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Is "C For Dummies" any good?

Hello everyone.

I am new to programming and my uncle gave me a copy of "C For Dummies
2nd Edition". I am up to chapter 9 right now. He probably saw me
struggling with "The C Programming Language" by Ritchie and Kernigahn
and felt bad.

Does anyone have experience with this book? I feel that it is helping me
along pretty well. But how much will this book teach me? What would be
the next book to read?

--
K. G. Suarez

Nov 14 '05
60 3997
"Randy Howard" <ra*********@FO OverizonBAR.net > wrote in message
news:MP******** *************** *@news.verizon. net...

Mabden, please get your attributions correct, I did NOT write
what you are replying to below... and yes, this is an intentional
top-post, since the contents are incorrect below.


Shit happens.

--
Mabden
Nov 14 '05 #21

"Joona I Palaste" <pa*****@cc.hel sinki.fi> wrote in message
You won't go far as a programmer without knowing C.


It depends. I have got quite far mostly knowing Java. I know C, but it
hasn't really come into use in either of my jobs so far.

But you still have to know C, even if you don't use it as your main
development language. For instance have you never needed to translate a
routine written in C into Java?
Nov 14 '05 #22
In article <ar************ **@newssvr27.ne ws.prodigy.com> , mabden@sbc_glob al.net
says...
"Randy Howard" <ra*********@FO OverizonBAR.net > wrote in message
news:MP******** *************** *@news.verizon. net...

Mabden, please get your attributions correct, I did NOT write
what you are replying to below... and yes, this is an intentional
top-post, since the contents are incorrect below.


Shit happens.


As you so amply demonstrate, yes.

--
Randy Howard
To reply, remove FOOBAR.
Nov 14 '05 #23
What are your programs like so far? All I can do is modify code. People
have said that it is good to look at others people's code. So what I am
doing now is: I download some code and then look thought it, when I find
something I don't recognize, I look it up in K&R.

Is this a good way to learn? Back when I tried to learn from K&R, and
even now with "C For Dummies", I have had trouble understanding what the
text is talking about. I usually have no clue what's going on until I
see the code. Should I open up K&R, find some nice big piece of code and
try to figure out what's going on? How have some of you learned? Should
I sign up for a class? I don't want a class where I will have to use a
Windows machine. I like to use my FreeBSD machine for stuff like this.
And I don't care for GUI related stuff. I am perfectly fine with CLI.

Speaking of my FreeBSD machine... I can't post to this newsgroup with
it. I have no idea what the problem is... I can post to some other
newsgroups. Does anyone know what's up?

--
K. G. Suarez

Nov 14 '05 #24
[K. G. Suarez] wrote ...
What are your programs like so far? All I can do is modify code.


Greetings K.G.,

I'm not sure you were directing your message to me, but I think you were.
Anyway, here is some code I wrote with the knowledge gained so far, from "C
for Dummies". It is a program that converts U.S. dollars into British
pounds. Not bad for a complete newby2c. And I'm only on chapter 9!

-------------- begin code ----------------------
/* currency.c */

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
float us=1.00;
float total;

printf("%50s"," Currency Converter\n");
printf("\n");
printf("Enter amount in U.S. currency to convert: ");
scanf("%f",&us) ;
total=us*0.5865 50;
printf("\n");
printf("The total amount in British Pounds is %.2f\n",total);

system("pause") ;

return 0;
}
----------------- end of code -------------------

I hope this helps you some.

Best,
newby2c
Nov 14 '05 #25
newby2c wrote on 26/07/04 :
/* currency.c */

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
Why defining parameters you don't use at all ?
{
float us=1.00;
Why using 'float' instead of 'double' ?
float total;

printf("%50s"," Currency Converter\n");
printf("\n");
printf("Enter amount in U.S. currency to convert: ");
(FAQ) The string is not terminated by a '\n'. Depending on the
platform, it may output on stdout or not. To be sure of it, force it:

fflush (stdout);
scanf("%f",&us) ;
What happens if the user types a wrong entry ? scanf() is a difficult
function, not only for beginners. I suggest a combination of fgets()
and strtod().
total=us*0.5865 50;
What if the rate changes ?
printf("\n");
printf("The total amount in British Pounds is %.2f\n",total);

system("pause") ;
Bare in mind that this 'trick' is due to your C implementation.
return 0;
}


--
Emmanuel
The C-FAQ: http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/faq.html

"C is a sharp tool"

Nov 14 '05 #26
K. G. Suarez wrote:
Hello everyone.

I am new to programming and my uncle gave me a copy of "C For
Dummies 2nd Edition". I am up to chapter 9 right now. He probably
saw me struggling with "The C Programming Language" by Ritchie and
Kernigahn and felt bad.

Does anyone have experience with this book? I feel that it is
helping me along pretty well. But how much will this book teach
me? What would be the next book to read?


My suggestion:

If you feel good with the book = it pleases you and you like the
style how it is written, then go ahead with it.

Don't expect that you'll be master of the C universe after you have
finished with you reading.

Learning C is (like learning any spoken language) learning
syntactical elements, semantical rules and then develop a living
style.
You may learn syntactical elements and some semantical rules from
such a book. Reading another one might add to your knowledge.

But at some certain point you have to made that decision, that
either you drop this language, or start living with it.

As soon as you make up your mind to make this language part of your
life, you'll start to really "learn C".

You'll stop reading books, you'll start reading code from other
developers, creating code by yourself, getting it criticized by
others, redoing it at a whole or part of it, and sometimes throw it
away after lots of wasted hours and days.

Years later, you might end up as a good programmer,
either because you started with a book like "C For Dummies" -
or because you dropped it and started with any other.

There are three important things:
from any hint anybody gives you, retrieve the good part and keep it.
from the same hint, retrieve the bad part, and ignore it.
go ahead with what you think is the best.

Bernhard
Nov 14 '05 #27
Thank you, Bernhard. I will keep that in mind

--
K. G. Suarez
Nov 14 '05 #28
Malcolm <ma*****@55bank .freeserve.co.u k> scribbled the following:
"Joona I Palaste" <pa*****@cc.hel sinki.fi> wrote in message
> You won't go far as a programmer without knowing C.


It depends. I have got quite far mostly knowing Java. I know C, but it
hasn't really come into use in either of my jobs so far.

But you still have to know C, even if you don't use it as your main
development language. For instance have you never needed to translate a
routine written in C into Java?


Yes I have. But only once so far. And it was fairly simple C, with most
of the difficulty being in the algorithm itself.

--
/-- Joona Palaste (pa*****@cc.hel sinki.fi) ------------- Finland --------\
\-- http://www.helsinki.fi/~palaste --------------------- rules! --------/
"'It can be easily shown that' means 'I saw a proof of this once (which I didn't
understand) which I can no longer remember'."
- A maths teacher
Nov 14 '05 #29
In article <ce*********@en ews4.newsguy.co m>, newby2c <se******@juno. com> wrote:
[K. G. Suarez] wrote ...
I'm not sure you were directing your message to me, but I think you were.
Anyway, here is some code I wrote with the knowledge gained so far, from "C
for Dummies". It is a program that converts U.S. dollars into British
pounds. Not bad for a complete newby2c. And I'm only on chapter 9! ....snipped... printf("Enter amount in U.S. currency to convert: ");
This needs to be followed by
fflush(stdout);

....more snipped... system("pause") ;


Did the book tell you that "pause" is avaialble only on certain platforms?

--
rr
Nov 14 '05 #30

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