CS1711 Lab - September 22 & 24, 1998
Navigating the IDE
This first lab will introduce you to the
IDE (Integrated Development Environment), explain how to compile and
run programs and explain how to use the new NT lab as well as provide a
reference source for the other PC labs on campus.
The IDE is the program in which you
write C++ programs. In some systems, there is no IDE and the programmer
must write a programs
using an editor, save the file, then type a command to compile the
program. For those people who are using the RHIDE environment at
home (the freeware compiler available from the website), just about every
comment made about the Borland IDE will apply.
The PEG lab uses a very different configuration from what you are probably
use to. Each computer in the PEG lab uses Windows NT. When you are in this
lab you will have to use the following steps to log in. I have provided a
reference below as to how to access Turbo C++ from the other PC labs.
- If the computer you are sitting in front of has a blue screen containing some
strange numbers and the computer is just sitting doing nothing, you will have
to press the reset button (the button without the light in the center).
- Press Ctrl-Alt-Del and you will be given a prompt dialog. Enter your username,
press Tab (not Enter), then type your password. Leave the Domain as MTA
and click Ok. You should see a screen which looks very similar to Windows95.
- If you are in a lab session (as opposed to working on an assignment), you will
have to connect one of your drives to the Departmental Area. Move the mouse
over the 'My Computer' icon and press the right button. Select the
menu item 'Map Network Drive'. Set the Drive letter to T (this will
match the lab instructions). Fill in the path '\\home\deptfile'
(without the quotes). Computing Services has promised that these steps will
be automated in the near future.
- Click on the Start button and select PCLab then finally 'Turbo C++ 3.0'.
- After a few seconds you will see a copy of Turbo C++ running. You may
press Alt-Enter to make the program run in full screen mode if you wish.
- Don't do these now! When you are finished with the lab, press the
'Start' button and select 'Shutdown...'. Then click on 'Close all programs
and log in as a different user'. Do not get in the habit of simply
pressing the power switch, this can cause your files to be erased!
Advard Dixon and Crabtree Labs
- Log into the Local Area Network (LAN) by giving your username and
- If you are working on a lab problem outside of the PEG lab, you will
need to double click on 'Academic Programs' then double click on
'Connect Drive T to Departmental Files'.
- Open the folder named `Programming'.
- Double click on the icon named `Turbo C++ 3.0'. You will be asked
if you want to use drive A, E, or M; most times you will probably want
to use drive M. After a few
seconds (or minutes if network activity is high) you
will see a screen consisting of three components:
the main menu, the status line, and the desktop.
- If you end up in a situation where pressing the arrow keys cause the
window to slide around, you have probably accidently pressed Ctrl-F5
which is the Move/Resize command. Move the window to the appropriate
location and press Enter to place the window there.
The Edit Window
When you first start the Turbo C++ development environment, you will usually
see a gray like background. Pull down the 'File' menu and select 'New', this
will give you an edit window.
It is in the Edit window where programs are written. The Edit window in
the IDE you are using works like most common text editors. If you type
something, it will insert the characters at the current cursor location.
The Borland IDE has an interesting feature known as syntax highlighting. Later
in this lab when you load a C++ file, note the different colours in the
The arrow and page up/down keys work as expected to move the cursor around.
You should try typing a few sentences and then go back and try modifying some
text using the Backspace and Delete keys to see the difference.
I have noticed that these two keys usually seem mysterious to many
A very useful keystroke in the IDE is the combination Ctrl-Y which
erases the current line completely. Try creating a few lines and deleting
Pressing the F5 button will make the current window as large as possible.
Pressing the Alt-F3 button will cause the current window to close.
- Press the F10 key to activate the menu bar. You will notice that the
cursor is removed from the edit window and that one of the words on the help
menu is highlighted.
- Press Enter to pull down the file menu. Moving the highlight bar to
various menu entries will change the description on the status line.
- Press the left and right arrow keys to access the other menus to get a
feel for how the IDE works. To access a particular menu, you can press
the Alt key along with the highlighted letter. For instance, you can pull
down the Compile menu by pressing Alt-C.
- Press the Esc key to leave the menu system and go back to the Edit
- The convention used in these labs for menu commands is the form
`File|Open' which means open the File menu and select the open command.
Opening a Lab File
- Select the menu File|Open. This will cause the Open File dialog box
- If you know the exact directory and filename of the file you are
trying to retreive, you can type the full path and the file will be
loaded. Normally, you will probably want to do the following. To open
a file for the lab, you will type T: and press
Enter . You will now see a list of files available on the T drive.
- Besides C++ files, the list will also contain a list of directories
marked with a '\'. If the file you are looking for is not in the
current directory, you can select another directory by highlighting the name
of the directory and pressing Enter.
- Select the directories named COMP_SCI , FORD ,
then LABS . Now select the file HELLO.CPP .
- Scan through the file to see the different syntax highlighting colours
and to get a feel for using the cursor keys.
- Before you can compile and/or run a program, it must belong to you.
When you load any lab file from drive T, you must select 'File|Save as'
and save the file to your M drive. In this case, after selecting the
the menu items to save the file, type M:HELLO.CPP .
Compiling a Program
- Choose Compile|Make. This will cause the IDE to translate the C++
program into machine language (i.e. compile) and link the program.
Did the program compile? Look at the number of `Errors' on the information
- Press Enter to close this information box and the `Message Window' will
be opened listing all errors and warnings the compiler encountered. If the
number of errors at times looks unnerving, don't worry. In C++ one small error
near the top of the program will often result in several later on. Fix the
errors one at a time starting with the first error. Don't try to fix the
warnings until all the errors are looked after.
- Select the first error in the Message Window and press Enter. This will
open the Edit window and place the cursor at the location the compiler has
discovered the error. Note that the compiler is just guessing where the
error has occurred and sometimes a bit of hunting will be necessary to
track down the actual error.
- Make the program again by pressing F9. This time there should be
no errors and no warning. Press a key to close this information box.
Running a Program
- Choose Run|Run (or press Ctrl-F9). You
should see a prompt from the program asking you to enter an
- Enter a 2 then another 2. Did you see the answer?
Probably not, because when the program wrote out the answer
really fast then the program stopped and returned control
of the computer to the compiler (remember the last statement of the program?)
To see the output of the program, press Alt-F5. To return to the edit window
press any key.
- Try running the program a few more times. If you feel brave, you can
try removing something from the program or adding some more stuff to see
different error messages.
The HELP System
The IDE contains a set of Help screens which can sometimes be useful. Pressing
Shift-F1 will give a list of commands for which help is available, move the
cursor to highlight the word you are interested in. Press Esc to close the
A more interesting feature is the context-sensitive help. In the edit window
move the cursor to the word return and press Ctrl-F1. This will
cause the help window to appear with information about the return function.
Please note that the help files are not meant to be used by novice programmers.
The help files are written to assist experienced programmers by reducing
the number of times they have to look information up in a paper manual. If
you read a help file on a topic and are still confused, don't worry about.
That is what the textbook and the instructor are for.
Exiting the system
To leave the IDE, select the menu `File|Exit' or type Alt-X. If you
have worked on a file since the last time it was saved, you will be asked
if you want to save.
In this particular lab, you do not need to submit anything. When you run
accross questions in future labs, write the answer on a peice of paper and
show it to the lab instructor before leaving.
- Load the file READ1.CPP . (Remember to save it on your
- Browse through the program and predict what the program will do.
- Make and run the program.
- Close the program by pressing Alt-F3 to get rid of all the existing
- Open the file READ2.CPP .
- Once again, browse through the program to see if you can predict what
the program does.
- Make and run the program.
End of Lab
Normally you will have a program that will have to be shown to the lab
instructor. In the future, if you modify a program for the lab, make sure
you save it to your account.
Make sure you have signed the log book (it is probably just a sheet of paper)
so that you receive credit for the lab.