Boy, you ask a question, you get answers... Sweet! Thanks for resurrecting the programming posts, those will help. As I said in my original post, these questions were less for myself and more to encourage those who, because of Coding Snacks, are realizing that a Useful App doesn't necessarily take months of development, a Ph.D. in Super-Genius Code Munching, hundreds of dollars worth of Microsoft [insert programming language here] Studio software, etc.
What's needed is a good place (websites, books, etc.) to start learning the basic concepts that all software is based on, like variables, statements, for/next and if/then loops, etc. Then, where to go from there. I learned at the beige keys and spiral-bound Manuals of Apple IIe's and TRS-80's (Yeah, I had to chase the trilobites off every morning before class, too
) I'm still learning today even in the depths of an AutoIt help screen and I don't think that's a bad place to start.
So, to the new folks wanting to 'get their feet wet' I say come on in, the water's fine. It isn't as hard as it looks really, and the more you learn the less math it gets and the more art. Go ahead and download Autohotkey or AutoIt and write a few scripts, there's some great stuff to be learned there. When you're ready for more, go to thefreecountry's page of free compilers and programming tools
. There's a real can of worms waiting there, and it's all free. Once you move on to something C-flavored, I'm sure Mouser will be here with some tips and pointers as well.
The only (relatively) hard part IMHO is the funhouse maze that is the Windows API. I converted the old 95/NT WinAPI help file to RTF and it strung up to 5000+ pages before I decided I couldn't just print out a hard copy. (Script languages protect you from such horrors so don't freak out just yet...)
On a (not-so-)different note; Mouser, the more I learn about Assembly the less afraid I am. The community for those assemblers still in development are very active, the assemblers are getting more powerful and there are IDE's and libraries and even OOP and 64-bit support. There is also a High Level Assembler project that looks to be VERY nice in terms of ease of learning, power and speed. I just downloaded RadASM
. We'll see how much Assembly I can learn on my lunch hour at work!