Sunshine Books Ltd
1984
Book: Paperback
£6.95
Unknown (Imported From Infoseek)
Not Applicable
Undetermined

109
Chris Bourne

SIMULATING LIFE ON THE QL

TWO OF THE BEST books about the QL on the market have nothing to do with SuperBASIC, QDOS, or 68000 machine code programming.

The first, Quill, Easel, Archive and Abacus on the Sinclair QL is near to those topics but it goes one step beyond showing how each of the commands work for each of the packages. Instead it shows how each of them can be used with each other to create an environment in which complex business storage systems combine the graphics power of Easel, the word processing capabilies of Quill, the numeric brains of Abacus and the storage capacity of Archive.

The author, Alison McCallum-Varey has, in some places, made explanations and examples easier to understand than the Sinclair supplied manual and gives practical techniques for incorporating the software packages into any business. If any business person is not convinced about the power of the QL when they start to read the book they will be by the time they have finished.

Subtitled Integrating the Psion Software, the book is not split into separate sections, each giving an overview of one of the packages, but it does have a definite pattern which can be seen both while reading it and by studying the contents page. It almost shares the same pyramidal structure evident within the Psion software. You can follow the text at any level of understanding and skip over those parts which are not yet easily accessible without losing the thread of the author's argument.

The second book, Introduction to Simulation Techniques on the Sinclair QL, may seem a strange title to bring out for a relatively new machine.

John Cochrane, the author, presents the usually complex subject in a digestible, albeit unimaginative, style which most beginners should understand. He does not simply regurgitate all the general information which can be found about simulation and emulation techniques, and the advantages of the QL are heavily outlined.

The examples centre mainly around engineering but probability and so-called machine-exhibited intelligence is also covered.

Home and business simulations are included. At home Cochrane shows how to calculate and budget while at work future trends analysis can be done using the listings produced within the text. For those interested in developing their own techniques information is given on deteminism, the Markov Chain and the Monte Carlo technique. Those are backed with examples of use and a section on how to develop any simulation from scratch.

Both books from Sunshine Publications show what can be achieved when authors think about a machine and its capabilities before sitting down to write.

Quill, Easel. Archive and Abacus on the Sinclair QL - Integrating the Psion Software
Price: £6.95

Introduction to Simulation Techniques on the Sinclair QL
Price: £6.95.
Publisher: Sunshine Publications.

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