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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2010
I started reading this book a couple of years ago and eventually gave up as I was completely baffled by it.

It seems to follow a common flaw in this type of text which is that it starts out treating you as someone who wouldn't know one end of a computer from another and patronising you as such and then skips straight to some pretty complex concepts without passing through the intervening space.

In addition to this the text and the code is littered with typos that mean the examples can't be used without already understanding it sufficiently to know where the typos are and work around them.

I have just come back to learning C++ and am going with the Herbert Schildt option. So far no jokes, few typos, and lots of in-depth discussion of each topic in a logically ordered way that doesn't leave you feeling like the publisher got to page 20 then forgot pages 21 - 146.

... And it's free.

The one concession that I am willing to make is that I may be finding Mr Schildt's guide easier having already broached the subject with C++ for Dummies, but as the two texts are structured in very different ways I would make this a very limited concession.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 2011
Chapter one is excellent, however the book jumps off the deep end in chapter 2 with a pile of meaning less jargon (to a beginner). Total waste of cash, and I'm left wondering how it made its way into the Dummies series.
Just avoid this book
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2010
This is just one more example in the wide range of c++ books that seem designed put you off coding. Sacrificing clarity for low humour and terrible descriptions, this book is about as obtuse as you can get and assumes, outright, that you already know what it is talking about. It has a habit of messing about and saying things like "Oh, so it's an integer! I'll never know why they call it int!" Super. So what, exactly, is an integer? Or a Function? What do these words MEAN in programing terms? I keep hearing them, but nobody wants to explain! Is it a secret? Do you have to know the special handshake before you are allowed to see the beginners books that tell you?

Strings, long, double, 1u, n1, characters as variables. It would be lovely if they actually stopped and told you what they were talking about, but this book has a habit of convoluted writing, it will happily go on for three pages confusing something that could be summed up in a paragraph, and once you are finished reading those pages the only thing you will be left with is the feeling that you have just read about something incredibly simple that has been dressed up to sound horrendously complicated.
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on 19 April 2012
I have given this book a two star rating as some parts of it are very simple. However, the rest of it seems to be quite complicated in my opinion and I already have some pre-existing knowledge of C++ as I am being taught it on my College course.

The main reason as to why I purchased this book was to learn some basic beginner knowledge about classes and Object Oriented Programming.

Anyway, some of the examples that are shown seem quite complicated to me, so god help somebody who has never had any experience with C++ before, here is one of the beginning examples:

//
//Program to convert temperature from Celsius degree
//units into Fahrenheit degree units:
//Fahrenheit = Celsius * (212) - 32)/100 + 32
#include <cstdio>
#include <cstdlib>
#include
using namespace std;

int main(int nNumberofArgs, char* pszArgs[])
{
//enter the temperature in Celsius
int celsius;
cout << "Enter the temperature in Celsius:";
cin >> celsius;

/calculate conversion factor for Celsius
//into Fahrenheit values
int fahrenheit
fahrenheit = factor * celsius/100 + 32;

output the results *followed by a NewLine)
cout << "Fahrenheit value is:";
cout << fahrenheit << endl;

//wait until user is ready before terminating program
//to allow thet user to see the program results
system ("PAUSE");
return 0;
}

..now as somebody who has a bit of experience with C++, I can safely say that this is most definitely not a good example.
I expected more from a so-called beginner book, I expected that this book would be teaching me basic things such as how to output a message such as the common, 'Hello World!' onto the screen, not some complicated looking codes that would put almost anybody off learning this programming language.

Anybody who reads this and has been put off learning C++, then don't be put off as I can tell you that C++ is a nice language and is rather easy to learn, as long as you don't attempt to learn from a book like this.
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on 14 September 2011
I jumped into C++ around a year ago having not really taken a proper look at the books for beginners that were on offer, as a result I went straight to this dummies guide. To be honest, I can actually understand alot of peoples issues with this book, however if it is given time and some extra background reading it is a good companion.

To put my review into some context, my background was this: No prior experience in C++ but a good background in Maths and some programming in Matlab. Having said that the book assumes you know what an integer is, in addition to floating point numbers. Information on these can be sourced quickly online. The only other time Maths makes an appearance is in an explanation of binary and hexadecimal number systems. But thats all, again these topics are more clearly explained online, so Maths shouldn't be a barrier to anyone (as some do tend to worry about this).

As for the actual C++ it starts off gently enough introducing variable types, flow control and logical operations, the majority of things are well explained but the authoer is partial to a ridiculous analogy or two. There were times when a simple explanation would suffice and perhaps an example to back it up, but instead he opts to tell some daft story. This is rare enough though, and really any issues you do find with this book, they can be put right by either expreimenting or seeking out sources online.

C++ for Dummies, I think, gives a good enough intro that after completion you are good enough to experiment and pursue ideas alone. But it is not the best intro out there. C++ by Steven heller or the Herbert Schildt book are probaably safer bets.

I would however, once half way through this or any intro book get yourself a copy of Bjarne Stroustrup's C++ Programming Language, the seminal book and an outstanding reference. Using this in companionship with any intro book is a great way to learn.

So in short: Good book, but there are better. Shop around, read intros and prefaces... flick through contents.
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on 26 August 2012
If you're having early pains getting to grips with programming, this helps alleviate it as much as humanly possible by giving you clear cut examples that are easy to follow. The book won't teach you anything particularly outstanding, nor will it teach you a specific practice of the language suited to a particular end result (say game programming). What it does simply is teach you the concept of programming (pseudocode) and how to use C++ to enable that understanding further progress. Having struggled with more higher end C++ tutorials that dive right in, this book takes the time to help you understand the logic of programming before jumping in, which helps if you're having the early pains I mentioned. Try to finish the book in a month or so, as what is taught here is to help you understand the language, and then you need to head for another book as soon as possible to actually begin learning how to code something useful and effective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I guess the problem with this author is he's been a genius programmer for 30 years. What I need is someone who's been a genius teacher for 30 years! The other reviewers are right.
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on 26 December 2011
I was a bit uneasy going through the first few chapters of c++ for dummies but, for me, the wheels came off with the book's explantion of pointers.
It started bad and just got worse.
I don't agree that it's a complete waste of money, though, as it does provide an up to date and functional C/C++ compiler. Not many books do that.

I laid the book to rest at the end of "Passing pointer values".

+ R.I.P +
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on 23 July 2011
It's obvious that the writer was falling asleep as he quickly wrote the introductory pages at the 11th hour before publishing. it's all over the place. His own examples are flawed and don't compile. AVOID THIS REDICULOUS BOOK>
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on 21 August 2013
Its a good book for learning c++ like I have been just to look back on things you aren't sure as it gives you an explanation a bit of code to go through.
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