WE FORECAST two months ago that books about computers would become more technical towards the end of the year. That has happened bu a large gap is still left in that part of the market.
Ian Sinclair's new book, inside Your Computer, is an example. It provides a general introduction to what a computer is made of and how it functions but offers little new information, the author was accurate to describe it as being aimed at beginners, because it could not be recommended to anyone who has had a computer for more than six months and has read any computer magazines.
Although it is a simplistic introduction there is little wrong with what it preaches. Sinclair has taken a diverse set of subjects and put some structure into them. The result is a clear definition of both the hardware and software of a machine.
The author refers to specific machines several times but that is not often sufficient. The ZX-81 and Spectrum are dragged into the explanations twice but some of Sinclair's descriptions are difficult to understand because one cannot visualise the machine he is explaining. The book compensates for that deficiency to some degree, however, with photographs and diagrams. For a technical book for the beginner there are too few illustrations, although those which are included provide some degree of expansion and enlightenment on the text.
On the whole the book is disappointing, because from the taster on the back and the picture on the front the reader could be led to expect more. It can be recommended to the complete beginner who has just bought a computer or to someone who has no computer but wishes to know how one works. The book is published by Granada Publishing and costs £4.95.