Qbasic, is very easy and can be very fun as a beginner as well. 1 up from that might be Pascal, which isn't too difficult, and can generate pretty quick code. Pick one, or try both if you are feeling really ambitious.
If you want to code games or applications.
If you want to code games go with Pascal since its simple and capable.
If you want to code applications go with Visual Basic. Their are lots of people and resources to help you out.
Basic is probably the easiest to get started, but it allows you to write terrible code.
Pascal is a great language to learn programming. It will force you to use better programming techniques, which can be a bit of a hassle at first, but will benefit you greatly later on. At least you won't have to "unlearn" your bad Basic habits later.
Pascal was by the way designed to teach students how to program. Other languages were designed for other purposes: Basic to write quick&dirty programs, C for high performance,
C is pretty complex for a beginner. The language is extremely powerfull, but does not contain many safeguards.
My advice : if you're goal is to write some small quick&dirty programs, go for Basic. Lots of Visual Basic info available on the net and everywhere else.
If you want to become a serious programmer, possibly even make it your profession, start with Pascal
Everyone's probably gonna have different
opinions on this. I started out with Pascal
in DOS, and found C to be much easier to
understand. There was also a lot more
sample C code available on the net than
Pascal at the time and it's always easier
(in my opinion anyway) to see an example.
Look over some simple programs in different
languages and see what (if any) makes the
most sense to you.
There's some free compilers available for
several languages on the net. Use a search
engine such as altavista.com or yahoo.com
and try these entries (with quotes):
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