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Just Enough C/C++ Programming by Guy W. Lecky-Thompson

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Dereferencing

The dereference operator is the asterisk *, and it is needed whenever you want to manipulate the value that the pointer points to. This allows you to access the value in memory rather than just the abstract reference to it.

This seems a little academic, but you can think of it in terms of the cooking analogy from the earlier chapters. If you have a recipe for baking and decorating a cake, it is likely to refer at some point to a recipe for icing. Because icing is a standard mixture that can be used on many cakes, it is usually not printed on each recipe.

Instead, in the book, it might refer to a section entitled “Cake Toppings,” where the icing recipe is printed. You, the reader (the chef), then have to look up—dereference—the ...

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