IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 8 -- BOOK REVIEWS
Original Publication Date: 1982-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Software Patent Institute
True Seaborn: AUTHOR [+3]
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BASIC Scientific Subroutines, Volume I -- F. R. Ruckdeschel (Byte/ McGraw Hill, New York, 1981, 316 pp., $19.95)
Numerous books are available on programming in Basic, and one might question the need for yet another book in this area. This work, however, is far from be ing just another book on Basic. Aimed at engineering applications, it is a coordinated collection of programs written in Basic. Most of the subroutines are based on standard textbook methods relative to applied mathematics, numerical methods, and statistics. This collection provides many of the library functions common to large timesharing computer systems as well as providing a spectrum of computer programs that are of immediate interest to many scientific programmers.
A major limitation of this book is that it focuses on actual programs and not the algorithms. Program listings consume a major part, so the book can hardly be considered as a text for a regular course. Engineers who use microcomputers for design work may want to refer to this book before they start writing programs, and many of the available subroutines can be used with little or no modification. Since every microcomputer has its own version of Basic, however, the book's effectivene~s is reduced. A microcomputer user may discover that his or her version of Basic provides most of the subroutines given in this book as standard functions. Such a situation drastically reduces the book's importance. Chapter 2 presents some plotting subroutines that use only alphanumeric symbols. Many of the newer microcomputers provide these and even more sophisticated facilities as "standard functions." Some versions of commercially available Basic language also provide plotting with graphic symbols and colors. With these versions, it would not be logical to use Chapter 2.
Engineering applications of Basic discussed include complex variables, vector and matrix operations, random number generators, and basic series approximations. The book presents a large number of programmi...