Electron And BBC Basic: A Quick Reference Review | Electron User - Everygamegoing

Electron User

Electron And BBC Basic: A Quick Reference

Published in Electron User 2.01

The first thing I noticed about this amazing little book was its price, a modest £2.25. Used to the ludivrously inflated prices that seem - with certain honourable exceptions - to be the norm in the micro world, this at first put me off. "If it's that cheap, it can't be much good," I thought. I couldn't have been more wrong. It's cheap, but it's also excellent.

What you get for your money is an alphabetical guide to over 200 reserved words and operating system commands. Elaborating on these are some extremely useful example programs and a brief note on the differences between the BBC Micro and the Electron.

The main part of the book is taken up with the directory of keywords - and what a treasure trove it is! Whether used in the heat of programming or just for browsing through in an armchair, the guide is lucid, thorough and surprisingly readable.

All the usual BASIC words are included, and there are also descriptions of such mysterious entities as "events" and Shelia, filing systems and significant bytes. As you doze, you find yourself conjuring up sentences like: "In the event of anyone significantly byteing Shelia...".

It's not just entertaining, it's also useful with its summaries of the OSBYTE and OSWORD calls, the VDU codes and the operating system commands. In fact, if I had to choose, I would prefer this by my side as I program rather than the Acorn Electron User Guide.

It's not a book for complete beginners, though even those with a minimum of programming experience and a modicum of intelligence should find it informative and useful.

So don't be put off by the low price, it's an excellent little book that every Electron owner should consider buying. If you've found that the Acorn Electron User Guide doesn't answer all your needs and that the BBC's ADVANCED USER GUIDE might, if only you could understand it, then this is the book for you. Thoroughly recommended.

Nigel Peters