This is how the idea of developing multimedia programs was born. Readers shouldn’t have to learn boring input/output stuff just to see what happens with their programs. If I could provide them with a suitable class library, they could learn how to manipulate these objects to produce sounds, pictures, and animations.
The resulting software provides an interface with the Windows graphic environment and several program objects that are used throughout the text to teach the reader how to build programs. These objects simulate people, robots, circles, squares, boxes for messages, and other things. They significantly simplify the learning of computer programming, because the reader can practice immediately, without having to understand all the complicated input/output procedures. Also, with the available objects, readers can work on algorithm development using simple and intuitive examples and, later on, interesting geometric examples, instead of the usual arithmetic examples. This software makes the learning experience so easy that it makes no sense to use this book without the software.
I knew it was beyond my power to develop this support software for a universal platform. This is the price that had to be paid for the exciting learning tools. I decided to develop this software for IBM-compatible machines because they are cheap enough for students to have at home (as opposed to workstations), and for the Microsoft Windows environment because it is the direction in which most PC software is going.
Still, I had to choose a compiler. Although I started with Borland’s Turbo C++ (which is friendly and cheap), the software now runs with later versions of Borland’s compilers and with Microsoft’s Visual C++.
Developing a book while integrating it with software is much more of a complex task than I anticipated at first. It becomes even worse when you decide to develop software to run under Windows—worse yet, software that allows the support software to run under Windows. I should add at this point that I am not a Windows specialist! Anyway, it is now done, and I hope readers will enjoy it.