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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not easy, but very well done
I am most of the way through this book and I feel that I have learned a lot. With great pleasure I completed writing an Objective-C program last night that solves Sudoku puzzles. Amazingly, it works. Although I had a little knowledge of C from long ago, really I was starting from scratch with this book. So the point about my Sudoku program is that this book must have...
Published on 24 Aug. 2012 by Alexander Bird

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless for me as I only use Linux and Windows
okay ... not about C programming on windows or Linux. All about object-C programming on a MAC pc. Had I know this I would have looked and purchased elsewhere. Useless for me as I only use Linux and Windows. All the examples blablah are on MAC pc. yuk.
Published 8 months ago by Misss. J. E. X. N. Read


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not easy, but very well done, 24 Aug. 2012
By 
Alexander Bird (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) (Paperback)
I am most of the way through this book and I feel that I have learned a lot. With great pleasure I completed writing an Objective-C program last night that solves Sudoku puzzles. Amazingly, it works. Although I had a little knowledge of C from long ago, really I was starting from scratch with this book. So the point about my Sudoku program is that this book must have done its job, because that's all I used (almost). At the same time, the book is not easy (because its subject is not easy), and you have to work at it. I'd say that it is essential to work through the examples and the exercises ('challenges'). My only wish is that there were more challenges, since there is no substitute for writing one's own code (and finding that it doesn't work and fixing it). Although I'd have liked more challenges, the book does have enough for its purposes. I did augment the book a bit by using other resources, such as the Wibit <[...]> iPad courses. It is sometimes useful to have another perspective on the same topic. But although those other resources were helpful, this book by Hillegass was sufficient to teach me all I needed to know. By the way, this book will take you as far as designing and building very simple iOS and Mac OS apps, but to go much further than that you will need the next book in this series. But no serious book could take you far into iOS programming from scratch, so that comment is just for information for readers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential workbook for aspiring OS X and iOS developers, 25 July 2013
This review is from: Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) (Paperback)
As others have said, it's clearly and logically laid out. It's not a reference guide to Objective-C -- Apple provides those among its free resources for developers. Nor is it a book to read but to work through. So you need a Mac with OS X and XCode installed, in order to do that. But novices should not be alarmed. Hillegass offers clear guidance from the start.

Doing the exercises builds your understanding step-by-step. Having to progressively type in the code (rather than cut-and-paste it from a website or e-book) forces you to think about what you're typing and do it accurately. After all, you will write your own code one day -- maybe today, in parallel with the book exercises -- so it's good to practice accuracy from the start. Additional challenges at the end of most chapters stretch you a little further, and are worth spending time on.

And it's specifically about Objective-C, not C++ or any other flavour of C, so even if you're familiar with those others, this tells you how things tick on an Apple operating system. Objective-C forms the basis both of OS X on Mac laptop and desktop computers and iOS on the iPhone and iPad. If you want stuff specific to either of those platforms, you'll have to go further.

I found Hillegass's style engaging and straightforward. There are fewer asides than in the next book you will need (either 'Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X' or 'iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide), but there are not too many in those, so that's OK.

Finally, there may be a few typos in your edition, so check the book's website for corrections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big Nerd Ranch Guide - The Best Introduction to Programming Objective C, 18 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) (Paperback)
I don't normally write reviews, but credit where credits due. The book guides you from a novice through the necessary steps required to become firstly a proficient programmer and secondly it gives you the necessary basic underpinnings of Object Oriented programming.

My advice to anyone who wants to learn to program is to buy an Apple mac and buy this book. You must not however rush this book. Each chapter builds on the knowledge gained from the previous chapters. Most chapters have a challenge at the end that is mandatory to complete before moving onto the next chapter (that is if you actually want to get anywhere with this book). My advice here is attempt the chapter by using only the information in the book, the solution is in the text somewhere you just have to look for it. I've found myself going back over previous chapters to further ingrain the information into my brain.

Don't think however that reading only this book will give you enough knowledge to write the next killer App. Understanding any language requires a hugh amount of effort and research. You will need to become familiar with the hardware and need to read and understand the developer documentation.

The book gives you enough information to get started. I will certainly be buying the other books:

Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X
iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides)
More Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides)

There is also a forum where you can reach out to others going through the very same process.

An excellent book written by experts in their field.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one to get, 18 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) (Paperback)
Exactly as the previous reviewer said, this was also a relief for me, to find a book that really explains how things work and the reasons WHY it is that way.

I also tried several other books and it made me realise that jumping into Cocoa without a solid grounding in objective C was not overly wise.
This touches on C, goes right into Objective C, then introduces you to the other frameworks.

I have been critical at times of this author's other books, but this work is his best - the explanations for the same concepts that he attempted to explain in other books, is now excellent.
(Of particular note is the brilliant description of why we need protocols)
I have gone through the entire book and the source code is all good and up to date. The challenges really force you to get your hands dirty, and are highly useful to consolidate learning.

The interactive forum is a bonus too, which the author does frequent.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good introduction, 26 May 2012
By 
R. Swift (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) (Paperback)
This is an excellent introduction to programming, C and Objective-C on the Mac. I have a fair amount of programming experience so didn't need the first few chapters but reading them I didn't feel patronised - the author has done a great job. In less than a day I've got a good handle on XCode and Objective-C, highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly a walk in the park, 18 Dec. 2011
By 
G. Gilpin "Geoff" (Northamptonshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) (Paperback)
Many years ago I played around with BASIC, largely working out how to generate Mandelbrot sets, strange attractors and other arithmetical stuff. Now, having some spare time, I fancied having another go at writing programs - particularly those requiring string handling (which I think is more difficult). Having a Mac, the obvious place to start was Objective-C, not least because Xcode can be downloaded free. (Note that Xcode also has built-in compilers for C and C++.) I then had to find a book to hold my hand as I ventured into the unknown. I chose Hillegass's Objective-C Programming because it was the most recent text and was the only one that was up to date with Xcode 4.2 - which is rather different to previous versions.

And my experience?

First of all, I cannot emphasise enough that you have to get your hands dirty. Type in the examples, force yourself to do the exercises and try to think up some little project of your own to work on. It's not easy, but keep at it. The book will not be able to answer all your questions or solve all your problems - it is the nature of Objective-C that the methods are too numerous to list - but there are websites to consult: not only bignerdranch.com but also stackoverflow.com and techotopia.com as well as Apple itself.

Secondly, did I have to learn some C before learning Objective-C? Only after 70-odd pages do you get to Objective-C and there's a bit of un-learning to do. (The final part of the book is also on C.) Some texts launch you straight into Objective-C from page 1. It does seem that a knowledge of C is necessary but I guess the question is whether you do it first or later. Who knows.

There are a couple of text errors and this really means that you need to consult the supporting website. But overall, I would recommend the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars joining the flock, 15 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) (Paperback)
This is a great book to return to the programming flock. I have been away from programing for many years and I'm having great fun going through the chapters and challenges.
The book first starts with C fundamentals that will smoothly carry you on to object oriented programming.
Also don't forget to take a look at the site where many share their solutions. As challenges get more challenging different approaches will be there for you to compare with yours. Comparing will show how different approaches will dramatically affect performance on your application.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Speaking as a .net developer..., 22 Sept. 2013
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I'd second pretty much what the other people have said about this book - it assumes you are a beginner with no programming knowledge, takes you through first C, then introducing you to Objective C and the concepts involved. As per what the other people said, it is highly recommended to follow through the examples on your mac, as it is very much a hands-on tutorial. Therefore, having bought this book on Kindle, most of the time I would be reading it on the iPad with the macbook itself next to it.
The book made no mention of .net, nor would I have expected it to, however other c-sharpers should hopefully be able to relate what they are learning back to what they are already familiar with, especially those more familiar with the old-school desktop app and C++ MFC technologies.
This book doesn't deal in depth with iOS apps, nor with Mac OS development, although there are a couple of examples about 60-70% way through the book. The reason I have given 5 stars is that I feel that the book allowed me to get as much out as I put in, and I now feel confident to approach the more specific aspects of iOS development with at least a decent understanding of how this development technology, which is very different to what I was used to, works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 19 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) (Paperback)
I was a complete novice before beginning this book; the depth of my knowledge genuinely stretched to GCSE maths. I managed to stumble across the understanding that this was a good place to start, and am now partway through the book with full confidence that I will learn everything I need simply from the clearly prevalent skills of the author both as a programmer and as a teacher. You can relax, you need look no further...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic, 23 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) (Paperback)
Have been struggling with Objective-C on & off for the past few years; starting to make progress in a haphazard fashion recently when I decided to pick up this book.

Mindblowingly good; very well paced, never intimidating yet always challenging.

Wish I'd read it earlier!
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