Tips on gaining proficiency in C

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by AB, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. AB

    AB Guest

    Hi,

    Regret the fact that this post may be slightly OT to c.l.c, but I am sure
    that people there would give GREAT advice...

    I am working as a QA (Automation), which generally involves writing mundane
    Perl scripts for automated testing of a C Utility.

    Bored with the kind of work I am doing, I would love to learn C Programming
    (I have theoretical knowledge, thanks to a Bachelor's in CS), with the
    intention of, to start with, learning enough to enable me dabble in systems
    programming (Linux/Unix) (and hopefully, a job switch ...quickly :) )

    I have a few books

    - Design of the Unix OS, Bach
    - APUE , (Richard Stevens)
    - Network Programming (Richard Stevens)

    Which I read now and then.

    I have also gone through the C Faqs (All of it), but naturally, since I
    haven't actually coded, it is not very useful.

    Request suggestions/tips/hints on
    - how I could go about getting some proficiency in C/Systems.
    - Any suitable *projects* which would be worth doing (I tried sourceforge),
    - the order (If there is any .. :) in which the above material is best read.
    - (Any pointers to other good books are welcome, too ! )


    Thanks a lot !

    Abhi
    AB, Sep 15, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. AB

    Alwyn Guest

    In article <BFT1d.9$>, AB
    <> wrote:
    >
    > I have a few books
    >
    > - Design of the Unix OS, Bach
    > - APUE , (Richard Stevens)
    > - Network Programming (Richard Stevens)
    >
    > Which I read now and then.


    Excellent books all three, but how about adding another classic to the
    list: 'The C Programming Language' (2nd ed.) by Kernighan and Ritchie?


    Alwyn
    Alwyn, Sep 15, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. AB

    Richard Bos Guest

    AB <> wrote:

    > Bored with the kind of work I am doing, I would love to learn C Programming
    > (I have theoretical knowledge, thanks to a Bachelor's in CS), with the
    > intention of, to start with, learning enough to enable me dabble in systems
    > programming (Linux/Unix) (and hopefully, a job switch ...quickly :) )


    Systems programming is not something you start with.

    > I have a few books
    >
    > - Design of the Unix OS, Bach
    > - APUE , (Richard Stevens)
    > - Network Programming (Richard Stevens)
    >
    > Which I read now and then.


    K&R. Don't read it now and then; begin at the beginning, and continue
    until you get to the end. Then, and only then, stop.

    > Request suggestions/tips/hints on
    > - how I could go about getting some proficiency in C/Systems.


    Practice. Practice, practice, practice.

    > - Any suitable *projects* which would be worth doing (I tried sourceforge),


    For a complete beginner? Write Wumpus. Write a text adventure. Write a
    Turing machine. Don't start on industrial-scale projects until you know
    the language quite well.

    Richard
    Richard Bos, Sep 15, 2004
    #3
  4. AB

    AB Guest

    Alwyn wrote:
    > In article <BFT1d.9$>, AB
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>I have a few books
    >>
    >>- Design of the Unix OS, Bach
    >>- APUE , (Richard Stevens)
    >>- Network Programming (Richard Stevens)
    >>
    >>Which I read now and then.

    >
    >
    > Excellent books all three, but how about adding another classic to the
    > list: 'The C Programming Language' (2nd ed.) by Kernighan and Ritchie?
    >


    Aah yes ! The Bible .. Shouldn't have missed that one.

    Will be rushing to the bookstore immediately.

    Thanks
    Abhi
    AB, Sep 15, 2004
    #4
  5. AB

    John Bode Guest

    AB <> wrote in message news:<BFT1d.9$>...
    > Hi,
    >
    > Regret the fact that this post may be slightly OT to c.l.c, but I am sure
    > that people there would give GREAT advice...
    >
    > I am working as a QA (Automation), which generally involves writing mundane
    > Perl scripts for automated testing of a C Utility.
    >
    > Bored with the kind of work I am doing, I would love to learn C Programming
    > (I have theoretical knowledge, thanks to a Bachelor's in CS), with the
    > intention of, to start with, learning enough to enable me dabble in systems
    > programming (Linux/Unix) (and hopefully, a job switch ...quickly :) )
    >
    > I have a few books
    >
    > - Design of the Unix OS, Bach
    > - APUE , (Richard Stevens)
    > - Network Programming (Richard Stevens)
    >
    > Which I read now and then.
    >
    > I have also gone through the C Faqs (All of it), but naturally, since I
    > haven't actually coded, it is not very useful.
    >
    > Request suggestions/tips/hints on
    > - how I could go about getting some proficiency in C/Systems.


    Write a lot of code, make a lot of mistakes, write more code.

    Seriously, programming is a skill, and skills require practice.

    > - Any suitable *projects* which would be worth doing (I tried sourceforge),


    *Simple* database apps (tracking CDs and DVDs, say) touch on a lot of
    different areas. A simple newsreader will give you experience in
    network communications.

    > - the order (If there is any .. :) in which the above material is best read.
    > - (Any pointers to other good books are welcome, too ! )
    >


    Everyone's mentioned K&R. My favorite *reference* manual (not a
    tutorial) is Harbison & Steele's "C: A Reference Manual", currently
    5th edition.
    >
    > Thanks a lot !
    >
    > Abhi
    John Bode, Sep 15, 2004
    #5
  6. AB

    Tabrez Iqbal Guest

    AB <> wrote in message news:<FjV1d.15$>...
    > Alwyn wrote:
    > > In article <BFT1d.9$>, AB
    > > <> wrote:
    > >
    > >>I have a few books
    > >>
    > >>- Design of the Unix OS, Bach
    > >>- APUE , (Richard Stevens)
    > >>- Network Programming (Richard Stevens)
    > >>
    > >>Which I read now and then.

    > >
    > >
    > > Excellent books all three, but how about adding another classic to the
    > > list: 'The C Programming Language' (2nd ed.) by Kernighan and Ritchie?
    > >

    >
    > Aah yes ! The Bible .. Shouldn't have missed that one.
    >
    > Will be rushing to the bookstore immediately.
    >
    > Thanks
    > Abhi



    Along with TCPL by Kernighan and Ritchie, also pick-up the Answer Book
    to the same book by Tondo. completing the exercises of K&R with the
    help of the Answer Boor will give you lots of confidence.

    tabrez
    Tabrez Iqbal, Sep 15, 2004
    #6
  7. AB wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > Regret the fact that this post may be slightly OT to c.l.c, but I am
    > sure that people there would give GREAT advice...
    >
    > I am working as a QA (Automation), which generally involves writing
    > mundane Perl scripts for automated testing of a C Utility.
    >

    If you write in perl, learning c will be NO problem. They are very
    close. You could "almost" get perl code to compile in c by removing the
    $ from scalars. %'s and @'s and regexp will be a different problem.

    THere a ton of free libraries available. I have been writing in c and
    perl for @ 12 years. I'm switching to C++ for everything except the
    simplest of scripts. (long story but perl version is a major problem
    here at work)

    > Bored with the kind of work I am doing, I would love to learn C
    > Programming (I have theoretical knowledge, thanks to a Bachelor's in
    > CS), with the intention of, to start with, learning enough to enable me
    > dabble in systems programming (Linux/Unix) (and hopefully, a job switch
    > ...quickly :) )
    >
    > I have a few books
    >
    > - Design of the Unix OS, Bach
    > - APUE , (Richard Stevens)
    > - Network Programming (Richard Stevens)
    >
    > Which I read now and then.
    >
    > I have also gone through the C Faqs (All of it), but naturally, since I
    > haven't actually coded, it is not very useful.
    >
    > Request suggestions/tips/hints on
    > - how I could go about getting some proficiency in C/Systems.
    > - Any suitable *projects* which would be worth doing (I tried
    > sourceforge), - the order (If there is any .. :) in which the above
    > material is best read.
    > - (Any pointers to other good books are welcome, too ! )
    >
    >
    > Thanks a lot !
    >
    > Abhi



    --
    ___ _ ____ ___ __ __
    / _ )(_) / /_ __ / _ \___ _/ /_/ /____ ___
    / _ / / / / // / / ___/ _ `/ __/ __/ _ \/ _ \
    /____/_/_/_/\_, / /_/ \_,_/\__/\__/\___/_//_/
    /___/
    Texas Instruments ASIC Circuit Design Methodlogy Group
    Dallas, Texas, 214-480-4455,
    Billy N. Patton, Sep 15, 2004
    #7
  8. AB

    Malcolm Guest

    "AB" <> wrote
    >
    > (I have theoretical knowledge, thanks to a Bachelor's in CS), with the
    > intention of, to start with, learning enough to enable me dabble in

    systems
    > programming (Linux/Unix) (and hopefully, a job switch ...quickly :) )
    >

    If you have a degree in computer science then learning a new language
    shouldn't be a problem. Simply pick up a primer and go.
    To learn all the minutae of the standard is very difficult, but you don't
    need this, just as you don't need a degree in linguistics to speak English
    competently (though you might use a should for a would occasionally).
    Malcolm, Sep 15, 2004
    #8
  9. AB

    Randy Howard Guest

    In article <>, tabrez19
    says...
    >
    > Along with TCPL by Kernighan and Ritchie, also pick-up the Answer Book
    > to the same book by Tondo. completing the exercises of K&R with the
    > help of the Answer Boor will give you lots of confidence.


    Technically this one isn't necessary, as web sites with answers to the
    book's exercises are available on the web, but not all are authoritative.
    If the OP is trying to save money, that one could be omitted. More to
    his original posts, enquiries to c.l.c about troubles with K&R exercise
    problems are never considered OT there.

    --
    Randy Howard (To reply, remove FOOBAR)
    Randy Howard, Sep 15, 2004
    #9
  10. AB

    Randy Howard Guest

    In article <BFT1d.9$>,
    says...
    > Request suggestions/tips/hints on
    > - how I could go about getting some proficiency in C/Systems.


    You have a lot of good answers so far, mostly consisting of "practice"
    and repeat. That is good advice, it's really the only way until
    someone figures out to make a potion which can be injected in the
    arm to short-circuit the "experience" requirement.

    Since you are working in QA and want to get into development (that
    is a relatively common career path btw), you might consider asking
    one of the people currently writing code for which you are doing
    QA work to let you look at the source after you get some of the
    "rust" knocked off from the books you plan to study. Read it,
    understand it, compile it, etc. You might even find some good bugs
    to make the boss happy (and the programmer less so) during the
    process. Since the code represents a project for which you are
    familiar, provided it is not overly complicated (the use of "utility"
    in your description implies that it is not), it should make for a
    decent way to get your feet wet with code that is already up and
    running.

    > - Any suitable *projects* which would be worth doing (I tried sourceforge),


    Sourceforge has some very good open source projects available, it also a
    very large number of terrible ones, or ones that somebody thought would be
    a good idea and never completed (or even started). It's a shame it does
    not seem to get pruned out over time, but I digress.

    One option is to google the web for C programming course homework assignments
    once you have mastered the exercises in K&R. The other is to simply think
    up programs that would be handy to have and implement them.

    > - (Any pointers to other good books are welcome, too ! )


    C Traps and Pitfalls by Koenig is brief, but full of useful information in
    a short space. The c.l.c FAQ is of course a requirement, but hopefully
    you are already planning on reading it in total (not just looking for answers)
    as well.

    --
    Randy Howard (To reply, remove FOOBAR)
    "At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable,
    as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-
    disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy
    of sniveling brats." -- P. J. O'Rourke
    Randy Howard, Sep 15, 2004
    #10
  11. In article <>, "Billy N. Patton" <> writes:
    > If you write in perl, learning c will be NO problem. They are very
    > close.


    This must be the largest value for "very close" ever recorded.

    Perl is an object-oriented high-level scripting language. C is
    none of these.

    Perl has built-in support for threading, embedded documentation, hash
    tables, lists, operator contexts (scalar and list), two forms of
    scope (lexical and dynamic), labelled flow control, alternative forms
    of "if" statements (unless and elsif), modifier statements (where
    body preceeds flow control), computed goto, non-local goto (goto
    &name), regular expression pattern matching, and lambdas (run-time
    anonymous subroutines). None of those are in C.

    Perl has scads of special variables and operators which are not in
    C, particularly for string manipulation.

    Perl has two different string types, one with some C-like escape
    sequences plus various ones not in C, the other without them. It
    permits newlines in string constants. It has another entire quoting
    mechanism which is completely foreign to C. Perl has a syntax for
    numeric literals which is not in C (using the underscore character).

    Perl has tons of standard modules which in effect give it a standard
    "library" that's far larger and more ambitious than the C standard
    library.

    > You could "almost" get perl code to compile in c by removing the
    > $ from scalars.


    This is only true of the most trivial and non-idiomatic Perl code.
    I've never seen published Perl code that did anything useful that
    was even close to C.

    Perl adopted some of its operators from C (actually, Larry Wall
    likely adopted them from the more popular Unix shells, which adopted
    them from C), but it's really very little like C.

    --
    Michael Wojcik

    Auden often writes like Disney. Like Disney, he knows the shape of beasts --
    (& incidently he, too, might have a company of artists producing his lines) --
    unlike Lawrence, he does not know what shapes or motivates these beasts.
    -- Dylan Thomas
    Michael Wojcik, Sep 15, 2004
    #11
  12. AB

    Willem Guest

    Michael wrote:
    ) Perl is an object-oriented high-level scripting language. C is
    ) none of these.
    )
    ) <...>
    )
    ) Perl adopted some of its operators from C (actually, Larry Wall
    ) likely adopted them from the more popular Unix shells, which adopted
    ) them from C), but it's really very little like C.

    Well, one could claim that most C code would run in perl with very little
    modification. One could also claim that for most shell scripts, most awk
    scripts, most sed scripts, and probably several other ways of programming.


    SaSW, Willem
    --
    Disclaimer: I am in no way responsible for any of the statements
    made in the above text. For all I know I might be
    drugged or something..
    No I'm not paranoid. You all think I'm paranoid, don't you !
    #EOT
    Willem, Sep 15, 2004
    #12
  13. AB

    AB Guest

    Randy Howard wrote:
    > In article <BFT1d.9$>,
    > says...
    >
    >>Request suggestions/tips/hints on
    >>- how I could go about getting some proficiency in C/Systems.

    >
    >
    > You have a lot of good answers so far, mostly consisting of "practice"
    > and repeat. That is good advice, it's really the only way until
    > someone figures out to make a potion which can be injected in the
    > arm to short-circuit the "experience" requirement.
    >


    <OT>
    a-la Matrix ... :)
    </OT>

    > Since you are working in QA and want to get into development (that
    > is a relatively common career path btw), you might consider asking
    > one of the people currently writing code for which you are doing
    > QA work to let you look at the source after you get some of the
    > "rust" knocked off from the books you plan to study. Read it,
    > understand it, compile it, etc. You might even find some good bugs
    > to make the boss happy (and the programmer less so) during the
    > process. Since the code represents a project for which you are
    > familiar, provided it is not overly complicated (the use of "utility"
    > in your description implies that it is not), it should make for a
    > decent way to get your feet wet with code that is already up and
    > running.
    >


    Thanks for the advice! My usage of the term "utility" is downright
    misleading. It is more of a major project with 10+ full time developers.

    >
    >>- Any suitable *projects* which would be worth doing (I tried sourceforge),

    >
    >
    > Sourceforge has some very good open source projects available, it also a
    > very large number of terrible ones, or ones that somebody thought would be
    > a good idea and never completed (or even started). It's a shame it does
    > not seem to get pruned out over time, but I digress.
    >
    > One option is to google the web for C programming course homework assignments
    > once you have mastered the exercises in K&R. The other is to simply think
    > up programs that would be handy to have and implement them.
    >
    >
    >>- (Any pointers to other good books are welcome, too ! )

    >
    >
    > C Traps and Pitfalls by Koenig is brief, but full of useful information in
    > a short space. The c.l.c FAQ is of course a requirement, but hopefully
    > you are already planning on reading it in total (not just looking for answers)
    > as well.


    I already have read the C FAQs end to end, but most of it passed through
    due to the fact that I did not actually write code when reading.

    Thanks to everyone for their tips and suggestions !

    Regards
    Abhi
    AB, Sep 16, 2004
    #13
  14. Billy N. Patton <> scribbled the following
    on comp.lang.c:
    > AB wrote:
    >> Hi,
    >>
    >> Regret the fact that this post may be slightly OT to c.l.c, but I am
    >> sure that people there would give GREAT advice...
    >>
    >> I am working as a QA (Automation), which generally involves writing
    >> mundane Perl scripts for automated testing of a C Utility.
    >>

    > If you write in perl, learning c will be NO problem. They are very
    > close. You could "almost" get perl code to compile in c by removing the
    > $ from scalars. %'s and @'s and regexp will be a different problem.


    Sorry, but that's like saying "If you write in French, learning Swahili
    will be NO problem".

    --
    /-- Joona Palaste () ------------- Finland --------\
    \-- http://www.helsinki.fi/~palaste --------------------- rules! --------/
    "The question of copying music from the Internet is like a two-barreled sword."
    - Finnish rap artist Ezkimo
    Joona I Palaste, Sep 16, 2004
    #14
  15. In comp.lang.c AB <> wrote:
    > Alwyn wrote:
    >> In article <BFT1d.9$>, AB
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>I have a few books
    >>>
    >>>- Design of the Unix OS, Bach
    >>>- APUE , (Richard Stevens)
    >>>- Network Programming (Richard Stevens)
    >>>
    >>>Which I read now and then.

    >>
    >>
    >> Excellent books all three, but how about adding another classic to the
    >> list: 'The C Programming Language' (2nd ed.) by Kernighan and Ritchie?
    >>

    >
    > Aah yes ! The Bible .. Shouldn't have missed that one.


    Perhaps the version that is now in print fixes all the known Errata,
    I'm not sure. Be aware that the original 2nd Edition had several
    significant(?) errors, which have been corrected in a separate Errata
    document. Is there a reference in the C-FAQ, perhaps? Available on the web.
    Benjamin Ketcham, Sep 17, 2004
    #15
  16. AB

    Adrian Guest

    Benjamin Ketcham wrote:
    > In comp.lang.c AB <> wrote:
    >
    >>Alwyn wrote:
    >>
    >>>In article <BFT1d.9$>, AB
    >>><> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>I have a few books
    >>>>
    >>>>- Design of the Unix OS, Bach
    >>>>- APUE , (Richard Stevens)
    >>>>- Network Programming (Richard Stevens)
    >>>>
    >>>>Which I read now and then.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>Excellent books all three, but how about adding another classic to the
    >>>list: 'The C Programming Language' (2nd ed.) by Kernighan and Ritchie?
    >>>

    >>
    >>Aah yes ! The Bible .. Shouldn't have missed that one.

    >
    >
    > Perhaps the version that is now in print fixes all the known Errata,
    > I'm not sure. Be aware that the original 2nd Edition had several
    > significant(?) errors, which have been corrected in a separate Errata
    > document. Is there a reference in the C-FAQ, perhaps? Available on the web.
    >

    K and R, although very popular with this ng is definitely no adequate
    learning text from a didactical point of view.
    Adrian, Sep 17, 2004
    #16
  17. AB

    -berlin.de Guest

    In comp.programming Adrian <> wrote:
    > Benjamin Ketcham wrote:
    >> In comp.lang.c AB <> wrote:
    >>>Alwyn wrote:
    >>>>In article <BFT1d.9$>, AB
    >>>><> wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>>I have a few books
    >>>>>
    >>>>>- Design of the Unix OS, Bach
    >>>>>- APUE , (Richard Stevens)
    >>>>>- Network Programming (Richard Stevens)
    >>>>>
    >>>>>Which I read now and then.
    >>>>
    >>>>Excellent books all three, but how about adding another classic to the
    >>>>list: 'The C Programming Language' (2nd ed.) by Kernighan and Ritchie?
    >>>
    >>>Aah yes ! The Bible .. Shouldn't have missed that one.

    >>
    >> Perhaps the version that is now in print fixes all the known Errata,
    >> I'm not sure. Be aware that the original 2nd Edition had several
    >> significant(?) errors, which have been corrected in a separate Errata
    >> document. Is there a reference in the C-FAQ, perhaps? Available on the web


    The errata are here:

    http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cbook/2ediffs.html

    > K and R, although very popular with this ng is definitely no adequate
    > learning text from a didactical point of view.


    Huh? If you have a bit of exposure to computer programming before you
    start with it it's IMHO one of the best written books in that field
    _especially_ from a didactic point of view. I wish all the books were
    that well-written it would make learning a new language a lot easier.

    Regards, Jens
    --
    \ Jens Thoms Toerring ___ -berlin.de
    \__________________________ http://www.toerring.de
    -berlin.de, Sep 17, 2004
    #17
  18. AB

    Adrian Guest

    Adrian wrote:
    > Benjamin Ketcham wrote:
    >
    >> In comp.lang.c AB <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Alwyn wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> In article <BFT1d.9$>, AB
    >>>> <> wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>> I have a few books
    >>>>>
    >>>>> - Design of the Unix OS, Bach
    >>>>> - APUE , (Richard Stevens)
    >>>>> - Network Programming (Richard Stevens)
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Which I read now and then.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> Excellent books all three, but how about adding another classic to the
    >>>> list: 'The C Programming Language' (2nd ed.) by Kernighan and Ritchie?
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>> Aah yes ! The Bible .. Shouldn't have missed that one.

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Perhaps the version that is now in print fixes all the known Errata,
    >> I'm not sure. Be aware that the original 2nd Edition had several
    >> significant(?) errors, which have been corrected in a separate Errata
    >> document. Is there a reference in the C-FAQ, perhaps? Available on
    >> the web.
    >>

    > K and R, although very popular with this ng is definitely no adequate
    > learning text from a didactical point of view.

    I would like to add that as far as C literature goes
    "C: A Reference Manual" by Harbinson and Steele ISBN 0-13-089592-x
    would seem absolutely essential to have.
    Adrian, Sep 17, 2004
    #18
  19. AB wrote:
    > Hi,

    [snip]
    > Bored with the kind of work I am doing, I would love to learn C
    > Programming (I have theoretical knowledge, thanks to a Bachelor's in
    > CS), with the intention of, to start with, learning enough to enable me
    > dabble in systems programming (Linux/Unix) (and hopefully, a job switch
    > ...quickly :) )

    [snip]
    > Abhi


    I think your goal is reasonable and very laudable.

    I have one question, however. Please don't take this as a personal
    criticism. How can one get a Bachelor's in CS and not know C? Have
    universities gotten so far out of touch?

    What "theoretical knowledge" did they give you? Theoretical knowledge is
    great as long as you can apply it.

    Again, I'm not doubting you or your skills. I'm just puzzled by the fact
    that you have to ask the question.

    Maybe I'm too old: In school I started in FORTRAN, 360 asm, picked up
    Pascal and C along the way, dabbled in COBOL, and even a little RPG.
    This was (at least now in retrospect) a pretty good base to start from.

    Today (much much later ;-)) I use and write C, C++, lex, yacc, lisp,
    tcl, perl, sh, tcsh, and a few other languages.

    Good luck with the job switch. Just remember (and I think you already
    know this, by the way): There will always be something new and cool to
    learn. When we stop learning and striving, we die.

    -Rich

    --
    Richard Pennington
    Email:
    http://www.pennware.com ftp://ftp.pennware.com
    Richard Pennington, Sep 18, 2004
    #19
  20. AB

    AB Guest

    Richard Pennington wrote:
    > AB wrote:
    >
    >>Hi,

    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >>Bored with the kind of work I am doing, I would love to learn C
    >>Programming (I have theoretical knowledge, thanks to a Bachelor's in
    >>CS), with the intention of, to start with, learning enough to enable me
    >>dabble in systems programming (Linux/Unix) (and hopefully, a job switch
    >>...quickly :) )

    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >>Abhi

    >
    >
    > I think your goal is reasonable and very laudable.
    >
    > I have one question, however. Please don't take this as a personal
    > criticism. How can one get a Bachelor's in CS and not know C? Have
    > universities gotten so far out of touch?
    >


    There was a course in C, which took us through the language. That was in
    the 1st year of the 4 yr course. Unfortunately, the course was more
    bookish, and did not have too much practical value.

    To answer your question, yes, I do know what C is, what its syntax is, how
    pointers work - all on the high level. However, not having applied it too
    much to test my knowledge, and now, being out of touch for 4 years, it is
    mandatory that I re-learn it with practical experience. (Which is why I
    asked for pointers to projects). Unless this is done, I will not be able to
    confidently present my case for a job switch :)

    > What "theoretical knowledge" did they give you? Theoretical knowledge is
    > great as long as you can apply it.
    >
    > Again, I'm not doubting you or your skills. I'm just puzzled by the fact
    > that you have to ask the question.
    >


    As mentioned above, the question was more about suggestion related to
    learning C with some bias towards systems programming (Which is obviously
    OT for c.l.c)

    > Maybe I'm too old: In school I started in FORTRAN, 360 asm, picked up
    > Pascal and C along the way, dabbled in COBOL, and even a little RPG.
    > This was (at least now in retrospect) a pretty good base to start from.
    >
    > Today (much much later ;-)) I use and write C, C++, lex, yacc, lisp,
    > tcl, perl, sh, tcsh, and a few other languages.


    That is nice :) While i can write a few lines of C. C++, Java, shell
    (barely), and am aware that the syntactical knowledge of a language is easy
    to gain (relatively)..it is the decision of how best to do a job with the
    right tool, that counts (and which comes by experience)...

    >
    > Good luck with the job switch.


    Thank you :)

    >Just remember (and I think you already
    > know this, by the way): There will always be something new and cool to
    > learn. When we stop learning and striving, we die.
    >


    True ..Always reminds me of the following lines from a well known poem by
    Robert Frost(Any errors are due to this quote being from memory)..

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep
    But I have promises to keep
    And miles to go before I sleep
    And miles to go before I sleep ...

    :)

    Regards
    Abhinav

    --
    AB, Sep 18, 2004
    #20
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