From Visual Basic to C++, C# or C?

Good day,

I am a Visual Basic programmer.
I made a choice to learn a new language.  I made this choice because I find it hard to create software designed for a hardware.

What would be the next language I should learn?
c++ or c# or c?



What IDE should I use?

Thanks,

JackOfPH,

I am trying to avoid using M$ software.
LVL 15
JackOfPHAsked:
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jandromedaCommented:
If you want to write software for hardware then the best language is C. Since it is a low level language it is the best. You can use the Borland C/C++ compiler. But I'm not sure about a open source/free IDE for it. I think Borland compiler is enough for the purpose of learning. And when you go on the way you will get to know about better IDEs.
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jandromedaCommented:
Check this link to download the latest Borland C/C++ compiler.
http://dn.codegear.com/article/20633
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sunnycoderCommented:
Software for hardware - C ... Can be C++ too but C# wont fit the bill.
If you are familiar with Linux, you can use KDevelop or Eclipse. If you are working on Windows, use Bloodshed
http://www.bloodshed.net/devcpp.html
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JackOfPHAuthor Commented:
What would the advantages or disadvantages of using C instead of C++? and Vice versa...

Thanks...

Jack
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JackOfPHAuthor Commented:
What would the advantages or disadvantages of using C instead of C++? and Vice versa...

In hardware programming...
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sunnycoderCommented:
They are widely different programming paradigms ... C is more prevalent in hardware programming because it is more of a middle level language than a high level language.
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mac-willCommented:
One important note is that any C program is a valid C++ program.  Basically if you learn C or C++ learning the other will be relatively trivial.  Although I do agree that they have different paradigms.

That said if you are writing software for embeded hardware you will be using C,  if you are writing software for a PC hardware component you can usually use C++ or C.  Check out the windows DDK for windows driver programming.
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mac-willCommented:
BTW.  Not that it was intended for this but I have used C# successfully with custom hardware.  Particularly something like a serial protocol is not that difficult.
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mac-willCommented:
As for an IDE eclipse is the way to go. Some other basic fun IDEs I have used with C/C++ : Scite (like a super text editor), Komodo (Perl IDE but can be used with C++ and is awesome!!)
And don't forget about all the free Visual Studio versions, I know they are MS but they are pretty good.
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JackOfPHAuthor Commented:
The problem with C is, it is not a object oriented language but C++ is...

hmmm....
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sunnycoderCommented:
>One important note is that any C program is a valid C++ program.
Nearly always

int main ()
{
    int new;
}

:)

>The problem with C is, it is not a object oriented language but C++ is...
I would not call that a problem ... Both are suitable for their own purposes.
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JackOfPHAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the input...

:)
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