by Solomon Swift
by Hardnosed Harry & Barry Wilson
This review is ONLY of the demo GOBASIC disk distributed by TSF and it is expected that the final product will be more polished.
First there are NEW COMMANDS that you will have to learn. I would have liked it better if they made less commands, maybe cut it down to one or two. Who wants all those commands?
GOBASIC has 28 BUILT IN ICONS (or little figures or symbols) that you can call just be typing PUTICON X at h,v (X is # of icon, h is horizontal and v is vertical). BUT WHAT if I wanted to have my icons play football? Well, with l1 icons on a side, 2 more for each side for punting & field goals,that makes 26 and ONLY leaves 2 icons for officials and you need more than 2 officals for a football game. Only 28 icons is very impractical.
Then there is the PULL DOWN MENUS, well what about liability insurance. What if some user pulls a menu down on top of a letter or worse an incon. They could sue. No I don't want pull down menus.
Dialog boxes. All you do is type startdialog and you get a dialog box and exitdialog and it disappears. Seems simple enough but then you must put some dialog in it. Well, that's the catch, you have to think of some dialog to put in the dialog box. If I could think of dialog, I would write novels or screen plays or something, so there, again a totally useless feature.
Changing the foreground color by using FCLOR = X or the Background color to be painted by using PCLOR = X, or the border color by using OUTERCOLOR X or even the window color by WDWCOLOR f,b is simple. BUT I have a green monitor and I will assure you that all these color changes didn't do much for me on my green monitor.
MAYBE THEY SHOULD HAVE INCLUDED, FREE, A COLOR MONITOR WITH EACH GOBASIC SOLD. YAA, THATS A GOOD IDEA...
Also while I think of it you only get one kind of window. What if I wanted a bay window, or picture window, or full length floor to ceiling window. No very much of a choice is given you.
NOW THIS ONE WILL REALLY MAKE YOU ANGRY, THEY ONLY GIVE YOU A CHOICE OF SIX DIFFERENT FONTS. What if you want a different font for each day of the week, well what about that guys? You either have to design a 7th font (they do give you that option) or use one of the 6 build in fonts twice in one week. I mean, they make underwear for each day of the week. Come on guys, get with it.
As far as being able to underline fonts, make horizontal mirror images of fonts, vertical mirror images, rotate fonts, reverse fonts, and even more. Well, it's just going to make the fonts dizzy or upset or something and next thing you know we will have a strike on our hands.
Another flaw in GOBASIC is while you can put the windows up, down, left or right, what if you have them up and it rains? What about that? Maybe it would be safer without any windows at all. Also, what about screens for the windows and what about storm windows. There is no option for storm windows. (Unless you paint the storm in grapics mode yourself, I guess).
GOBASIC can handle disk drives ONE THRU SIX, a HARD DRIVE, TWO TAPE DRIVES & A RAMDRIVE. Well, where are you going to get the money to buy 6 disk drives and even if you do, where will you put them? You can only stack about 4 on top of each before they all fall over. Another flaw...
Then they give you the ability to calculate cosines, arctangents, logs, square roots, tangents,etc. Well I thought I was finished with all that when I flunked trigonometry or was it solid geometry. Anyway, who needs to be reminded of all those bad memories, anyway!
I am just hitting those points that upset me the most. Take output settings. Now here is where they really stick it to you. They go from PR#0 all the way to PR#15. That's just too many choices. I like it simple, yes or no, black or white. Giving you l5 output choices, I mean to screen, Adam printer, other printer, 80 col. terminal (either EVE or OBS), etc. That means I have to buy an 80 col. terminal to be able to use all l5 outputs. Maybe the reason GOBASIC is so cheap is that they are going to make money selling 80 col. terminals so you can use PR#8 & PR#9. Who knows?
NOW ANOTHER BUMMER. You can draw a circle by typing RADIUS = x, CIRCLE h,v, that's it, it draws you a circle. If you use FCIRCLE you get a filled in circle. For a SQUARE all you need is LENGTH = X, SQUARE h,v. Also FSQUARE is a filled square. You can do rectangles just as easy. BUT WHAT IF YOU WANT A PENTAGON OR HEXAGON OR 99 SIDED FIGURE? Well they don't automatically give you those. You can still get them but not with an automatic command. They should have gone from l sided to 99 sided figures at least.
I won't even tell you what they do to sprites as it is too horrible to imagine, (rotation, coloration, hiding, finding, mirroring,reversing,etc.) . It's enough to give a sprite a nervous breakdown. They even STAMP those poor fragile sprites. Just inhuman...
Then you get choices like 30 column, 40 column, 60 column screens. Who wants to have to count all those characters to see if you are really getting them? For all I know, I might have 29, 39, and 59 columns.
These are only some of the things I don't like about GOBASIC. There is also its price. Hell, if you don't pay at least $99.99 for a program, it can't be worth much can it???
I must ask that you consider the source of this review, HARDNOSED HARRY, before making a decision on GOBASIC. I have heard NO other complaints about GOBASIC and in fact only very good things about it. But we felt for balance that HARDNOSED HARRY had a right to present his point of view.