Visual Basic in 12 Easy Lessons

Peter Kitson

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Sample Chapter From Visual Basic in 12 Easy Lessons
     Copyright © Greg Perry



Acknowledgments


Mega-thanks go from me to the editorial staff at Sams Publishing. I especially want to thank two editors who are my friends more than my editors: Rosemarie Graham and Dean Miller. Their excellence and caring go far beyond the usual editor/author relationship. If readers find good things in this book it is because of them. If readers find not-so-good things, I take full responsibility.

The technical editor, Ricardo Birmele, had the difficult job of turning my words into accurate text and I thank him so much. In addition, I want to thank the fine production staff at Sams Publishing who care more about the final product than any other staff in the world. Two members of Sam\'s fine editorial staff who worked harder than the author are Fran Hatton and Matt Usher. Somehow they made a book out of my random words. I appreciate your eagle eyes.

As always, my beautiful bride Jayne and my parents Glen and Bettye Perry are my three favorites in the world.

About the Author


Greg Perry has written more than 30 books and continues to take programming topics and bring them down to the beginner\'s level. Perry has been a programmer, trainer, and speaker for the past 17 years. He received his first degree in computer science and then a master\'s degree in corporate finance. Among the other books he has written are Teach Yourself Object-Oriented Programming With Visual C++, QBasic Programming 101, Absolute Beginner\'s Guide to Programming (all Sams Publishing), and The Complete Idiot\'s Guide to Visual Basic (Alpha Books). In addition, he has published articles in several publications, including Software Development, Access Advisor, and PC World, and Data Training. In his spare time, he manages rent houses, drinks gallons of Snapple, participates in local political campaigns, and constantly tries to improve his fractured Italian.

Introduction


The book you hold offers something you may not have encountered before. Whereas other books might teach you Visual Basic, this book includes a working Visual Basic programming system on a disk to accompany the text\'s tutorial of the language. With this book, there is literally nothing else to buy (except, of course, the computer)! Microsoft\'s Visual Basic programming system turns your computer into a Visual Basic programming powerhouse with which you can write Windows applications. The disk that comes with this book also includes all the book\'s programming projects, code listing, as well as answers to all the exercises at the end of each unit.

Despite the great disk included, this book would be worthless if it didn\'t teach Visual Basic. Visual Basic Programming in 12 Easy Lessons begins at the beginning, assuming that you don\'t know Visual Basic or any of the BASIC-like languages that preceded Visual Basic. You\'ll be learning how to program, perform input and output, how to work with disk files, and draw graphics through Visual Basic programs.

Visual Basic is one of the most successful Windows programming tools on the market today and for good reason. Whereas other Windows programming languages require steep learning curves, Visual Basic lets you design and write complete Windows applications without a lot of effort and tedium.

Who Should Use This Book


Visual Basic Programming in 12 Easy Lessons is aimed primarily at beginning programmers who either have never programmed or who have never seen a Visual Basic program before. Text, questions, exercises, and numerous program listings are aimed at both beginning programmers and those programmers new to Visual Basic.

If you already program but have never tackled Visual Basic or Windows programming, this book is right for you because it teaches more than just the language. This book attempts to teach you how to program correctly, concentrating on proper coding techniques in addition to the Visual Basic language.

This Book\'s Philosophy


Visual Basic Programming in 12 Easy Lessons extends the traditional programming textbook tutorial by offering all the text and language syntax needed for newcomers to Visual Basic. It also offers complete program examples, exercises, questions, tips, warnings, notes, and, of course, a full-featured Visual Basic programming system.

This book focuses on programming correctly by teaching structured programming techniques and proper program design. Emphasis is placed on a program\'s readability rather than on "tricks of the trade" code examples. In this changing world, programs should be clear, properly structured, and well documented.

The format of this book, 12 lessons with two units per lesson, was planned to give you the most out of each sitting. You\'ll find that you can master each lesson in one evening taking a short break between the lesson\'s two units. At the end of the lessons are projects. They contain programs that use the lesson\'s key points and the also feature a unique line-by-line description of the program\'s code.

A Note to the Instructor


If you\'re an instructor using this book for your class, you\'ll find that its inclusion of the Visual Basic language lets the entire class participate on the same level, using the same language version for their programs. When you demonstrate the writing, editing, and debugging techniques, you\'ll know that your students will be using the same language that you use in class.

Each unit offers numerous questions and exercises that provide a foundation for classroom discussions. The answers to all the questions and exercises are on the enclosed disk. In addition, each unit contains one or more "extra credit" programming exercises that you can assign as homework. The answers to the extra credit exercises don\'t appear on the disk.

The typical semester class is divided into 15 or 16 weeks of study. A useful lesson plan that incorporates this book would spend one week on each lesson, with four exams every four weeks. Each lesson contains two units, and you can easily cover one unit in a single classroom sitting.

Because Visual Basic Programming in 12 Easy Lessons becomes a part-time teacher, questioning and guiding the student as he or she reads and learns, you can spend more classroom time looking at complete program examples and exploring the theory of Visual Basic instead of taking the time to cover petty details.