Classic Computer Magazine Archive CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 9, NO. 6 / JUNE 1983 / PAGE 313

Using Basic. (book reviews) Steve Gray.

Using Basic

The authors say in the preface that the central theme of this textbook is practicality, and that it presents a practical approach to system design, useful programs that solve problems often met by practicing programmers, user-friendly programs that save time and frustration And portable programs that will run on various Basic systems with minimum changes.

The book is said to differ in several ways from other introductory texts in Basic, by concentrating on a standardized form of the language (ANSI Minimal Basic), by emphasizing program methodology, by emphasizing practical applications, and by using an interactive, experimental approach to learning, to program.

Part I is an eleven-chapter, 300-page self-contained introduction to Minimal Basic, written for the beginner. Part II, 110 pages long, Applications of Standard Basic, contains a small variety of subjects, including simulation, sorting, packing and pointing. Part III, Enhancements to Basic, covers several features not yet standardized: strings, files and "other enhancements' (longer variable names, multi-statement lines, logical operators, and four more).

Three different audiences will find this text useful, according to the preface--business programming, general programming, and general computer knowledge--and a table suggests "possible avenues through the book suited to each of these interest groups.'

Seven appendixes provide information on how to use a computer, a glossary, concise description of Minimal Basic, answers to odd-numbered exercises, index, two-page guide to Basic commands, and a brief Quick Reference Guide.

The book is full of helpful boxes around important points. The writing style is light and informal, with cartoons that illustrate various points, and a slow and easy approach to Basic.

This is one of the easiest and more worthwhile Basic books to read, with a more meaningful set of programs than most such texts, and a light-hearted touch that helps over the rough spots but never gets silly. This user-friendly text seems to reflect a lot of teaching experience.

Review Grade: A