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Wanting to Learn

 
 
Tim Apple
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      02-04-2004
Hello All,

I would like to learn C, I have 0 programming experience. If anyone has
links to good tutorials It would be appreciated, especially stuff that can
be downloaded. I am in the military and will be spending the next year in
Iraq. I will have my laptop with me and will use my free time to learn,
but I will have no net access. So whatever I can get on my hard drive to
bring with would be appreciated. Thanks

Sgt Tim Apple
US Army
 
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Richard Bos
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      02-04-2004
Tim Apple <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I would like to learn C, I have 0 programming experience.


Warning: C can be full of traps for the absolute beginner, especially
without a proper teacher. It _is_ possible to learn to be a good
programmer starting with C, but trying to do so on your own is asking
for trouble, especially from a web tutorial - most aren't very good.

It's wiser, IMO, to learn to be a good programmer first, and then learn
C. C assumes that the programmer knows what he's doing. Learning to
program is easier using a language that assumes you don't know what
you're doing. I personally suggest Pascal, but other people will
recommend other languages, most of whom I haven't tried, so can't judge.

Richard
 
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Wolfgang Kaufmann
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      02-04-2004
* Thus spoke Tim Apple <(E-Mail Removed)>:

Hallo,

> I would like to learn C, I have 0 programming experience. If anyone has
> links to good tutorials It would be appreciated, especially stuff that can
> be downloaded.


o <http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~ajo/docs/FAQ-acllc.html#q6.2>
o <http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~ajo/docs/FAQ-acllc.html#q7.1>


Wolfgang.
--
"I can remember the exact instant when I realized that a large part of my life
from then on was going to be spent in finding mistakes in my own programs."
-- Maurice Wilkes
 
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Leor Zolman
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      02-04-2004
On Wed, 04 Feb 2004 14:56:44 GMT, Tim Apple <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>Hello All,
>
>I would like to learn C, I have 0 programming experience. If anyone has
>links to good tutorials It would be appreciated, especially stuff that can
>be downloaded. I am in the military and will be spending the next year in
>Iraq. I will have my laptop with me and will use my free time to learn,
>but I will have no net access. So whatever I can get on my hard drive to
>bring with would be appreciated. Thanks
>
>Sgt Tim Apple
>US Army


It's true that C and C++ aren't the best "first" programming
languages; you may be told by the compiler that you've done something
wrong, but you'll still have a lot of trouble knowing how to fix it.
(That's still true for me right now, actually, for template messages
in C++...)

If you do decide to tackle C, a couple of suggestions:

1), 2), 3), and 4) Find someone who already knows it that will let you
ask him/her questions. That's IMO by far the most important resource
you'll ever have.

5) Get a copy of K&R 2nd ed. , and then either "The C Answer Book"
(hard copy) or you can grab this site off the web (using, say,
TelePort Pro):
http://users.powernet.co.uk/eton/kandr2/

Do all the exercises yourself, then compare your solutions. If you
make it through all that, you'll know C pretty well
-leor


Leor Zolman
BD Software
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
www.bdsoft.com -- On-Site Training in C/C++, Java, Perl & Unix
C++ users: Download BD Software's free STL Error Message
Decryptor at www.bdsoft.com/tools/stlfilt.html
 
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Tim Apple
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      02-04-2004
Some of you are saying c is not the best language to start with pascal was
a recomendation, any others?

Sgt Tim Apple







On Wed, 04 Feb 2004 14:56:44 +0000, Tim Apple wrote:

> Hello All,
>
> I would like to learn C, I have 0 programming experience. If anyone has
> links to good tutorials It would be appreciated, especially stuff that can
> be downloaded. I am in the military and will be spending the next year in
> Iraq. I will have my laptop with me and will use my free time to learn,
> but I will have no net access. So whatever I can get on my hard drive to
> bring with would be appreciated. Thanks
>
> Sgt Tim Apple
> US Army


 
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gabriel
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      02-04-2004
Tim Apple wrote:

> Some of you are saying c is not the best language to start with pascal
> was a recomendation, any others?


Well, what do you want to do? I know a lot of military people who are
trying to figure out what to do afterwards, and they choose to get into
programming. Is this you?

There are a lot of things to consider, specially the type of programming
that you want to get into. If you would like to tinker with "system" stuff
like operating systems, very scientific algorithms, or you would like to
squeeze out every possible bit of performance out of the processor (and who
cares if it takes a year to write), then C is a great place to start.

If you would like to learn computer science in general, then I would start
out with C#, Java, or Delphi, but only because, as others said, starting in
C without a mentor nearby is suicide.

If you want to write GUI programs with the nice screens and friendly
interfaces, database access, and rapid development, then you would do
better to go to the anti-Christ (at least in this group) sort of
technologies (Microsoft Visual Basic, or .NET), or a more sensible choice
which is Delphi (Borland's Object-Oriented Pascal). The focus in these
kinds of languages is to let you put something out the door quicker,
looking nicer, and you did not spend a long time producing it. Also, when
writing with these kinds of languages and compilers, you concentrate more
on _what_ you are solving rather than _how_ you are solving it.

--
gabriel
 
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Bruno Desthuilliers
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      02-04-2004
Tim Apple wrote:
> Some of you are saying c is not the best language to start with pascal was
> a recomendation, any others?
>
> Sgt Tim Apple
>


#include <evangelism/python.h>

Python is a simple but powerful (in term of what you can do, not of
execution speed !-) language that may be a good choice for absolute
beginners, since
- the syntax is clear and readable
- the language supports many paradigms (procedural - as C and Pascal-,
object - as C++ and Java and... -, functional - as Lisp, ML etc)
- it comes with an interpreter and a shell, so you can test code in
'real time'
- there are some Python tutorials for absolute beginners.

http://www.python.org

Well, it's quite a good replacement for grand dad's basic, and you can
also use it to write real, non trivial, working apps.

Now it won't learn you the low-level details of memory management and
the like...

My 2 cents
Bruno

 
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Sidney Cadot
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      02-04-2004
Tim Apple wrote:

> Some of you are saying c is not the best language to start with pascal was
> a recomendation, any others?


Python was recommended as well. Perhaps the ideal learning path would
consist of a couple of months Python (which is an interpreted language
without strongly typed variables), followed by a transition to the much
stricter Pascal. This would give you a great deal of insight into the
relative strengths and weeknesses of both types of languages.

After mastering Pascal you will be ready to take on C. It has many more
'degrees of freedom', i.e. it is (somewhat) more powerful, but it is
also much harder to use properly.

For Pascal, I'd recommend you get your hands on Turbo Pascal 7, which is
very old, but it was /way/ ahead of its time. As a didactic device, I
think the environment (with the integrated debugger) cannot be beaten.

Turbo Pascal is a superset of Pascal by the way, meaning that you get
many (sensible!) extensions to plain (ISO) Pascal.


Have a good mission and a safe return.


Best regards,

Sidney

 
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Morris Dovey
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      02-04-2004
Tim Apple wrote:

> I would like to learn C, I have 0 programming experience.


Tim...

Then go for it! Everyone has to start somewhere. You'll need
access to a computer with a C compiler and some reading material.
Start by writing tiny, simple programs and work your way up to
larger, more complex, programs.

Feel free to make mistakes - you'll probably learn more from
those than from any other single source.

You've already found comp.lang.c - feel welcome to come here for
help with any C difficulties you might have.

My sig has a link to a page of links for beginners. Take time to
read about asking smart questions and the comp.lang.c welcome and
FAQ pages.

There's info there that'll help you download a free C compiler if
you don't have one available.

--
Morris Dovey
West Des Moines, Iowa USA
C links at http://www.iedu.com/c
Read my lips: The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

 
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Ashish
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      02-04-2004

"Tim Apple" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news(E-Mail Removed)...
> Hello All,
>
> I would like to learn C, I have 0 programming experience. If anyone has
> links to good tutorials It would be appreciated, especially stuff that can
> be downloaded. I am in the military and will be spending the next year in
> Iraq. I will have my laptop with me and will use my free time to learn,
> but I will have no net access. So whatever I can get on my hard drive to
> bring with would be appreciated. Thanks
>
> Sgt Tim Apple
> US Army


Tim, get a good C book with lots of examples, and a free (or non-free) C
compiler.
One book which I used many years ago, when I started learning C, was
'Mastering Turbo C' by Tenanbaum. It has lots of good examples. Others may
have better advices for books, though.

HTH
-Ashish


 
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