The BBC Micro And The Small Business (BBC Soft) Review | Acorn User - Everygamegoing

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The BBC Micro And The Small Business
By Bbc Soft
BBC Model B

 
Published in Acorn User #049

Small Can Be Beautiful

The BBC Micro And The Small Business

Those wanting to know what the BBC Micro can do for business will do well to read this book as a convenient introduction. It brings together the basic knowledge in a very readable way.

It suffers, though, from the serious disadvantage of being a snapshot taken at a specific time - to be exact it can be dated after the release of Wordwise Plus and before the arrival of the B+, so about June 1985.

The first chapter describes business applications generally and makes useful reference to second processors. The remainer of the book deals with the software available, with chapters on the word processor, database, spreadsheet and accounts. They are written to be understood by anyone with an elementary knowledge of the BBC Micro and there is a useful glossary and index at the end.

To take the chapter on wordprocessors as an example, it describes what they are and how they work before giving greater detail about Wordwise Plus, View, MemoPlan and Perfect Writer/Perfect Speller. Direct comparisons are made and the menu screen, edit mode and a sample point of the same document are shown for each.

Finally there is a summary of the features of the systems, and their limitations. My only reservation, and it is a small one, is that even though I have used three of them myself, I would be unable to decide which is best for me on the evidence provided.

I'm not sure I like the chapter on accounting systems because, although the introduction is adequate, it only deals with the Gemini Integrated Suite. This is a good package but is not unique, and no reference is made to the many competitors. That gives a clue to the problem of a book about any rapidly changing situation - you have to read all the subsequently published reviews.

The chaper on program generators and alternative languages is daunting, and I wonder how many prospective business users will be put off by reading it; on the other hand, when it comes to offering advice on the introduction of the software to a business, there is plenty of good sense.

Overall, this is a useful introduction to business uses on the BBC Micro and, with the support of the BBC, it is sure to sell well while it remains reasonably current.

Also, at £5.75 it is extremely well-priced for a book of this kind.

Roger Carus

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