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J. Fenkell, B. Heino and B. Wallace

Scarborough (ON), Centennial College Press, c1983.
Distributed by Centennial College Press, Box 631, Station A, Scarborough, Ont., M1K 5E9.
112pp, paper, $9.95.
ISBN 0-919852-21-1.

Grades 10 and up.
Reviewed by Jean Farquharson.

Volume 12 Number 1
1984 January

This slim text consists of twelve chapters plus appendices: "Sample Problems and Solutions," "Practice Exercises," and "Answers to Exercises in the Text." It is intended to serve as an introductory textbook for a first course in computer programming in BASIC. Having been used by the authors several times for a single semester programming course at Seneca College in Toronto, it is relatively error-free. However, there are a few trivial criticisms; for example, page 13 indicates that a positive number will be next to the border, where in fact it usually sits one space to the right to allow for the positive sign, which is not printed (as the negative sign is). On page 26, the request for input does not make clear that a comma must separate the two entries. A better technique would have been to request one item per input prompt.

While writing a text that is not computer-specific, the authors nevertheless used the Apple for examples. Unfortunately, its tape routines are primitive. Reference is made to subscripting where a dimension statement is not used. They claim that only the zero subscript may be used without dimensioning. Some machines (Commodore) allow up to ten variables without dimensioning. The explanation of string variable functions on page 62 is too limited; more examples are needed. The discussion in chapter 12 on files is also limited, and being specific to Apple, it needs other examples to improve the discussion.

Other than as stated, the text uses numerous examples and is helpful to a beginning student. The authors have a flair for explanation but need to expand some of their text to include other machines (e.g., file handling). Lack of an index is overcome by a detailed breakdown of the contents.

Jean Farquharson, Brantford C. I. & V. S., Brantford, ON.
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