How to start

Hello I would like to learn a language I can write basic perl but want to learn c or c++.

What do I need to get eg a compiler and where do I start ?

best wishes from New Zealand
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Answers2000Connect With a Mentor Commented:
1. Buy Microsoft Visual C++ or another compiler.  If VC buy the standard or learning edition (the learning edition is limited in several ways in terms of producing commercial software but this may not be a problem if just learning).  US Standard edition costs about USD $92 with a $50 rebate.

Unfortunately I can't give you a URL ( has it, but won't sell VC Standard outside the USA).

Another alternative is Turbo C++ which have a bundle (Win3.1 Win 95/NT and DOS compilers) for $70.  There is a $12 discount at
This includes a version of C++ builder (see below) and a teach-your-self book on it (please note this isn't the hottest lattest greatest version of C++ Builder)

If you want to produce Windows programs very quickly you might also want to consider C++ Builder.  This is sort of a VB/Delphi approach applied to VC (RAD meets C++)

2. Get a good book, example :
C++ from the Ground Up
by Herbert Schildt
I guess it would be best to search for C++ compiler on any search enine, and you will find some shareware comilers, but it would be best to buy VC6.  I suggest going to for books online for C++.  This is the best start.  (DJGPP is a compiler which is sharware.
VC is probably the best compiler to start with.  It probably a little harder to learn to use at first than some.  But it has better online help and debuggign support than any other (far better).  For C++ programming books I reccomend you start with "C++ How to program" by Dietal and Dietal and "The C++ programming Language" by Bjarne Stroustrup:  The first is a good introduction to c++, the 2nd is more of an anotated reference to the language that all programmers should have.  There is no substitute for that one.  Later I recomend the "Effective C++" series by Scott Meyers.  Absolutely essential for advanced C++ programming.  No substitute.
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>> If you want to produce Windows programs very quickly you might
>> also want to consider C++ Builder.
I don't see any advantage to builder.  It is not easier to use.  (The help and debugger don't compare.)  I use it only because it is faster than VC to compile large projects.  For a beginner it isn't going to matter.
Stroustrup's book is definitely not suitable for C++ beginners.  I recomment Lippman's "C++ primer, 3rd edition"
Stroutrup's book doesn't teach the C++ language (at least certainly not to beginners).  It is more of a reference to the language--one that is understanable, not a bunch of syntax diagrams (they are %100 accurate, 100% complete, and 100% incomprehensible)  However, I think it works well in conjuction with a book that is aimed at beginners.  This is because once a concept is explained in the other book, it can be understood more precisely and more clearly with the Stroustrup book.  Many other books tend to leave lots of holes, and inaccuracies that the Stroustrup book fills in.  While a beginner book might explain how to do something in C++, the stroustrup book tends to explain why it done that way, or provide a explanation of several options and discuss which is the best.  However, by itself it certainly is not sufficient.
I don't think of "The C++ Programming Language" as a reference.  Now, the ARM was an excellent reference (hopelessly outdated now).  TC++PL is probably on of the best C++ books but it's hard to categorize...
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