Pocket WordstarLittérature Anglais
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Ian Sinclair is to computer books what Barbara Cartland is to romantic fiction - both churn 'em out at one a month, and all their titles sell pretty reliably.

There are differences of course; Barbara Cartland probably isn't much cop at CP/M for one, and not many of Ian Sinclair's characters gaze lovingly into their disc drives and swoon. Usually, Ian Sinclair's books are a model of clarity, among the best for beginners.

This book is aimed specifically at PCW owners, which is what separates it from other WordStar tutorials. WordStar is famed for using obscure command keys, but on the PCW the range of extra keys on the keyboard allows you to use them instead.

It has to be said that this is one of Sinclair's less distinguished books. He doesn't seem quite sure who the reader is: most PCW owners who haven't used WordStar before (ie. who will buy a tutorial book) will have used LocoScript for a while, and therefore will know the basics of how to use the machine. The first page of the book tells you how to plug the three parts of your PCW together (which assumes a total novice), and by page 1 3 you are deep into altering the margins in rulers and configuring your printer options (which assumes a large previous experience of wordprocessing).
There are a distressing number of little errors and misprints that do not inspire confidence in the author Sinclair believes the 8256 s rear expansion port is for attaching a second disc drive. One section states it is about to discuss the X and Y commands, and goes on to discuss the X and R commands. Trivial, but irritating.

There is not a single screen shot in the entire book, which is criminal - you can't compare the book examples with what you see on your screen. No mention is made of NewWord. the WordStar workalike which has outsold WordStar on the PCWs. NewWord is almost identical to WordStar but has several important differences - there should have at least been an appendix.

The MicroPro WordStar manual is generally one of the better examples of technical writing to be found. To be honest, you would be better off reading that, together with the PCW-specific addendum that your dealer will inevitably give you when you buy WordStar.


★ PUBLISHER: Glentop
★ YEAR: 1987
★ AUTHOR: Ian Sinclair
★ PRICE: £7.50

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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.