L D Blake ldblake at sympatico.ca
Tue Aug 5 19:48:17 CEST 2003

In reply to your message of August 5, 2003
> I'm new to this programming business.  I think I've successfully installed
> free pascal but after that I'm lost.  Where am I supposed to be typing the
> commands?  I've tried typing into the MSDOS applications things but they all
> claim to be FINISHED and won't let me.  I also don't know how to set the
> path as commanded by the installation programme.

(Grin) Me too, sort of... I programmed professionally in DOS a long time ago
and am just now getting back into the Pascal swing of things in Windows. It's
quite the steep learning curve.

First I'd suggest you head for: http://www.bloodshed.net/devpascal.html and
download the version with the Free Pascal compiler included... It's about half
way down the page. This will install the FPC system in a ready to use mode,
where you can begin typing up programs in the supplied windows based editor.
The compiler should be pre-set to work correctly... so until you are ready to
climb into the belly of it you can use the default settings.

You should also take a look at: http://www.friends-of-fpc.org/ where the
author has kindly put up a mini-course in pascal programming for windows.

Of course there is the magic word:  Read!  There are quite a few very good
books out there on pascal programming.  It's not a difficult language --at
least it doesn't read like Klingon Secret Code-- but it does take a bit of
learning to really appreaciate it's abilities.  The FPC docs and examples (get
them from the FPC homepage if you don't have them) are very helpful,
especially if you are like me and learn best by tampering with the examples.

There are a couple of pretty good online tutorials for Pascal:
   and          http://www.marcocantu.com/epascal/English/default.htm

are both very interesting reads. The second one is a downloadable book (90+
pages), filled with most of the basic information you need about Pascal

Then finally... there really is only one way to truly learn programming... by
doing it... as you struggle through each bug, messup and mistake you will
learn lessons you won't soon forget (at least I don't). The more you do it the
easier it gets. Start with a few simple console programs (i.e. programs that
run in dos windows) until you get the hang of the language structure and
syntax and then move over to windows once you've written a couple of simple
programs of your own, it will save you a *lot* of headaches.

 L D Blake

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