Picture of Easy Computer Programming
A very EASY and FREE way for ANYONE to write their first computer program in TEN MINUTES.

This instructable is for people that think that programming is some sort of magical thing that you need expensive programs or high tech skills to do. Hopefully this instructable will remove the veil from their eyes to show them that it is easy and accessible to anyone with a computer. If you want to learn more, buy a book. The 'Sam's Teach Yourself ... in 30 days' books are good.
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Step 1: Get the necessary stuff

Picture of get the necessary stuff
we'll be programming in the Perl programming language because it's very easy to use and free. Also, you can easily integrate it with the internet, etc.

So, you'll need a 'Perl Interpreter' to understand the code you type. Get ActivePerl (a Perl interpreter) here:

click download, enter fake name, etc
If using windows download the MSI, if it doesn't work download the AS package instead.

once downloaded, install it (just double click it, then use all the default options in the install).

Step 2: Check to see if you installed it correctly

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if you're paranoid and want to see if it was installed correctly, go to the DOS prompt and type: perl -v
it should show you all the version information.

to open the DOS prompt either:

A) Find it in the start menu (see image below: "Start", "Programs", "Accessories", "Command Prompt")


B)you can just click "Start" then "Run" and type cmd.exe in the window that appears.
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paulsemon28 days ago
trollolo2 years ago
White_Wolf4 years ago
I love perl.. I used to write many perl scripts for interfacing a GPS with google maps and MirC.
I use a program called OptiPerl.
Almost a WYSIWYG
RJL makes trojans in Delphi and MS C++ sometimes C# studio and even Visual studio
radiorental8 years ago
the green dino's leg in the last frame is dislocated. I recommend getting him medical attention immediately.
or he needs to wee really badly
He needs to wee so badly he dislocated his leg.
Golem8 years ago
A few years ago, I learned Perl while developing an application in it to conduct and analyze an on-line survey for my graduate degree. It was very intense, and took a lot of debugging especially due to Perl's non object-orientation. Consequently, I haven't used Perl since then. If I were to learn to use another "web-oriented" programming language, it definitely wouldn't be Perl. Use a programming language which was developed as an object-oriented language from the start and it should have excellent debugging tools too.
bowmaster Golem5 years ago
Object-orientation was introduced on version 5.6, 5.10 is the newest version.
saleh51395 years ago
hey does active perl work with vista
andrew1017 years ago
this is good but you should add how to write more complex programs
his idea of a complex program is probably... bye world
leevonk (author)  BLIzKrIEg7 years ago
not quite,.. but close,.. I write programs that interface animal brains with robotic actuators and sensors
dowd95 leevonk5 years ago
oh blizkrieg....i think he just destroyed u 100 times over
i have a tut on how to do this "a better tut on how to script in perl"
i'll check that out! this one didn't work for me... i'm using 5.10 something or other, and dos doesn't recognize the command to run the script... damn
this looks cool but i have a mac. do u know how to do this type of thing on a mac?
iMacs have integrated Linux capabilities search for I don't know about Perl, but I know for sure you can do Python
Perl is also part of the package of Mac OS X
Search around, there are many free alternative programs for many coding languages out there for the mac, do a google search.
tinkerC5 years ago
I like the Sam's Teach Yourself C in 21 Days. Unfortunately, that and its sequel are no longer published.
WarPig1375 years ago
Thanks! Awesome Instructable. I always wanted to program, but I'm lazy. This helped... It could walk a blindman with no hands through a "Hello, World!".
Barrettkg6 years ago
TextPad works good for Java (C+) You can run, compile, and it's FREE You download it through SunJava
you're totally right, Sam's is a great series I also like For Dummies, but they're a little expensive LIBRARY!
TJ 470656 years ago
Hi, great instructable i think its good that you showed us how to do this, even if there is a better way(who cares). But i dont see why people are being evil about your instructable.
smidge1476 years ago
I have the sams teach your self book and it sucks and explains bugger all.
naikrovek8 years ago
If you install ActivePerl correctly (add perl.exe to the system path), you do not need to run your programs from C:\perl. I would *definitely* create a directory to test in rather than putting my Perl programs in c:\perl, where ActiveState installs perl.
leevonk (author)  naikrovek8 years ago
how does one "add perl.exe to the system path". And subsequently how does that allow one to put programs in other directories (I never bothered in the past so I don't know how)
for god sakes! go to dos prompt and type setpath
on older system one added it to the autoexec.bat but one is not sure how it is done these days with
On Windows 2000 or XP you do the following. right click on "My Computer" click on Properties click on the Advanced tab click on Environment Variables select Path from the bottom frame and click on Edit Add the path to the folder where perl.exe is (eg. c:\perl) to the end of the variable name seperated by a ; (semi colon) from the previous entries.
cris11337 years ago
you an learn how to mnake more advanced scripts in my tut "a better tut on how to script in perl"
cris11337 years ago
the \n makes the next line that you print print out on another line and #!\user\bin\perl allows your perl interpeter to go in to interactive mode the same,reason that you need >>> in python
TSBob8 years ago
You should think about finding a professional to do the work for you ;)
leevonk (author)  TSBob8 years ago
programming is tedious, but easy. I've written a lot more than hello world programs and in more languages than most professionals have used.
lol.. go apply for a job at microsoft.... tell them... THE BEST PART ABOUT HIRING ME IS.... I CAN MAKE HELLO WORLD PROGRAMS in C#, visual basic, C++, C, JAVA.
For goodness sakes! Just because this guy posts an Instructable about making a hello world program you think that that is the extent of his programming knowledge?
Well, I've been programming since 7th grade, making that 4 1/2 years (61/2 if you can count a graphing calculator in 5th grade!:), and have learned BASIC, c++, java, ADA, and some assembler, and now can add perl to my list after picking it up after reading your instructable. Thank you.
WOW! Nice job.
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