The Option-Graph Project

Get Started with Visual Basic

     Make sure you are current with Windows Updates.

     If you do not already have Visual Basic, go to this web page and download the EXPRESS edition (the Express edition is free):

     (If the link is no longer current, just do a Google search for "visual basic express" and you will find the current web page easily.)

     Follow Microsoft's instructions for installing the program and any updates your computer may need to run what is called "dot Net" or ".Net". These updates are normally part of the standard Windows Update, because ".Net" is required by a lot of the software you already use.

     Register the program with Microsoft as they request. If you register, you get access to Microsoft Help and a whole community of other programmers - see the Help menu from within Visual Basic Express. Registered users also don't get constant requests to register (!). If you do not register, Microsoft may bug you about registering every once in a while, or the program may only work for a limited time. Register with a real e-mail address. Microsoft does not spam, but they do sometimes send useful information to registered users.

     Once you have Visual Basic up and running, take a few of the tutorials available here:

     (Once again, if there is a problem with the link, a Google search on "visual basic express" should show the current tutorial page in the top results.)

     You do not need to become an expert programmer to follow along with our project, but it will be very helpful to know your way around the Visual Basic interface. If you can get to the point where you can add a button to a form, click the button, and have "Hello World!" display on your screen, then you should be able to complete the option calculator.

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