It wasn’t too long ago that a hobbyist programmer got by with a monochrome monitor, two floppy drives, 16K of RAM, and a decent understanding of BASIC. Back then, a big program may have comprised 500 lines and taken a few days to write. Even professional programmers—the folks who produced commercial-quality software— had it much easier. Most commercial programs took a single author six months to a year to write.
Now, programmers (even hobbyist programmers) have to know their machines inside and out and be familiar with two or three operating systems if they are to survive in a world in which a typical commercial-quality program may take up an astounding 50,000 (or more) lines of code. And it’s not only the programs that have expanded—Borland C++ 3.1 requires over 40 megabytes of disk space for a full installation. The scary part is that you need most of that 40 megabytes to create programs for today’s complex operating systems and state-of-the-art computers.
Learning a complex language like C++ is a tough enough job without finding yourself lost in an ocean of questions every time you sit down to write a program. With the power of a language like C++ comes a seemingly infinite number of ways to complete even the simplest task. This complexity is multiplied by the huge libraries of functions that make up a graphical user interface like Microsoft Windows 3.1, which boasts nearly 1,000 functions in its Application Programming Interface (API).
This book, Borland C++ Power Programming, was written to provide you with some of the answers you need to write the type of programs you’ve only dreamed of before. With the techniques presented here, you are able to write your own Windows-like programs without ever leaving DOS.
In addition, you learn to handle such tricky tasks as designing classes, parsing formulas, installing interrupt handlers, and much more. In the Windows section of the book, you learn to create professional-looking applications with status bars, toolboxes, custom controls, and snazzy sound effects. You even learn to program screen savers, those delightful graphical interludes that have become so popular.