HOME COMPUTERS: A Manual of Possibilities by Richard M. Kerf

HOME COMPUTERS: A Manual of Possibilities

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KIRKUS REVIEW

You thought those plug-in TV games just a gimmick? A passing Christmas fancy for the family that plays together? Hardly, says Kerf, who writes of the wonders ahead as you become the first on your block to own a home computer. The first half of the book is a fairly rigorous explanation of how computers work, and includes examples of arithmetical operations with binary numbers. The second half is fun and games and dreams of glory. You too can learn how to program your computer using BASIC to store away recipes, Christmas mailing lists, often-dialed phone numbers, income tax--anything and everything that would benefit from a little automation and instant data processing. There are warnings of program pitfalls like endless loops and impossible instructions, and tips on the benefits of time-sharing programs which fie you to huge data banks for digging out information about anything in a flash. All marches well in this lively and clear presentation by a gentleman billed as former comptroller of Playboy Enterprises. Until the epilogue. The time is 1990 and the scene is a model family going about the day's work: programmed music to wake you. . . start the bath. . . the breakfast . . . bolt the doors and sound alarms. . . (if you have to leave, that is, since most white collar business can be conducted at home). . . then on to instant microwave dinners and voice-operated doors opening to greet guests. . . and all of a sudden there's a distinct 1984 chill to what now seems an amusing present reality.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1979
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich