THE LAST WORD IN BASIC
IT WAS with a sense of deja vu that we picked up the Century Computer Programming Course for the Spectrum.
We have reviewed the course before but this book edited by Professor Peter Morse and Brian Hancock, is a revised version of 544 pages. There are eight pages of contents which show that the book is split up into Basic programming, advanced Basic programming, and a series of applications programs, all of which are neatly explained using flowcharts and words.
For all its size the book only refers to Basic, so if you want to learn about machine code programming on the Spectrum then you should look elsewhere. That said the book contains just about everything you are ever likely to want to know about Basic structure and its usage. The editors have even included sections on different types of sort and search methods and one of the most understandable explanations of Spectrum graphics and screen displays ever to be published.
The two sections which really catch the eye are Memory Organisation and The Microdrive. The former gives a thorough explanation of how Basic programs are stored and manipulated in memory.
The section on microdrives gives a simple explanation of how they work with Interface One using examples every step of the way. As well as all the explanations of its usage full documentation on both microdrives and Interface One is included.
The book's style is lucid, although not particularly sparkling, and there are enough programs to break up the text into manageable chunks.