The Waite Group's Microsoft QuickBASIC Bible. (book reviews)
by Tom Campbell
Here's another winning reference book from the Waite Group. A comprehensive (almost 1000-page) book covering QuickBASIC in detail, it's the manual that should have come with QuickBASIC. Though Microsoft QuickBASIC Bible tries to be all things to all people--tutorial, quick reference, and full reference--surprisingly, it works.
As the book moves from tutorial to general information to specific information, every inch is put to good use, including the inside covers (where quick reference indices appear in both alphabetical and categorical order). The coverage of compatibility between earlier versions of QuickBASIC, ANSI BASIC, interpreted BASIC, and PowerBASIC is good. Sample programs (available on disk for a reasonable $18.95) have good comments and usually manage to be somewhat useful. They also tend to avoid duplicating the online help and even refer you to sample programs included with the product, a refreshing change from books that rehash the manual and sometimes even duplicate sample files.
Two interesting appendices list files available on CompuServe to aid the BASIC programmer. Appendix A describes, by category, scores of articles available to users of Microsoft's Knowledgebase, used internally by Microsoft's product support team and available on CompuServe as well. Appendix B contains similar descriptions of program files on CompuServe. My only complaint is that the latter doesn't give credit to its authors, nor does it list the distribution terms of each program (public domain, shareware, freeware, and so on). Of course, this list will be out of date in a few years, but I still think it's an excellent idea. There's a lot of good code out there.