Top positive review
Beautifully concise, informative description of the C programming language.
13 May 2016
I was handed this book (ok - then I had to get my mother to pay for it) back in 1981 when I was first exposed to UNIX and computers in my one-of-a-kind high school in Massachusetts. Previously I had been learning logo but I really wanted to know how computers work and the C/UNIX combination is a really good way to go about it.
I am rereading the book now because I just bought it for my daughter who just completed her first year of programming classes for college in the States using C++ (amazingly enough) but who will be learning C next year so she can "learn how computers actually work".
It's hard to overstate just how good this book is. It's written by computer scientists who also grok programming, by one of the creators of the language itself. It contains countless useful bits of information you can use as a reference the rest of your life. I used to interview supposed C programmers by asking them the simple question: "Do you know how to implement strcmp or strcpy" and if they had ever read this book, the answer would always be yes. And if you do know how those are implemented, you are well on your way to understanding how computers do what they do, how amazing it all is.
From 35+ years ago I can remember that from this book you will learn how strcmp works, how to write a simple memory allocator, how to implement printf, a beautifully simple implementation of quick sort, and how to write the stdio library, and many others. These things have all helped me be a better than average programmer with a lower average IQ than many of the people I have worked with in Silicon Valley over the years.
It is a beautiful example of concise, accurate writing.
And for me it also brings back incredibly fond memories of my high school years and the excitement that has continued ever since.