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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
VB for the Absolute Beginner
Author:
Michael Vine
ISBN:
0-7615-3553-5
Publisher:
Prima
Pages:
342pp + CD
Price:
£21-99
Reviewer:
Richard Knight
Subject:
basic
Appeared in:
17-1
This book is aimed at the novice. He uses simple games to teach the fundamentals of VB programming. The author does explain topics clearly and simply, but tends to rush over them. This style does not lend itself well to the beginner since he provides no further help or explanation.

Chapters involve programming a simple game relevant to the concepts to that chapter; source code and graphic files are all on the CD. Each chapter concludes with challenges. Like some of his explanations, no further help or answers are provided.

He devotes a chapter to debugging and error handling and emphasises the importance of checking code errors. In his introduction, he states there are no prerequisites, including knowledge of mathematics yet he fails to explain for example what a "division by zero" error is. Unfortunately, this type of omission is not uncommon.

He explains the difference between sequential and random access files but then skips very quickly over when to use which one. In one chapter he discusses in considerable depth arrays and congratulates the reader if they have understood. He concludes the arrays chapter with the comment that if you have struggled with it perhaps you are not cut out to be a programmer!

Overall I believe this book would be useful to a novice programmer but with the proviso that it is perhaps backed up with additional help, particularly form design. For anyone with any experience of VB (and that would include Access VBA) this book would prove too simple. For its price (£21.99) it would probably prove attractive to someone looking to learn VB and at that price is probably worth purchasing.

Recommended with reservations.