VB .NET Uncovered: Getting Started
So how do you slap this new version of Visual Basic onto your machine? Well thankfully it's a relatively simple, if not slightly buggy process.
Your best bet is to grab one of the many copies of Visual Studio.NET Beta One currently floating around. This comprises of one Windows Update CD and the core Visual Studio.NET application.
If you can't find yourself a copy, head down to msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/nextgen/beta.asp
First off, a couple of notes — at present, you cannot create .NET applications on a Windows 95 machine. You can however zap it onto Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT4, Windows 2000 Server or Windows 2000 Professional.
Top Tip: Even though you can't create .NET applications in Windows 95, you can run them so long as you've installed the framework.
If you're running Windows 2000 or Windows NT, make sure you have Internet Information Server installed before starting the setup. Do the 'Add/Remove Programs' thing if you need to add it. If you don't, you'll not be able to access all of the groovy Web Form features we'll be looking at later.
Top Tip: If possible, install VB.NET Beta One on a machine that isn't being used for anything else. Remember, conflicts and problems are possible, so back up all important files!
So, you're ready to install? Great!
First off, you need to run the Windows Component Update, which installs essentials such as the .NET Framework I was boring you about earlier. To do this, insert the first disc of Visual Studio.NET setup. A screen should popup a little similar to this:
The only option here is to install the Windows Component Update. Click the hyperlink and you'll be prompted to insert the third disc. Simply follow the wizard through and hope for the best.
Note that when I installed this pack on my machine, it failed thrice with the 'Year 2000 Update' (now you tell me?). Remember that this is a beta tutorial about a beta product installed by a beta setup program. It's all a little trial-and-error at present, so keep at it — and don't worry if the install ain't perfect.
After a little whirring and the occasional reboot, you'll be presented with a congratulations screen that confirms all the required components have been installed:
Next, it's on to actually installing Visual Studio.NET.
Slap the first CD back into your drive. That same menu will crop up once again, this time bearing a second option, 'Install Visual Studio.NET'. The rest is simple.
Click the hyperlink and follow through the wizard. If possible go with the full install to avoid problems (and trust me, I've found a couple in this department).
On my machine, the install crashed approximately five times. Thankfully I have the patience of an angel and more free time than Bill Gates' fashion consultant. So just keep smiling ;)
Now, when the Visual Studio.NET setup finishes, it's time to open the champagne and shout 'hurrah and hujjah!' (or words to that effect) — you've passed the first stage. Visual Studio.NET has been successfully installed on your machine.
This is where the fun begins... <groan>
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