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Thread: Best C programming book for a beginner...
face BY : David Cary email (remove spam text)

Dear Jose S. Samonte Jr.,

Excellent question.

I agree with Lawrence Lile and Mike Mansheim that it's much easier to learn C on
a PC. There are nice tools for single-stepping through your C code, looking at
all the variables and how they change, etc. Most ANSI C programs will compile
and run on any computer, including the PIC. Often I have subroutines that I test
out on a PC before I recompile into my embedded system. And subroutines like CRC
calculation that I don't understand fully -- it's nice to run identical code on
all the various processors I use.

I highly recommend reading the C FAQ
 comp.lang.c Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ List)

Although the FAQ is more of a reference than a tutorial, it does have a couple
of immediately relevent answers to the questions:
 What's a good book for learning C?
 Are there any C tutorials or other resources on the net?

Also check out
 [alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++] - FAQ list
In particular, Mike Mansheim might be interested in what it says about ``a
certain Herbert Schildt''.

I personally found learning PIC assembler interesting,
and learning assembler helps one understand what "really goes on" when your C
program is running. This helps me work within the limited speed and memory of
the PIC. In particular, I've found that the concept of "pointers" is always
wierd to people who have never done assembly-language programming.

But if my goal is just to get something running, I wouldn't bother trying to
become ``fluent'' in PIC assembly or the MPASM macro language. (Since there's
only 40 or so instructions, it shouldn't take more than a day to skim through

Yesterday someone mentioned
 SDCC Pic Port - Is a port of SDCC - Small Device C Compiler to the PIC.
-- Is this working yet ? Are there any other open-source compilers for the PIC ?

My understanding is that a program called ``cfront'' converts C++ code to plain
C code. Has anyone tried this out ?

David Cary

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