The Basic handbook. (book reviews) Russ Lockwood.
This book is subtitled "encyclopedia of the Basic computer language" and it certainly fulfills its claim. No other Basic reference guide comes close to The Basic Handbook. It covers just about every Basic dialect known to microcomputerdom, including the brand new True Basic by Kemeny and Kurtz.
Lien lists each Basic command and proceeds to dissect it. He starts with a definition of the command, moves into an explanation of the format, lists a short Basic program showing the command in use, shows a sample run of the program, and then discusses how different dialects use the command. He provides alternate words and spellings, substitute subroutines to emulate a command if your dialect of Basic does not have that particular command, and cross references to complementary commands. Several appendices, including explanations of program conversions from one Basic dialect to another, trigonometry functions and applications, and special graphics and sound statements, round out the book.
For convenience, and to save space, Lien targets the "mainline core of Basic" commands shared by most computers. This means that the 350 main entries in the book actually hold approximately 500 total commands. Top priority was assigned to documenting the language rather than machine-specific dialects and also helping programmers solve problems of incompatibility because of differences in the dialects.
According to recent survey results, most Creative Computing readers program in Basic. For you, The Basic Handbook, now in its third edition, offers a cornucopia of programming insight. Take a good look at this reference guide, it is likely to be the last "encyclopedia" you will ever need.
Review Grade: A