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John Gilbert
Chris Bourne


NOT ANOTHER general book about computers disguised as something which all the family can read!

According to the publisher, The Family Computer Book by Richard Graves and Andrew Thomson, is for the 99 per cent of home computer owners who buy their micros for educational and practical reasons.

The first chapter shows how to buy a computer. Only three computer manufacturers - Acorn, Sinclair and Commodore - are mentioned. Nine pages are then used up with information about where to place the machine, plugging in the television, and playing the introductory tape.

The section on the impact of a computer on family life is classic stuff. No review would be complete without a quote from a poem included on those pages.

"Computer, Computer, how hateful that thing

One day in frustration I'll smash you right in."

How can you follow such a poem? The authors manage to introduce PRINTing, INPUT and arrays, but little else.

The other sections are similar to the section about buying a computer. They include advice on family accounts.

At the end of the book is a section about extending your system. Voice synthesisers, joysticks, and home robots are dealt with in too quick and concise a way.

A confusion arises because it is not clear whether The Family Computer Book is based on what families can do with computers or a general computer book for all the family.

John Gilbert

The Family Computer Book
Publisher: Century Communications
Price: £7.95