6 Pointers: Getting a Handle on Data

Perhaps more than anything else, the C-based languages (of which C++ is a proud member) are characterized by the use of pointers—variables that store memory addresses. The subject sometimes gets a reputation for being difficult for beginners. It seems to some people that pointers are part of a plot by experienced programmers to wreak vengeance on the rest of us (because they didn’t get chosen for basketball, invited to the prom, or whatever).

But a pointer is just another way of referring to data. There’s nothing mysterious about pointers; you will always succeed in using them if you follow simple, specific steps. Of course, you may find yourself baffled (as I once did) that you need to go through these steps ...

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