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Old 09-11-2006, 10:32 PM   #1
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Default I need help

Hey everyone, I'm a 15 year old sophomore and my junior year when I can pick more classes, I would like to take some computer programming courses and stuff. Problem is I vaguely know what a PC programmer does. I know my way around a pc like any normal person, but I want to take it to the next level. The course description says must handle well around a PC envrioment. I really want to take these classes but I need to know more, so next year I will be prepared. I would love to get ANY form of advice from you guys. If you have any book reccomendations for a beginner please offer them. Any adivce whatsoever I will gladly accept. You don't know how bad I want to take these courses as they will hopefully prepare me for my future job. Please help this PC programming noob!

Edit: The programming program we use at our school is: visual basic.net. Do you guys know anything about that, if you do I could use all your advice.
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: I need help

A Computer Programmer, well, programs. They use a langauage and manipulate it to get the desired results. I can't really explain it better than that.

*waits for root*
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: I need help

*don't wait for me*...

as above, a programmer effectivly just makes programs...

VB.net is really simple to use, and I'm not sure how in depth your class will be,

it's probably the kind of thing that you'll want to play around with more at home that just inthe lab... certainly when I was learning programming I found it very useful to have a copy of the IDE at home so I could make practise programs, and go through lab sessions onece more to make sure I fully grasped them...

Visual Basic is (very very loosly) an Object orientated programming language,
However, it is distinctly different from most object orientated languaes, but that probably doesn't bother you so I'll just explain what I mean...

Visual Basic programs are built around forms.
the form is an object, and it has properties, properties incude things like the title bar text, what title bar buttons are shown, whether there is a frame, if it is resizable, it's height, width colour, etc...

on the form there are other objects.
you may have a button. (buttons also have properties), such as height width the writting on the button, whether the button is visible or hidden etc...

Visual basic makes extensive use of functions,
that is to say that functions are called when actions happen,
this could be a form being loaded, (or closed), the mouse moving, a button being pressed.

when the action happens, (e,g button being pressed) the function relating to that button will be run...

so if you have a form, with a single button (command1) and a blank label (label1) on it, the code might look like the following.

sub_command1_click()
label1.caption = "the buttone was clicked"
end sub

now you can see that when the button is clicked, the caption property of the label object is changed to make it display some text...

now you can make it do a load more than that (obviously -it'd be a fairly crap language if you couldn't).

but I think that pretty much describes Visual basics workings for now...

so far as books go...
you can find help on the microsoft website...
http://msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/

but if you havn't started then you don't know what you do or don't need to know... it could be that you looked at what I wrote above and thought that's really simple, or it could be that it confused the hell out of you.

I'd pretty much wait until the course starts... whilst that could mean that you are up against a lot to learn in a shorter time than if you had read up on it before... it pretty much is so simple that I'd be surprised if you couldn't learn it quickly...

I guess that the big question is...

do you have any concepts of programming languages?
and can you think logically... or break down seemgly easy tasks into patterns of flow that could be programming blocks...

if you can thikn logically then there sould be no problem traslating your thoughts into programs.
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: I need help

What root said is good advice, IMHO. You will have an easier time of it if you go into the class with no pre-conceived falsehoods, so to speak, to break. If you'd like to do yourself some good and have a bit of fun too, then get some books or magazines on Windows or Linux operating system. Things like tips and tricks, setup procedures, etc. It is kind of heavy reading, but it can be fun to fiddle with the desktop, icons, etc. You may even learn some useful things for later. Searches may also render suitable material for this. Just use the Internet, your computer and read about your interests. If you insist on reading about programming, try looking at http://www.thefreecountry.com and get an editor for something such as HTML/CSS/Javascript. There is my two cents worth. Good Luck!
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Old 09-12-2006, 03:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: I need help

thanks for the help sp far, but do you guys know if I can download visual baisc.net or If I can purchase it anywhere?
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Old 09-12-2006, 05:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: I need help

there is *sometimes* a beta version of Visual basic available from labs.msdn.microsoft.com

msdn is Microsoft developer network, and their labs site is where they road test new software...

Unfortunatly if you want the full released version the n you'd have to pay for it...

I would recomend that you tried a different programming language that had free tools available instead, but that would just proove to be confusing when you then started to get lessons on VB.
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