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Programming Software for Windows, FREE

The following is software in which I have no interest, apart from being a happy user.

It is available..... FREE!   COSTS NOTHING!   GRATIS!!

But! Be careful. Not all, "free" software is a good thing. Be sure you learn a bit about spyware before you get too adventurous with trying things from the internet. (Elsewhere, I've put together a little introduction to spyware management for you.)


Lazarus: Hurrah! It works! I've been watching from the sidelines for years (at 7/11). I finally took the plunge, and, oh joy, it works! (Update: As of 11/13 it has been my main application development tool for some time.)

It is a free rapid application development environment very reminiscent of Delphi. Like Delphi, it's foundations are Pascal, a very usable language.

A tagline of the RAD is "Write once/ Compile many"... you can write an application once, and then compile the same code to work on Windows, and Linux, and Max. You can do your development work on any of those.

I have started a series of tutorials showing how to program with Lazarus.



Java: One language which has a lot going for it is Java (It has almost nothing to do with Javascript). There's "Netbeans", which seems to be a supplier-independent free and open source IDE. Then there's "Javabeans", from Sun... those nice people who began what is today called Open Office. You can obtain a very impressive RAD (rapid application development) package from one or the other or both... I'm not sure of the exact details and overlap. The downloads are not trivial, nor is getting to grips with it. Would you expect to sit down in the cockpit of a jet fighter and take off without a bit of work? (If you already have a current Java engine... NOT Microsoft's Java-spoiler, I think, you can download less. Review the "Netbeans Downloads" information carefully.)
JavaBeans, at Sun
NetBeans, at Netbeans.org

If you don't know all about "Java Run Time Environments" (aka "engines", or "java rte") then I have a guide for you: What the RTE is. Where to get it.

Borland, aka "Inprise" (yuck), used to make things available on their site free for non-commercial use. They have also released software on magazine cover discs. I have spent many, many hours working with their powerful Delphi, and it has been excellent from the start. Today, you need at least version 2, but you can do a lot with that. There's nothing wrong with Version 2, but the later releases have more features. (The downloads are not small.)

At 10/05, I could not find downloads any more!! If you find them, let me know? Several versions of Delphi have appeared on magazine cover discs over the years.
Borland site

Logo: Much less capable... you won't write the next killer app with it... but a fun and interesting programming learning environment which works well in schools. I like the free "MSLogo", link below. While you can do simple things almost immediately, don't think that turtle graphics are the limit of the language's capabilities! You can, for instance, create a "3D" wire frame representation of a building, and then re-draw it from different points of view by changing just a few numbers in one line of the program. Cool! MSLogo

Motherboard Books publishes Computer Science Pure and Simple, self-study computer science books for 10 to 18 year olds, using MicroWorlds Logo. Users learn to program a variety of games using this fun application. The books also cover programming HTML, spreadsheets, and more. For beginners and intermediates; written for homeschoolers, with answer key. MicroWorlds Logo available from them, too!


At visualbasictutorial.net/ you will find an enthusiast's site, introducing you to programming in general, using Visual Basic. Now... I am a many decade member of the Stop Microsoft coalition, but the site is good. Personally, I'd recommend you go into programming via Lazarus (using my tutorials, of course!), but I can't deny that the "Visual" line has a certain amount of momentum. And Microsoft, at last, is being curbed by market forces despite the failure of governments to check the damage they did for many years. So. If you must go the Microsoft route, and Basic, give visualbasictutorial.net a try!

Why does this site cause a script to run? I have my web-traffic monitored for me by eXTReMe tracker. They offer a free tracker. If you want to try it, check out their site


Be careful. Not all, "free" software is a good thing. Be sure you learn a bit about spyware before you get too adventurous with trying things from the internet. I've put together a little introduction for you.
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