Ideas, Info, Links About Programming

This page is a mildly groomed collection of things I've found useful as a programmer. If you are not interested in programming, read no further! If you are, I hope things here will interest you and be helpful.

Back to main page, for non-programmers

Recent Happy discovery...

June 2007: I've recently discovered the delights of FPC, also known as "Free Pascal". It is opensource, and available for Windows, Linux and Macs. It is early days, I don't have extensive experience of FPC yet, but I like what I've seen so far. I've written versions of 7 of my Pascal tutorials to exactly fit the nuances of FPC. It is not just for "the big boys", it is an excellent environment for school or hobbyist programmers, too.

(Very little of what follows will be of interest to Mac programmers.)

Ad from our sponsor: Yes.. I do enjoy compiling these things for you... hope they are helpful. However.. this doesn't pay my bills!!! If you find this stuff useful, (and you run an MS-DOS or Windows PC) please visit my freeware and shareware page, download something, and circulate it for me? Links on your page to this page would also be appreciated!

Click here to visit editor's freeware, shareware page.

Table of contents for this page:

Programming for Windows: General Points
Shareware Authors: Ideas for you
Free: Operating Systems, Compilers, Interpreters
Pascal Programming
Delphi Programming: THE way to go!! (Editorial bias? Moi?)
Object Oriented: General Issues
Class or Club: Fun (I hope) ideas to challenge classes or clubs
Miscellaneous: You guessed it: I couldn't make up my mind

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Programming for Windows... general points...

Click here if you want information on creating help files.

For shareware authors...

WinZip from www.winzip.com" will create self extracting files, or... there's

Some versions of Delphi come with a version of InstallShield. Give it a try... quite comprehensive and idiot proof, if you have it! or, there's...

.... another alternative: I (TKB) haven't tested this one myself; what you see are edited comments from someone who emailed me.

From Gentee Software...

Download size is 150K. Produces SFX's, (self extracting archives), with competitive compression, handles multi-volume disk installs, is designed so that you can integrate it into a batch file for automating a mail-out registration process, straightforward (doesn't require you to learn a scripting language), and it only costs $38. (Does not provide any support for the BDE.)

Click here to visit Gentee Software's site. Let me know what you think... as I said: I haven't tried this myself.

If you want to 'package' Windows 3.x programs for delivery to customers in a self installing file, I can recommend Kurt Herzog's Install/Setup. Trouble is... I can no longer find it on the net! It handled my needs very well, behaved well on my system. Since I did my testing, he has improved it to install into Win 95 environments, too. Let me know if you find it?

Free or shareware OS, Pascal, etc compilers...

(See the entry in the next section about Pascalite for a very simple compiler and simulator for use in microcontrollers)

Want DR-DOS, with personal netware? (Like MS-DOS + Novell) Want other NON-MS stuff, reasonable prices, free or as shareware? How about giving Pascal (the underpinning of Delphi) a try.. for free?! Alternatively, why not try your hand at something new, say Logo.
Click here for details of these opportunities, and others. (Sick of Bill Gates running everything?)

One sometimes sees requests in newsgroups for online sources for the Delphi or Turbo Pascal compiler/IDEs. For those who don't realize: These are both commercial, copyright products. As you can see from the above, there are a number of free or inexpensive ways to program in Pascal for DOS. I don't know of any free Pascals for making Windows programs. In any case, I was highly amused by the way one person responded to a 'Where can I download..?' enquiry:

"You must go to the computer store and download the product manually from their shelf. In addition, before you can store your downloaded box, you must first upload cash from your wallet to the cashier."

STOP PRESS!!Now you CAN obtain Turbo Pascal for free... from Borland, so it would seem legal. Click here for details

(The gem above the "stop press" was by Lauren, (The following: Not working 5/07)- http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Hills/4573/index.html, which features his CD Player which can display lyrics as your CD is being played. Lyric Files can be downloaded from this site and copied to your Lyrics folder, so fans of a particular band can share files.)

Pascal programming.... see below for Delphi specific items, but there may be overlap

I've come across a really cool product called "Pascalite". You can download (free, and only about 500kb) an editor/ compiler/ simulator package. If you like that, you can buy a microcontroller which is programmed with the software you already have. Click here to hear more from me about this, and a similar, BASIC based, device.

Before you have looked very far on the internet for help with Pascal, you should encounter Timo Salmi. He has, for a long time, been indefatigable in helping everyone. If there's something you need to know which isn't in his Common Turbo Pascal Questions FAQ, I would be surprised! I make no apology for making reference to his resources in several places here. And he has a great page of links.

J.R. Stockton's Delphi page

Click here for 'Pascal Central' for Pascal technical information, Pascal source code, and Pascal-related internet links. Many references to Macs, but general stuff, too.

Click here for Programmer's Heaven, a collection of source code, advice, tutorials, and program examples, in Pascal, Delphi, and many other languages.

The following: Not working 5/07)- http://www.gdsoft.com/swag/swag.html, a collection of source code and program examples. This was a good site... worth hunting for, probably under "swag".

Turbo Pascal stuff.... Start at www.xs4all.nl/~remcodek

Pascal 'How to', etc from John Stockton

Click here... (and try his other P*.htm pages, e.g.
Home page for a site that once had a good Pascal Language Tutorial

Some links, etc for Pascal programmers

For 5.7k (12-98) zipped file, with help on using mouse for in a Pascal program, see
Click here
and there's material in Timo Salmi's faq,
Common Turbo Pascal Questions and Timo's answers (149k (12-98) zip ftp)
...including help with reading where the mouse was (x, y) when the mouse was clicked. And he has a great page of links.

There is a general problem with the Borland Turbo Pascal 'DELAY' procedure. It won't work properly on fast PCs. Fixing this is easy, see Timo Salmi's FAQPAS3.TXT,

67) If Delay procedure does not work properly, how do I fix it?

You get the FAQ as part of ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/pc/ts/tsfaqp41.zip

In a nutshell... What you need is harder to explain than to do...
1) Get some freeware. (Timo's FAQ probably says what, where)
2) Put a 'unit' in the right place in your system.
3) Include
       USES (<name>);
     near the start of your program.
4) Replace DELAYs with something else. I use WAIT. I.e. where
   my program used to have DELAY(50), I now have WAIT(50); and
     it works the way DELAY(50) was SUPPOSED to.
More Pascal links and sources for beginners: Click here

Beginner's tutorial and other material:
 320779 Oct 19 1992 ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/pc/turbopas/tpr-book.zip
 tpr-book.zip Electronic Turbo Pascal Reference freeware book, E.Mitchell

Not outright in the form of exercises, but with a lot of source
code, tips and explanations.
Using Soundblaster in Turbo Pascal:

Documentation called sblast09.zip offered by Carl Codere, who does Pascal and asm programming, from his homepage at
Not working 5/07: http://www-edu.gel.usherbrooke.ca/codc01

or from the FTP site
Said to contain documentation, and some example code.
Try soundlib from
Click here
(source code and 6 demos)
(The following: Not working 5/07)- http://search.shareware.com/code/engine/Find?cfrom=quick&orfile=True&search=smix&category=DOS (not working 5/07)
(If that doesn't work, go to http://search.shareware.com (not working 5/07) and search for smix in the dos section.)
Remember the searchable archives of articles posted to newsgroups, e.g., comp.lang.pascal.delphi.announce, available from those wonderful people at groups.google.com. If you re not familiar with newsgroups, I have written about them at my newsgroups page.

Delphi programming.... see above for general Pascal items, but there may be overlap. Feedback from you on which of these are most useful would be welcome!

I have a set of Delphi tutorials with one which should take a beginner through a first programming session, and a second covering the basics of menu creation.... and BEYOND... My tutorials

http://delphigamedev.name2host.com/tutorials.htm (not working 5/07) Delphi tutorials

www.delphifaq.net/ (not working 5/07) Merlin's Delphi Forge: Delphi/Kylix page with FAQ answers, news, downloads, links, forums and more.

http://www.cch.com.my/cch/delphi for Delphi information

Delphi tutorials, links, chat room, etc Click here

Dolphi for Delphi
Click here for different URL which seems to end up in the same place? Weird?

KStringGrid component editor and several other freeware Delphi components were added on Korzh homepage of freeware and shareware programming tools. His site has moved, perhaps worth searching for with Google.

Big link list for Delphi programmers from www.geocities.com/~franzglaser/

Delphi Super Page has various useful things, including "Tftw", a file tree walk component. Encapsulates 'Findfirst ... Findnext' and passes all files that correspond to your search pattern to your "onvisitfile" event function.

Click here for yet more Delphi stuff... perhaps better.

Gauges, dials, etc components from Abaecker. Some free demos.

Object Oriented programming....

Click here for cetus/software

Click here for prestwood.com

Ideas for programming class assignments, club competition....

Click here for another page from the author of this site with two ideas you might have fun with. At the page this leads to, you'll also find two free programs, one with source code.

Miscellaneous programming....

For years, I've used Notepad very extensively... these web pages were put together with it, for a start. I'm not clever enough to stay on top of all the good things some programs offer. I just like the simple life.


I've become a delighted user of TextPad, which is sort of a super Notepad. It is still simple... but has a sensible wealth of good features...

Syntax highlighting... user configurable, but html and Pascal (Delphi) syntax rule files were already there, the ones I wanted. There are also rule files for C and many other things.
Easy management of multiple files I'm working concurrently on 15 web pages at the moment.
A clipboard for multiple frequently needed things, with subtle features. For instance, I put in the tags for underlining that simply by highlighting it and double clicking on the "underline" item in the clipboard resources list. Clever! But simple to use! The clipboard resources are user configurable
Shareware, and registering is not expensive. ($27 at November 2010... worth it for the spellcheck alone!)

Here is a link to www.textpad.com.

Wotsit's Format: Quoting from the site: "The complete programmer's resource on the net. This site contains file format information on hundreds of different file types and all sorts of other useful programming information; algorithms, source code, specifications, etc."

More ideas, etc for programmers, www.midnightbeach.com... Click here

www.inquiry.com (not working 5/07), a site for programmers.

www.experts-exchange.com for lots of good stuff for programmers. (tkb's opinion)

www.efg2.com: Lots of good specific, technical stuff for programmers, esp. in.... Image processing, Color, Graphics, Mathematics, Fractals, Science & Engineering.

And lastly....

There is material on microcontrollers, including their programming, on my electronics pages, click here for them.

This isn't really the best place for this... but it is the place I can do today! I want to bring to your attention a resource on the web... sort of a search engine, I suppose. In their (snipped) words:

As a collaborative filtering site, PHOAKS exists to help us all help each other find appropriate and relevant web resources.

Here's how it works. People post their opinions of web resources in Usenet Netnews (you can too). Around the clock, PHOAKS reads, classifies, abstracts and tallies those opinions automatically. PHOAKS' pages here reflect the results.

Once you enter PHOAKS, you can use keyword search or a hierarchical index to find your way around. For each thematic newsgroup, check out the most frequent, most recent, or top contributor's web resources. You can view snippets of the source opinions and related FAQs.

PHOAKS filters out most spurious and signature references. PHOAKS does not read .announce, .answers, .jobs, or .binaries groups since these specialized types of groups are not sources of opinions.

And... hurrah!! They offer a 'Lo-Fi' option: No tables, no graphics. (And a hi-fi option for those who don't have to pay for their own phone bill.)

At 5/07 I couldn't get through to www.phoaks.com. Pity... this used to be a great resource. Let me know if you find it is working again?

A little bit of humor for you. I've cut a few that I didn't find as funny as the rest. If everyone did this, the jokes we see circulating would get better and better, wouldn't they?!


12. "Specifications are for the weak and timid!"

10. "You cannot really appreciate Dilbert unless you've read it in the original Klingon."

9. "Indentation?! -- I will show you how to indent when I indent your skull!"

8. "What is this talk of 'release'? Klingons do not make software 'releases.' Our software 'escapes' leaving a maimed trail of designers and quality assurance people in its wake."

7. "Klingon function calls do not have 'parameters' -- they have 'arguments' -- and they ALWAYS WIN THEM."

6. "Debugging? Klingons do not debug. Our software does not coddle the weak."

5. "I have challenged the entire quality assurance team to a Bat-Leth contest. They will not concern us again."

4. "A TRUE Klingon Warrior does not comment his code!"

1. "Our users will know fear and cower before our software. Ship it! Ship it and let them flee like the dogs they are!"

* * * * *

(The Klingon jokes were from a post by Tim Pierce, twp@rootsweb.com, previously published by RootsWeb Genealogical Data Cooperative, RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Genealogy News, Vol. 2, No. 25, 23 June 1999. RootsWeb: http://www.rootsweb.com/)

This page is fairly new. What has appeared so far is the result of which notes to myself I could find in an untidy office. Material will be added (and what is here will be tidied up!!) as time permits... feedback on what is here so far could influence the page's direction!

Back to main page.
I also have a set of pages where I accumulate bits and pieces prior to incorporating them into pages like this. Click here to visit the index for those pages.

Looking for email, domain registration, or web site hosting? If you visit 1&1's site from here, it helps me. They host my website, and I wouldn't put this link up for them if I wasn't happy with their service. They offer things for the beginner and the corporation.

Ad from page's editor: Yes.. I do enjoy compiling these things for you. I hope they are helpful. However... this doesn't pay my bills!!! Sheepdog Software (tm) is supposed to help do that, so if you found this stuff useful, (and you run a Windows or MS-DOS PC) please visit my freeware and shareware page, download something, and circulate it for me? Links on your page to this page would also be appreciated!
Click here to visit editor's freeware, shareware page.

How to email or write this page's editor, Tom Boyd

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional Page tested for compliance with INDUSTRY (not MS-only) standards, using the free, publicly accessible validator at validator.w3.org

Why does this page cause a script to run? Because of the Google panels, and the code for the search button. Also, I have my web-traffic monitored for me by eXTReMe tracker. They offer a free tracker. If you want to try one, check out their site. Why do I mention the script? Be sure you know all you need to about spyware.

....... P a g e . . . E n d s .....