VIC GRAPHICS

Hands up all Vic owners who want to do advanced graphics on their machines. That many, huh? All right, hands up everyone who thinks a book titled Vic Graphics will show you how? What a trusting bunch we all are.

As a first step, enter a book shop, pick up a copy and examine the back cover. You will find a smart blue sticker, painstakingly attached by those awfully nice Duckworth people, which says: "The Commodore Super Expander Cartridge is required to run the programmes (sic) in this book."

Now, hands up all of you who don't have that little extra. Pity.

As those unfortunates shuffle sorrowfully out of the bookstore, the rest of us can proceed, looking forward to all those exciting graphic things like using colour, user defined characters and graph plotting.

Whaddya mean, you read all that in the manual and the magazines? Some of you must have missed it. Anyway there's lots more. How about scaling and stretching, rotating and moving? Sounds like physical fitness for micros, but unfortunately Vic Graphics will not make you a super-fit graphics programmer - that's figuratively speaking of course.

Because... this is not a book that will teach you how to do these wondrous things. It shows you how (not at all the same thing), and if you take the time and effort to enter all the forty-odd programs in the book, you can't help but absorb some of the principles involved. Unfortunately, Mr. Hampshire does not go overboard on explanation.

One phrase you will encounter again and again, in varying forms, goes something like this: "I will not go into the mathematical detail here; many excellent books have been written on the subject..." (from page 131).

What are these books? Mr. Hampshire neglects to tell us. Still with it so far? Okay, as a reward we move on to the really hunky stuff - 3D graphics.

As the author points out in his introduction, this leads us into fields such as computed-aided design, flight simulators and other state of the art applications.

So turn to page 160 and repeat after Mr. Hampshire (it's down at the bottom, after all the exciting blurb): "All programs in this section required 16K RAM expansion." If that isn't quite clear, repeat after me: "All programs in this section required 16K RAM, super expander and therefore some kind of motherboard."

Now... hands up everyone still in the game. Aha! So few. Sorry Mr. Hampshire, such a small readership does not a bestseller make.