ONE OF A SERIES of books aimed at beginners about specific computers is I Wish I Knew about the Spectrum and the ZX-81.
The information in it is very basic and the book reads like a hard-back version of Sinclair manuals. The first seven chapters explain how to plug-in your particular brand of computer to the mains and how to type in simple Basic programs.
It is only in chapter eight that things begin to be interesting, with an overview of the ways in which graphics are handled on the Spectrum and ZX-81. The relaxed style and copious diagrams make it an easy introduction to computing and suitable for adult and child alike. One of its most attractive features is the lack of the 'straight and dull' style so often adopted by manual writers.
Some readers might find the style too relaxed and, together with the shortage of text, finish the book in about half an hour. There are, on average, four paragraphs of large text on each page and generous amounts of white space. The question has to be asked why yet another beginner's book has been produced for two machines in a market which is already saturated? I wish I knew.