[From Bruce Abbott (2016.10.31.1810 EDT)]
As some of you know, the demos I wrote for LCS III (and others) were programmed in Embarcadero’s Delphi. Delphi began life as Borland Turbo Pascal and thus is an extension of the Pascal programming language. The original Turbo Pascal ran on an IBM PC in DOS and sold for $35, which was a steal even in those days as Microsoft’s Pascal compiler cost ten times that much. Turbo Pascal evolved over the years into Turbo Pascal with Objects (still for DOS machines) and then into Delphi, which runs on Windows.
If there are any modelers out there who would like to write their own simulations or even just play around with modifying mine, you can now acquire a limited version of the base product, now called Delphi 10 Berlin. It produces 32-bit code (a bit old fashioned given today’s 64-bit machines) but your programs will run on both 32- and 64-bit machines.
The reason I am mentioning all this is that you can now get the Starter version of Delphi 10 for FREE (normally $232 US dollars). I downloaded and installed it on my Windows 10 laptop this afternoon and was able to compile and run one of my demos almost immediately. I say “almost” because it did generate a puzzling error message that halted compilation the first time I tried it. I was able to resolve the problem quickly (the compiler was not correctly set to the “target” machine (win32)). If you decide to download the product and get this error, I can show you how to quickly and easily fix it.
When you download Delphi 10 Starter Edition, you will find that what you get is something called “RAD Studio 10.1 Berlin.” Not to worry, this is just the name of the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that Embarcadero uses for all its programming languages. You get the same IDE if you choose some other language such as C++. If you purchase a more expensive license, you can even install several languages into the IDE and switch among them. During the install, the installer will ask you what product to install, but Delphi will be the only choice of language.
The IDE permits you to view a blank “form” (basically a window) that you can populate by dragging and dropping elements onto it such as buttons, labels, sliders, radio buttons, text editors, and so on. You switch to Code view to add the coding that will actually form your application. The neat thing is that you can go a small step at a time. For example, you can actually compile and run a working program simply by selecting a new VCL application from the menu and then clicking the “run” button on the menu. Selecting a new VCL application creates the form, which you can then view in the IDE, and clicking the run button then compiles the code that generates the form window. You can then, e.g., add a button, write the code that will execute when the button is pressed, and try it out by pressing the run button again.
Here is a link to the web page where you can obtain Delphi 10 Starter for free: https://www.embarcadero.com/app-development-tools-store/delphi