This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
I just bought a book on beginning Java and am sorely regretting the purchase. The only good thing that I can say about it is that it led me here. Now I am fairly intelligent and I am also well past the point of books that start out with "This is a mouse. A mouse is for inputting data. It has two buttons. And a wheel. Isn't this fun? Wheeeeeee!" Yet my experience with programming is 20 year old basic(and not a lot of that) and things like where is the command prompt, bin directories, and path indicators are just a smidge over my head. May I be privileged enough to hope that I have found the right place to ask the completely boneheaded questions?
I learned Java from books, and eventually got more of a formal education - I'm not sure which book you purchased, but I attempted to read a few before I found a good one that worked for me.
You might try to look for Head First Java. Head First books are great for giving you enough detail to understand what you're learning about, and presenting it in a way that will allow you to comprehend and remember. Usually they are thick, but a quick read - if you know what I mean.
They are (usually) by no means a reference book - but I think they are a good introductory learning tool.
I've taken Java beginner courses in two different universities, and all the time they were good for introductory purposes, they just can't compare to the value of studying on your own, reading books, reading the API and being active in forums.
When I first tried to teach myself Java, I had no idea where to start, and I picked The Worst Book Ever Written For Beginning Java. It was a maddening experience. Fortunately, that book is long out of print.
After some false starts, I eventually found Eckel's Thinking in Java, which made the light bulbs come on for me. I wish Head First Java had been around then!
Anyway, starting out can be frustrating. Let us know where you're stuck, and we'll get you on the right path.
"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer sscce.org
Originally posted by marc weber: When I first tried to teach myself Java, I had no idea where to start, and I picked The Worst Book Ever Written For Beginning Java. It was a maddening experience. Fortunately, that book is long out of print.
My publisher has been bugging me about doing a new edition, though.
In the event the OP is looking for other good books from which to learn Java, I have always liked the books from Deitel & Deitel. They cover a very wide range of topics, and do so seemingly well. I've not read Head First Java, but do have Head First Servlets & JSP, and if it's anything like it, Head First Java would be well worth getting.
I would concur with a reply about staying active on the forums. Troll through this section (Beginner) and even if you have no idea about the solution you'll learn a lot from the replies of the more enlightened ones.
Hi, I'm a beginner in Java also, but I do have programming experience. Your example questions are not really anything to do with Java per se, but have more to do with your computer's operating system (like Windows XP for example). The answers will be different for each kind of system. The command prompt, for example, is where you can type in commands instead of clicking on icons or going through the menus. (I hope you'll forgive me if you already know all this!) On Windows system, you have to bring up the DOS prompt. On some Mac systems, you would start the Terminal program to get a command prompt.
Maybe starting with a more general refresher on programming would help?