The IBM Personal Computer Handbook Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

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The IBM Personal Computer Handbook
By Prism Press

Published in Personal Computer News #052

It's hard to see who will buy this weighty tome. The 455 pages are divided into two sections; the first ten chapters introduce the world of computers to the newcomer, while the latter half is dedicated to indices which the PC user will find invaluable.

These include lists of software, peripherals (fancy a 1K x 1K colour graphics controller card, or a voice recognition board?), suppliers and distributors, periodicals and user groups.

So, while the first section is a good introduction to the machine for those thinking about buying a PC or who've just got into using one, the second part would be of most use to a more experienced user.

The detailed opening chapters (each with its own glossary) include a brief history of computing, using software, how and where to buy the hardware and an introduction to the machine. Other topics are the major uses of personal computers; principles of database management, word processing, spreadsheets, telecommunications and even games. There is a useful section on computerising your business and a fairly comprehensive list of relevant software (with a brief description of each product) at the end of each chapter.

The English edition has a 41-page supplement giving details of British and European sources of PC software, but lacks such information as where to get peripherals and such novelties as bumper stickers reading 'IBM PC's Eat Apples'. Or how about an 'Anchor Pad' which secures your PC to your desk with 600 pounds of 'grip strength'.

Overall, it's a handy book for the first-time user and would serve those wishing to learn more about the general principles behind the micro boom; but those who subscriibe to one of more of the many micro magazines and who know the basics will find it largely redundant.

Bryan Skinner