Learning QBasic with Books vs. QB64 (Online Documentation)

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Learning QBasic with Books vs. QB64 (Online Documentation)

Post by michealey »

One of the important benefits in utilsing QBasic (or QuickBasic) over QB64, initially, or as long as you would like through the developmental and or learning process: is the vast array of excellent textbooks and guides on QBasic, one can pick up these days - very inexpensively.

In a world of “On-Line Manuals”, PDF Documentation, Wikis, and simply Googling whatever you have a question about when trying to learn and comprehend a complex body of knowledge, learning by books, through books, and further referring back to, and or referencing books should not be discounted.

Indeed, recent psychological studies on how the brain stores and remembers new materials has stated that individuals that learn subject matter through books, often have an additional level of mental reference, that being, they not only learned the material, they often learned, where, or roughly in what section of the text it was presented. This comes in handy further on, when one’s memory on a given topic might become hazy and clouded. It seems the “geographical location”, the physicality of where in the book a certain subject or topic was presented persists, and will still be accessible to the individual, therefore creating a simple “hard-trail” back to the required information.

I ran across this additional discussion I think worth including here -
I assume your question was not meant as "why use old technology like a printed book instead of HTML pages", but "why read longer texts about programming written by one or few authors". You can think of books as structured collection of information about a certain subject.

It has the advantage that someone has made the effort to build each chapter onto each other to make understanding the topic easy. Usually, you are also told what the boundaries of the information are (what is covered and what else there is that you need to look out for elsewhere). After reading and working with it, you can be sure of having achieved a certain skill.

If you want to learn with the fast forward button pressed, a book can force you to work through every aspect without skipping the boring parts, at least if you trust the structure of the book. The collection named "book" is most often useful as a reference, too.

Using the Internet, blogs, "fiddling around", etc. usually falls into the kind of unstructured information. You get loads of bits and pieces of wisdom, but you have to do more search work to get to build up your knowledge, because no one will guide you in saying "learn this first or you won't see the merit of that stuff you have googled up now". You might miss certain parts because they are too boring or no one told you they were important. You might learn things wrong, because not everything written on the Internet is first quality. You might spend a lot of time filtering out useless search results.

You might waste days with trying to accomplish something on your own, just because you didn't know a certain design pattern or programming construct and no one told you. The less you know, the worse it gets with unstructured information IMHO.

To put it a bit provocative: I would never trust an architect to build a bridge which I have to cross each day if he told me he had never read a book about bridge building or structural analysis but just learned it by fiddling around and using Google…
With all the above in mind, my favorite book for learning and or re-learning Qbasic has been:

USING BASIC 2nd Edition, by Phil Feldman & Tom Rugg, published in 1992/93 by Que Corp.
ISBN 1-56529-140-9
I love this thing!


You can get this book, delivered to you for under five bucks (along with a tonne of other great books on QBasic at half.ebay.com (a little known great source for used books)

http://product.half.ebay.com/Using-BASI ... 11&tg=info" target="_blank

I will do a full separate thread on the awesome merits of this book; but I am really thankful to the authors, who essentially taught me QBasic… and they can teach you too! Don’t discount the value of QBasic or QBasic learning and reference materials.

QBasic is NOT dead, and NOT OBSOLETE. :wink:
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