Absolute Beginner's Guide to C (2nd Edition) Paperback – Apr 8 1994
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From the Back Cover
For beginning programmers, this updated edition answers all C programming questions. This bestseller talks to readers at their level, explaining every aspect of how to get started and learn the C language quickly. Readers also find out where to learn more about C. This book includes tear-out reference card of C functions and statements, a hierarchy chart, and other valuable information. It uses special icons, notes, clues, warnings, and rewards to make understanding easier. And the clear and friendly style presumes no programming knowledge.
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Top Customer Reviews
I like to know why things are done how they are and this book clearly explains what a seasoned programmer may see as obvious without the tech speak ... and I myself am a techy.
Although I've not completed the book yet, lots of code I've seen before now makes literal sense to me. This is a great text for teachers who may also want to touch on C with a class of youthfull programmers.
A wonderful buy ... 5 stars
Instead, Perry leaps right into the coding while minimizing the techno-babble. He makes it seem as easy as it really is, from start to finish. He starts with the basics, keeping them basic, and presents each new concept in an easily digestable manner. The information flows so easily and coherently that you'll be surprised at how quickly you're picking it all up. This isn't to say that learning C won't take dedication on your part, just that it is not rocket science as most would have you believe.
By the time you've finished the book, you'll have a decent understanding of how to write simple DOS programs. Once you feel comfortable with C, I'd recomend Charles Petzold's, "Programming Windows". Windows programming is a bit more complicated, but with Perry's help you'll be better prepared to takle it.
I went a head and ordered another one for me and have read several chapters. I must agree that after trying to learn programming from Beginner Python books and PHP books that this whole programming thing started to fall into place. The author really does do a good job at explaining things. The reviews are accurate...and not staged like I thought they may be.
I also ordered a 3rd book for a 13-year-old boy who wants to learn how to be a web programmer with PHP and MySQL. I am starting him off with this book first because it will give him the foundation he needs to move into PHP and other languages.
I wish other books were written this well. The author is an excellent teacher. Go ahead and get it. You'll be glad you did.
The layout is kept interesting throughout the whole book, with diagrams and illustrations to help understand the concept presented.
The text is quite informal and entertaining, with some humour inserted here and there. You won't get bored reading this book!
However, each chapter shows only fragments of codes that need to be inserted into a C program, and NOT THE WHOLE C PROGRAM. There is only ONE LISTING of a WHOLE C PROGRAM at the end of the book (The BlackJack program), and it covers all the chapters discussed throughout the book.
There is no exercise or a listing of a fully-working C program at the end of each chapter, so it may be necessary to skim each finished chapter one more time.
I'd recommend this book for people who has no programming background, and as a stepping stone to really learn C programming by the programmer of C himself: Kernighen & Richie's The C Book (known as K&R). K&R is not for beginners, thus beginners need some other book first so they can keep up with K&R, and Greg Perry's Absolute Beginner's Guide to C is a good one to start with!
The only downside to the book is that there are no "problems" to work out. (Sure you can put his code in and watch it run--but where is the problem-solving in that?) However, there are numerous Computer Science Departments out there that do post their course work problems on the Net which can be easily downloaded and printed. Although, few also post the answers, so...good luck :)
Watch out for the chapters on getchar() and getch(). getch() only gets a page or two of explanation and leaves a hapless beginner to founder. K&R C did help here at this point, takes some hacking away at it, but it comes eventually. (Or maybe it will come really quickly and you'll think, that tripped him up? What a geek!)
Lastly, don't waste your hard-earned cash on a fancy-smancy C compiler. There are lots of good (and free) C compilers out there (GNU's gcc, borland DOS-based from [...] etc). Pick one, spend some time learning the switches and optimizations on it and then get to coding.
From there on out it is just code, code and code. And then debug...and debug...and debug...cry...and debug...
After this book I recommend cutting your teeth on K&R C (there's a reason they call it the C Bible). You can easily see the basics you picked up with Perry in K&R. It was a big help for me when I could see something familiar in the concepts and was able trudge on through.
Most recent customer reviews
Finally a book on C that's easy to follow! Doesn't over simplify to the point it's useless and not so complicated a beginner can't follow. Just right!Published on June 30 2013 by Scott G
I am 13 years old and I just finished reading this book. I got interested in programming after playing some of my favorite games, and so this is where I started. Read morePublished on March 23 2004 by Eric M.
I'm using this book to prepare for my first C programming class, and so far is has been perfect. I first tried to learn C by using a programming textbook, but it just didn't... Read morePublished on July 24 2003 by Chelsea
An excellent book on C for "beginners". Anyone with previous programming knowledge should look elsewhere.Published on June 2 2003
I am surprised that this book has gotten the good reviews that it has. This book's title should read "ABSOLUTE! beginner's guide to C". Read morePublished on May 8 2003 by Michael
I was only 10 years old when my dad got this for me for my birthday. Before this, I had just done card based programs, and even those I didn't understand well. Read morePublished on March 21 2003
The reviews here are spot-on! If you have been trying to get started in programming but just can't get off the ground, this is the book for you. Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2003 by Bob Gradante
Great book for starters. this is the first book I have read on C. I had no problem understanding anything Greg Perry wrote. Read morePublished on Dec 18 2002 by Michael Lee
This book is just great for beginners or someone like me who has
started learning programming since many years ago but always got
stuck on Chapter 8 on some ... Read more
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