Computers for sea & sky. (book reviews) Stephen Gray.
Computers for Sea & Sky, by Stephen J. Rogowski. Creative Computing Press, Morristown, NJ. 112 pages, paperback $9.95. 1982.
The subtitle of this 8-1/2-inch-by-11-inch collection of 47 programs in Basic is, "A compendium of computer programs and algorithms for use in navigation, aviation, astronomy, surveying, meteorology, sailing and a myriad of other disciplines." The back cover adds "You can perform the calculations scientists use to predict the time of sunrise, the date for Easter, or the distance between any two points on earth."
The seven chapters provide programs for Aviation (Propeller Tip Speed, Rate of Climb, etc.), Charts (Meridional Parts, Chart Scaling, etc.), Mathematics (Plane Oblique Triangles, Haversine Computation, Ageton Navigation Method, etc.), Meteorology (Temperature Conversion, Barometric Correction, etc.), Navigation (Dead Reckoning, Great Circle Computations, etc.), Speed/Distance (Line-of-Sight Distance, Speed Computation, etc.), and Time and the Sky (Easter Date, Day of the Year, etc.). The book ends with a glossary, bibliography, and an appendix of constants.
Each program is accompanied by a full discussion of the topic (with relevant formulas), a listing, examples with runs, and usually a drawing or two. The book is handsomely typeset by software developed at SUNY by the author, who is a teacher and also a licensed pilot.
The author has "avoided string variables and even subscripted arrays wherever practical. It should be possible to run most of the programs on all micros and even some of the pocket computers which have emerged using Basic."
Although not for everybody, this very well written and produced book is the first of its kind, and should be of interest to pilots and navigators (for whom it can replace a great many tables), and anybody else with an interest in the subject.
Review Grade: B