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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 4005
Alan Connor <zz****@xxx.yyy > wrote in message news:<0Q******* ***********@new sread2.news.pas .earthlink.net> ...

[beginning programmer]
Try bash. It's very useful for system administration and contains
many of the basic constructs found in C. (or any programming language).


no. don't do this. bash very definitly isn't a good place to start
learning
to program. Learn with a proper programming language that is small and
with regular syntax. C is better than bash. I used to recommend Pascal
for
beginners but it seems to have become an obscure and bearly known
language,
I would have recomended Python, but you [the OP] have already tried
it.
Java?
--
Nick Keighley
Nov 14 '05 #51
On 26 Jul 2004 16:03:49 EDT, Wayne Rasmussen
<Xv************ *****@gomonarch .com> wrote:
Rouben Rostamian wrote:
In article <rE************ *****@bignews2. bellsouth.net>,
K. G. Suarez <kg****@bellsou th.net> 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?


I suggest that you don't read "C For Dummies". It has the potential
to mislead you.

I am basing this statement based on the author's VERY confused
rambling in:

http://www.c-for-dummies.com/lessons.../01/index.html

He shows a program that compiles and runs under Windows but
crashes under Linux. He appears to puzzled why this happens.

His problem is that he is trying to modify a string literal.
That's in violation of the C standard.

This is Question 1.32 in comp.lang.c's FAQ.

At least he should be given credit for his honesty.


I like how he blames in on linux.


I love his honesty, yet he seems to be a bit ignorant, for the
"reader"'s message is much more correct. Should we compile and send an
explanation to him? :)
--
aib

ISP e-mail accounts are good for receiving spam.
Nov 14 '05 #52
ro****@pc18.mat h.umbc.edu (Rouben Rostamian) wrote:

I suggest that you don't read "C For Dummies". It has the potential
to mislead you.

I am basing this statement based on the author's VERY confused
rambling in:

http://www.c-for-dummies.com/lessons.../01/index.html

He shows a program that compiles and runs under Windows but
crashes under Linux. He appears to puzzled why this happens.

His problem is that he is trying to modify a string literal.


Wow. I had not realised quite how terrible this book was, until
I read the other 'lessons': http://www.c-for-dummies.com/lessons/
The author appears to have learned C by trial-and-error, and not
consulted with any experienced C programmers.

The real clincher for me is "Bonus Lesson 2". He presents a "clever"
trick to obtain a string representation of a float: write the float
to a file with fprintf, and then read it back in with fgets.
He goes on to explain that "nobody writes in ANSI C because you have
to do things like this". (Apparently he hadn't heard of sprintf).

Also defying belief is Bonus Lesson 1, which contains:

#include <stdio.h>
#define NULL 0

Finally, a good example of the book's style can be seen in Bonus Lesson
13.2 (which was snipped from the published edition, thankfully):

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

void main()
{
char value[8];
int v;

printf("Enter a value, 0 to 32000:");
gets(value);
v = atoi(value);

printf("Decimal value is %i\n",v);
printf("Hexadec imal value is %4X\n",v);
}
Nov 14 '05 #53
Orhan Kavrakoglu wrote:
At least he should be given credit for his honesty.


I like how he blames in on linux.


I love his honesty, yet he seems to be a bit ignorant, for the
"reader"'s message is much more correct. Should we compile and
send an explanation to him? :)


I guess he knows already - quite certainly others taught him.
I even suspect that he wrote this just to demonstrate good
companionship with the "dummy" he addresses.

Did anybody check if there's a footnote or such a thing which
mentions that the book is only for use on M$ Win... systems?

Bernhard
Nov 14 '05 #54
In article <22************ ****@holzmayer. ifr.rt>,
ho************* ***@deadspam.co m says...
Did anybody check if there's a footnote or such a thing which
mentions that the book is only for use on M$ Win... systems?


Isn't the term "for dummies" and "for use on "M$ Win" functionally
equivalent?

--
Randy Howard
To reply, remove FOOBAR.
Nov 14 '05 #55


Randy Howard wrote:
In article <22************ ****@holzmayer. ifr.rt>,
ho************* ***@deadspam.co m says...
Did anybody check if there's a footnote or such a thing which
mentions that the book is only for use on M$ Win... systems?

Isn't the term "for dummies" and "for use on "M$ Win" functionally
equivalent?


Only if you write dumb programs.

--
Ron Collins
Air Defense/RTSC/BCS
"I have a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasle"

Nov 14 '05 #56
In article <ce**********@p ita.alt.net>, rc***@nospam.th eriver.com says...
Randy Howard wrote:
Isn't the term "for dummies" and "for use on "M$ Win" functionally
equivalent?

Only if you write dumb programs.


I'll take your word for it.
"I have a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasle"


You mean weasel?

--
Randy Howard
To reply, remove FOOBAR.
Nov 14 '05 #57


Randy Howard wrote:
In article <ce**********@p ita.alt.net>, rc***@nospam.th eriver.com says...
Randy Howard wrote:
Isn't the term "for dummies" and "for use on "M$ Win" functionally
equivalent ?

Only if you write dumb programs.

I'll take your word for it.


<OT>
When used properly, the Windows platform can be used for (almost)
any purpose that other platforms can be used for. (Notice the key
phrase here: "when used properly").
"I have a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasle"

You mean weasel?


Good catch! I've been using that sig for over a year, and nobody
noticed my goof -- or, at least, they didn't say anything.
</OT>


--
Ron Collins
Air Defense/RTSC/BCS
"I have a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel"

Nov 14 '05 #58
"RCollins" <rc***@nospam.t heriver.com> wrote in message
news:cf******** **@pita.alt.net ...
Randy Howard wrote:
"I have a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a
weasle" You mean weasel?

Good catch! I've been using that sig for over a year, and nobody
noticed my goof -- or, at least, they didn't say anything.
--
Ron Collins
Air Defense/RTSC/BCS
"I have a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a

weasel"

Shouldn't you credit Blackadder?
Nov 14 '05 #59


Mabden wrote:
"RCollins" <rc***@nospam.t heriver.com> wrote in message
news:cf******** **@pita.alt.net ...
Randy Howard wrote:
"I have a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a
weasle"
You mean weasel?


Good catch! I've been using that sig for over a year, and nobody
noticed my goof -- or, at least, they didn't say anything.
--
Ron Collins
Air Defense/RTSC/BCS
"I have a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a


weasel"

Shouldn't you credit Blackadder?


Where I live, most people know him as "Mr. Bean", or maybe as
"Johnny English".

--
Ron Collins
Air Defense/RTSC/BCS
"I have a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel"

Nov 14 '05 #60

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