C/C++ Programming using the free
Borland® C++ 5.5 Compiler,
Linker and Turbo™ Debugger

Copyright©2004, 2015 by Daniel B. Sedory


How to obtain the free C++ 5.5 files

If you've never heard of Borland before, I suggest you spend a little time reading about their C++ 5.5 software here:

Unfortunately Borland appears to have stopped making this available from their own web site! But please try finding the files from here:

freecommandLinetools.exe (should be: 8.7 MiB; 8/24/2000) and their
TurboDebugger.exe for Windows (TD32; should be: 590 KiB; 6/6/2000).
But, please note: Until I can run some tests and provide MD5 sums for every file, use caution, since I have no idea where such files are coming from!

Some of the programs/files included in the archives are:

A Windows Help file (bcb5tool.hlp) is also included that will give you detailed information about these programs.

Configuring Borland's C++ 5.5

Although you may wish to read the "Supplementary Information" page at Borland, do not use the path found in the configuration instructions there! We'll be using C:\bc55\ (instead of "C:\BORLAND\BCC55\") so we can have shorter command lines (and because it makes navigating in a Command window much easier).

So, to configure your system, use the following instead:

NOTE: You must add two configuration files into your C:\bc55\bin  directory, bcc32.cfg and ilink32.cfg. The format of each file is plain text containing the following lines:



You can download both files together here: bc55cfg.zip .
The -I line in bcc32.cfg specifies the Include directory and the -L line (in both files) specifies "library search paths." Placing each switch option on its own line will avoid any confusion. You can add any other switches to these .cfg files that you wish to apply to all the programs you compile and/or link with C++ 5.5; they can, however, be overridden when necessary by using an option on the command-line or in a makefile.

   If you do not install the Borland C++ 5.5 files into C:\bc55, then you'll also have to edit the location of the \bin folder in each of the .cmd Batch programs I've created for you in these lessons!

We must also add the location of our new C++ 5.5's \bin folder to the PATH statement of the OS's permanent Environment variables!  (If you didn't, you'd have to ENTER: path=C:\bc55\bin each time you used the compiler or any of its tools!) To do this under Windows™2000/XP, proceed as follows:

    1. Using your mouse, right-click on My Computer (the Desktop icon) and choose "Properties".
    2. In the window that pops up, click on the "Advanced" tab.
    3. Click on "Environment Variables..." (the middle button).
    4. Under "System Variables" (the bottom box) look for and then click on (highlight) the Variable, "Path" like this:

    5. Click on the "Edit..." button, and something like this will pop up:

    There are usually many pathways in the "Variable Value" box; and at least these: C:\WINNT\system32;C:\WINNT;C:\WINNT\System32\Wbem

    6. So, carefully append ;C:\BC55\BIN (don't forget the semicolon) to the end of this line of pathways!
    7. Click OK in this window ("Edit System Variable").
    8. Click OK in the "Environment Variables" window.
    9. C
    lick OK in the "System Properties" window. If you don't click OK on all of these, the PATH variable may not be changed.


What's an IDE?

In the context of programming (not hard drives), IDE is an abbreviation for Integrated Development Environment; which is a graphical interface (or "front end") for the command-line compilers and linkers that are the backbone of all C, C++ and various other programming language distributions. The main function of an IDE is to keep your focus on the lines of code you're writing by making the compiling, linking and even the handling of error/warning messages as easy as clicking on a toolbar button or pressing a function key!

The major drawback of the free Borland package has been the fact that it does not include an IDE. To obtain one, you'd normally have to buy theirs or someone else's product! There have been a number of free source file editors available, but editors that simply highlight keywords or even try to launch a few programs are no substitute for a true IDE. However, we did finally find an editor called SciTE (Scintilla Text Editor) which not only has the capability of launching the compiler and linker with parameters, but will show all error messages in the window and jump to each line in the source code when you click on the displayed errors!

You can either get SciTE right now (by selecting a download site near you from this link: Sc1.exe and saving the single executable file in your C:\bc55\bin folder), or wait until we explain how to use it in a separate lesson. We'll be compiling a few examples using some .CMD Batch programs first.



Last Update: 7 April 2004.

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