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Programming newbie trying to learn C

  1. Oct 14, 2013 #1
    I have no background knowledge of any computer language whatsoever. I have been following several online beginner tutorials in C and want to continue learning the language. I am using Xcode as a compiler.
    I have ordered "Learn C on the Mac: For OS X and iOS"
    David Mark (Author), James Bucanek (Author), and am wondering if this is a good starting point. I plan on taking a class (C++ is offered not C) but that will be several months out.

    Is anyone familiar with the book I ordered and can anyone recommend some good books or starting points? Possibly a book to use in conjunction with what I already ordered to make things a little easier? Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    There is only one book about C, K&R.
  4. Oct 14, 2013 #3


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    Gold Member

    +1 on that.
  5. Oct 14, 2013 #4


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The only problem with K&R is the prerequisite. You don't need to know anything about computer programming, but you do have to know how to read accurately. It isn't written on the principle that a thousand woolly words are easier to understand than one precise one.

    If you want more examples to go with K&R, get "Software tools" by Kernighan and Plauger.
  6. Oct 14, 2013 #5
    can you elaborate on this in simpler/layman terms? Thank you

  7. Oct 14, 2013 #6


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    There are three books on C I like: K&R, then Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets, and finally, C: A Reference Manual.
  8. Oct 15, 2013 #7
    I know that you're asking about the book, but let me point you in the direction of a different compiler / IDE. I've never used XCode, so I can't say anything negative about it.

    However, I can say that CodeBlocks is a wonderful compiler/IDE. It is also compatible with Mac. I would suggest using CodeBlocks instead of XCode in case you ever have to do your coding on a Windows computer. Since XCode is only compatible with Mac, it seems to me like getting familiar with CodeBlocks would be in your best interest.
  9. Oct 16, 2013 #8
    Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets is such an excellent book. Highly recommended. I guess you could say it's an excellent second book on C.
  10. Oct 16, 2013 #9


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    In my opinion one should start with K&R, then move on to Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets, and then use C: A Reference Manual as just that.
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