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.
 
AAPL
$99.76
Apple Inc.
+2.09
MSFT
$44.08
Microsoft Corpora
+0.45
GOOG
$520.84
Google Inc.
+9.67

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Apple iOS 8.1 - The latest version of Ap...
The latest version of iOS can be downloaded through iTunes. Apple iOS 8 comes with big updates to apps you use every day, like Messages and Photos. A whole new way to share content with your family.... Read more
TechTool Pro 7.0.5 - Hard drive and syst...
TechTool Pro is now 7, and this is the most advanced version of the acclaimed Macintosh troubleshooting utility created in its 20-year history. Micromat has redeveloped TechTool Pro 7 to be fully 64... Read more
PDFKey Pro 4.0.2 - Edit and print passwo...
PDFKey Pro can unlock PDF documents protected for printing and copying when you've forgotten your password. It can now also protect your PDF files with a password to prevent unauthorized access and/... Read more
Yasu 2.9.1 - System maintenance app; per...
Yasu was originally created with System Administrators who service large groups of workstations in mind, Yasu (Yet Another System Utility) was made to do a specific group of maintenance tasks... Read more
Hazel 3.3 - Create rules for organizing...
Hazel is your personal housekeeper, organizing and cleaning folders based on rules you define. Hazel can also manage your trash and uninstall your applications. Organize your files using a... Read more
Autopano Giga 3.7 - Stitch multiple imag...
Autopano Giga allows you to stitch 2, 20, or 2,000 images. Version 3.0 integrates impressive new features that will definitely make you adopt Autopano Pro or Autopano Giga: Choose between 9... Read more
MenuMeters 1.8 - CPU, memory, disk, and...
MenuMeters is a set of CPU, memory, disk, and network monitoring tools for Mac OS X. Although there are numerous other programs which do the same thing, none had quite the feature set I was looking... Read more
Coda 2.5 - One-window Web development su...
Coda is a powerful Web editor that puts everything in one place. An editor. Terminal. CSS. Files. With Coda 2, we went beyond expectations. With loads of new, much-requested features, a few... Read more
Arq 4.6.1 - Online backup to Google Driv...
Arq is super-easy online backup for the Mac. Back up to your own Google Drive storage (15GB free storage), your own Amazon Glacier ($.01/GB per month storage) or S3, or any SFTP server. Arq backs up... Read more
Airfoil 4.8.10 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This Week at 148Apps: October 13-17, 201...
Expert App Reviewers   So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iPhone/iPad lover to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just... | Read more »
Angry Birds Transformers Review
Angry Birds Transformers Review By Jennifer Allen on October 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRANSFORMED BIRDSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Transformed in a way you wouldn’t expect, Angry Birds Transformers is a quite... | Read more »
GAMEVIL Announces the Upcoming Launch of...
GAMEVIL Announces the Upcoming Launch of Mark of the Dragon Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 20th, 2014 [ permalink ] Mark of the Dragon, by GAMEVIL, put | Read more »
Interview With the Angry Birds Transform...
Angry Birds Transformers recently transformed and rolled out worldwide. This run-and-gun title is a hit with young Transformers fans, but the ample references to classic Transformers fandom has also earned it a place in the hearts of long-time... | Read more »
Find Free Food on Campus with Ypay
Find Free Food on Campus with Ypay Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 20th, 2014 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
Strung Along Review
Strung Along Review By Jordan Minor on October 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: GOT NO STRINGSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A cool gimmick and a great art style keep Strung Along from completely falling apart.   | Read more »
P2P file transferring app Send Anywhere...
File sharing services like Dropbox have security issues. Email attachments can be problematic when it comes to sharing large files. USB dongles don’t fit into your phone. Send Anywhere, a peer-to-peer file transferring application, solves all of... | Read more »
Zero Age Review
Zero Age Review By Jordan Minor on October 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MORE THAN ZEROiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad With its mind-bending puzzles and spellbinding visuals, Zero Age has it all.   | Read more »
Hay Ewe Review
Hay Ewe Review By Campbell Bird on October 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SAVE YOUR SHEEPLEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Pave the way for your flock in this line drawing puzzle game from the creators of Worms.   | Read more »
My Very Hungry Caterpillar (Education)
My Very Hungry Caterpillar 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Care for your very own Very Hungry Caterpillar! My Very Hungry Caterpillar will captivate you as he crawls... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

2013 15-inch 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro availa...
B&H Photo has leftover previous-generation 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pros now available for $1599 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $400 off original MSRP. B&H... Read more
Updated iPad Prices
We’ve updated our iPad Air Price Tracker and our iPad mini Price Tracker with the latest information on prices and availability from Apple and other resellers, including the new iPad Air 2 and the... Read more
Apple Pay Available to Millions of Visa Cardh...
Visa Inc. brings secure, convenient payments to iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3as well as iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Starting October 20th, eligible Visa cardholders in the U.S. will be able to use Apple Pay,... Read more
Textkraft Pocket – the missing TextEdit for i...
infovole GmbH has announced the release and immediate availability of Textkraft Pocket 1.0, a professional text editor and note taking app for Apple’s iPhone. In March 2014 rumors were all about... Read more
C Spire to offer iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3,...
C Spire on Friday announced that it will offer iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, both with Wi-Fi + Cellular, on its 4G+ LTE network in the coming weeks. C Spire will offer the new iPads with a range of... Read more
Belkin Announces Full Line of Keyboards and C...
Belkin International has unveiled a new lineup of keyboard cases and accessories for Apple’s newest iPads, featuring three QODE keyboards and a collection of thin, lightweight folios for both the... Read more
Verizon offers new iPad Air 2 preorders for $...
Verizon Wireless is accepting preorders for the new iPad Air 2, cellular models, for $100 off MSRP with a 2-year service agreement: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi + Cellular: $529.99 - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi... Read more
Price drops on refurbished Mac minis, now ava...
The Apple Store has dropped prices on Apple Certified Refurbished previous-generation Mac minis, with models now available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs available...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Refurbished 2013 MacBook Pros available for u...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros available starting at $929. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (4GB RAM/... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…customers purchase our products, you're the one who helps them get more out of their new Apple technology. Your day in the Apple Store is filled with a range of Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** At the Apple Store, you connect business professionals and entrepreneurs with the tools they need in order to put Apple solutions to work in their Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** The Apple Store is a retail environment like no other - uniquely focused on delivering amazing customer experiences. As an Expert, you introduce people Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** As businesses discover the power of Apple computers and mobile devices, it's your job - as a Solutions Engineer - to show them how to introduce these Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.