Don’t use Turbo C, that’d be great yeah..

Turbo C++I don’t know how many times I’ve ran into people that need help with a piece of C code that should run perfectly fine but for some reason it just doesn’t. Of course, after much going back and forward, you find out that the person you’re trying to help is using Borland’s Turbo C compiler version 2.01, released 20 years ago in 1989..

While the compiler is freely download-able from several websites labeled as an “Antique”, it’s really not a great tool to start programming with on modern systems. If you really (really) want to use Turbo C, buy an old 286 and go at it but don’t use your Intel Core i7. Here’s why. PS, this also applies to Turbo C++

1. The compiler is 20 years old, it won’t support the current C99 standard so many things you might have learned, you now have to unlearn in order to get the program working.

2. Turbo C is an MS-DOS compiler, chances are if you are learning C now, you have never used DOS in your life; there’s no reason to go back, nostalgia doesn’t apply to DOS. Furthermore, Windows does not support DOS programs from the 80′s, so you would have to emulate DOS in order to get your programs working properly.

3. There are many free compilers available that are 100% compatible with today’s hardware and not bound by any limitations. Even if your Turbo C compiler is 32 bit compatible, it’s not a great match for your 64 bit CPU and Operating System.

4. You’re stuck on the command line interface with no way out. Even if you make the best command line program for DOS, nobody besides yourself will ever want to use it. Converting your program to Win32 requires a new compiler that will yell at you for using coding practices from 1989 and break your program.

In other words, if the following code compiles without warning, you know you need another compiler.

#include <stdio.h>

main()
{
    printf("Hello, World!");
}

Intel’s GDC Coverage

Intel LogoBeen gone for a couple of days but I’m back with some cool stuff from Intel. Intel has posted a whole bunch of stuff from GDC 2009 on their site, you can check it out right here.

Interestingly, my postscript got answered, Intel has posted (a preview) of Tom Forsyth’s talk on Larrabee’s SIMD extensions, the full version should come online in one month according to the site.

As always with Intel (and many others), you have to read through the marketing crud and filter out the core.