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Suggestions for Upgrading VS C++ 6.0 PE

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I am a weekend coder/hobbyist who has been working on/off again on strategy games using Visual Studio C++ 6.0 programming in C++ w/DirectX on a WindowsXP SP2 platform. I do not plan on learning other languages in the near future as it takes me long enough to get-up to speed in between my programming binges. However, DirectX is an important part of the engine I have been working on so I am want to make sure I can use the more current sdk (instead of reverting to older ones) and the newest incarnation of the DirectX does not appear to support VC6.0 (as you all pretty much know). In terms of an integrated development tool - I like the VC6.0 environment in terms of the class view/file view and the ability to watch variables, run to break-points, etc. but I am a noob when it comes to debugging and have not learned many advance tools (I still have not figured out a good way to go the line number of a memory leak despite all of the threads on that subject..) Anyway, someone mentioned using the beta of the new C++ 2005 Express IDE. I did download it last night but not sure if it is completely stable. What do people suggest, should I just buy an old version of .NET that is compatible, or does the 2005 Express IDE seem like a good idea since I am just a hobbyist at this point? I started this thread here since DirectX is an important tool in my programming (at least for now). Thanks in advance

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