Where to start

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by Edwin Ntsulumbana, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. Hello to you all.
    I am doing Computer Systems and have never programmed before. I am now
    taking C for the very first time and have no idea where to start.
    When I looked at the books ( and some online tutorials ), I find that
    C is not an easy language to begin with but since it is compulsory for
    me to study I don't have a choice. Can anyone offer some help or
    advice. I'm desperate.

    I personally need all the help I could get from anyone.

    Please help me.

    Edwin Ntsulumbana, Oct 21, 2004
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  2. Edwin Ntsulumbana

    Pedro Graca Guest

    Start at page 1.
    Maybe you can jump to the 37th century, swallow a C pill, and come back
    from the future with a complete understanding of all the C's from 18
    Type, compile and run *all* the code from classes.
    Type, compile and run *all* the code from your books.

    If you see a snippet of code, make a program [type, compile and run]
    that uses that snippet.

    When you can't understand why some program behaves the way it does, or
    if some source doesn't compile and you can't find the error, or if
    you're wondering what's the best way to do something (like "is it best
    to use a for(), a while(), or some other thing here?") post your
    questions *and code* here and/or ask your teacher.

    Happy Coding :)
    Pedro Graca, Oct 21, 2004
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  3. Edwin Ntsulumbana

    CBFalconer Guest

    Get and read K&R2. Do the exercises. Hang around here to find out
    exactly what K&R2 is. While you are waiting download and read the
    FAQ. Hang around here to find out exactly what the FAQ is.

    After that you should ace any tests, assuming normal intelligence
    and aptitude.
    CBFalconer, Oct 21, 2004
  4. Edwin Ntsulumbana

    Dan Pop Guest

    Get a copy of K&R2 (complete reference in the FAQ) and start reading it.
    This is how many of this newsgroup's regulars have started and most of
    them actually enjoyed the experience.

    Dan Pop, Oct 21, 2004
  5. I, however, started by going to an elementary C course at my
    University. I didn't have much of a background - two courses of Pascal
    plus a hearty deal of experience as your average spotty-faced
    Commodore 64 BASIC bedroom programmer.
    I, of course, learned what the teacher taught very well, and passed
    the course with full marks. It wasn't until *after* the course that I
    came to comp.lang.c and found out that there is much more to C than
    what I was taught.
    Joona I Palaste, Oct 21, 2004
  6. Edwin Ntsulumbana

    Eric Sosman Guest

    K&R is an excellent book, one of the two best
    programming languages books I've ever encountered.
    However, it presupposes a general knowledge of
    programming, which the O.P. says he lacks. I would
    not recommend K&R as a first text in programming,
    even though I'd heartily recommend it as a language
    introduction for someone with prior programming
    Eric Sosman, Oct 21, 2004
  7. Edwin Ntsulumbana

    xideum Guest

    I do agree that you should read K&R, but do you even have a compiler?
    At the very starting point, (assuming you use Windows) I'd say go to
    www.bloodshed.net and download dev-c++ (it compiles C code as well as
    C++). Then go out and get K&R, and hopefully someday stop using Windows.
    xideum, Oct 21, 2004
  8. Edwin Ntsulumbana

    Jack Klein Guest

    There are more than a few of us around who started with K&R1. And
    quite a few of us who would like to see a K&R3, but that's probably
    not in the cards.
    Jack Klein, Oct 22, 2004
  9. Edwin Ntsulumbana

    Dan Pop Guest

    Myself included. But this is a pointless distinction, in the context of
    the thread.

    Dan Pop, Oct 22, 2004
  10. Edwin Ntsulumbana

    Dan Pop Guest

    May I have some chapters and verses from the body of the book, actually
    illustrating this assertion?
    I know several people who learned C from K&R without any previous
    exposure to computer programming and were very happy with the book.
    None of them looked like a genius, so it works.

    I'd recommend starting with K&R, regardless of the previous experience
    or lack of it and switching to another book *only* if the reader finds
    the text too difficult to understand (after making a *honest* effort to
    understand it).

    Dan Pop, Oct 22, 2004
  11. Edwin Ntsulumbana

    osmium Guest

    I was going to avoid this discussion. But....

    Only a person with the *INTENT* to mislead would purposely exclude the
    preface of the book where the authors say

    "This book is not an introductory programming manual ...."

    The OP would be well advised to find a book intended for people who are
    lacking in the innate ability to be programmers. Unfortunately I don't
    know what book or books that might be since I too learned C from K&R. But
    it was my <mumble> language. The C shelves in a book store are not as good
    as the shelves in a public library since C has passed the stage where
    authors can not expect much return from writing yet another book on C. Some
    authors I would consider: Prata, King, Harbison & Steele, Pohl, Ammeraal,
    Lafore. They are all good authors, but I don't even know that they in fact
    ever wrote a tutorial or primer on C.

    But what the OP really needs is a face to face tutor.
    osmium, Oct 22, 2004
  12. Edwin Ntsulumbana

    Tim Rentsch Guest

    I second this recommendation. Normally I wouldn't followup just
    to second a recommendation but the quality of K&R as a tutorial
    makes it seem worth an exception.

    One thing I would add: K&R glosses over some of the difficulties in
    C, often making people think they understand the language better than
    they do. So even though K&R is a good place to start, it should be
    supplemented by _something_; what the something should be depends a
    lot on who is doing the reading.
    Tim Rentsch, Oct 22, 2004
  13. Edwin Ntsulumbana

    Dan Pop Guest

    I deliberately excluded the preface because the contents of the book
    does not support this assertion from the preface. Unless you can provide
    the counterexamples I have already asked for, of course.

    It may not have been Kernighan's intention to write an introductory
    programming manual, but this is effectively what he did. Hence, there is
    no point in *indiscriminatingly* taking that statement at face value.
    How have you figured out that the OP is missing such innate abilities?

    Dan Pop, Oct 22, 2004
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