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dyer maker
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Default Advice - 12-16-2007, 11:51 PM

Hi, I'm a college student planning on taking the 2nd computer programming class in a sequence my university has set up after missing the first class last quarter. The description of the first class is as follows:

Overview of computing as a discipline. Introduction to program design and implementation: problem decomposition, storyboarding techniques, design of algorithms using Alice, a 3D visual programming environment; introduction to object-oriented concepts, classes, objects, methods and control constructs using Java; program development tools: Alice visual development environment and Java Development environment using BlueJ.

The description of the class I'm hoping to take in a few weeks is:

The C Language: structure and style. Types, operators, and expressions. Control flow. Functions. Pointers, arrays, and strings. Structures and dynamic memory allocation. I/O and file processing. Special operators. Recursion and threads. The Unix environment.

Basically I would like to get at least a brief overview of what I missed during first quarter as well as try to prepare myself for the 2nd class. If anyone has any advice on tutorials to take or anything like that it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
   
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DickBaldwin
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Default 12-17-2007, 07:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dyer maker View Post
Hi, I'm a college student planning on taking the 2nd computer programming class in a sequence my university has set up after missing the first class last quarter. The description of the first class is as follows:

Overview of computing as a discipline. Introduction to program design and implementation: problem decomposition, storyboarding techniques, design of algorithms using Alice, a 3D visual programming environment; introduction to object-oriented concepts, classes, objects, methods and control constructs using Java; program development tools: Alice visual development environment and Java Development environment using BlueJ.

The description of the class I'm hoping to take in a few weeks is:

The C Language: structure and style. Types, operators, and expressions. Control flow. Functions. Pointers, arrays, and strings. Structures and dynamic memory allocation. I/O and file processing. Special operators. Recursion and threads. The Unix environment.

Basically I would like to get at least a brief overview of what I missed during first quarter as well as try to prepare myself for the 2nd class. If anyone has any advice on tutorials to take or anything like that it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
You can learn about Alice programming at http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm

You can learn about OOP using Java at http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocint.htm. Concentrate on lessons 1600 through 1630

Sorry, but I can't help you with BlueJ, but do a Google search and you may find some tutorials on that tool also. In my opinion, BlueJ isn't critical to future studies in computer science. It is simply one of the possible ways to learn OOP based on Java. If you understand Java/OOP, it doesn't matter how you learned it insofar as future studies is concerned.

By the way, if the next course is really based on the C-language (as opposed to C++), it sounds like you will be going backwards rather than forwards technically. C is not an OOP language. However, that doesn't mean it will be easy. There are some difficult topics in the list of topics that you provided.

Good luck.
Dick Baldwin
Free Alice tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm
Free programming tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/toc.htm

Last edited by DickBaldwin; 12-17-2007 at 07:27 AM. Reason: Clarification
   
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Ping
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Default 12-17-2007, 11:11 PM

Alice is designed to teach people the fundamentals of programming in a hands-on way. These same fundamentals can be picked up from the prologue of any programming book. You will do fine without the Alice class, and welcome to programming .
   
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Ping
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Default 12-17-2007, 11:14 PM

Double post.

alice teaches you stuff like Functions, methods, class-level, world-level, control statements such as If/Else, While, Loop. Etc. These things are so easy that you do not need a class to understand what they do.

In my opinion, having taken the Alice class myself I would recommend reading up on the stuff i mentioned earlier on Wikipedia.com and learning what they do that way and saving your $500 for something more useful like a brand new laptop.

BFG-Gaming
   
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DickBaldwin
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Default 12-17-2007, 11:43 PM

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Originally Posted by Ping View Post
Double post.

alice teaches you stuff like Functions, methods, class-level, world-level, control statements such as If/Else, While, Loop. Etc. These things are so easy that you do not need a class to understand what they do.

In my opinion, having taken the Alice class myself I would recommend reading up on the stuff i mentioned earlier on Wikipedia.com and learning what they do that way and saving your $500 for something more useful like a brand new laptop.

BFG-Gaming
Judging from some of the work that he or she has done, Ping is obviously a very bright student. However, you may want to be a little cautious about taking his advice. I fully agree with him that that is is the way it should be. The things he listed have always seemed like common sense to me ever since I taught myself to program in FORTRAN in 1962. However, if those topics were simply common sense to all students, we would not be suffering the 30%, 40%, 50% dropout rates that are being experienced in Programming Fundamentals courses (remedial high school programming courses) in colleges and universities across the country.

Judging from the topics that you listed, your upcoming C-language course could be a real killer of a course. My advice is that you should make absolutely certain that you are well prepared in terms of fundamental programming concepts before you tackle topics like Control flow. Functions. Pointers, arrays, and strings. Structures and dynamic memory allocation. I/O and file processing. Special operators. Recursion and threads, particularly if you are expected to already be well versed in object-oriented concepts, classes, objects, methods and control constructs using Java.

Mastery of the topics in your upcoming C-language course will require a good bit more than just common sense.

Dick Baldwin
Free Alice tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm
Free programming tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/toc.htm
   
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DrJim
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Default 12-19-2007, 08:29 PM

I think I would make one recommendation a bit stronger than Dick did. If the course is really C, vs. C++ or even better (IMO) C#, avoid it and take something else unless you are just interested in the history of programming.

All you will really learn, if the course is truely just C, is a batch of habits you will have to unlearn for OOP.

And if you do want to learn the history of programming, start with FORTRAN II with calls to MAP/FAP subroutines - those definitely were not obvious.
   
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Rake
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Default 03-04-2008, 04:45 PM

C is good but its kinda old... there are some better new stuff to work with..
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Rake the Headmaster of-
parrots: http://www.greyforums.net
pigeons: http://www.pigeons.biz
   
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DickBaldwin
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Default 03-05-2008, 07:48 AM

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Originally Posted by Rake View Post
C is good but its kinda old... there are some better new stuff to work with..
respects from:
Rake the Headmaster of-
parrots: http://www.greyforums.net
pigeons: http://www.pigeons.biz
Do you have specific recommendations for better new stuff???

Dick Baldwin
Free Alice tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm
Free programming tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/toc.htm
   
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DrJim
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Default 03-05-2008, 08:28 PM

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Originally Posted by DickBaldwin View Post

Do you have specific recommendations for better new stuff???
Think Dick has an excellent question and you are probably a good person to offer an answer - really like the layout of your web site.

My problem with trying to sort through "new stuff" is that there is so much out there, it's hard to figure out where to start. (If you're in a US high school and in CS, then Java is the answer - but otherwise there are the scripting languages, particularly Python and Action Script, various data base systems, web tools, etc., etc.)
   
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