If you're looking for help on learning how to program, visit coderguide.com. That website contains (or will) information on how to write your own computer programs

Like most things on this site, this area is incomplete. If you're want to earn the Computers merit badge, learning a programming language will help you complete one of the requirements (there is an alternate requirement to learning a programming language). Learning a programming language also enables you to use the full power of your computer-- the more you learn, the more you can use and do with your computing power. It's also just cool :-D.

Here are a few documents that will help you with the Computers Merit Badge. These pages will be updated frequently until mid-August 2005. So, if you've visited this page before, hit the "refresh" button on your browser to load the latest version.

If you're using Windows, you'll want to download and install MinGW and MSYS-- a free C/C++ compiler for windows. Information on installing MinGW and MSYS can be found here. Not-so-great instructions can be found on the MinGW website.

If you would like a CD with all the software you'll need to complete the Computers merit badge (with the exception of an operating system) for Mac OS X, and Microsoft Window, I'd be happy to send you one for $4 to cover the cost of the CD, shipping and disk mailer. email me for more information.

The CD contains OpenOffice (Mac and PC), NeoOffice (Mac), Java (for Windows, Mac, and Linux), MinGW and MSYS (a C/C++ compiler for Windows), Firefox web browser (Windows & Mac) and many other programs. OpenOffice is a Microsoft Office compatible office suite licensed under the General Public License (GPL) and thus is free.

This is the same CD I give out at the Merit Badge Midway, and is packed with over 600MB of software. If you were to download the software for just your system on it would take several hours on DSL, and many days on dial-up.