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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Course Technology PTR; Third edition (31 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435455002
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435455009
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 19 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Introduction. 1. Getting Started: The Game Over Program. 2. Types, Variables, and Simple I/O: The Useless Trivia Program. 3. Branching, while Loops, and Program Planning: The Guess My Number Game. 4. for Loops, Strings, and Tuples: The Word Jumble Game. 5. Lists and Dictionaries: The Hangman Game. 6. Functions: Tic-Tac-Toe. 7. Files and Exceptions: The Trivia Challenge Game. 8. Software Objects: The Critter Caretaker Program. 9. Object-Oriented Programming: The Blackjack Game. 10. GUI Development: The Mad Lib Program.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Clara on 1 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this book knowing absolutely nothing about programming. It begins at the very start, with the basics and explains the concept of everything you learn. I haven't finished the book yet, but so far it has been great. It does have a website paired with it, that I thought was a little tricky to navigate, but that is only necissary in downloading python. Even then, you can also go to the python website as well(Which the book clearly explains). It has lots of entertaining programs to write, and includes the code in the book. For example, you start with the simple 'Game Over' program, and go on to Hangman, The Useless Trivia Program and even the three-year-old simulator! There is code for these on the website, but I find it more enjoyable to type it into the computer from the book. Like this you can see how it works, and add or change bits if you want. At the end of each chapter is a set of challenges which you can undertake. They vary, but usually include skills from the chapter. I have noticed that it seems to have a focus on game design and programming.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Nico on 26 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book!

I am a teacher with some programming experience and am in the process of setting up a new course, for my school, OCR GCSE Computing. I needed a computer language that was easy for teenagers to learn, cross-plaform (so it can run on Macs & Windows PCs), modern with the ability to introduce object orientated programming and to lead on to other languages such as Java. I have taught Java via the excellent BlueJ IDE and the wonderful book, "Objects First with Java: A Practical Introduction Using BlueJ", but this is a bit advanced for 14 / 15 year olds. I did consider using "Greenfoot" with another great book - "Introduction to Programming with Greenfoot: Object-Oriented Programming in Java with Games and Simulations (Alternative Etext Formats), but the OCR course needs more basic introduction to loops, if statements, and arrays and doesn't strictly need objects. As for Visual Basic - well too much fiddling with interface objects, not enough "pure" programming and besides not cross- platform. So I chose Python.

Next step was to choose a tutorial style textbook, with lots of worked examples, exercises to test the students, a fun learning curve, basics and fundamental concepts explained, practically based and with lots of code to play with. I chose "Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner." I chose well, very well!

This book does everything I wanted it to do. Chapters 1 to 7 cover all the programming requirements of the course.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By borocomphelp on 11 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
I have done a bit of computer programming in the past, I learnt C, C++ and Perl. Never used any seriously, though Perl was handy a few times. Anyway, I have never touched programming for years. Recently I had been looking at Python. Modern, easy to learn (apparently) and a language that is capable of everything from the smallest task up to very big projects. Python 'glues' well onto other languages and programs.

The small tasks are what interests me. I have a few things I need to do, a database that is in an absolute mess. It needs LOTS of alterations. I did load it up into an Excel spreadsheet and managed to sort out about 80% of bad data with search and replace. The rest needs something more. It needs a program that will scan through and find data in wrong places and swap the cells over. And I need to do a few other utilities sort of stuff.

A bit of Googling proved that Python was ideal. It can 'plug' into spreadsheets and databases, has good csv support, and lots of examples and tutorials are available to help me out!

First I downloaded Python 2.7 and printed out a few good tutorials from the internet. Then I played around enough to know I could cope with the language. Being a bit old fashioned, I like to work from a good book about any subject I want to learn. This one had excellent reviews and at a very reasonable price.

As it happens this third edition of the book is written for Python 3 rather than the more common Python 2. This has proved to be no big deal. The differences between the Python 3 and Python 2 don't make much difference at the beginner level. You will cope. Python 2 of course has far more in the way of external and useful modules. Such as Django and the xlrd module which I am using to read Excel spreadsheets.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Spencer on 20 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
I can only agree with the feedback other reviewers have provided; this is probably the most accessible programming book of any sort I have come across. I already program in other languages, but I can also see that this book would be the perfect introduction for a complete beginner. The style is easy and often humorous, without being trite. Each new concept is illustrated with well-chosen, simple programming examples. New ideas are introduced quite slowly, but because the book is a pleasure to read, this isn't a problem even for those who are familiar with many of the ideas already - you just keep on reading!
All in all, the author is to be congratulated on an excellent book.
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