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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on January 14, 2002
I own the VB 6 version of this book. I thought that overall it was great; the book offers excellent examples, esp. with the CD enclosed, it's kind of funny, in a corny sort of way, and it does a good job of explaining things in easy-to-understand english. This book is divided into two sections; the first explains how to make interfaces, and the second explains how to write the code that make the interfaces work.
Unfortunately, at the end of the first section, the author gradually slides into using a lot of BASIC code. Granted, BASIC is the only way to make some of the user interfaces, and he uses good examples. However, the author seems to have forgotten an important detail, that almost by default, the reader does not have much previous experience in BASIC. Thus, it can make things somewhat confusing when attempting to understand the construction of the menus AND deciphering the code.
In many examples later on, the author simply says something like, "In order to make so-and-so type of box, you'll need to use this..." and follows the screenshot up with several or more lines of code, without really explaining what any of the code does. Except for this apparent lapse in logical order, the book is otherwise great. Chapter 14 begins with "the basics of code", which is odd, since a lot of code had already been covered in Chapter 13.
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on October 12, 2000
If you know nothing about VB and are an absolute beginner, then I highly recommend this as your first book on the subject. Yes, it is extremely basic in terms of how much it exposes you to VB as a whole, but that's what it is intended for. And it was an easy read. At then end, you will be able to write simple programs (i.e. mortgage calculator, etc...). I used this book to get past the intimidation of learning a programming language, then I moved on. Because I am a DBA, my next purchase was the VB6 database programming for Dummies (which was a perfect continuation because this book ends on a discussion on databases). I then purchased an advanced book to help me with my MCSD which I am currently pursuing. BTW, I found the VB help to be extremely helpful as well with lots of sample code. There are also TONS of reference materials and tutorials (an example is available on the internet. I gave this book 4 stars because.....well...just because nobody's perfect (sorry Wally).
Good Luck!
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on July 7, 2000
This book is very good if you have -ZERO- experience with programming in Visual Basic. Keep one thing in mind, though - Do not think that this book alone will get you where you need to be to be able to program effectively. This book does a great job of introducing the program, but it lacks the ability to get you up and running like many other books I purchased for just that reason.
This book will get you to the point where you can understand some of the "drier" materials out there. You will understand what Visual Basic is all about, but I personally don't believe it can get you on your feet right away.
Examples are good, but impractical. As with any book, I would not advise trying to copy the code verbatim. Rather, gain an understanding of what the code is supposed to do and follow the example to get to where you want to be.
I would recommend this book if you are sitting on the fence trying to decide if you might be able to program in Visual Basic. I did just that. I was unsure if I would be able to do this since I only programmed in BASIC as a kid and PASCAL for one semester in High School. After reading this, I realized that it might be okay. Then, I bought other books and because of this one, the others made sense.
I hope you found this helpful.
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on March 26, 2000
Visual Basic 6 for Dummies was the first book I purchased to learn the fundamentals of VB. I have since purchased Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Step-by-Step and have recently ordered an intermediate level book, which I have not yet received. Because it was my first book on VB and I had no experience programming, I was able to get a lot from this book. I have since found that many of the methods and techniques, such as communicating with databases using the Data object (the only technique presented), to be too limiting for good programming. Sure, the techniques work, but I feel that if you're going to write real-world programs you need more depth, even as a beginner, than this book offers.
But let's be fair. I'm a technical kind of guy who wants to learn as quickly as I can.
This book has its good points, too. It is written in a style that is easy for non-technical types to stay interested and learn programming at a reasonable pace. I found the examples to be easy to follow and the explanations adequate while sometimes sketchy. The author uses humor, often pretty corny, to make it fun to read and his examples are written such that he rarely leaves you wondering how to use what you have just learned.
If you are a true beginner with VB and want to learn some basic concepts without going too deep, this is may be a good book for you. If, however, you are looking to get in at a quicker pace and learn more flexible programming approaches, you may want to consider something else.
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on October 1, 1999
I found this book GREAT for learning visual basic if you are an ABSOLUTE beginner. Which I am, or thanks to this book, was. If you want a book on learning VB6 without having to slave at it, this is great. The tutorials and the practice software on the CD was also great. Although two things went wrong and only 2: 1) When they start to talk about Class Modules, The last chapter and second to last chapter (12 and 13) should be in the total reverse order. 12 talks about the complications of Class Modules and 13 talks about the simple stuff. 2) This uses code statments that can be used 2 different ways. IE: They talk about "End" and "Unload Me", even though Microsoft never mentions the "Unloade ME" statment because Microsoft never uses it! But, all and all, this is a great book. If you are starting VB right as you are reading this, VB for Dummies if for you.
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on March 19, 2001
I picked up this book with only a minimal amount of self-taught QBasic education from around 10 years ago. I've just finished it, and only have a couple quirks:
It makes mention a few times to "More Visual Basic for Dummies", a book that doesn't exist for VB6.
I ripped through the first 28 chapters or so, breezing through it thanks to the nice, plain english, sometimes funny, or at least mildly humerous writing (the variable name examples are great)... then it started to bog down. Classes, Modules, Procedures, Objects.. all kinda mish-mashed together.. it looks like he was writing till the day after his deadline and needed to finish his outline.
Other than these two half-issues.... The book is great... now I have a great understanding of the very basics of VB, and can start with one of the more advanced books, like SAMs, or MS.
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on October 22, 2002
When I was trying to make the upgrade from Visual Basic 4.0 to Visual Basic 6.0, this was the first book that I bought. This book is very easy to read and there are ample examples to illustrate each principle that the author is trying to teach you. I combined this books with the 4 "Learn to Program Visual Basic" books by John Smiley to give me a solid foundation in Visual Basic 6.0. The cartoons in this book will reduce down the stress of trying to learn something new.
Now that I am moving into .Net technology, I really appreciate how good this book was for people who have little or no experience with Visual Basic. This should be your first Visual Basic 6 book. By the way, Visual Basic 6 and the legacy source code that goes with it will be around for years to come.
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on April 11, 2000
Visual Basic for dummies is more suited for revision of VB Basics. This was the first VB Book I bought and frankly, I could not make much out of it. The book did not show us how to apply the concepts to real world applications and as a result, I bought a Step by Step VB Book from Microsoft and this book was much better. However, I stopped programming in VB for some time and I needed to refresh the basics before going on to more advanced topics. This is where I recommend Visual Basic for dummies. Its short code and explanations effectively refreshes my mind. I will recommend this book for people who have mastered the basics and just want to revise the basics of VB again. For true novices, I recommend getting VB Step by Step from Microsoft Press.
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on August 6, 1999
For real programmers and serious VB developers, this is definetely far from being enough. However, for begginers in VB this is useful guide. The only thing I mind is that there is a focus on GUI rather than code itself but that is what this book teaches you--just basic understanding. I wouldn't be able to write serious program for my company by reading only this book. If you have experience with programming get higher level book and you will be able to pick it up. I suggest VB and VBA from O'Reilly or Garry Cornell's VB 6 from Ground Up...
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on February 17, 2001
I'm actually learning how to program with this book as we speak (i'm working on a program) and this book has been of great help, but for specific reference this book is not for you. As mentioned before, if you are an ABSOLUTE beginner (never touched or designed anything on the computer and have absolutely no taste in design whatsoever) this book is outstanding, personally i've designed interfaces before using HTML and such so that part of the book prooved useless to me, but the rest of it (its all about the code!) is great, buy this book!
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