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I need suggestions

Hi.  I am just finishing my final year at secondary school, and I have been awarded the computing prize.  Traditionaly this is a book that is presented on speach day.  I would like to hear any suggestions for a book that will not go out of date (i.e I could read it in 20 years time when I take a trip down memory lane)

I was considering "C programming language - Kernigan and Ritchie"

Any suggestions would be great

1 Solution
What direction do you want to follow? Every book can be read at all times, just the relevance may be wrong. C programming might be gone in a year or 2, who knows. You can also buy a book about QBasic, and in 20 years it will still be a top book,though unused.

C programming will still be there in 20 years, whether it will be used or not by that time I don't know.

I normally never recommend any "... in 21 days"-books, but this one is really recommended!

- Teach Yourself C Programming in 21 Days by Peter Aitkin & Bradley Jones
- The C programming language by Brian W Kernighan and Dennis M Ritchie"

I would say requiring that a book be useful in 20 years is tough to fulfill...

Good useful books on my desk:
C/C++ Programmers Bible.
Oracle SQL High Performance Tuning.
Programming Perl 3rd ed.
Unix in a nutshell.
Mastering Regular Expressions.  <--- Awesome book! Great stuff to know (you should read it front to back) wether you are programming Perl, or working in a Unix environment at all...
Books that will stand the test of time...

Programming Pearls - Jon Bentley

not sure this will ever go out of date.

Also, have a look on amazon at the reviews for this...

The C++ Standard Library
Nicolai M. Josuttis

from the synopsis...

Programming with the C++ Standard Library can certainly be difficult, but Nicolai Josuttis'  The C++ Standard Library provides one of the best available guides to using the built-in  features of C++ effectively.
The C++ Standard Library provides plenty of default functionality in  the form of the Standard Template Library (STL) for containers (like vectors and linked lists), as well  as generic algorithms (which allow you to sort, search and manipulate elements inside containers). The  best thing aboutThe C++ Standard Library is that it gives the reader a concise guide to working  with these basic containers (from lists to sets and maps, with everything in- between). Each container  type is explained along with short code excerpts. Moreover, in a reference section, the author explores  the connections between each container type showing how they share similar methods. (Learn just a  few methods and you can pretty much work with the mall.)
In addition to STL, this book excels at providing a readable introduction to the generic algorithms  (which can be used to sort, search and otherwise manipulate STL containers). Other books either mix  in this material with the explanation of containers, or make it seem like an esoteric topic. The fact is  generic algorithms work with all the STL types and by separating these algorithms out like this, the  reader can learn the rich array of algorithms available in today's standard C++. While this book  concentrates on STL and algorithms, readers will still find great coverage on Standard Library string  classes and streams (including a fine section on internationalisation and locales).
For the beginning or intermediate C++ programmer, The C++ Standard Library can be a  real timesaver. It arranges and explains the complexities of the C++ Standard Library and STL in a  manageable format that's great as a reference and as an approach to programming. -- RichardDragan
Topics covered: history of C++ and the Standard Library, template basics, Big-O Notation,  the std namepace, standard exceptions, allocators, standard library utilities, pairs and auto_ptr, numeric  limits,  the Standard Template Library (STL) basics, containers, iterators, algorithms, vectors, lists,  deques, strings, sets, multisets, bitsets, maps, multimaps, stacks, queues, iterator adapters, function  objects, element requirements, value and reference semantics, complex numbers, valar rays, stream  classes, stream manipulators and formatting, file I/O, internationalisation and locales.   Book Description
This is the ideal reference for those programmers who need information on the standards imposed upon this language, but in a format that allows easy access to information. There is complete coverage of classes, methods, interfaces and objects that make up the standard C++ libraries. Contains full coverage of the ANSI/ISO C++ standard, conveniently placed in one book.    

we have it,
it's excellent.

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The Hacker's Handbook is always a good read for a solid briefing on the time-tested techniques that still work for hackers today - social engineering, shoulder surfing, password grabbing, backdoors, trojans, etc.  Systems may change, but the means of attacking and defending them are pretty much a constant, and this book is a good primer, whether you are going to build more secure systems, or go over to the dark side!
The traditional bible to programming both basic and advanced is Knuth volumes 1 through 3. Pretty heavy going, much of the code sample in assembler, but it contains all the basic algorithms (sorting, searching, numerical analysis etc. etc.), and it has already stood the test of time.
andrewsmithAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot guys.  In the end I opted for "C programming language by Brian W Kernighan and Dennis M Ritchie" (Hardback version) as it is very well regarded and it is on my university reading list.

Thank you
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