TweetFollow Us on Twitter

March 92 - Postcard from Windows Land - Getting to Windows Land

Postcard from Windows Land - Getting to Windows Land

James Plamondon

In previous columns I discussed why one would want to go to Windows land, and what one might find there. This one is about how to get there: the books to read, the classes to take, the on-line services to subscribe to, and so on.

Read these books

First you'll need a copy of the "Microsoft Windows Programmer's Reference, Version 3" from Microsoft Press (1990). It is the Windows equivalent of the Mac's "Inside Macintosh"-and who would even consider writing a Mac application without a copy of Inside Mac? The Programmer's Reference contains all of the information found in the notorious "Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit," or Windows SDK-and it's a lot cheaper. Get it first.

Next you'll need a copy of "Programming Windows" by Charles Petzold. This is the book you'll eat, drink, and sleep with while learning to program Windows. It's like Scott Knaster's "How to Write Macintosh Software," but bigger and even more detailed. The best way to learn Windows programming is to sit down with a compiler and actually walk through each and every example in the book, coding them up, trying variations, and so on. I don't know anyone who's ever learned Windows this way, of course; usually, you have to become the company's official Windows guru by next Tuesday. Still, this is the best book to start out with. Be sure to get the second (or later) edition.

Unfortunately, you can't yet write Windows software without knowing D… DO… (Jeez, I can hardly force myself to say it…) DOS (whew!). DOS proves that there really is evil in the world. Windows is cursed by it. All of Windows' worst flaws can be traced to the fact that it runs on DOS. But there's no escape; for the next few years, at least, to learn Windows, you must also learn DOS. To that end, you need to get a copy of the "DOS 5.0 User's Manual," from Microsoft Press (1991), and a copy of the "Microsoft MS DOS Programmer's Reference (Version 5)." Think of them as tomes of incantations with which you can chain evil spirits and make them do your bidding, and you won't be far wrong. You gotta have 'em, or the evil spirits will make your life miserable.

Moving back to Windows itself, you should get "Peter Norton's Windows 3.0 Power Programming Techniques," by Norton and Yao, published by Bantam (1990). It contains an excellent treatment of Windows' memory management, which you are going to find to be shockingly primitive. However, if you're going to write Windows programs, you need to know this stuff. In a year or two, after the Windows world moves to a flat 32-bit linear address space, Windows memory management will be much simpler (perhaps even simpler than it is on the Mac); but for now, this memory-management stuff is a painful necessity.

Another good Windows programming book is "Microsoft Windows 3 Developer's Workshop," by Richard Wilton, Microsoft Press, 1991. It contains an excellent discussion of the OOP nature of Windows, in addition to other useful bits of Windows info. Also, there's "Windows 3: A Developer's Guide," by Jeffrey M. Richter, M&T Books, 1991. This book should be called "Eight Cool Windows Programming Examples, with Source, Bound, with Three Disks." And then there's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," Robert Pirsig. It has nothing to do with Windows programming, but you ought to read it, anyway, just because it's such a good book.

Subscribe to these magazines

There are a number of magazines devoted to Windows programming. The most highly esteemed is the Microsoft Systems Journal (universally referred to as "the MSJ"). It is to Windows programming what d e v e l o p is to the Macintosh. You gotta have it. To get it, write Circulation Department, Microsoft Systems Journal, POB 1903, Marion, OH 44305, or call (800) 669-1002.

Also, there's the Windows Tech Journal, which is to Windows what MacTutor always should have been to the Mac-a high-quality technical magazine, kinda like the short-lived MacTech Quarterly tried to be. It doesn't worship Microsoft quite as blatantly as the MSJ does, and it attracts some really top-notch authors (yeah, OK, I've written for it). You could live without this one, but you shouldn't. To get it, write to Circulation Department, Windows Tech Journal, POB 70167, Eugene, OR 94701-0110, or call (800) 234-0386. Tell 'em I sent you. (They won't give you a discount if you do, but please tell 'em anyway.)

Then, there's the infamous Windows Magazine. It is roughly equivalent to MacUser Magazine, but it has a very weird history. It started out as OS|2 Magazine, but when Windows 3 came out, it changed its name to OS|2 and Windows Magazine. As Windows increased in popularity, and OS|2 started to fade, the magazine changed its name to "Windows and OS|2 Magazine." Finally, just a few months ago, it gave up on OS|2 and became simply "Windows Magazine." I wonder-if the new, soon-to-be-released version of OS|2 becomes really popular, will "OS|2" creep back into the magazine's name? Either way, you can subscribe by writing Circulation Department, Windows Magazine, POB 58649, Boulder, CO 80322-8649, or calling (800) 284-3534.

Take these classes

Just as Apple has its Developer University, Microsoft has Microsoft University, which offers live classes in Seattle, and video courses. The one-week "Introduction to Windows Programming" class is very well regarded. I took the video version, and got a lot out of it. You can get a current catalog by writing Microsoft University, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399, or calling (206) 828-1507.

You can also take classes on Windows programming at industry conferences and seminars. These classes tend to be pretty cheap, unless you have to pay air fare and hotel bills to attend the conferences. If you happen to live in the San Francisco or Boston areas, though, these can be a real winner. There's the Windows and OS|2 Conference, put on by CM Ventures, which you can reach at 5720 Hollis Street, Emeryville, CA 94608, or by calling (510) 601-5000. Or, you can attend Software Development '92, which is put on by Software Development Conferences and Shows, at 600 Harrison Street San Francisco, CA 94107, or (415) 905-2741. There are number of other, smaller conferences; look for their ads in the magazines mentioned above.

Windows programming classes are creeping into the college extension catalogs. Of the schools near me, in the San Francisco Bay Area, both UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz offer Windows-related classes. The big technical schools in your area probably do, too; give them a call.

Use your modem

I hope that, as a MacApp programmer, you're familiar with MacApp2Tech$ and MacApp3Tech$ (neé MacApp.Tech$ and MacApp3Beta$, respectively). These on-line bulletin-board-like services are the very best way to get answers to specific questions you might have about MacApp. There are a couple of equivalent services for Windows programmers, and you should make the most of them.

First, there's Microsoft Online, which is Microsoft's answer to MacDTS. It is pretty expensive, but it's worth it. MS Online has lightning-fast response time; my questions are usually answered within the day they are submitted, by a real live human being who calls me up with the answer, to make sure that it answers the question I meant to ask. MacDTS could learn a lot from the way MS Online works.

Then, for a more informal, relatively inexpensive, MacApp2Tech$-like service, there's the MSDEV forum on CompuServe. The quality of the information is somewhat lower than it is on MacApp2Tech$, unfortunately. You don't get the equivalent of Kurt Schmucker and Larry Rosenstein on the other end of the line. But, even so, it's a lot better than nothing.

Join a local group

Being in the heart of Silicon Valley does have its advantages, and one of them is the concentration of expertise in the area. There are local groups that meet on a monthly basis to discuss every conceivable aspect of software development (and zillions more concerned with hardware-you know, "hardware"-that weird-looking junk on your desk with all the wires and fans and stuff).

Therefore, of course, there are local groups devoted to Windows programming. One of the largest, with about 100 regular attendees, is the Software Entrepreneur's Forum's Windows Special Interest Group, or SEF WinSIG. It has the clout to attract speakers of considerable note. To join the SEF WinSIG, contact Fran Finnegan, at CompuServe address 76244,145, or by phone at (415) 929-7386. If you don't happen to live around here, maybe you can start up your own local Windows programming SIG.

Bon voyage!

Once you've made the decision to go to Windows land, I hope that this information will help you get there with a minimum of fuss and bother. It's still a lot like leaving a civilized country and going on safari in a wild, untamed place; but with information to lend you aid and comfort, your trip should be both pleasant and productive.
 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Spotify 1.0.44.100. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
Microsoft OneNote 15.29 - Free digital n...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
WALTR 2 2.0.8 - $39.95
WALTR 2 helps you wirelessly drag-and-drop any music, ringtones, videos, PDF, and ePub files onto your iPhone, iPad, or iPod without iTunes. It is the second major version of Softorino's critically-... Read more
Dropbox 16.3.27 - Cloud backup and synch...
Dropbox is an application that creates a special Finder folder that automatically syncs online and between your computers. It allows you to both backup files and keep them up-to-date between systems... Read more
EtreCheck 3.1.5 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.12 - Easy-to-use...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
VueScan 9.5.62 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
SpamSieve 2.9.27 - Robust spam filter fo...
SpamSieve is a robust spam filter for major email clients that uses powerful Bayesian spam filtering. SpamSieve understands what your spam looks like in order to block it all, but also learns what... Read more
Fantastical 2.3.2 - Create calendar even...
Fantastical 2 is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event... Read more
PCalc 4.4.4 - Full-featured scientific c...
PCalc is a full-featured, scriptable scientific calculator with support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Track Santa with these three festive app...
Christmas is fast approaching and that means it's time to prepare for Santa's yearly pilgrimage around the globe. Christmas Eve is an exciting time as parents help their kids get ready to welcome Santa. You've got the cookies and milk all planned... | Read more »
Galaxy on Fire 3 and four other fantasti...
Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore brings the series back for another round of daring space battles. It's familiar territory for folks who are familiar with the franchise. If you've beaten the game and are looking to broaden your horizons, might we... | Read more »
The best apps for your holiday gift exch...
What's that, you say? You still haven't started your holiday shopping? Don't beat yourself up over it -- a lot of people have been putting it off, too. It's become easier and easier to procrastinate gift shopping thanks to a number of apps that... | Read more »
Toca Hair Salon 3 (Education)
Toca Hair Salon 3 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Winter comes to Darkwood as Seekers Note...
MyTona, based in the chilly Siberian city of Yakutsk, has brought a little festive fun to its hidden object game Seekers Notes: Hidden Mystery. The Christmas update introduces some new inhabitants to players, and with them a chance to win plenty of... | Read more »
Bully: Anniversary Edition (Games)
Bully: Anniversary Edition 1.03.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.03.1 (iTunes) Description: *** PLEASE NOTE: This game is officially supported on the following devices: iPhone 5 and newer, iPod Touch... | Read more »
PINE GROVE (Games)
PINE GROVE 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A pine grove where there are no footsteps of people due to continuous missing cases. The case is still unsolved and nothing has... | Read more »
Niantic teases new Pokémon announcement...
After rumors started swirling yesterday, it turns out there is an official Pokémon GO update on its way. We’ll find out what’s in store for us and our growing Pokémon collections tomorrow during the Starbucks event, but Niantic will be revealing... | Read more »
3 reasons why Nicki Minaj: The Empire is...
Nicki Minaj is as business-savvy as she is musically talented and she’s proved that by launching her own game. Designed by Glu, purveyors of other fine celebrity games like cult favorite Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Nicki Minaj: The Empire launched... | Read more »
Clash of Clans is getting its own animat...
Riding on its unending wave of fame and success, Clash of Clans is getting an animated web series based on its Clash-A-Rama animated shorts.As opposed to the current shorts' 60 second run time, the new and improved Clash-A-Rama will be comprised of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Never Settle for Low Performing Wifi With iOS...
AppYogi Software has announced the release of WiFi Signal Strength Status App 1.0, the company’s new utility developed exclusively for macOS. WiFi Signal Strength Status App features a unique, single... Read more
New 2016 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros in st...
B&H Photo has stock of new 2016 Apple 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro models, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray: $1999 - 13″ 2.... Read more
New 2016 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock...
B&H Photo has new 2016 Apple 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro models in stock today including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray: $2799 - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
DietSensor App Targeting Diabetes and Obesity...
DietSensor, Inc., a developer of smart food and nutrition applications designed to fight diabetes and obesity and help improve overall fitness, has announced the launch of its DietSensor app for... Read more
Holiday 2016 13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro sales...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MLL42LL/A): $1449 $... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple TVs for $51-$40 off MSRP,...
Best Buy has dropped their price on the 64GB Apple TV to $159.99 including free shipping. That’s $40 off MSRP. 32GB Apple TVs are on sale right now for $98 on Sams Club’s online store. That’s $51 off... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refurbished, n...
Apple has restocked a full line of Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ Retina MacBooks, now available for $200-$260 off MSRP. Refurbished 2015 models are available starting at $929. Apple will include a... Read more
Holiday sale: 12-inch Retina MacBook for $100...
B&H has 12″ Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1199 $100... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $849 $... Read more
Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
US- *Apple* Store Leader Program - Apple (Un...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on Read more
Automotive Detailer - *Apple* Used Autos -...
We are currently conductinginterviews and will be accepting applications for a part-time detailer. Apple Used Autos is a great place to work andstart a career. We Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Trumbul...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.