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Installing Lazarus: I installed Lazarus on my Windows XP machine without any drama. (First install: 26 July 2011, ver 0.9.30 for 32-bit Windows.) But....
In the past, I have sometimes had trouble connecting to the Lazarus homepage. This is a quirk of my system. It has happened before with a few specific sites. The last time (July 2011) it was playing up, lots of my friends were connecting without problem.
The installation process is pretty unremarkable. If you have a 64 bit Windows machine, you may still want to install the 32 bit version, so that the things you write can be used on either 32 bit machines, or their bigger brothers.
When I couldn't connect to lazarus.freepascal.org, I went to a friend's house, went to the Lazarus home page. Followed the "download" link. Found the sub-menu for my 32-bit Windows. There were two files there. I later learned that, for now, to get started, I only needed...
Of course, the version info in that may have changed by the time you read this! (The "0.9.30" and "2.4.2"... and the "win32" part assumes you are installing for Windows. You knew those things... but some readers won't have.)
I put that on a thumbdrive. Went home. Ran it. Accepted almost all of the defaults. I would recommend that you accept the proposed destination and folder name, C:\lazarus. (Just 'cause I'm paranoid doesn't mean I'm wrong.) I did decline the installer's offer to associate the .pas file extension with Lazarus, and that didn't "break" anything I am aware of yet. (I will still be using Delphi for a time, and my system has .pas files associated with that. Not a "deal breaker", though.)
About two months after the above adventure, I did another Lazarus install. I wasn't having trouble with my browser this time! I tried to install to a 64-bit machine running Windows XP, SP3. (Don't you do that... read on, for a chuckle. I'd forgotten the machine had a 64 bit processor! I don't think I've deliberately chosen 64-bit software before, being somewhat of a conservative dinosaur! The filename was "lazarus-0.9.30-fpc-2.4.2-win64.exe". 85MB. No hassles. Installed the second instance the same way as the first, as explained in previous paragraph. (I again declined the offer to associate .pas with Lazarus, as I also have Delphi on the machine, and it will remain my main language for a while.)
Near the end of my attempt to install the 64-bit Lazarus on my machine, I got the following message...
Setup. Unable to execute file: C:\lazarus\fpc\2.4.2\bin\x86_64-win64\fpcmkcfg.exe CreateProcess failed; code 193. %1 is not a valid Win32 application.
Crossed fingers, clicked "OK".... The installer said setup done, all well. Hmmm.
Tried the newly installed Lazarus. Immediately got "C:\lazarus\lazarus.exe is not a 32-bit program."
Oh, DUH... my PC may be 64 bit, but my OS isn't?? Oh well... a chance to test the uninstall provisions. Ran them. Went smoothly. Started at the beginning again, this time downloading and installing the 32 bit version. Went smoothly.
In both cases, was able to run Lazarus immediately. It wasn't even necessary to reboot my system. Not only did this pander to my "want- it- now- itis", but it also reassured me that the Lazarus system hadn't done anything "clever" or "deep" to my system.
From sitting down at my Lazarus-less system to finishing my first Lazarus program, making a few tests, writing notes took only 35 minutes... including the installation time.
Some of the "getting started" guides on the web suggest that you start with console, DOS-like, applications. I think that might prove a distraction. You certainly don't need to do it for any reasons associated with getting your system set up for Lazarus programming.
I had no particular problems. Lazarus suggested that I use an all-lowercase name for my .pas file, so I did.
Lazarus created the .exe file for my application without any "extra" stuff from me. Not only did creating it Just Happen, but the file, run from Windows Explorer Just Worked.
I copied just the .exe file to a Windows XP machine which had never heard of Lazarus, and the .exe file worked just fine.
Now have fun with your newly installed Lazarus! Help on using it available via my Lazarus Tutorials Table of Contents page.
If you visit 1&1's site from here, it helps me. They host my website, and I wouldn't put this link up for them if I wasn't happy with their service. They offer things for the beginner and the corporation.
Page tested for compliance with INDUSTRY (not MS-only) standards, using the free, publicly accessible validator at validator.w3.org. Mostly passes. There were two "unknown attributes" in Google+ button code. Sigh.
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