Classic Computer Magazine Archive CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 9, NO. 3 / MARCH 1983 / PAGE 303

The Basic conversions handbook for Apple, TRS-80, and PET users. (book reviews) Steve Gray.

The Basic Conversions Handbook for Apple, TRS-80, and PET Users

Written by a New Hampshire group of four called the Brain Bank, this is a guide to converting "a Basic program for TRS-80, Apple II, or PET into the form of Basic used by any other one of those machines. . . . Also described are variations in graphics capabilities, PEEK, POKE, and CALL statements, cursor and control characters, memory locations, etc.,' the back cover says.

A three-page chapter on Methods of Translation is followed by the three main chapters, on converting into one of the three Basics. Each of the three chapters is divided into two parts on converting from one machine into the particular Basic. That means six separate sections, each four to 24 pages long.

The shortest section is on translating PET into Apple II, and mostly consists, like the rest of the sections, of a long list of PET commands with equivalent Apple II commands. Many are identical (all three machines use Microsoft Basic), some require changes, and a very few have no equivalent. A brief paragraph on graphics notes that "The PET has a built-in character ROM for various graphics characters . . . to compensate for this feature, you must create your own graphic version of the symbols provided on the PET.' Charts at the end of the book give "screen coordinate conversion' from one computer to another (as well as information on subroutimes and sample program conversions).

This book gives the simplest conversion information, and as such is simple and fast to use. More details are given in the $10.95 Dilithium book by Larry Noonan, Basic Basic-English Dictionary for the Apple, Pet, and TRS-80. This book provides an alphabetic listing of commands, and shows how each is implemented in the three computers. However, you have to figure out how to make the conversions. Take your choice: fast conversion or more details.

Review Grade: B