New to Python/Programming

Brian Zimmerman brian_zimmerman at
Tue Aug 3 11:00:04 CEST 2004

I'm new to all this too. I recommend Michael Dawson's "Python
Programming For The Absolute Beginner" (Premier Press, 452 pages).

It's really fun as it walks you through Python basics by having you
make little games. By the time you are done with the book you will
have made an Asteroids like game with sounds, music, and animation. I
think it was written with kids in mind, not that it's simple, just
somehow really clear.

THE BAD: The book's CD has only MS Windows versions of the software
used. Most of the book's examples are cross platform (if you do your
own downloads and installs), except for things that use Livewires. The
author says that he made changes to the standard Livewires library, so
you might get frustrated towards the end if you use Linux or Mac. I
hope that gets fixed because other than that, I think this is just
about the perfect intro book for younger programmers.

Not to knock Alan Gauld's "Learn to Program Using Python"
(Addison-Wesley, 270 pages). It's also a great beginner's book. I
enjoyed reading that too.

Alan's book gets straight to the point, and feels more "Intro to
Computer Science" minded. It explains some theory and terminology,
then shows how that works in Python, and a bit about other languages.
Dawson's book is more like we're gonna make a game, here's what we do
to build it.

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