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Guide to Programming with Python Paperback – March 13, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1423901129 ISBN-10: 1423901126 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 1 edition (March 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423901126
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423901129
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Introduction 1. Getting Started: The Game Over Program 2. Types, Variables, and Simple I/O: The Useless Trivia Program 3. Branching, while Loops, and Program Planning: The Guess My Number Game 4. for Loops, Strings, and Tuples: The Word Jumble Game 5. Lists and Dictionaries: The Hangman Game 6. Functions: Tic-Tac-Toe 7. Files and Exceptions: The Trivia Challenge Game 8. Software Objects: The Critter Caretaker Program 9. Object-Oriented Programming: The Blackjack Game 10. GUI Development: The Mad Lib Program 11. Graphics: The Pizza Panic Game 12. Sound, Animation, and Program Development: The Astrocrash Game Appendix A: Livewires Reference

About the Author

Michael Dawson has worked as both a programmer and a computer game designer and producer. In addition to real-world game industry experience, Dawson earned his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California. He currently teaches game programming and design to students of all ages through UCLA Extension courses and private lessons. Visit his Web site at www.programgames.com to learn more or to get support for any of his books.

More About the Author

Michael Dawson has worked as both a programmer and a computer game designer and producer. In addition to real world game industry experience, Mike earned his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California. Currently, he teaches game programming in the Game Production Department of the Los Angeles Film School. Mike has also taught game programming to students through UCLA Extension and The Digital Media Academy at Stanford. He's the author of three other books: Beginning C++ through Game Programming, Guide to Programming with Python, and C++

Projects: Programming with Text-Based Games. You can visit his website at www.programgames.com to learn more or to get support for any of his books.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Hill on May 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
While I won't deny this is the best book out there to teach someone Python, it is pretty much Word for Word the same book as Python for the Absolute Beginner (which is by the same author). This version is packaged as an academic book, and costs 4 times as much!
I love the author for this book, but the publisher should be shot.
Go pick up the absolute beginner version and saves yourself $60.

If it hadn't been the same book, I would happily given it 5 stars.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alison Chaiken on October 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Dawson's text was required for a course I took. Overall the book was useful, as the explanations are clear and there are plenty of code examples and problems that exercise the concepts. However, the book will annoy those have previous programming experience, as it assumes no knowledge of any other language and explains what for-next, while, et cetera are. I find the elementary approach surprising given that the author has another text on Python that appears more geared towards beginners.

What really annoys me, though, is that Chapters 11 and 12 about games are essentially unusable. The code examples in Chapters 11 and 12 are based on an author-modified version of the LiveWires package that is included with the book. That's fine except that the mods are based on an obsolete version of LiveWires, and there appears to be no download site with a newer version of the author's package. That means that in order to learn useful information from Chapters 11 and 12, the student must commit indefinitely to an obsolete version of LiveWires! The lack of a download site is unacceptable and infuriating in this day and age. Chapters 11 and 12 might as well not be included with the book, which is ridiculous as so much of Python development is game-related.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tinkerer on April 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Most programming books seem pretty drab, in that they teach by laying out the fundamentals, and rely on the reader to see how everything fits together. This book is nice because it takes the approach of starting with a practical need (in this case, game programming), and showing how to evolve toward an understanding of a programming language (in this case, Python) through the development of small games. Time will tell how well this method works in the big scheme of things, but I found it to be a nice alternative introduction to programming. It also has review questions and projects and the end of the chapters to further enhance the teaching value of the book. All in all, a decent little book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ruby on September 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good book in perfect condition. it doesn't contain a CD Rom. but the contents in CD could download from the website.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Larry S. Yaeger on August 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
I teach a sophomore-level introduction to computer programming class using this textbook at a major university. I reviewed many alternatives and while there are other books that may be a little bit better from a theoretical computer science perspective, I decided in favor of this book partly because it provided a much more gradual ramp up than most programming textbooks and especially because it couched everything in terms of games, which hopefully keeps things just that little bit more fun and interesting for the students. Even the traditional "Hello World!" program is replaced by a "Game Over!" program, and the author is that dedicated to the premise of keeping it game-oriented and entertaining throughout. And along the way you really do learn quite a bit about programming, both procedural and object-oriented. I can highly recommend this for budding programmers.

One note of caution, on two different fronts... As another reviewer has observed, there is another book by the same author, called "Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner", that has almost exactly the same contents as this one, and is much cheaper. If you are considering buying this book for your own personal use, the other reviewer's suggestion to purchase that book instead and save yourself some money is spot on. HOWEVER, if you are making this purchase to satisfy a textbook requirement for a university course, that other book probably will not do. Unfortunately, there are some differences in the end-of-chapter "projects" that will more than likely be used by your professor as class assignments, and if you get the other book you won't have the right assignments to work on and turn in. So if this is to be your textbook for a college class, you probably have to purchase this more expensive edition.
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