best Programming Language for Beginners

Eleni Vamvakari

I wrote about this many years ago in other groups. However, at that
time, I lacked the proper resources to continue my studies. Now that
I have a fully functioning MSDOS machine (or at least, a virtual one
for the time being), I intend on learning how to program. I must
stress that I have no intention of doing this for a living. This is
purely a hobby and will mostly be for me, unless someone requests
something or just wants to download my creations. If I ever chose to
write anything for Windows, it would be portable, as I like the idea
of each program being contained in its own folder/directory, and it
would be compatible with XP, though I couldn't guarantee whether or
not it would work with later versions of Windows. For now, though, I
am strictly interested in DOS.

I am trying to determine which language is best for me to learn as a
beginner. I used to think that what I wanted to learn was called
procedural programming, as opposed to object-oriented programming, but
I may be wrong. So I will explain it. Basically, I don't want to
write in a language that involves graphics, buttons, etc. I want my
programs to be purely text-based, whether they're commandline, driven
by hotkeys, such as y/n or selection between options 1, 2, and 3, or
menu-driven, where alt and arrow keys activate various menus. I also
like if/then statements, or at least, things that I can easily
understand, being that I am not one for mathematics or abstract
thinking. From what I recall, text can either be written directly to
the screen or can be drawn. I wish to use only the first option.

Given all that I have said, where should I start? From what I can
tell, the three most popular languages, though I'm not sure if the
first can really be considered one, are batch programming, BASIC (and
its variants), and C (usually C++). How far can I get with these? I
know that the former is generally used to make programs run, or to
have the system perform certain functions. But can they do anything
else? What kinds of programs can I create with QuickBASIC? Can I
incorporate sound in them? Can I make practical as well as fun
programs? What are the differences between 16-bit and 32-bit
programs? I have seen compilers for both, but am not really sure why
one should be preferred over the other, except with regard to audio.


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