You've probably used computers to play games, and to write reports for school. It's a lot more fun to create your own games to play on the computer. This book will help you get started by using QBASIC. QBASIC is a programming language. With a programming language you can tell the computer what you want it to do. It's a lot like giving someone directions to your house. The computer follows each step and does exactly what you tell it. By programming the computer you can solve math problems, create art or music, and even make new games. It's all up to you.
Scratch is one of a number of computer languages aimed at getting people, mostly but far from exclusively children, started with programming. If you haven't come across it before, see Scratch not to be sniffed at! for its background.
TurtleArt lets you make images with your computer. The Turtle follows a sequence of commands. You specify the sequence by snapping together puzzle like blocs. The blocks can tell the turtle to draw lines and arcs, draw in different colors, go to a specific place on the screen, etc. There are also blocks that let you repeat or name sequences. Other blocks perform logical operations.
Does the world need a new beginner's programming language? In the 1960s, BASIC, FORTRAN, LISP and ALGOL were the primary introductory programming languages. In the 1970s and 1980s, Pascal, C, Smalltalk and Scheme were the teaching programming languages of choice. In the 1990s, the object-oriented languages including Object Pascal, C++ and Delphi were used by students and developers. In recent years, some schools have added the managed programming languages of Java and C#.