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Teach Yourself Borland Delphi 4 in 21 Days

Introduction: You Are Here

Isn't it helpful when an arrow on a map points out exactly where you are? So you are here! Maybe you are here because you have used Delphi before and you want to see what is new in Delphi 4. Maybe you are here because your boss told you to be here. Or maybe you are here as a complete beginner who would like to explore the wonderful world of Windows programming.

Regardless of why you are here, welcome! I can assure you that the trip will be an interesting one. You will no doubt find it enjoyable, too. It will involve some work, but there will be some fun thrown in along the way. Believe me when I say that there's nothing quite like taking a passing thought and turning it into a working Windows program. I hope you get the fever and lose yourself in hour after hour of programming.

I encourage you to experiment as you read this book. Putting the book down and playing around for a while can prove more valuable than the best teacher. Getting through this book isn't a race. The first one to reach the end doesn't receive a prize. I'd rather you spent 21 weeks learning Delphi programming than to rush through this book without taking time to apply the concepts discussed here. By the way, my experience has been that the best way to learn is to have an application in mind that you want to write and then work on that application as you work through this book. Solving real-world problems is the kind of schooling that sticks.

So it doesn't really matter why you are here. What's important is that you are here. I'm glad you are here, and I hope you enjoy your Delphi experience. Relax, put your feet up, and have fun learning how to use Delphi. I know I did.

About the Author

KENT REISDORPH is a senior software engineer at TurboPower Software Co. He also has his own consulting business. Kent is a contributing editor for The Cobb Group's C++Builder Developer's Journal and contributes regularly to the Delphi Developer's Journal. He is also a member of TeamB, Borland's online volunteer support group. As a member of TeamB, Kent puts in many hours each week on the Borland newsgroups answering questions, primarily on C++Builder and Windows programming. He is the author of Sams Teach Yourself C++Builder in 21 Days and Sams Teach Yourself C++Builder 3 in 21 Days. Kent lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his wife, Jennifer, and their six children, James, Mason, Mallory, Jenna, Marshall, and Joshua.

Dedication

This book is dedicated to my wife, Jennifer. I couldn't imagine dedicating it to anyone else. Thank you as always, Jen, for keeping everything going while I'm off in my own world.

Acknowledgments

This part of the book comes fairly easily for me. It's easy to remember those people who were instrumental in making a project like this come to completion. First I want to thank Brian Gill for his hard work on this project. I did my best to rattle Brian on one or more occasions, but he never wavered (not that I could see anyway!). I also want to thank Kezia Endsley for her work on this book. Kezia did a tremendous job as development editor. I'm certain that I have benefited from working with her. Other people at Macmillan Publishing I want to thank are Dana Lesh and Heather Urschel.

There are several people at INPRISE Corporation (formerly Borland International) whom I want to thank. Although I didn't have much direct contact with Nan Borreson on this project, I know she was there behind the scenes doing her usual excellent work. I want to thank my tech editors, Bill Fisher and Ellie Peters. They both did a good job keeping me straight. I can't mention Ellie without adding that I'm glad to have Ellie as a friend as well as a tech editor. Also thanks to Steve Teixeira, Steve Trefethen, and Ryder Rishel who were quick to answer specific questions I had during this project.

Last but in no way least, I want to thank my wife, Jennifer. This is the third such project I have undertaken, and Jennifer has always been way, way beyond supportive. She has grown far too accustomed to seeing me "head down and headphones on." One of these days I'll make it up to her. I promise.

Tell Us What You Think!

As the reader of this book, you are our most important critic and commentator. We value your opinion and want to know what we're doing right, what we could do better, what areas you'd like to see us publish in, and any other words of wisdom you're willing to pass our way.

As the executive editor for the Programming team at Macmillan Computer Publishing, I welcome your comments. You can fax, email, or write me directly to let me know what you did or didn't like about this book--as well as what we can do to make our books stronger.

Please note that I cannot help you with technical problems related to the topic of this book, and that due to the high volume of mail I receive, I might not be able to reply to every message.

When you write, please be sure to include this book's title and author as well as your name and phone or fax number. I will carefully review your comments and share them with the author and editors who worked on the book.

Fax: 317-817-7070
Email: prog@mcp.com
Mail: Executive Editor

Programming Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290 USA


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