Hi everyone!

I am a programmer by trade and I program exclusively on UNIX.  Well, actually I do Level 3 support and some programming.  I am trying to transfer into R&D so that I can do programming fulltime.  My manger is cool with that but we don't see it happening in the forseeable future.  (Years)

I play with my home computer a lot and I decided that I want to teach myself Windows XP programming.  I want to learn how to do all kinds of things, the basics first then onward and upward.  I want to learn how to create rich, snazzy GUI's.  I currently have Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional installed on my computer.

I'd like to program in C++ but I'm willing and able to learn something else.

I kindly request from the community the following:

- What development environment do I want?
- What language do I want to use?
- A list of books?
- General advice?

Basically, work sucks and I want to program, dang-it.  Given my age, salary and benefits, a new job is not an option, but boy I can dream.

Thank you very much!