Personal Computer News2nd June 1984
Published in Personal Computer News #063
The front flash on this book says "Keep pace with the latest IBM software". Unfortunately, the contents don't quite live up to this. However, what you do get is a fairly comprehensive index of the best of the most important applications software packages available for the IBM and IBMulators.
The nice chapters cover the standard areas: business, communications, graphics, utilities, personal/home, education, entertainment and hardware. Most of the chapters are subdivided - for example, under Business there are sections on integrated office systems, word processing, modelling, tax planning and so on.
Each package is given ratings from A (superior) to F (unacceptable), in eight categories. However, the authors have only included above average programs so there are very few E and F ratings. This rather makes a nonsense of including these categories at all and one or two ratings are missing.
Each package gets a fairly detailed review which gives a good idea of what it's like to use the program, a welcome change from simple descriptions of features.
Under some of the sections there's a handy quick reference table which givs information about the number of commands, error recovery, windowing and the like. There is also a useful index of American software publishing houses.
While there's little new here, the book brings together a mass of information which should be of great value to those with a PC but without much software. It will, however, need updating very shortly as the volume of IBM software increases.
Indeed, IBM itself has just announced a portfolio of low-priced software which, coupled with recent Peachtree releases, makes the book out-of-date already. This happens when books try to be directories.