage of our elite attend higher education ;)

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NomadRock 101 Sep 16, 2004 at 22:10

it is gene #1337 for those of you concerned

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caustin 101 Oct 07, 2004 at 05:24

whoever invented QB should be killed with a stick.

i learnt it first, mostly out of availability. Its too easy to get lazy with the way you structure your ‘programs’ (i.e. goto commands etc). Makes it difficult moving to c/java.

nasty language.

nb - qb version 4.5 upwards has a built in exe compiler i think, if you’re still looking. i think they got to version 7 something before they stopped making it…

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Mihail121 102 Oct 07, 2004 at 15:48

But even if QB is somewhat unavailable nowdays you can also try some of the other forms of wicked programming - DarkBasic for example or Visual Basic or some other form of basic that doesn’t require anything at all from the programmer…

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Nodlehs 101 Oct 07, 2004 at 16:57

I started with basic, then moved on to pascal, then on to c, then asm, then onto about 10 others… I pretty much was self taught everything, even though I went to college for a comp sci degree. I found it hard as hell learning C at first(was 13) but after I struggled and had about a couple hundred seg faults, I got my head wrapped around it. I think the biggest issue is not what you learn first, but that you delve into what you are learning. The problem with college/high school computer science courses is that you don’t spend any disernable time fooling around with any language. You may study 5 or more languages while at school, but your never forced to do more than whats required to finish your assignments, and that just doesn’t make for a great understanding of your language. You may understand the concepts taught by your instructors, but you also may have no clue how to implement them, or change them to fit a different scenario. It is really quite sad when you look at your average college graduate, for any profession. I could name 2 people out of the 15 that graduated with me that I would actually trust to work on a project with, the other 13 were just gliding through, without any real ability in programming. These people are then going to get hired, and do subpar work, and that is one reason there is so little faithe in programmers in the industry(if you don’t think thats the case, I don’t know where you have been).

As an example: My current job had about 100 applicants, the company is small, there is only 4 of us, and an intern. At the time the 2 owners needed 2 people to help out as their company expanded and they had too much work. Going through the applications they threw out almost nearly every one that was a college graduate with no work experience. They had no trust or faithe that a computer science graduate could do the job, now, or after training. They finally decided on 15 people to interview. During the interview process we were required to do some design, some coding, and some general questioning. The job posting specifically stated that knowing C was a necessary. Out of those 15 people, only 5 could code a simple atoi function, and a simple string reversal in place function. The owners weren’t interested in the simplicity of the problem, but how we solved the problem, and our coding style(error checking, input validation, etc). The fact that only 5 out of 15 people(who all had work experience, and supposedly knew C) could do those simple functions is a sad sad thing. They all had college degrees also, which is scary. That is what our colleges are putting into the work filed, and it sucks.

As I said earlier in my rant, I believe that the good programmers are the ones who learned essentially by themselves, sure they may have gone to school, but usually they did more than was requred, they added extra features to assignments, they did projects on the side, they really invested time aside from class into their programming. It doesn’t matter what you start with, if you truly are intersted you will learn what is required. Of all the people I know I consider to be good programmers, they have all done stuff for fun, stuff to learn, aside from what was taught. I know no programmers(not saying there can’t be some) that did just what was required of them in school, and no extra stuff.

Ken

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LuciferX 101 Oct 09, 2004 at 00:27

“most won’t make it into industry. “

It is true the university is a business, thier goal is to take your money not turn you into industry professionals. But *unfortunatly* you don’t find out that harsh reality untill *after* you graduate, and get a big reality slap in the face.

And just for the record Nomad….I was actually the first test subject to have 2 gene #1337’s ;)

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NomadRock 101 Oct 09, 2004 at 01:27

After you graduate? I hit that reality halfway through my first year. (I was still getting used to the new college situation the first semester to worry about that stuff.)

Isn’t having double geen #1337 the suggested cause for spontanious combustion?

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LuciferX 101 Oct 12, 2004 at 00:50

I can’t believe you don’t have fond memories of Qbasic, nomad. I was using that waaaayyy before I could even think of purchasing a compiler, nor had any idea what to do with one!

I’m not saying that any thing of any quality can be created [which is debatable], nor trying to say there is Any excuse for the dis-organization that comes with the GOTO command. But if you got someone that doesn’t know what a variable is, is just learning what Print can do. I think its a great learning tool, and can be alot of fun.

Hold on…..my brain is smoking again……

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anubis 101 Oct 12, 2004 at 13:17

buying a compiler ? you must have eaten some bad granola dude :)

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NomadRock 101 Oct 12, 2004 at 15:35

Delphi 4.0 is the only fond memories I have.

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Mihail121 102 Oct 12, 2004 at 15:36

Agreed with anubis… plus you seem to talk like one of the guys that wrote ‘Why real programmers DON’T use pascal’ many years ago…

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Luvalot 101 Jan 27, 2005 at 13:10

Anyway, the learning steps I proposed was for someone who does want to learn how to program. I very much believe that if such person is taught a high-level programming language first, he/she can become confused and demotivated, or just fails to become a good programmer in little time. When starting with the basics, there’s always something exciting and new to learn when stepping to a higher-level language.

I learned to program in C++ at my college. I had no previous real programming experience (except for Basic…not QBasic, but the original Basic 1.0) and I haven’t had any problems understanding objects, methods, pointers, recursion, templates, etc.

I LOVE to learn new things. My college does the same thing, they teach you how to program, not how to program in a certain language.

BUT….

Nick’s also right in saying that by learning the nuts and bolts of the system, you can write a more effective program.

My professor now does that, he digs down to the basics. Until now, even though I knew I could program and was a good programmer (I’ve won several collegiate programming competitions in the Southeast US), I didn’t have the understanding I do now.

And that, IMHO, is what I think sseperates a good programmer from a great programmer….their depth of understanding.

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anubis 101 Jan 27, 2005 at 14:14

dead thread !!!

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Ed_Mack 101 Jan 27, 2005 at 16:19

Why is the teacher teaching QB if they cannot ensure the pupils have the tools to learn it?

Anyway, Pascal is nice enough (although a bit querky), and when you have to use Visual Basic after it, the language is a god-send. For actually doing things however, C is more elegant (at least in my skewed opinion)

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anubis 101 Jan 27, 2005 at 16:25

in my “skewed” opinion you should be banned forever from the planet for posting in this thread :|

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baldurk 101 Jan 27, 2005 at 16:32

to be fair, it wasn’t Ed who resurrected the thread. He probably didn’t notice it was old.

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Ed_Mack 101 Jan 27, 2005 at 20:38

Bugger… sorry; you’re right I didn’t.

Now make threads auto-close :P

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anubis 101 Jan 27, 2005 at 20:51

apologies from me… it’s just that i’m really getting anyed by this… apologies to baldurk too then for my scepticism :)

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baldurk 101 Jan 28, 2005 at 15:22

@Ed Mack

Bugger… sorry; you’re right I didn’t.

Now make threads auto-close :P

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we’re working on something, due to the recent rash of resurrections.