Creating a stand-alone app


I'm new to programming and so have some basic questions.

First of all, let me tell you that my goal is to write a program that will operate a stepping motor. This program will take user input to determine a byte which will be "pulsed" at the parallel port. Anyway, I started to learn some C++ to do this but quickly came to the conclusion that it would be a long time before I was proficient enough to write such a program. So, I decided to try Qbasic instead. The computer that this program may/will run on is an old 133MHz comp with Windows 3.1. I have several questions:

1. Can I write a program in Qbasic that will run on Windows or DOS?

2. From what I can tell, my program will need to be compiled. Will the compiler that I use be determined by the platform (OS) that I want to run it on?

3. If I want a program that will run on Windows, do I need to know special functions to control the windows or use special libraries? If so, where can I find info about this? Or, is Visual Basic the only way to do this?

I appreciate any feedback that anyone could give a fledgling programmer.
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