Hello, World — A blast to the Past

I’ve always loved trying out older operating systems, and I love experimenting with them. After some experimenting with Windows 98 SE, I decided I would post a little “introduction to programming in Visual C++ 5.0”.

It’s a simple “hello world” console application, which I, for some reason, struggled a little bit with at first. Both Windows 98 SE and Visual Studio 97 can be downloaded from WinWorldPC.com, which is a great resource for ‘abandonware’ as they call it.

After you’ve gotten both Windows 98 and Visual Studio set up, fire up Visual Studio from Start → Programs → Microsoft Visual C++ 5.0 → Microsoft Visual Studio 5.0.

Unless you’re actually on an old machine with Windows 98, the splash screen should flash for a split second before Visual Studio is up and running (so it’s more of a “flash screen” 🙃).

On the first screen of Visual Studio, there should be a whole lot of gray in middle of it, some docs on the side and filled-up toolbar on the top of the screen. Go ahead and pick File → New… to create a new project. We’ll just create an easy example, so we’re going with “Win32 Console Application”. Remember to give the project a name, it doesn’t really matter what you name it.

Out of lack of imagination, my project is simply named “Hello”

When you’ve named your project and clicked “OK”, an empty project should appear, with no source files or anything of particular usefulness. I guess I’m used to IDEs nowadays that spoon-feed you with initial project source files. But once again go to File → New… and create a “C++ Source File” and name it whatever you feel is fitting.

Now there should be a blank window sitting on your desktop titled “<name of file>.cpp” and this is, of course, where we write our source code. Write source code according to the picture below.

After finishing up the code, go to Build → Execute <project name>.exe and you should be greeted with your very own “Hello, world!”

This should get you kickstarted on all of your Windows 98 coding needs! In 1997, when Visual C++ 5.0 came out, I was just turning 2. I did not have the fortunate opportunity to learn C++ at that time and some slight trouble getting started. So this is for those that would like to try out something different and don’t really know how to get started.

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A journey through my school course on learning programming

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