January 17, 2021
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Visual Basic Tutorial

  • By Karl Moore
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It's been described as awesome, powerful and a "stunning new miracle". But enough about me. Let's introduce you to Visual Basic.

Why did MS create Visual Basic anyway?

It started with the Windows success story. We all know Windows is used on zillions of computers throughout the Universe and possibly beyond. One day Microsoft chairman Bill Gates had an idea - why not create a really easy-to-use programming language? In other words, one real big program you use to create smaller programs?

Gates started to think. Should he? Heck, it'd increase: (a) the popularity of Windows, (b) the number of programs on the market, (c) his bank balance. So he did... and it was christened Visual Basic. Everyone say "Arrrr...."

However the words "easy-to-use" in those golden days of Visual Basic 1.0 don't quite reflect the modern interpretation. An "easy-to-use programming language" meant you only required one Oxford degree before attempting to run it. But times have changed and Visual Basic has since graduated into the highly-respectable application it is today. In fact, it's the most popular programming language in the world. Ever.

If you don't have Visual Basic yet, get out your shopping list. It's advisable to purchase either versions five or six, the latest at time of writing. Why? The features in these releases will make your life much easier. Trust me, I'm a programmer.

But your decisions don't stop there - it's not as simple as walking into Staples and demanding your own copy. VB is available in four scrumptious flavours - Control Creation, Learning, Professional and Enterprise editions. I'd recommend either the Professional or Enterprise versions because they offer a significant number of vital advantages over the other two. I won't delve into the nitty-gritty right now - but if you're boring enough to want more information, visit http://msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/

You'll probably notice a drastic price difference between Professional and Enterprise editions. If you're stuck in turmoil, go with the cheapest - Professional - unless you'll be getting real intimate with VB in a corporate environment.

But enough explanation, let's create our first program!

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This article was originally published on November 2, 2002

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