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Question about the Book I bought...

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Original post by Solidus
I just bought C for Dummies, it doesn't come with a compiler so where can I get a good one?


I assume you meant a free one? Well Dev-C++ gives you the MinGW port of the GCC compiler, along with an IDE.

If you don't mind command-line tools, somebody will probably be along shortly with a link to Microsoft's VC++2005 Express beta download link.

Quote:
Also is this book a good one to start off with?

I don't think so. But since you've bought it, you might as well read it (from cover to cover, including the small print).

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Luke - Thanks for the link. Nice list of compilers there.

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Original post by Solidus
How come you don't think it was a good one to start off with? I didn't have much choice at the shop =/


It's just my personal opinion. It's yet another "let's start with C and relegate most of C++'s features to the 'advanced' section" book. Unless it's been reedited since I've leafed through it, coverage of the C++ standard library is minimal.

I'll go to the bookstore and skim it again if you want.

Edit - you've given up on Python?

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lol yeah I didn't understand it...

Im reading this book now and im starting to understand what and how to code. :) I find it helpful.

But one think is the compiler is confusing me... when go to the site you gave me and download them I get a whole bunch of files which confuse me =S but in time ill figure them out :)

EDIT - I like this book because it doesn't talk like robot if you know what I mean...

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Quote:
Original post by Solidus
lol yeah I didn't understand it...


It's not that difficult, really. Even I understand it. [smile] I like it better than C++, you know...

Quote:
Im reading this book now and im starting to understand what and how to code. :) I find it helpful.


Just remember to take what one book tells you with a grain of salt.

Just remember, in C++, std::vector and std::string are generally infinitely preferable to dynamic arrays and char*-strings.
edit - meh, I forgot you're talking about C, not C++.

Quote:
But one think is the compiler is confusing me... when go to the site you gave me and download them I get a whole bunch of files which confuse me =S but in time ill figure them out :)


Perseverance is key. [smile]

Quote:
I like this book because it doesn't talk like robot if you know what I mean...


Unfortunately for you, to become a programmer, you'll have to learn to think robot, or rather, to think like your compiler. [rolleyes]

[Edited by - Fruny on October 9, 2004 3:36:24 AM]

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Original post by Solidus
I just bought C for Dummies, it doesn't come with a compiler so where can I get a good one? Also is this book a good one to start off with?

If it's the same one I started off with like 5 years ago or so it is a very very bad book!
I mean if you are just starting off and naive you won't notice all the bad advice and worse outdated stuff in that book. After reading a ton more books and programming for a while like I have they will become glaringly obvious.
Some I remeber off the top of my head is using void instead of int for main return type, using nonportable headers like <dos.h>,use of kbhit,gets,dos int21 programming,etc.
And the worse part was at the end of the first book it said something to the effect that the author couldn't fit everything into 1 book so you have to get the 2nd book to completely learn C!
I have to admit the book did make me laugh quite a bit but the bottom line is that after finishing this book you'll be lucky if you can write anything but the simplest C programs:
This book was a complete waste of time for me. It barely teaches you anything after reading the first volume. What took 1000 pages in this book I can learn in in 100 pages of another book. The author uses so much humor in this book that it gets extremely frustrating. For example, in the quizes after each section he gives a question with multiple choice answers. There are amazingly stupid answers to choose from leaving you with only one logical answer. He might as well just give you the answer rather than writing down bs. He repeats each example over and over again which makes it frustrating. I found myself repeating the same things withouth learning anything new. The only time I would recommend this book if you were some moron who has an iq of 90 and can barely read or if you're a 10 year old and doesn't know what you're doing. It's ridiculous how simple it is he teaches you. It takes the author 20 pages to teach you something you can easily learn in anotehr book in 1 page.

[Edited by - daviangel on October 9, 2004 3:45:40 PM]

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That is actually one of the worst possible books you could read on the subject. There are way better freeware books available on the Internet these days.

Hell I would rather try learning just with the IDE help files over that book lol, it's the only book worse than C++ Primer Plus by Stephen Prata... talk about horrid habits and bad programming :)

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It doesn't seem that bad...Its C for Dummies: Second Edition btw and its copyright 2004.... so I think its different :)

I have completed the first chapter and my first program, GOODBYE.C. Im just wondering bout this, when I click on the goodbye.exe it opens cmd and closes in like a 1 sec. Any idea?

EDIT: also this was the only book had for programing next to Sams Programing in 24hrs or something which I thought would be a little rushed... Your all making me feel like I just wasted $45 AUS ...

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Original post by Solidus
I have completed the first chapter and my first program, GOODBYE.C. Im just wondering bout this, when I click on the goodbye.exe it opens cmd and closes in like a 1 sec. Any idea?


Console applications aren't meant to be run by double-clicking on them, but from an existing console. Open a console window (cmd.exe), cd to your executable's directory and type the program's name.

Alternatively, you can create a batch (.BAT) file with the following instructions in it.

yourprogram.exe
pause


And double-click on that instead.

People routinely do add system("pause"); at the end of their program, but I find that this is a half-baked solution : it prevents your program from being easily used from a console (remember, it is a console application), in a pipeline (where the results from one function are passed to another) or in a script (like the batch file I mentioned), since it will unconditionally wait for you to come and press a key - you won't be able to let it go off unattended.

Quote:
EDIT: also this was the only book had for programing next to Sams Programing in 24hrs or something which I thought would be a little rushed... Your all making me feel like I just wasted $45 AUS ...


Don't worry about it. I, myself, have bought "OpenGL Programming for Windows 95 and Windows NT" after all. Just make the best out of what the book can teach you, but be ready to reassess what you have learned. At the very least, if you're using gcc (Dev-C++?) do make sure to compile your programs with all warnings enabled (-Wall command-line option, I don't use Dev-C++, so I don't know if there's a checkbox or something for it, though I'd assume so).

Oh, and "Learn XXX in YYY hours/minutes/days" are absolute catastrophes. So you're getting off easy. Also note that some of the people above (me included) did assume you meant C++ for Dummies - I'm less even familiar with the C of the book, though earlier comments about <dos.h> sound about right - the book probably came out when MS-DOS (including Win95) was still a prevalent OS. So keep in mind that things that might have been true ten years ago may be wrong and obsolete today. Computer science evolves quickly.

If you are looking for the canonical C book, check out "The ANSI C Programming Language" by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie. You might rely on your C for Dummies book for explanations, and on the K&R for correctness.

[Edited by - Fruny on October 9, 2004 4:17:00 AM]

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Quote:
Original post by Solidus
It doesn't seem that bad...Its C for Dummies: Second Edition btw and its copyright 2004.... so I think its different :)

I have completed the first chapter and my first program, GOODBYE.C. Im just wondering bout this, when I click on the goodbye.exe it opens cmd and closes in like a 1 sec. Any idea?

EDIT: also this was the only book had for programing next to Sams Programing in 24hrs or something which I thought would be a little rushed... Your all making me feel like I just wasted $45 AUS ...


If it gets you up and running with your C programming it shouldn't be a waste. I think that's the key you have to remember. I know a lot of people including myself that have bought books that are highly recommended(c++ primer by lippman or petzold's programming windows) only to let them collect dust because the author put me to sleep or was way over my skills at the time.
p.s. if you skim ahead in your book I'm sure it'll mention using getchar or system pause to see your output(it is a dummies book after all) but then we get back to them bad habits we mentioned to start off with and your better off avoiding.

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Oh the author of this book is great, he makes jokes sometimes :) which keeps me reading.

EDIT: also its wrote in simple english, and by me reading this book it givin me a better view on programing ... and ive only read the first chapter

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