The IBM Personal Computer and XT - the software guide. (book reviews) Susan Glinert-Cole.
The IBM Personal Computer and XT--The software Guide
The stack of three directories towers above the other six groups; to these books go the cockroach-squashing award of 1984. The IBM Personal Computer and XT-- The Software Guide by Gerald Van Diver from Micro Information Publishing, Inc. has exactly 1001 text pages, disregarding the order blanks bound into the front and back of the book, conveniently placed should you require an additional doorstop or wish to barricade your spouse behind a wall of database manager blurbs. Ten pages are devoted to the table of contents, a title page, an acknowledgement page, and a one-page introduction. Sixteen plus 1001 equals 1017. Even counting the order blanks, I come out with a total of 1025. Now why should I be bothered with all of this enumeration? Because the press release stuck in the front claims the book has 1036 pages and this inaccuracy was pretty blatant. However, after a browse through the text of this directory, I think it is probably one of the more accurate claims made therein. Other, interesting facts I picked up inside the Guide:
1. UCSD Pascal runs under MS-DOS. How clever of it.
2. CP/M-86 is written in Basic. A remarkable performance by a much-abused language.
3. The Word, a Bible study program, found its way into the word processing section. A revelation.
4. Several programs were written in a language called Macro. This language is probably a derivative of Micro (see CP/M 81 below).
5. One program ran under an operating system called CP/M 81. I presume that Micro and Macro will also do nicely in this system.
6. There are two categories for networking: Networking, and Networking & Networking. No, I didn't make that up. PCnet was put into Networking, and Every-one Else was tossed into Networking & Networking. Will the real Networking please stand up?
If you buy this book, I promise you many hours of howling fun, especially if you enjoy reading press releases. The book is composed of zillions of them, sorted by category. It has some value, in that if you want to see how many word processors there are to choose from, this book will give you a head start. However, because each and every press release claims that its product is by far the fastest and most flexible and has more windows/mice/ colored help screens, it is doubtful that the entries will enable you to make a thoughtful choice.
Review Grade: B+