Category : BASIC Source Code
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Newsgroups: comp.lang.basic.visual,comp.answers,news.answers
From: [email protected] (Kris Nosack)
Subject: FAQ: comp.lang.basic.visual General Frequently Asked Questions
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Organization: Visual Basic FAQ Maintainers
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 1994 05:30:26 GMT
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about Microsoft's Visual Basic

This document is a compilation of frequently asked questions and their
answers about Visual Basic in general which have been gathered from the
comp.lang.basic.visual newsgroup. Although some efforts have been
made to find obvious errors, there is no guarantee that the information in
this document is error-free. The FAQ maintainer, or anyone else
associated with this document, assume NO liability for the content or use
of this document. If you find any errors, please report them to the address
given below.

Most FAQs (including this one) are available at the anonymous ftp archive
site "". All four parts of the VB FAQ may be found in the
directory "pub/usenet/news.answers/visual-basic-faq".

You can also have the VB FAQs e-mailed to you by sending a message
to "[email protected]" with ONLY the text "send
usenet/news.answers/visual-basic-faq/*" in the body of the message.

As the FAQ maintainers, we don't have time to explore all of the aspects
of Visual Basic. we rely on your submissions to improve the quality and
inclusiveness of this document. If you have found a VB hint, tip, trick,
work-around, etc., please write it up and send it to us! Direct any
comments/suggestions/flames to one of these addresses:

Peter Millard [email protected] -General and VBDOS FAQ
Jan Haugland [email protected] -VB/Win FAQ
Table of Contents

II. What is Visual Basic and Where can I get it?
III. What's the difference between VB/Win & VBDOS?
IV. What are the features of the Professional vs. the Standard
editions of the VB products?
A. VB/Win
V. What to do BEFORE you post.

VI. What are some good 3rd party books to learn vb?
VII. What are some other VB resources and where can I get
VIII. Where can I get good Public domain, shareware, or
freeware software for VB?
C. Compuserve
D. America On-Line
IX. Specific Question and Answer sections
A. VB/Win
X. Appendix for FAQ POST #1



COMP.LANG.BASIC.VISUAL is an unmoderated forum to
share information about Microsoft's Visual Basic for Windows
and MS-DOS, as well as the new "Application Basic" embedded
in MS applications such as Word for Windows, Excel, and

Microsoft provides no Internet support channel for Visual Basic,
so this group will let Visual Basic users get together to help
each other, without requiring them to filter through unrelated,
broader Windows programming issues.

II. What is Visual Basic and Where can I get it?

Visual Basic (often abbreviated 'VB') is a programming
language initially developed by Microsoft to provide
programmers with a quick and easy method of developing
Windows applications.

Visual Basic provides the programmer with an integrated
environment where s/he can use tools to create a point and shoot
interface and use event driven programming techniques. A
developer can quickly and easily create a user interface, then
write the code to respond to specific events which occur as a
result of user input.

The integrated development environment (IDE) has sophisticated
editing and debugging tools which allow you to attach code
quick to the interface created for each event which is applicable
for any type of object on the interface.

Currently, there are two different "flavors" of Visual Basic. The
original language was developed for Windows (often abbreviated
'VB/Win') and will only create apps for it. Visual Basic for
DOS (often abbreviated 'VBDOS') came along later as the
demand for point-and-shoot applications grew. The two flavors
are similar in programming techniques (they both use event-
driven subroutines), however they remain vastly different

All current versions of Visual Basic are commercial applications,
and thus should be availible at your local computer store. You
can also get in contact with Microsoft.

III. What's the difference between VB/Win & VBDOS?

VB/Win gives you the capability of creating applications which
run in Windows, while VBDOS gives you the ability to develop
apps which do not need Windows to run and run in text mode
using the extended character set to give the user the feeling of a
graphical environment, while still remaining in a text mode.

VB/Win applications are compiled into a pseudo-code (p-code)
file with an "EXE" extension. When run, the p-code file
accesses a run-time Dynamic Linked Library (DLL)
(VBRUNx00.DLL) which interprets the p-code into
Windows(tm) Aplication Programming Interface (API)
instructions. VB/Win cannot create a stand-alone application
(i.e. an executable which does not need the VBRUNx00.DLL.).
Currently, applications developed using a particular version of
VB/Win requires the same version of the run-time DLL.
Therefore, a VB application developed in VB/Win version 3.0
will only work if the run-time DLL VBRUN300.DLL is installed
in either the WINDOWS or SYSTEM directories.

VBDOS can create both types of applications. Those that require
a run-time module, or those that are a stand-alone .exe file.

IV. What are the features of the Professional vs. the Standard
editions of the VB products?

A. VB/Win

Both editions (version 3.0) include all of the basic graphic
primitives (controls) that make Windows(tm) such a nice
Graphical User Interface (GUI) to work with, such as: text
boxes, message boxes, drop-down menus, combo boxes,
Multiple Document Interface, File controls, etc. Version
3.0 added database capabilities by tying into the Microsoft
Access database engine (a DLL that handles all the actual
database file manipulation).

The Professional Edition includes: more reference materials
(manuals, Knowledge Base, Windows API information,
etc.), more extensive database capabilities (ability to create
databases), additional controls for serial port
communications, masked text boxes, 3D "sculpted"
controls, etc., Pen API support, and more! Serious
programmers and developers would be best served by the
professional edition. Most VB/Win users on the
comp.lang.basic.visual newsgroup feel that the added
features of the Professional Edition make it well worth the
extra cost. The Standard Edition is sufficient for small and
fairly simple programs and "hobby" programmers. Since
Microsoft offers an upgrade path from the Standard to the
Professional Edition, those who aren't sure they need the
Professional Edition can start with the Standard Edition and
move up when they're ready.


Both version of VBDOS load and run all existing QBasic
and QuickBasic programs. With little or no effort, your
QBasic and QuickBasic programs can use the compiler in
Visual Basic for MSDOS to take advantage of optimized
code generation and greater string capacity. The
professional edition has the capability of loading and
running Basic PDS programs designed for MS-DOS.

Both editions of VBDOS allow you to incrementally add
forms, dialog boxes, and controls to existing applications
without rewriting them.

The Professional editions of VBDOS includes 286 and
386/486 specific code generation in its native code
compiler. Also included is a high-speed alternate floating-
point math library. The MOVE Overlay technology found
in MS C/C++ 7.0 allows compiled programs to be up to
16MB! Also included is the MS Source Profiler which
allows you to fine tune your applications, stub files which
allow you to remove run-time functionality your program
does not use. The Professional edition also includes a
powerful ISAM (Indexed Sequential Access Method)
Database engine for developing database applications which
can use database files up to 128MB.

Here are the additional features you will find in the
professional edition of Visual Basic for MS-DOS:

Feature Notes
Help toolkit create on-line help
Setup toolkit create distribution disks
CodeView debugger version 4.02
Financial toolkit functions from Microsoft Excel
Present. graphics kit make charts and graphs
Matrix math toolkit matrix operations
Create custom controls requires MS MASM
Create custom rtms Put your modules into RTM.
Microsoft mouse driver version 8.2a
(NOTE: RTM = Runtime Module)

V. What to do BEFORE you post.

First, consult the manuals included with Visual Basic. The
manuals *generally* do a good job explaining most of the basics
of Visual Basic. Expect to be flamed if you post a question to
the newsgroup that is plainly answered in the manual!

Second, check the Knowledge Base (KB). The Knowledge Base
is a file that documents many of the most common problems /
bugs / questions that the VB technical support folks at Microsoft
have encountered. The Knowledge Base comes standard with the
Professional Edition, but Standard Edition users can get a copy
of the Knowledge Base via ftp (see section VII), CompuServe,
America On-line, or your local BBS. The file *should* be
named something like "vbkb".

Third, check the FAQ. Since you are reading this document, I
don't think much needs to be said here. As a side note:
PLEASE, encourage those who post frequently asked questions
which are covered in this document to get and read the FAQ! If
we don't, people will just keep posting those same questions
over and over. Help us break this cycle of over-dependency on
knowledgeable and kind-hearted newsgroup users.

Forth, thoroughly test the problem you are encountering. You
are more apt to get some useful help if you can speak
intelligently about the problem you are having and what you
have done to try and fix or get around the problem.

Finally, post to the COMP.LANG.BASIC.VISUAL newsgroup.
Helping each other with Visual Basic problems and questions is
a lot about what this newsgroup is about. If you've done your
homework, you will probably be met with helpful responses to
your inquiry. Since both VB/Win and VBDOS users read this
newsgroup, please prefix the subject line of your post with a
note that indicates which type of VB you're using (i.e. "Subject:
[VB/Win] Problem with DoEvents", "Subject: [VBDOS]
Question on ISAM parameters").

VI. What are some good 3rd party books to learn vb?
We (the editors) have compiled a list of various books which
cover a wide range of VB/Win subjects. Many of the books are
personal reccommendations from various people on the net. The
remaining books came from a keyword search of 'VISUAL' at
the internet site BOOKS.COM. This site can be used to purchase
books via credit card or you can use their database of books to
find information as I have done. A complete list can be found at
the end of this document.

VII. What are some other VB resources and where can I get

The Knowledge Base (often abbreviated 'KB') is a file that
documents many of the most common problems, bugs, questions,
tips, fixes and work-arounds that the VB technical support folks
at Microsoft have encountered. The KB comes standard with the
Professional Edition, but Standard Edition users can get a copy
of the Knowledge Base via ftp (see section VIII), CompuServe,
America On-line, or perhaps even your local BBS. Many
answers to common VB problems can be found in the KB. This
file is a must-have!
Visual Basic Tips and Tricks is a compilation of useful VB code
examples, a listing of the latest VB file versions and dates, and
other useful information that isn't in the Knowledge Base. VB
Tips and Tricks is a Windows help file put together by Dave
McCarter of DPM Computer Solutions. It can be found at many
places (including as "VBTIPSxx.ZIP",
where xx is the version number (larger numbers represent newer
versions). It is updated on a monthly basis.

VIII. Where can I get good Public domain, shareware, or freeware
software for VB?

VB/windows ftp sites:
Best/largest source for Visual Basic files, utilities, example
programs, VBXs, etc.
Microsoft's anonymous ftp site. There is a lot on this site
so look around. Here are some of the more useful
Get the Knowledge Base for VB here! VBKB.EXE
(929K) is the regular KB in windows help format.
VBKB_FT.EXE (2,563K)is the same as VBKB.EXE
but with text searching added. Lot's of other good
files in this directory.
Contains LOTS of Windows programming files and
examples! Get the index file MSDN-IDX.ZIP for a
description of the files in this directory. Suggestion:
search the index file for the text "Visual Basic".
VB specific files.
Misc. VB files and updates.


I run a public BBS in Bellefonte, PA, which caters to
programmers and UNIX users. I have a fairly large-sized
BASIC file section, with some Visual BASIC files uploaded
from users, and culled from various FTP sites. I would
certainly welcome additional users interested in VB.

The BBS is called the Centre Programmers Unit BBS, and can
be reached at 814-353-0566. The system is up 24 hours a day,
7 days a week, and has a USR Dual Standard
(14.4HST/V.32bis) online. There is no charge for access, but I
enforce a file upload/download ratio. Here's my welcome

You are invited to call:
The Centre Programmers Unit
Bellefonte, PA
A gathering point for UNIX users,
and programmers of all types.
System size: 1.5Gb Online: 24 hours, 7 days

Modem: USR Dual Standard: 1200-14400 baud
MNP 1-5, v.32, v.32bis, v.42, v.42bis, HST

(814) 353-0566 Sysop: Mike Loewen

MSDOS programming tools and libraries, UNIX source, GNU, X
Select USENET Newsgroups. Linux.
BBS users should login as 'bbs', 8N1, no password required.
email: [email protected]

C. Compuserve
Compuserve does have a fairly active basic forum. To
acces this forum, type GO MSBASIC. Microsoft employees
have been known to frequent this forum. May be useful for
those last ditch pleas for some useful tidbit of information.

Some Useful files in the MSBASIC forum:
- VBBK05.ZIP: List of books/mags dealing with VB.
- MLIST4.ZIP: Multi-column listbox. No 64K limit.

D. America On-Line
America On-Line has a good selection of VB files and an
active message area for discussing Visual Basic.

IX. Specific Question and Answer sections

A. VB/Win - refer to the post titled: "comp.lang.basic.visual
VB/Win Frequently Asked Questions".

B. VBDOS - refer to the post titled: "comp.lang.basic.visual
VB/DOS Frequently Asked Questions".

X. Appendix for FAQ POST #1

---From: [email protected] (Ian Piper)

Here, in descending order of usefulness (in my own
personal opinion) are the VB books I use the most:

1. Visual Basic Programmers guide to the Windows
API, by Daniel Appleman. ISBN1-56276-073-4. If you
only want to get one book on VB, this is the one. It covers
the ground from simple to advanced programming very

2. The Waite Group's VB How-To, several authors, ISBN
1-878739-09-3. This is the ISBN number for version 1 - I
think it's been updated by now. Lots of examples to
demonstrate each point. This is a close second.

3. Visual Basic Utilities, by Paul Bonner, ISBN
1-56276-106-4. This has some excellent learning stuff in it
and also some advanced stuff, including how to write your
own DLLs (!) using GFA-BASIC.

4. Fun programming with VB, several authors, ISBN
1-56529-106-9. This uses a half-dozen or so projects to
illustrate how various programmers designed and built apps
using VB.

5. Windows 3.1 programming for mere mortals, by
Woody Leonhard, ISBN 0-201-60832-4. This covers VB
and WordBasic. Some very neat examples.

---From: [email protected] (John Quarto-vonTivadar)

I found the following VERY useful, to the point that I
don't even use the manuals anymore:

6. The Visual Guide to Visual Basic for Windows, by
Richard Mansfield, published by Ventura Press. This is a
encyclopedia of the language itself. It supposes that you
DO know how to program so basically (if you pardon the
pun) it's a guide to VB's slang. I use this for referencing
the grammar when i get a bug.

---From: [email protected] (Ian Davidson)

7. Visual Basic How-To, Robert Arnson, Daniel Rosen,
Mitch Waite & Jonathon Zuck: The Waite Group, 1992.
ISBN 1-878739-09-3. Includes disk. Many practical
examples & some sample custom controls.Introduces &
expands on the use of API's. An excellent book suitable
for Beginners thru Advanced - one of my most-often-used

8. Learn Programming and Visual Basic with John
Socha, John Socha: Sybex, 1992. ISBN 0-7821-1057-6.
Includes disk. A useful introduction for absolute beginner
programmers thru intermediate.

-- From Gary Cornell:
There's a new version of my book - it's been enlarged and
updated. It's now called the Visual Basic 3 For Windows

Author : Cornell, Gary
Title : Visual Basic 3 For Windows Handbook
ISBN : 0078819318 Dewey # : 005.10
Publisher: Osborne McGraw Hill
Date Pub : 01/93

--from Wallace Wang: 72662,1711 (Compuserve)
Here's the information you requested. Thanks for including
my book in your listing:

Publisher name: IDG Books Publisher
address: 155 Bovet Road, Suite 310
San Mateo, CA 94402
Phone number: (415) 312-0650
Fax number: (415) 358-1260

Book name: Visual Basic 3 For Dummies
Author name: Wallace Wang
When released: March 1994

50-word description: This book takes readers,
step-by-step, to understanding, learning, and writing
Visual Basic programs. Explains how to use the most
common features of Visual Basic for creating user
interfaces and writing BASIC code. Includes a
friendly dose of humor and easy to read explanations,
this book also includes suggestions for finding
additional information about Visual Basic. Intended

Beginners Price: $19.95
Disk of examples: No.

---From EDITOR:
The following books were those I found using a keyword
search of 'VISUAL' at the internet site BOOKS.COM. This
site can be used to purchase books via credit card or you
can use their database of books to find information as I
have done.

Author : Nelson, Ross
Title : The Microsoft VB for Windows Primer
ISBN : 1556154771 Dewey # : 005.10
Publisher: Microsoft Pr Date Pub : 11/92

Author : Orvis, William
Title : Do It Yourself Visual Basic for Windows
ISBN : 0672302594 Dewey # : 005.10
Publisher: Sams Date Pub : 11/92

Author : Craig, John Clark
Title : Microsoft VB Workshop/Book and Disk
ISBN : 1556153864 Dewey # : 5.26
Publisher: Microsoft Pr Date Pub : 09/91

Author : Murray, William H./Pappas, Chris H.
Title : Using VB : Writing Windows Apps
ISBN : 0201581450 Dewey # : 5.43
Publisher: Addison Wesley Pub. Co.
Date Pub : 01/92


Author : Hergert, Douglas A.
Title : Visual Basic Programming With DOS
/ Book and Disk
ISBN : 0553370995 Dewey # : 005.00
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub
Date Pub : 07/92

  3 Responses to “Category : BASIC Source Code
Archive   : VBFAQ.ZIP
Filename : VBFAQ1

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: