Friday, May 21, 2004

--[ Book Review: Sams Teach Yourself C in 21 Days, 6th edition

By: Bradley Jones and Peter Aitken

# Paperback: 960 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 2.12 x 9.06 x 7.38
# Publisher: SAMS; 6th edition (September 25, 2002)
# ISBN: 0672324482

This book was another great build and I thought gave me a better understanding of some of the dull spots that I did not get form the C primer plus. The book is well planned out and has a great structure, there is 21 chapters(days) total about C and an extra 7 chapters about some other languages basic on C (java, c#, and C++). The following are the list of the C chapters:

# Day 1 - Getting Started with C
# Day 2 - The Components of a C Program
# Day 3 - Storing Data: Variables and Constants
# Day 4 - Statements, Expressions, and Operators
# Day 5 - Functions: The Basics
# Day 6 - Basic Program Control
# Day 7 - Fundamentals of Input and Output
# Day 8 - Using Numeric Arrays
# Day 9 - Understanding Pointers
# Day 10 - Characters and Strings
# Day 11 - Structures
# Day 12 - Understanding Variable Scope
# Day 13 - Advanced Program Control
# Day 14 - Working with the Screen, Printer, and Keyboard
# Day 15 - Pointers: Beyond the Basics
# Day 16 - Using Disk Files
# Day 17 - Manipulating Strings
# Day 18 - Getting More from Functions
# Day 19 - Exploring the C Function Library
# Day 20 - Working with Memory
# Day 21 - Advanced Compiler Use

As you see the book will take you from a newbie programmer to an intermediate. There are however many dynasties to this book, there are many typos that I was able to spot, and there are no answers to some of the questions. Another thing that is lacking in the book is that it does not have any reference to the C99 standard which means it does not adhere to the most recent standard published. I really enjoyed doing the Bug Busters section of the book and would like to have many more in the next editions of the book.
The book is 960 pages long but day 21 ends at page 626, the following 7 bonus chapters span from page 627 to page 781, then the appendixes go from page 783 to 893. The book is very easy to read and should take you about 5 days to read if you really want to learn fast, or you could go the slow pace of the book and learn it in 21 days. Of course it is actually ridiculous to actually believe that you are going to learn the language in just 21 days so the title is a little bit a lie, although you will gain understanding about some of the language features, still this is not the whole.

My rating on this book is 8/10

Other reviews done on the book by others:
ACCU Review: Teach Yourself C Programming in 21 Days by Peter Aitkin & Bradley Jones
Barns and Noble

Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years


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