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Expert C Programming Paperback – 14 Jun 1994


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (14 Jun. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131774298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131774292
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Defying the stereotypical notion that technical books tend to be boring, Expert C Programming offers a lively and often humorous look at many aspects of C--from how memory is laid out to the details of pointers and arrays. The author reveals his points through invaluable anecdotes, such as stories of costly bugs, and through folklore, such as the contents of Donald Knuth's first publication. Each chapter ends with a section entitled "Some Light Relief," which discusses topics (topics that some may consider to be "recreational"), such as programming contests. A fabulous appendix on job interview questions finishes the book. --Jake Bond

From the Back Cover

This is a very different book on the C language! In an easy, conversational style, Peter van der Linden, of Sun's compiler and OS kernel group, presents dozens of astonishing examples drawn from practical experience, including:

  • Software that blew up the space probe to Venus
  • The C bug that shut down the entire AT&T phone system
  • C programmer job interview secrets
  • Why programmers can't tell Halloween from Christmas day
  • The C code for a complete BASIC interpreter

Expert C Programming reveals the coding techniques used by the best C programmers. It relates C to other languages, and includes an introduction to C++ that can be understood by an programmer without weeks of mind-bending study. Covering both the IBM PC and UNIX systems, it is an entertaining and educational romp through C showing how experts really use it. Expert C Programming is a must read for anyone who wants to learn more about the implementation, practical use, and folklore of C.

"Not just clearly written, but fun to read. The tone and style of this text should make this a popular book with professional programmers. However, the tone of this book will make it very popular with undergraduates. Appendix A alone would make the purchase of this book a must. It's filled with great advice."

—Professor Jack Beidler, Chairman, Department of Computer Science, University of Scranton

"So that's why extern char *cp isn't the same as extern char cp. I knew that it didn't work despite their superficial equivalence, but I didn't know why. I also love the job interview test questions on C."

—David S. Platt, Rolling Thunder Computing

"In Expert C Programming, Peter van der Linden combines C language expertise and a subtle sense of humor to deliver a C programming book that stands out from the pack. In a genre too often known for windy, lifeless prose, van der Linden's crisp language, tongue-in-cheek attitude, and real-world examples engage and instruct."

—John Barry, author of Sunburst, Technobabble, and other books


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Mar. 1999
Format: Paperback
I liked this book, especially the way he comes up with funny phrases you don't see coming. I've read several other programming books (Safer C, Writing Solid Code, No Bugs!, etc), but this is definitely one of the ones that is enjoyable to read. It adds a light humour to the serious, useful information he provides.
He goes into depth into the subjects of C declarations, memory, pointers, and arrays. He also explains some of the concepts behind the procedure activation record (used when calling a function), linking and compiling. He also challenges the reader with programming assignments to discover more, and provides programming advice.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 July 1999
Format: Paperback
I wrote C for ten years eight hours a day. This book accumulates what I have learned over this time period and even had something new for me.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Aug. 1998
Format: Paperback
The reader below might be surprised to learn that Expert C Programming was written several years before Java was thought of. Far from being a criticism of C designed to move readers to Java, Expert C is a tribute to the beauty of C, and makes no mention of Java whatsoever.
Honestly! The stuff I have to put up with!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Øystein Schønning-Johansen on 4 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been coding C for many, many years, and didn't expect that a 20 year old book could give me much news. However, this book took my understanding to a new level. It's also full of humor and good stories, which makes it really entertaining to read. Thank you, Peter, for writing such a fantastic book.

Peter? What about a second edition which covers C99 and C11?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Sept. 1997
Format: Paperback
I have programmed in C for more than 5 years before moving onto Java recently. Had this book been available when I was learning C, my life would have been more pleasant then. Though, it is not a beginner's book it gives insights into idiomatic C programming like no other book. (By the way, I have a collection of at least 10 books on C.) In short, I would not think twice about buying this book. Even if you are not programming in C, you should buy this book. It will surely fill you with nostalgia of those days, when all your worries were about dangling pointers and memory leaks. I know that the same author has written two books on Java, but they are more for beginners. I fervently hope the author writes a similar inspiring book for Java.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 May 1997
Format: Paperback
There are those times when reading for enjoyment is merited. van der Linden's conversational style allied with the wealth of topics he covers makes this a fun read. Much of the legend, lore and myths of the C language are explored. K&R explain "how" and PvdL tells you "why" and sometimes "whodunit". The drawback to this book is the sometimes extreme Sun-centricity, not surprising considering the author's employment. He's also had to revise his previous condescending remarks about the need to fetch a key (without a newline), dismissing it as only applicable for "games programming."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 April 1997
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book for the apprentice C programmer. The title is a bit misleading suggesting that the book is just for the expert. Not so. The novice has just as much or more to gain from reading it. Confused by mind-bending declarations and prototypes? Still feeling a little queasy about some language features? Not quite ready for that 800 page tome on data structures? Check out this book. Its easy, humorous style makes it a pleasure to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Mar. 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is an extremely valuable discussion of a variety of topics about the C language that are poorly described in other books, ranging from how to read complicated typedefs to how your C program compiles and runs on the computer. The material on C++ is quite dated (the book dates from 1994). However, the most annoying thing is the large number of typos. There is a whole figure missing on one page, and there are numerous smaller typos (mostly obvious) throughout the text. There are two big errata sheets on the author's web site for previous editions, but many of these were not fixed in the most recent edition either. My advice to the author: hire a competent proofreader. Also, readers should note that the author's offer to pay $1 for mistakes in the book reported to him DOES NOT apply to typos, only to technical corrections.
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