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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
C Programming Starter Kit 3.0
Author:
unknown
ISBN:
1 57595 081 2
Publisher:
MacMillan
Pages:
427pp+CD
Price:
£37-49
Reviewer:
Francis Glassborow
Subject:
beginner's c
Appeared in:
10-6
Basically this is a copy ofTeach Yourself C in 24 hourstogether with a copy of Borland C++ 4.52. There is nothing special about this book. Unlike many of its competitors, it does show encourage readers to become familiar with the whole Standard C Library.

However the problem is that it never explores the use of C to solve problems. If you were trying to learn to write short stories in English you might be a little disturbed by a course that never went further than writing the occasional paragraph. If you already knew how to write short stories in French, such an approach might be perfectly satisfactory. In the case of this book the author explicitly states that he assumes that the reader has no previous programming experience and that it will be a big plus if the reader has some knowledge of computers.

This book will teach the raw novice how to write C but it will not teach you how to use C. The pace is sometimes extraordinarily slow. For example it isn't till page 53 that we get any kind of input mechanism -

getc()
- and it is almost page 200 before we get any other input function (
gets()
and
scanf()
not perhaps ideal). In other words for more than half the book input is limited to single characters.

If you want to spend 24 hours learning the rules of C before studying programming with the intent of actually writing a program to do something then this is as good a book as you will find. If you want to learn to program this book is about as much use as 'Peter&Jane' books would be to an aspiring author.