This book is aimed at youngsters with their first home computer, as the sub-title, Your First Programming Book, suggests. By and large it succeeds in making the workings of BASIC clear and simple. The language is about right, and the text is broken up by the use of colour and short paragraphs. Cartoons help to get the points across.
The text concentrates on simple programming commands, and a second section introduces graphics, culminating in a simple arcade-style game called Wordzap. An appendix contains two longer games to type in, clearly laid out and explained — some magazines could take lessons from this! — There is a very useful glossary of commands, with explanations and examples. Each chapter ends with a 'Points to Remember' box and there are 15 exercises to tax young brains. The answers arc provided at the back of the book.
Items covered include calculations, how to de-bug programs, strings, saving your own programs, editing and renumbering, colours and the different modes, FOR/NEXT loops, random selection, locate, plot and draw. All handled in a simple and attractive way. The book is well structured and written in a simple, friendly style, forming an easy teach-yourself introduction to using an Amstrad computer.
If you are already familiar with BASIC and elementary programming then this book is not for you. If, however, the Amstrad is your first computer and you find the manual daunting then this could be the answer you have been looking for.
Home Computing Weekly