Thread: A question asked a million times, but where do I start?

  1. #1

    A question asked a million times, but where do I start?

    Hi, im 19 years old. Im not in college or anything. But im looking to learn C and C++ to program my own games. And possibly get into computer programming and/or computer animation and graphics for my career.
    I'de say im about average intellegence, I can learn quik but have trouble memorizing functions, so no advantage there. And my only programming experience is from "Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 4 in 21 Days." I found it easy at first but was lost near the end. Especially with the CGI scripts, as I have no idea about any other prgramming languages.
    Im not too interested in learning a high level language first, to me that seems like learning to speak French, than learning German, when all you really need is German. Im also dettered by confusing tutorials and the book "Beginning Programming for dummies."

    So should I focus on C++ or C. Also, I know I can look this up, but what are the differences in those languages? Is C++ to C what XHTML is to HTML? Or is C++ a higher level language than C?

    Well thanks for readin this. I'll probably think up a user name and post here alot if I can get anywhere in proggraming. Looks like a very fun discussion group

  2. #2
    Registered User Esss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    > Is C++ to C what XHTML is to HTML?

    Close. C++ is essentially C with knobs on and stricter syntax. These 'knobs' enable object-oriented programming.

    > So should I focus on C++ or C.

    Since the two are very similar, focus on the language for which you find the better tutorial. If you can write C++, you can write C, and if you can write C, the incremental learning required for writing C++ is small. I learned C first, for what it's worth.

    Try the tutorials which are given in the FAQ document on this Web site.
    Like a rat in a maze who says,
    "Watch me choose my own direction"
    Are you under the illusion
    The path is winding your way?
    - Rush

  3. #3

    Much appreciated!

    I forgot to ask about compilers. If you know Borland C++ does that mean you can write MS visual C++ right of the bat?
    If thats the case, I guess I have to find the best compiler for my interests. This has been on of my hurtles. With HTML, you can write the script on notepad and just open it up in your browser like THAT!
    Should I fork out some dough for a compiler or just D/L a free one?
    I'll head over to the suggested FAQ's. I will probably have to wait till payday before I can buy C++ in 21 days, so I might as well get a head start on myself while im not busy.
    Thanks again

  4. #4
    Just one more wrong move. -KEN-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    For console mode (that little DOS box) MSVC and Borland are close to the same, because that's mostly ANSI standard. But be forewarned: Once you get into Windows programming (probably not for a while...) you'll kill for a copy of MSVC over Borland builder.

    A free compiler will be fine for quite a while. I'd suggest trying out Dev-C++ ( Once you wanna move on to a better compiler then try out MSVC 6.0 (we're still all holding our breaths about 7.0, it maybe be a major .NET flop...but that's another story all-together). Then again you may want to stay with DOS or command line for some unknown reason, in which case DJGPP ( should be grea to suit your needs.

    As you may be able to tell, compilers vary around the board from person to person, and each has his or her (wrong, compared to mine ) opinion. Some people think that Dev-C++/lcc-win32/DJGPP (the free ones) are the greatest, while others think that MSVC/CodeWarrior, etc. kick total butt.

    But I think we can all agree that Borland builder is of the devil . whatever, at least that's MY opinion. fine for the console; a travesty for windows.

  5. #5


    What are the differences between the compilers? As mentioned they all support the 'ANSI' standard. From what I've read the difference between compilers is the speed of the compiled program is faster with a better compiler. I suppose they'd have better debuggers too? So theres no biggie with changing compilers?, since the code is the same. You'd just have to get used to the layout of each program. Did I go wrong somwhere?

    I forgot to mention I used to program in hypercard when I was just a little tyke. Back before grade 7. Come to think of it, it was a breeze back then and actually fun. But I guess I had direct motivation, hypercard is very easy to make very simple games that are playable right away. I saw how long the coding is for a simple tic tac toe game in a thread below, looks pretty daunting!

  6. #6
    Registered User Fool's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    I'd recommend you go pick up a nice book on C and start with that. As for a compiler I use DevC++. I'll get MSVC++ as soon as my C class starts in college (next semester). I'm just starting college for programming and I'm trying to teach myself a little before class starts. Why don't you try and goto a community college and take a basic C class. That would be the best way to learn.


  7. #7
    Im abit confused because I've been reading one of the tutorials in the FAQ's. The code for them will not compile in Dev C++.

    The 'cout' function looks different in each example.

    cout <<"Hello World!\n"; for the tutorial,

    cout<<"Hello World!"<<endl; is how it is done in Dev C++.

    Is this just an exception or do I really have to stick to one compiler and find tutorials for that compiler?

    I'll get on track with a little help don't worry

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    cout<<"Hello World!\n";


    cout<<"Hello World!"<<endl;

    Both do the same thing. \n is one way of saying "start a new line" and endl is another way of saying that. Both of these ways will work with dev-c++.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2001


    I'm sorry to say but Dev-C++ isn't all that good. I like the IDE but it compiles SLOW. If you have a fast computer, use it.

  10. #10
    Banned master5001's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Visalia, CA, USA
    Dev-C++ isn't that slow for compiling c but I do agree that the c++ compile time is fairly slow. My suggestion, as always, is go with learning c first. I say this only because procedural programming is easier for one to learn. I learned java then c. I actually learned the better part of c++ in one afternoon do to my extensive c and java knowledge base. I would also recommend getting a dos compiler with your win32 compiler. Dos is a good place to start making games. They won't make you any money but they will teach you all that you need to know to move on to Direct X, OpenGL, and conquering the entire world! whahahah!

  11. #11
    Registered User Generator's Avatar
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    Aug 2001


    Im a newb as well and a good book I picked up was C++ for dummies, second edition I think.

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