Book for Newbie trying to learn C

This is a discussion on Book for Newbie trying to learn C within the C Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; I will be attempting to learn C over the next couple of months. I will be using Dev-C++ since it ...

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    Book for Newbie trying to learn C

    I will be attempting to learn C over the next couple of months. I will be using Dev-C++ since it was recommended by several of people on another board. I want to get a book to learn this language, and I have little to no programming experience. I do work with computers on a daily basis, so I know my way around computers, just not programming. Can someone suggest a good beginners book for me to learn off of.

    Thanks.

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    Registered User KidA's Avatar
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    Take a look at:
    http://www.cprogramming.com/books/c.html

    I started learning C with Sams Teach Yourself in 21 Days, and would recommend it.
    Also I think the New C Primer Plus (Waite & Prata) is a great read.

    Good Luck!
    "So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life" - Peter Gibbons

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    The C Programming Language by Kernigham and Ritchie it is THE book Imho

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    Frequently Quite Prolix dwks's Avatar
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    I started learning C with Sams Teach Yourself in 21 Days, and would recommend it.
    Some of us would disagree.
    dwk

    Seek and ye shall find. quaere et invenies.

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    Registered User KidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwks
    Some of us would disagree.
    OK.........reason(s) why?

    I'm not trying to say it's a complete C learning reference, but I thought it was a good "beginner's" introduction to the language...
    "So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life" - Peter Gibbons

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    Quote Originally Posted by KidA
    OK.........reason(s) why?

    I'm not trying to say it's a complete C learning reference, but I thought it was a good "beginner's" introduction to the language...
    The C Programming Language dammit. This books like learn to fly in 24hours give you a bunch of over looked concptes it is like fly a jumbo in a week. Imho this is crap. The C programming language on the other hand goes slowly step by step and it isnt a quite long book, in fact it is like 180 pages. And covers pretty much of what you need after I recommend you take a look on a data structures book.

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    Just Lurking Dave_Sinkula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uthscsa19
    I will be attempting to learn C over the next couple of months. I will be using Dev-C++ since it was recommended by several of people on another board. I want to get a book to learn this language, and I have little to no programming experience. I do work with computers on a daily basis, so I know my way around computers, just not programming. Can someone suggest a good beginners book for me to learn off of.
    http://accu.org/bookreviews/public/r..._c.htm#recbook
    7. It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
    40. There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.*

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    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    Books which promise to teach you anything within a time frame are to be avoided.
    As are books which are specific to a compiler, or books written by Schildt.

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    Registered User KidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem
    Books which promise to teach you anything within a time frame are to be avoided.
    So are the books to be avoided solely because you can't actually learn it within that time frame? Or is it because they aren't exhaustive references of the C language? Either argument is lame, IMHO, because in the first place the book is just attempting to split concepts up into manageable pieces ("hours" or "days"), and in the second case I haven't found any one *single* book to be an adequate reference for C programming.

    Anyway, to each his own...back when I had "little to no programming experience", I was hoping to find not only a beginner's book to C, but to programming in general, and the "21 Days" book worked for me.

    When I was ready for the next step I moved on to another book, and then another...now I never refer back to the "21 Days" book but at the time it had its use, like a "baby step".

    Quote Originally Posted by Salem
    As are books which are specific to a compiler
    Oh, yeah...and when I want to work on my car, I don't buy a Saturn service manual, I buy a manual about how *all* cars work in general ...that is ridiculous...it's the same principle...if I want to know how fuel injection systems work, I should buy a general reference, but if I want to know how to replace a fuel injector in my car I buy the service manual...so I think they have their place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salem
    or books written by Schildt.
    You'll get no argument from me on that one !
    Last edited by KidA; 12-23-2005 at 07:56 AM.
    "So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life" - Peter Gibbons

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    Just Lurking Dave_Sinkula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KidA
    So are the books to be avoided solely because you can't actually learn it within that time frame? Or is it because they aren't exhaustive references of the C language?
    Maybe because of the errors or bad practice that tend to dwell in them?
    http://accu.org/cgi-bin/accu/rvout.c...&file=t002215a

    [edit]
    Quote Originally Posted by KidA
    Oh, yeah...and when I want to work on my car, I don't buy a Saturn service manual, I buy a manual about how *all* cars work in general ...that is ridiculous...it's the same principle...if I want to know how fuel injection systems work, I should buy a general reference, but if I want to know how to replace a fuel injector in my car I buy the service manual...so I think they have their place.
    Again, the compiler-specific stuff tends to promote bad practice and will inhibit you from learning the language correctly.

    Best example of this: fflush(stdin);
    Last edited by Dave_Sinkula; 12-23-2005 at 08:02 AM.
    7. It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
    40. There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.*

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    ... kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KidA
    So are the books to be avoided solely because you can't actually learn it within that time frame? Or is it because they aren't exhaustive references of the C language? Either argument is lame, IMHO, because in the first place the book is just attempting to split concepts up into manageable pieces ("hours" or "days"), and in the second case I haven't found any one *single* book to be an adequate reference for C programming.
    I think we are talking in general terms here. Often the material in the 21 days/24 hours books is brief at best. The odd time you will see one of those types of books recommended by those who know, but not often. As far as a *single* book - have you read Reek's Pointers on C? It would come pretty close I would say. Either way, its not bad to have more than one book, but you may as well do some research before you plunk your money down - programming books are definitely not cheap! Dave's link to ACCU is a great place to start - they have a very thorough coverage of the various C and C++ books on the market, and have some knowledgeable people reviewing them. You won't go too far wrong if you buy a book they recommend or even highly recommend.

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    Registered User KidA's Avatar
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    An excerpt from the Pointers on C review:
    If you have never programmed this is not a book for you. If you are already a competent C programmer, look elsewhere. However if you have some programming expertise in another language and think that you may have some talent (feel) for the programmer's art then this is an excellent book.
    The problem I have with choosing a single C reference is picking one that can both speak to an audience that has *never* programmed (such as the OP) and be exhaustive...
    "So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life" - Peter Gibbons

  13. #13
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    > So are the books to be avoided solely because you can't actually learn it within that time frame?
    Absolutely - it's blatant false advertising.
    Sure you will be able to tell the difference between 'C' and say fog, but it will not mean you are a C programmer at the end of 21 days. Solid practice over many months will help - simply reading the book will not.

    Why not just say "21 steps" and let people figure out how quickly they want to get through it?

    > Oh, yeah...and when I want to (drivel snipped)
    Maybe because every single "using foo compiler" book falls into the "works for me" trap somewhere along the way. Then when you change compiler (or just upgrade to foo version 2) you find that what you learnt was a bunch of crap. If you thought learning stuff was hard, try unlearning it.

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    Registered User KidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem
    > Oh, yeah...and when I want to (drivel snipped)
    Maybe because every single "using foo compiler" book falls into the "works for me" trap somewhere along the way. Then when you change compiler (or just upgrade to foo version 2) you find that what you learnt was a bunch of crap. If you thought learning stuff was hard, try unlearning it.
    Every single one, eh? Wow, how can I argue with a statement like that? Clearly you're an expert on the book market!

    And "drivel" - who the hell do you think you are? I make an argument for *my* opinion, and then you come along and trivialize it like that, using a generalization to try to make your case.
    "So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life" - Peter Gibbons

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    Frequently Quite Prolix dwks's Avatar
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    Try a board search. This comes up pretty often.
    dwk

    Seek and ye shall find. quaere et invenies.

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    "Testing can only prove the presence of bugs, not their absence." -- Edsger Dijkstra
    "The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing." -- John Powell


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