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Learning C++ Pointers for REAL Dummies


Don't point, it's rude!

Ok, so we have learned about the address-of operator (&) and the reference operator (*), but we haven't learned how to declare a pointer to use these operators on. Well this is how you do it:

int *melissa;

That's it! This will move a person named melissa into a house, who's sole purpose is to store the address of someone else in computer town. Basically, she is a pointer!

There are a few rules that I should explain before we go and learn how to tell her where to point. If we have a line of code like this:

int *melissa, paul;

This does not create two pointers, melissa and paul. It actually creates a pointer of size int named melissa and a regular int named paul. If we want to declare two pointers of the same type we would do this:

int *melissa, *paul;

This will create two pointers of size int named melissa and paul.

Another thing is size. A pointer must know how big the house it is pointing to. So if paul is an int, only an int pointer can point to it. If paul is a float, then only a float pointer can point to it, and so on.


Where do you live? (&)
What you got in your house? (*)
Don't point, it's rude!
I am pointing here!
Where are you pointing?
How do I point to the neighbor?
You guys are brothers?
Beam me up Scotty, multiple times!!!
Quiz for REAL Dummies