Introduction to ST Logo (A Tutorial)

Reviewed by Mark Hutchinson

 

Issue 24

Nov/Dec 86

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Microdeal 

19.95

Mono/Colour

When the ST first appeared LOGO was included as one of the programming languages. The accompanying book was for reference and not a guide for beginners. Granted, many purchasers would want the high speed graphics of the ST coupled with the ease of LOGO and may well have used the language before but, on the other hand, lots of people will have come across LOGO for the first time and may well have been daunted by the reference book.

 

This utility from Microdeal is intended to fill the gap. There is little difference in reading something from a book or reading it from a monitor screen, however, in a case like this a screen based tutorial wins hands down. You will read about the demonstration then see it displayed right away, no need to sit down and type in the demo program first, time consuming and boring! I have always been of the opinion that to demonstrate computer techniques, you have to show the technique on the computer then let the user list and amend the program to experiment. Learning by doing is better than learning by reading.


The disk comes in the usual grey Microdeal two ring binder and is accompanied by a small (nine page) booklet explaining how to set up the tutorial. It includes a list of all the lessons and topics, a good idea as you will tend to forget the chapter and lesson number that you are working with.

 

The tutorial is better run on mono, though there is reference to colour in one of the demonstrations. I normally use a colour monitor and I found some of the the screens to have a bad choice of colour, making it very hard to read.


LOGO is a language that I have read about over the years without taking any interest in it. I decided to have a go when I bought the ST, but the book soon put me off. This tutorial is, however, very good, it even lets you type in commands and watch the results, although you can only type in what you are told to. This stops you fiddling about and losing the thread of the lesson. If you really want, you can exit the program and try out the programs with LOGO itself.


I found the lessons were very easy going, understandable and with good graphic examples. I got through the first half of the tutorial in very quick time. You tend to do this because you understand everything at the time, but you will have trouble remembering things later. It is really necessary to practise what has been shown to you, to use and amend the examples provided and to write your own programs.


This is really aimed at the beginner and is well constructed. I do not know how you will feel about the price, but I consider it well worth the money not to have to sit down and type in a lot of programs! Also, from personal experience, I know how much time is involved in writing such a (seemingly) short and easy program.

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