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C For Dummies Paperback – May 7, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0764570681 ISBN-10: 0764570684 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (May 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764570684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764570681
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Find out how to tell your computer what to do

Design and develop programs, compile and link code, fix problems, and more

Come "C" what all the excitement’s about! C programs are fast, concise, and versatile, and you’ll be writing them in no time. This friendly book unlocks the mysteries of coding, compiling, adding comments, and using keywords, I/O, variables, integers, and all the rest. You’ll write your first C program before you finish Chapter 1!

The Dummies Way

  • Explanations in plain English
  • "Get in, get out" information
  • Icons and other navigational aids
  • Tear-out cheat sheet
  • Top ten lists
  • A dash of humor and fun

Discover how to:

  • Understand the entire program development cycle
  • Link code to create executable programs
  • Debug and deploy your programs
  • Use floats, integer variables, and if statements
  • Write functions and use loops

About the Author

Dan Gookin (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) wrote the first-ever For Dummies book, DOS For Dummies, as well as the bestselling PCs For Dummies and Word For Dummies. He wrote C For Dummies Volumes One and Two. Dan's books have been translated into 32 languages and have more than 11 million copies in print.

More About the Author

Dan Gookin has been writing about technology for over 20 years. He combines his love of writing with his gizmo fascination to create books that are informative, entertaining, and not boring. Having written more over 120 titles with 12 million copies in print translated into over 30 languages, Dan can attest that his method of crafting computer tomes seems to work.

Perhaps his most famous title is the original DOS For Dummies, published in 1991. It became the world's fastest-selling computer book, at one time moving more copies per week than the New York Times #1 bestseller (though as a reference, it could not be listed on the NYT Bestseller list). From that book spawned the entire line of For Dummies books, which remains a publishing phenomena to this day.

Dan's most popular titles include PCs For Dummies Word For Dummies, Laptops For Dummies, and Droid X For Dummies. He also maintains the vast and helpful Web site, www.wambooli.com.

Dan holds a degree in Communications/Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. Presently, he lives in the Pacific Northwest, where he enjoys spending time with his sons playing video games inside while they watch the gentle woods of Idaho.

Customer Reviews

I bet there is a way, but someone just doesn't want to do it.
Mickey Counter
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to get into computer programming.
joecoolaug
I found the book very clear and funny, which makes the reading way more easy.
JPJ

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By D. Sauer on January 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not a programmer or "coder", but I do know the basic ideas behind programming. That aside, my attention tends to wander when learning new things, and sometimes a little light entertainment can go a long way. When I wanted to learn to use the C programming language and thought I'd give the "Dummies" offering a try.

Here's the things that it covers well:
Where to get a decent (and free) C compiler.
The program's basic structure and syntax.
Putting text on a standard text screen. (Think DOS or CLI)
Getting input from the keyboard.
Introducing you to the basic variable types.
Doing some basic math with numeric variables.
Doing program branching with numeric variables.
Doing program branching with single character variables.
Looping.

Now for the bad news...
Do not expect to be able to learn any of the following:
Read or write to the file system.
Concatenate or otherwise manipulate string variables.
Perform program branching using string variables.
Gain a proficient understanding to write anything that is actually useful.
Access any other system hardware or software such as the mouse, the internet, graphics, other running programs, etc...

There was one aspect I felt was very annoying. About halfway through the book, the author starts to plug his other book, "C All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies" for information that he isn't going to cover in this book, and it gets more and more intrusive as the humor winds down, and the book drones on. Of course if you're willing to be seen reading a book marketed towards "dummies" you can probably expect to be played as one too.

All in all, I do feel this book has merit and makes for a good starting point. It has immensely helped me to understand the C programming language, and I can comprehend the basic ideas. It was worth the time and money even though I was expecting to achieve more practical results before I started.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ranjan Mitra on March 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
You want to learn C? or even thinking of it? Buy this book. Maybe you have heard or suggested of other books and authors but Dan Gookins gentle hand holding way of teaching is unbeatable and his humorous approach is unputdownable.Even a person with no previous knowledge of programming can learn the language surprisingly fast and quick. Buy this book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brad on September 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
A common mistake for people teaching themselves C++ programming is to start out with "C++ for Dummies" or "Teach Yourself C++ in 21 days". Those books will leave you confused and fustrated. This is the book you should start out with, dont get into OOP till you have a handle on structured programming syntax. This book will guide you through all of the confusing concepts painlessly and only teach you what you need to know to get past the initial confusion of writing code. I should warn you though that this book does not cover many of the advanced concepts of C like pointers and linked lists and that you are better off buying "C All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies" by the same author which will give you more complete coverage of the C language than this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Barb on February 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
What is C without pointers? I am not sure but it is not C. Someone at work suggested it would be C--. That might be a better title for the book. It might be OK for a very very very beginner but it would probably leave even them hungry. In all fairness it does have 2/3 of one page on pointers. The classic K&R book on the C language by the people that invented it spends about 20% of the book on pointers.

This book mostly skips structures also with a mere 1.5 pages on them. If you combined pointers and structures probably 1/3 of K&R is on them.

I really like the Dummies series. They have a unique feature that is missing in most computer books. You can read them and not fall asleep before the end of one page. I recommend you skip this book and get "C All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies". Also, (not recommended for beginners) the classic "The C Programming Language" by Kerningham and Ritche, 1988, is still in print and surprisingly readable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By deviated_prevert on June 19, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The idea behind the Dummies books - put the reader at ease - is taken to extremes here. The style is not only very distracting, but a waste of time. This book is almost 400 pages long, but if you took out the dumb jokes and other irrelevant material, you could condense it down to about 50 pages. For a good introduction to C programming, and an excellent example of concise technical writing, spend fifteen bucks to download Coronado's C tutorial:

[...]

I have a total of three introductory books on C programming and none of them is as useful as the Coronado tutorial.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By joecoolaug on August 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I liked this book.

I'm just a simple high school student that was one day sitting at my desk and going to random sites. I was interested in how computers worked, and how they were programmed. So i once typed in "[...]". It turns out that's the site for the "for Dummies" series of books. I decided to look through the section on computers I came over this book about computer programming and decided to buy it on Amazon. I got it and read through a little bit, but I just set it aside after only a few pages of reading all kinds of stuff about where the C programming language came from and how important it was. A year later, I went back to the dummies site and decided that I wanted to read some stuff on how to write game programming. I bought the book, and later found out that t I needed some experience with C programming to use the book. I remembered this book and read it all through. It was a bit complex, I'll say, but very informative. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to get into computer programming. You might want to check out a site like [...] first, and read the javascript tutorial. Although javascript (website design language) and C are very different languages, they do share similar functions and commands.

This book is a perfect-sized stepping stone into the wonderful world of computer programming. You may also want to check out some books on C++ and C# programming if you are seriously considerring becoming a professional computer programmer, because these three similar languages are a good part of the base to start learning other languages and becoming a programming master.
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