Use the World Class IDE and Compiler for C++ for Free

I know you have been using around 20 years old Borland Turbo C++ IDE for quiet a lot of time now. The one with blue screen and big characters that runs on DOS environment. Its editor is sometimes a pain in the neck and it doesn’t run on Vista. Well let’s get back to the present. Who needs to use Turbo C++ (Ver 3.0) when a world class IDE like Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition is available for free. Its one of the best IDEs I have ever worked on, fully loaded with features you would expect from a future generation development environment and the best part is that it’s free. The thing I liked most is its debugger, the most efficient one that I have ever seen. You have 3 options to use VC++ Express Edition:

  1. Install the specific product from the Visual Studio Express family using Web Install from Microsoft’s website (for C++ choose Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition). This will save you both time and bandwidth if you want to work only with a specific product.

  2. You can download the full DVD image containing all products from Visual Studio Express family. There is additional benefit of having Visual Basic and Visual C# if you know how to code on them. It’s a 894.65 MB (that’s 938,108,928 bytes exactly) download and took me 18 hours 44 minutes and 22 seconds to download it using GetRight, a download manager. But it is worth the wait and will download in about 8 hours if you have a consistent broadband connection (at least 256 kbps). Please use a download manager such as GetRight to download big files so that you don’t have to face problems of broken downloads due to connection or power failure. Follow the instructions:

    1. Download the Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition All-in-One DVD image from Microsoft’s website.
    2. Read the instructions to install Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition offline from
  3. Buy this month’s (April 2008) copy of Digit : You Technology Navigator magazine (MRP: Rs. 125) and you will get the full Visual Studio Express package on its DVD for free.

There are some other benefits associated with using Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition, such as, if you want to get in to game designing, you can download the DarkGDK for free from The Game Creators Website which you can use with your VC++ EE installation to create great games. There are a lot of beginner’s tutorials on the net to get you started with game development using DarkGDK. Follow the link to the Game Creators from the Blogroll section on the right to visit their site and explore the wonderful world of game development.

NOTE: You cannot directly use the code, you used in Turbo C++ to code in Visual C++ as TC++ is a very old compiler and things (the way we code in C++) have changed a lot in these 20 years. You can yourself dig for these out on Google and MSDN forums. As for here I will soon publish a list of variations from TC++ to VC++ here. Do let me know through your comments if you face any problems.

– Kartik

Note: This is an archived (and edited) post from my first blog

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