Garden Plant Selector & Garden Layout Planner (Cambridge Applied Technology) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User


Garden Plant Selector & Garden Layout Planner
By Cambridge Applied Technology
BBC B/B+/Master 128

 
Published in The Micro User 3.01

The old and new combine to help you Look Sharp

Cambridge Applied Technology has released two Greenfinger programs to aid the amateur gardener on those long, cold winter days when practical gardening is impossible.

One is the Garden Plant Selector and the second a Garden Layout Planner.

Both are reasonably user-friendly. The Plant Selector shows yellow text on a blue background prompt and offers two options either information on individual plants or, better still, advice on which plants thrive best in any given site in your garden.

> The choice of plant type is broad and includes border plants, cacti and succulents, climbers, indoor plants, rock garden plants and shrubs and trees.

Whichever option is selected the data master file cassette has to be loaded and a change of message and colour indicates if this is proceeding. Unfortunately it will not tolerate simple errors like lack of spaces between words, misspellings or extra spaces between words.

The individual option selects your plant and gives details of flowers and foliage and what sunlight, moisture and soil-type are needed as well as hardiness, eventual height and means of propagation.

> No Latin names are used, probably because of memory shortage. Perhaps instead the common names could have been included in the documentation since they are so variable and then the Latin alternatives could have been used in the program. Also no metric measurements are included.

The search option offers a very limited plant choice. Here again, perhaps indoor plants could have been omitted to admit more outdoor types and perhaps include trees.

Based on the garden situation chosen plants are selected but since there are no accurate limits of rainfall this is not always as successful as it should be.

> Documentation for Plant Selector includes good running instructions and a plant common name index. Perhaps more detailed cultural instructions could have been included.

The Layout Planner uses the same successful screen layout as the Selector. It allows old layouts to be reviewed and revised as well as producing new ones.

Both programs could be extremely useful educationally in teaching the application of the BBC Micro in computer model ling and design. At £12.95 each they represent good value for money.

Peter Hillman

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