Visual Basic is a computer programming language created by Microsoft in 1991, based on the syntax of BASIC. There are drastic changes between Visual Basic and traditional BASIC including the elimination of symbolic variable notation and the introduction of object orientation. Also, Visual Basic was designed, not around the command line, but Windows forms and dialogs. The combination of Windows forms and basic syntax allowed Visual Basic to the premier rapid application design (RAD) language for Microsoft allowing developers to very quickly and easily create applications. The language was hugely popular and influenced the creation of Visual Basic For Applications and VBScript. Unfortunately, in 2001, Microsoft discontinued Visual Basic in favor of Visual Basic .NET which eliminated many of the features that made Visual Basic so easy to use.
I first became interested in Visual Basic after my uncle showed me how to make simple programs using 16-bit Visual Basic 3. This gave me a head start on my peers when we started learning Visual Basic 4 in high school, so I was the best in my class. For a birthday present, I got Black Art of Visual Basic Game Programming, which taught various game programming techniques as well as ways to use Windows DLLs for superior graphics and sound programming. I began writing a couple video games in Visual Basic, but never finished any of them. I learned Visual Basic 5 in college, but never dealt much with Visual Basic 6, the final version of the language, before it was discontinued. I always appreciated the speed and simplicity of the language and still curse Microsoft for killing the language. For Windows-based RAD, I now turn to C#, which isn't nearly as easy or as fast, but is a lot more powerful.