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Cassel, Don.

Scarborough (Ont.). Prentice-HaII, cI986. 266pp. paper. $19.95, ISBN 0-13-944380-0. CIP

Reviewed by Jean Farquharson

Volume 14 Number 5
1986 September

Don Cassel, author of nineteen computer texts and program co-ordinator of the information systems department at Humber College, has written this book for first-time programming students using WATCOM BASIC, a structured variation of BASIC.

The first chapter covers the fundamentals. A sample program is constructed while the techniques are explained, then sample runs are shown on the screen. Examples of debugging a program are given. Review questions and programming problems conclude the chapter, and this is the paitern throughout the book.

Problem-solving methods are described, including analysis, definition, structure charts, pseudo-coding, and flow-charts. Arrays and files are covered to some depth. The author emphasizes the need for input statements in good programming. Help to the student includes inserts that identify typical errors made by programmers and focus inserts that demonstrate important routines and techniques.

Although the text focusses mainly on structured programming, it also contains some non-structured information; e.g.. GOTO statements are explained on page 53, and on page 15 a flowchart symbol is labelled "subroutine" rather than "procedure."

Because there is too much reading and too little to do, this book is not recommended as a secondary school text. Also, on pages 20 and 21, the text is used as a workbook. It would be useful as a high school reference book, however, or as a text at the post-secondary level, and it appears to be error-free. Appendices include summaries of commands and functions, including file commands. There is an index to applications programs as well as a general index.

Jean Farquharson. Brantfard C.I. & V.S., Brant ford. Ont.
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