Programming with Python

Programming with Python, Tim Altman and Mitch Chapman, Primatech, 1999, 372 pages + CD ROM.

This book is unusual in that it is not a primer or introductory book. You will not learn how to program Python by reading this book. However, it is a fun book filled with lots of example programs of an unusual and off-beat nature. For the right person (who might well be a child) this book could spark a real interest in programming by illustrating some of the fun things you can do with rather simple and easy programs. The programs are also easy to expand on your own if you know the basic Python language.

One caveat is that the book is aimed primarily at the Linux user. This might put you off a bit if you are a Windows only user, but actually the sample Python scripts are just as understandable for Windows users, although the CD-ROM's "quick set up" version may not work without tweaking, which is a small pain. For a Linux user, this book could be quite nice.

For me, the highlight of the book is the last chapter which includes six games and "artificial intelligence" scripts. These cause me to fondly recall a similar book of Basic scripts I used 25 years ago. They are simple enough for a true beginner to play around with and modify.

Other scripts focus on Tkinter graphics, simple databases, math and science, servers, string manipulation, and a cute little program to translate Python programs into C programs.

A fun book that would be perfect as a second Python book for a young (at heart anyway) Linux hacker.