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Palm Programming for the Absolute Beginner w/CD Paperback – August 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0761535249 ISBN-10: 0761535241 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: For the Absolute Beginner
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Course Technology PTR; 1 edition (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761535241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761535249
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,756,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andy Harris began teaching computing at the university level in the late 1980s as a part-time job. Since 1995, he has been a full-time lecturer at the Computer Science Department of Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). He now manages the IUPUI Streaming Media Lab and teaches classes in several programming languages. Andy resides in Noblesville, Indiana.

More About the Author

I live near Indianapolis, Indiana.

I am a lecturer in computer science at Indiana University / Purdue University - Indianapolis (Yes, that IS officially the longest university name on the planet... we call it IUPUI)

I was an army brat. I grew up in many parts of the Eastern United States and in Japan.

I've been interested in computing since the early eighties, when my brother and I took the money we were saving for a car and blew it on a TRS-80 model 1 with the built-in Japanese character set. (That machine is still in my garage. Don't tell my wife.)

My first career was as a special education teacher. I taught young adults with severe disabilities for several years. I really enjoyed my job and my students. I learned a lot about teaching through that experience.

While doing special ed, I kept my interest in computing, doing some freelance programming and writing about computer topics. Eventually, I became a lab instructor in the computer science program at IUPUI.

I moved to IUPUI as a full-time gig in 1995. Since then, I have been involved in creating a certificate of applied computer science. I have also worked on building a distributed education program. I especially love designing curricula using emerging and interesting technology and ideas.

I have taught many applied CS topics, but there is always more to learn.
Right now my focus tends to be on applied computing in programming languages, game programming, and mobile computing.

My favorite part about writing is hearing from readers. It's great when somebody sends me a link to a game or project they've written using one of my books. I'd love to get a line from you about one of my books, what you'd like to see me work on next, or just to say hi. I hope my writing feels like a conversation, and I'm looking forward to hearing from your side of the talk.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read a prerelease version, and thought it was excellent. This book is, as it's titled, for absolute beginners. For that audience, I think it works very well to teach PocketC, which is not C. Most programming environments for the Palm are not for beginners. The book is clear, simple, entertaining, and gets the reader to the point where satisfying useful and interesting programs can be written for an inexpensive computer. To rapidly get into programming, with some coverage of most procedural (not object-oriented) programming topics, this book and PocketC are a great combination. Topics covered include program flow, databases, and graphics including images and the user interface. Generally these are discussed in a game context, but skills acquired are clearly applicable to other programs.
Potential buyers should understand that pocketC is not C. Close to a subset of C, it is in fact easier for beginners since it has automatic type conversions and a useful set of simple palm-specific functions. Code can be written and compiled on either the desktop or the Palm device itself. C programmers will miss structures most. It is also slow, but this deficiency is attenuated by the applicability of native libraries such as the excellent and free PToolbox, covered in the book.
The book's major shortcoming derives from PocketC as a moving target: the language and PToolbox were both updated shortly after release. However, this book should prepare the reader to understand those extensions, as well as the orbworks forum (cited) where questions on PocketC can be placed and answered. The major change is to PToolbox, which now can replace CControls.
One _can_ make standalone prc files with PocketC, however that's not always a good idea, since programs take up much less space if you don't.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Little Bit of Background about PocketC: PocketC was developed by Jeremy Dewey to allow the programmer to develop Palm PDA applications using the C language. He designed PocketC so that the programmer can design, code, and run the C programs using only the PDA. Although PocketC is a great development tool, there were no programming books that explained PocketC in detail - until now!
And Now the Book! - I bought this book to be used as a reference book since this is the first book that I have found on PocketC development. Boy, what a goldmine! Andy Harris has done an excellent job in presenting application examples and detailed explanations on how he uses the PocketC commands and functions to develop the application examples. If you are new to the C language or to Palm programming then this book will help you master both. Andy takes his time in teaching you how to use PocketC to program your Palm PDA. Each chapter builds on the knowledge that you learned from the previous chapter and his style of writing will not bore you to death. Also, everything is included on the CD-ROM to get you programming as soon as possible!
I highly recommend it for the beginner or veteran!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Williams on March 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have dabbled in programming since the 1970's, starting out with Radio Shack's Color Computer and their guide to Basic Programming. Over the years I have bought a bookshelf full of programming books and guides and this is one of the best ones I have seen.
It is written in great detail and every new concept and line of code is explained in an interesting, easy to grasp way. Program examples are for the most part based on progarmming games and "fun" type projects to keep you interested, but the book also gets into more serious topics as well.
The book teaches the Pocket C language. Pocket C is not standard ANSI C. I've seen a few negative comments to that effect, but I really don't consider it a negative. Pocket C is written specifically for use on Palms and has many built in functions that greatly simplify writing the programs. it is also a very compact and easy to understand language. Although in itself, it is not a "Visual" environment, there are several third party form design tools available when you prograss to the point of needing them. In my opinion you are better off concentrating on learning the programming syntax and commands first when learning a new language, or learning to program for the first time, rather than starting out with an interface that atttempts to do so many things for you. You need to have a good enough understanding of the nuts and bolts of your chosen programming language to do the coding manually, even if later on you use a more advanced rapid application development environment. This book does gives you a good grounding in the basic concepts of programming that apply to Pocket C as well as whatever other language you might choose to learn.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David Laub on December 21, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, PocketC is a nice productive development environment for Palm - but it is based on a proprietary hybrid of the C language - and the whole book is centered around this specific development environment - if you think the book will cover standard c/c++ (e.g. using the gnu C++ compiler), you're in for a shock! Also, you have to BUY PocketC after 45 days, because it is shareware - the standard development environment offered by Palm (based on the Eclipse integrated environment & gnu c++) is FREE
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