TRS-80 Model III. (book reviews)
TRS-80 Model III: Programming and Applications, by Larry Joel Goldstein. Robert J. Brady Co., A Prentice-Hall Co., Bowie, MD 20715.315 pages, paperback $12.95.1982.
The back cover says this is "for the first time ever," a text specifically designed for novices and experienced users of the TRS-80 Model III, offering a "thorough yet refreshingly informed introduction to programming in Basic."
Well, if there were no author's name on the book, you might think it was written by Bob Albrecht and/or Don Inman. There is the same boldface for program lines, the same informal writing, even the same enclosing of some call-out phrases in wavy clouds, just like the dragonmasters of Menlo Park (that's an inside joke, son).
Which is not to detract from this book; after all, Albrecht and Inman have written some of the best and easiest to read computer texts available. This one has all the usual chapters a good Basic book has, plus one with a title seldom seen in such a book: word processing. However, that chapter is mostly about string manipulation and printer operation. Scripsit is mentioned in passing, and a brief word-processing program is presented.
The chapter on Programming for Scientists also has a somewhat misleading title: it is about double-precision numbers, variable types, mathematical functions, and USR. A nice touch is the last chapter, on Where To Go From Here, which suggests assembly-language programming, other languages (Fortran, Cobol, Pascal) and operating languages (CP/M).
Exercises are presented after each section, and answers to "selected" ones (actually, most of them) are in the back of the book.
This is one of the best books on TRS-80 Model III Basic available, with very clear writing, a no-nonsense and keep-it-moving approach (he's up to print zones by page 19), many program examples set off in boldface, and much detail. Also, this is one of the handsomest books available on computer programming.
Review Grade: B