Book Reviews


Issue 18

Nov/Dec 85

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Above all else the one thing XL programmers have been crying out for is a memory map for the XL series. It has been a long wait but COMPUTE! have finally come up with a revised version of the classic Mapping The Atari which includes not only the XL and the XE but also throws in a few more hidden gems about the old machines!

Reviewing the book for new XL or XE owners is simple. If you want to be able to program your machine, buy this book, it cannot be recommended highly enough. What you get is a detailed description of almost every memory location you are likely to need to know about with many programming examples and useful routines. If you program in BASIC, your programs will have added polish and scope with this book to hand and if you want to learn machine code a memory map is essential. You may as well not bother without one! But you get much more than just a memory map for the introduction tells you quite a lot about the fundamentals of programming and there are no less than nineteen appendices covering almost every aspect of your machine and including specific chapters on XL/XE enhancements and bugs, XE memory management, DOS 2.5, XL./XE graphics modes and more.

There is a section using the Translator to get a customised Operating System for your machine and you also get a type in program that converts the XL Revision B BASIC to Revision C which alone could save you the price of the book!

What if you already have the original version of Mapping? Well that is more difficult. This one is more expensive at 16.95 and the vast majority is the same. It depends on how you value all those little gems you picked up from the first edition. There is an Addenda and Errata to the First Edition which was a great thrill to read (I didn't know that!) and there is certainly more information overall. In the long run those few extra programming tips might be worth more than 16.95 spent on some game you put away after a few plays.

Two hundred and seventy pages of good, solid, hardcore knowledge. What more could you want?




Speedscript was a professional quality word processor published a while ago in COMPUTE! and this book is basically a repeat of the article and program listing with a complete source code and much previously unpublished information.

At first sight it might seem strange to produce a book about a magazine program but Speedscript is probably one of the most comprehensive and professional programs ever published in a magazine and is certainly the cheapest full-feature word processor you are ever likely to come across. Good word processors are expensive and you may find that the one you buy doesn't suit you. At least with this book you can introduce yourself to word processing with the minimum outlay and even if you find that the program doesn't suit you you will be better armed to find one that does.

Word processing is one of the few tasks that a computer can do for everyone and if you have not dipped your toe in the water, try it, you will not find a cheaper way!