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Sams Teach Yourself C in 21 Days

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In just 21 days, you'll have all the skills you need to get started with C. With this complete tutorial, you'll master the basics and them move on to the more advanced features and concepts.

  • Understand the fundamentals of C.
  • Master all the new and advanced features that C offers.
  • Learn how to effectively use the latest tools and features of...
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0672324482 BRAND NEW W/FAST SHIPPING! This item is: Sams Teach Yourself C in 21 Days, 6th Ed., 2003, by Jones, Bradley L.^Aitken, Peter; FORMAT: Paperback Bound w/CD-ROM; ISBN: ... 9780672324482. Choose Expedited for fastest shipping! Our 98%+ rating proves our commitment! We cannot ship to PO Boxes/APO address. To avoid ordering the wrong item, please check your item's ISBN number! Read more Show Less

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In just 21 days, you'll have all the skills you need to get started with C. With this complete tutorial, you'll master the basics and them move on to the more advanced features and concepts.

  • Understand the fundamentals of C.
  • Master all the new and advanced features that C offers.
  • Learn how to effectively use the latest tools and features of C, by following practical, real-world examples.
  • Includes a CD with all code examples and an ANSI-compliant C compiler.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Windows XP or 32-bit Windows 7 recommended — will not run on 64-bit Windows systems!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780672324482
  • Publisher: Sams
  • Publication date: 9/18/2002
  • Series: Sams Teach Yourself Series
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 930
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Bradley L. Jones works with overseeing the EarthWeb software development channel. This includes overseeing sites such as,, and He has directed the development of systems, both small scale and distributed as well as on a variety of platforms from the Palm OS to mainframe systems. He has developed systems using such tools as C, C#, C++, XML, SQL Server, PowerBuilder, Visual Basic, Active Server Pages (ASP), Satellite Forms, and more. JonesÕs other authoring credits include Sams Teach Yourself Advanced C in 21 Days (Sams Publishing) and Sams Teach Yourself C# in 21 Days (Sams Publishing).

Peter Aitken has been writing about computers and programming for over 10 years, with some 30 books and hundreds of magazine and trade publication articles to his credit. His recent book titles include Visual Basic .NET Programming With Peter Aitken, Office XP Development With VBA, XML the Microsoft Way, Windows Script Host, and Sams Teach Yourself Visual Basic .NET Internet Programming in 21 Days. For several years he was a Contributing Editor at Visual Developer magazine where he wrote a popular Visual Basic column, and he is a regular contributor to Microsoft OfficePro magazine and the DevX Web site. Peter is the proprietor of PGA Consulting, providing custom application and Internet development to business, academia, and government since 1994. You can reach him at

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Table of Contents



Where You're Going.

Day 1. Getting Started with C.

A Brief History of the C Language. Why Use C? Preparing to Program. The Program Development Cycle. Your First C Program.

Type & Run 1. Printing Your Listings.

The First Type & Run.

Day 2. The Components of a C Program.

A Short C Program. The Program's Components. A Review of the Parts of a Program.

Day 3. Storing Information: Variables and Constants.

Understanding Your Computer's Memory. Storing Information with Variables. Numeric Variable Types. Constants.

Day 4. The Pieces of a C Program: Statements, Expressions, and Operators.

Statements. Understanding Expressions. Operators. The if Statement. Evaluating Relational Expressions. The Logical Operators. More on True/False Values. Operator Precedence Revisited.

Type & Run 2. Find the Number.
Day 5. Packaging Code in Functions.

What Is a Function? How a Function Works. Functions and Structured Programming. Writing a Function. Passing Arguments to a Function. Calling Functions. Where the Functions Belong. Working with Inline Functions.

Day 6. Basic Program Control.

Arrays: The Basics. Controlling Program Execution. Nested Loops.

Day 7. Fundamentals of Reading and Writing Information.

Displaying Information On-Screen. Inputting Numeric Data with scanf(). Using Trigraph Sequences.

Week 1 In Review.


Where You're Going.

Day 8. Using Numeric Arrays.

What Is an Array? Naming and Declaring Arrays.

Day 9. Understanding Pointers.

What Is a Pointer? Pointers and Simple Variables. Pointers and Variable Types. Pointers and Arrays. Pointer Cautions. Array Subscript Notation and Pointers. Passing Arrays to Functions.

Type & Run 3. Pausing for a Second or Two.
Day 10. Working with Characters and Strings.

The char Data Type. Using Character Variables. Using Strings. Strings and Pointers. Strings Without Arrays. Displaying Strings and Characters. Reading Strings from the Keyboard.

Day 11. Implementing Structures, Unions, and TypeDefs.

Working with Simple Structures. Using Structures That are More Complex. Arrays of Structures. Initializing Structures. Structures and Pointers. Understanding Unions. Creating Synonyms for Structures with typedef.

Day 12. Understanding Variable Scope.

What Is Scope? Creating External Variables. Creating Local Variables. Local Variables and the main() Function. Which Storage Class Should You Use? Local Variables and Blocks.

Type & Run 4. Secret Messages.
Day 13. Advanced Program Control.

Ending Loops Early. The goto Statement. Infinite Loops. The switch Statement. Exiting the Program. Executing Operating System Commands in a Program.

Day 14. Working with the Screen, Printer, and Keyboard.

Streams and C. Using C's Stream Functions. Accepting Keyboard Input. Controlling Output to the Screen. Redirecting Input and Output. When to Use fprintf().

Week 2 In Review.


Where You're Going.

Day 15. Pointers: Beyond the Basics.

Declaring Pointers to Pointers. Pointers and Multidimensional Arrays. Working with Arrays of Pointers. Working with Pointers to Functions. Bonus Section: Understanding Linked Lists.

Day 16. Using Disk Files.

Relating Streams to Disk Files. Understanding the Types of Disk Files. Using Filenames. Opening a File. Writing and Reading File Data. File Buffering: Closing and Flushing Files. Understanding Sequential Versus Random File Access. Detecting the End of a File. File Management Functions. Using Temporary Files.

Type & Run 5. Counting Characters.
Day 17. Manipulating Strings.

Determining String Length. Copying Strings. Concatenating Strings. Comparing Strings. Searching Strings. String Conversions. Miscellaneous String Functions. String-to-Number Conversions. Character Test Functions.

Day 18. Getting More from Functions.

Passing Pointers to Functions. Type void Pointers. Using Functions That Have a Variable Number of Arguments. Functions That Return a Pointer.

Day 19. Exploring the C Function Library.

Mathematical Functions. Dealing with Time. Error-Handling. Searching and Sorting.

Type & Run 6. Calculating Mortgage Payments.
Day 20. Working with Memory.

Type Conversions. Allocating Memory Storage Space. Manipulating Memory Blocks. Working with Bits.

Day 21. Advanced Compiler Use.

Programming with Multiple Source-Code Files. The C Preprocessor. Predefined Macros. Using Command-Line Arguments.

Week 3 In Review.


Where You're Going.

Bonus Day 1. Object-Oriented Programming Languages.

Procedural and Object-Oriented Languages. The Object-Oriented Constructs. The Java Programming Language. The C# Programming Language.

Bonus Day 2. The C++ Programming Language.

Hello C++ World! Understanding the C++ Keywords. The C++ Data Types. Declaring Variables in C++. Doing Operations in C++. Working with Functions in C++.

Bonus Day 3. Working with C++ Classes and Objects.

Working with Complex Data in C++. Using Classes. Creating Access Member Functions. Structures Versus Classes. Housekeeping with Classes. Starting with Constructors. Function Overloading Revisited. Review of the OOP Constructs in C++. Using Classes as Data Members. Inheriting in C++. A Caution on What You've Learned About C++.

Bonus Day 4. Java Language Fundamentals.

Structure of a Java Program. Java Program Essentials. Java Keywords. Java Identifiers. Data Types. Input and Output. Arrays. Operators. Flow Control.

Bonus Day 5. Working with Java Classes and Methods.

Defining a Class. Class Methods. Using Inheritance.

Bonus Day 6. More Java Techniques.

Working with Java Exceptions. Reading and Writing Files. Doing Graphics and Windows. Programming Java Applets.

Bonus Day 7. The C# Programming Language.

What Is C#? Why C#? C# Versus Other Programming Languages. Types of C# Programs. Creating a C# Program. Your First C# Program. Displaying Basic Information. C# and the Web.

Bonus Week. In Review.

Appendix A. ASCII Character Chart.

Appendix B. C/C++ Reserved Words.

Appendix C. Working with Binary and Hexadecimal Numbers

The Decimal Number System. The Binary System. The Hexadecimal System.

Appendix D. Portability Issues.

Guaranteeing ANSI Compatibility. Avoiding the ANSI Standard. Using Portable Numeric Variables. Portable Structures and Unions.

Appendix E. Common C Functions

Appendix F. Answers.

Appendix G. Getting Started with Dev-C++.

What is Dev-C++. Installing Dev-C++ on Microsoft Windows. The Dev-C++ Programs. Using Dev-C++.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2007

    Not all its cracked up to be

    First off, I used this book to dive into computer programming... and what a mistake it was. Lets start off with the positives... For one, the beginning chapters are very easy to follow and you do pick up the basics very quickly. The book is also filled with decent example programs for you to pick at and discover the inner workings of C. The reference pages in the back are pretty helpful too. However, after day 9 and pointers, things seem to go downhill. Things are completely misarranged and the author inserts code that he has not yet covered into examples and basically recommends we treat it like magic... which wouldnt be so bad if the book wasnt designed so that it should be studied linearly. a notable area of frustration arose when chp 6 suggested to study chp8 first, and chp 14 which suggested to study chp 16 first, and various other chapters which suggested to read the last 2 chapters first. Why even have chapters in one order if things dont makes sense in that order? Also, reading the 'suggested' chapters first are more like 'absolutely necessary'. At an attempt to provide simplistic (and at times, coy) explanations to topics, the author only succeeds in causing confusion. Several topics in the book are hardly explained at all (typedef's, unions, casting and void type pointers most notably) and the 'quizes' at the end of the chapter are laughably easy. The author provides the answers to the quizes in the back... for the first 8 or so chapters (of 21). then 'due to the many possibilities' that the code could be, the answers stop. and you are left alone to brood over simple questions you cannot answer because the topic was covered poorly. I highly recommend getting a different book, or reading this one up until chapter 9 then stopping and buying the vastly superior 'The C Programming Language', by Kernighan and Ritchie. Also, the CD that comes with the book has a free compiler 'needed to run programs' but you can just download the up-to-date version for free anyhow at Bloodshed's website To be fair however, i finished almost all of this book which helped out for the other book i recommended. Which is why i gave this a 3... its ok, but certainly far from great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2005

    Excellent C book for beginners

    If you are just learning C or if you are just learning to program computers, this is one of the books to choose.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2003

    New Edition - Includes CD

    This is the sixth edition of a book that has been used by hundreds of thousands of people to learn C. The book breaks learning into 21 easy lessons that can each be completed in just a couple of hours. Tips, notes, cautions, as well as suggested 'do's and don'ts' will help you to make the most out of learning how to program using C. Additionally, each lesson ends with a set of questions and answers to help address concerns you may have. There are also quizes and exercises to help you validate that you have understood the topics presented. Extra little, yet complete, programs called Type and Runs are bonus programs that you can tweak and play with. This new edition includes a CD that has two different compilers as well as all the source code from the book. The book also includes seven bonus chapters that provide some details on C++, Java, and C#. <br><br> If you are interested in learning C, this is the book to use!

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