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Melbourne House
Alan Giles
Book: Paperback
Not Applicable

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Chris Bourne

Alan Giles' Spectrum Micronet Book, published by Melbourne House for £6.95 has to be the definitive work on the VTX500 modem and Prestel. It is more of a technical manual than a readable introduction to on-line communications with a Spectrum, however.

It's an odd sort of book - annoyingly all the zeros have a slash through them, just like someone thought a proper computer book should have. And it has to win the 'Gumbo Fatgut Daftest Proofreading Error of the Decade' award for the boo-boo that crops upon page 6.

Page 6 contains four diagrams, and across the top of the page a message to the book printers art department appears: 'ART DELETE THE WORDS (side view) IN TOP HEADING'. Art read this messaqe, deleted the words 'side view', which duly didn't appear in the top heading, and then left the message asking for the deletion on the page. Tee Hee - how silly!

Despite its title, The Micronet Book isn't really all about Micronet, and if you bought it under the impression it would explain from scratch what Micronet is all about you might be a little disappointed. As the definitive guide to the possibilities of the VTX5000 modem, however, it can't be beaten in terms of technical content. Not really for beginners, but ideal for anyone who wants to get into their VTX5000, understand it and its relationship with Prestel fully, and alter the way it ticks.