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on 8 December 1999
I have been using it as a reference text alongside my college textbook and I think that the book is generally very clear and covers a lot of ground, but there are two major omissions: 1) Nearly all the material about printing is in an appendix on the attached CD. Portable Document Format: hate it hate it hate it. 2) There is nothing at all about calling sub-programs with the CALL...USING command.
David Cowie, Baldock, Herts, UK
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on 21 November 1997
We live in a world where the vast majority of financial information is processed by computers using COBOL. Make a charge on your credit card - COBOL. Receive a credit card statement - COBOL. File an insurance claim - COBOL. Receive a bank statement - COBOL. All of our lives are influenced daily by COBOL programs quietly and competently going about their work. The language is sometimes vilified by "computer experts" who don't quite understand business. But if we were to pull the plug on all these "antiquated" COBOL programs, the lights would go out on our modern life - literally. Like any structure that's been in place for many years - buildings, bridges, highways, etc. - COBOL programs require maintenance. Now we face the turn of the century, and the much publicized (and very real) Year 2000 problem. The academic institutions of this country have failed the business community. As we face the new century, where are the legions of competent COBOL programmers marching to the Year 2000 battle? They are not pouring from universities - that is certain. So with much thanks to IDG Books and author, Arthur Griffith, COBOL For Dummies makes its debut. This work is a refreshing look at the COBOL language and many of the details of its implementation. To the uninitiated, computer languages can be tediously boring. And even to the well worn, workhorse programmer, one technical book is just as dull as another. Yet, COBOL For Dummies is written in a lively, folksy manner that makes you feel like the author really cares whether or not you understand. You get the sense that he's sitting right with you, working you through the concepts of the language. It's the communication. And if the DUMMIES series is really all about communication, Let's Hear It For The Dummies! The book's back cover CD includes COBOL demo software from both AcuCOBOL and Micro Focus, as well as Fujitsu's current full-blown, unrestricted, full-featured $2,500 COBOL development system at no charge (not a demo version). This alone makes the book worth buying for all interested in COBOL programming. At a time when the world is fully realizing that it revolves around COBOL, COBOL For Dummies is here to stop you from spinning. Buy this book. Jay B. Johnson, President, Advanced Logics, Inc.
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on 12 April 1999
We used this as a textbook for an Introduction to COBOL course during Fall Semester (August - December)1998. We sadly discovered that the Fujitsu compiler expired on October 31, 1998. Trick or treat? We use a different text this year... one that includes software that won't expire during the semester.
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on 19 September 1998
I must disagree with the overwhelming reviews of this book given by other readers. As a complete novice in the area of computer programming, and after plugging away painfully through the first half of the book before anything started to become comprehensible, I came to one conclusion: either this book on COBOL is not really for "dummies" or I am too much of a "dummy" to even get through "COBOL For Dummies". After reading several other books on other computer languages, I now realize that the former is true. This book is not the place to start.
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on 5 March 1999
As a dummy, I make lots of typos and syntax errors. This makes Fujitsu compiler spout more syntax errors than the program has lines. Given the tremendous sensitivity (for beginner's programs)the compiler has toward errors, the examples should have been compiler specific. I'm still working through the book, but 90% of the programming time has been spent tracking down compiler related issues.
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on 4 February 1999
Cobol for dummies is really for dummies. Smart people don't want to buy this book. This book only contain "parts" of program. But not a complete full reference. So people who has no experience in Cobol would finish reading it and end up being confused.
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on 2 January 1999
You not only have to be a dummie... It is actually a very terse treatment of the subject. This has the effect of confusing the newcomer to no end, as it forces the person into an advanced mode, rather than a beginner mode. Don't waste your money on this book.
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on 25 April 1999
This book is well worth buying for those needing an introduction to COBOL. If you are getting it to get the Fujitsu compiler, be aware that it is the previous version and that it is available for free download from the Fujitsu web site.
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on 16 April 1999
from the first page i read, i thought "this is my salvation" i can actually understand what i'm reading and it makes a lot of sense!
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on 15 January 1998
COBOL language is explained accuratly and clearly. Best of all the Fujitsu PowerCobol product is included on the CD!
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