The fourth edition of the Collins Dictionary of Computing has just been announced – although its coverage of Apple and its products offers some curious "facts".

Published by Harper Collins, the book's take on Apple offers this inaccurate insight: "The uncertainty following the takeover of Apple by IBM also had an effect on sales." IBM, of course, has never taken over Apple. In 1994 Apple did approach the company concerning a possible buy-out, but nothing ever came of it.

Other "facts" in the dictionary include: "No clones of the [Mac] machine itself have ever been tolerated". Apple clones were available until the late 1990s.

Another definition in the title – which has been "extensively revised and updated" since the third edition, according to its sleevenotes, should raise eyebrows among Mac and Unix users:

"SCO Unix: a form of the Unix operating system originating in the Santa Cruz operation branch of Microsoft."

Perhaps the reasons behind the inaccuracies within the title can be deduced from the entry describing the Internet.

The Internet "can be a valuable source of information", but, "the main problem of using the Internet (apart from the high cost in the UK of all telephone contacts) is the time needed to gain access to anything useful."

The title also fails to define the building-block of networking technologies – IP.

The dictionary is written by Ian Sinclair (71), a graduate of St Andrews University and author of 200 books on electronics and computing topics.

Techworld is carrying a review of the newly-published work.

The author does at least recognize Apple's contribution to personal computing: "Later types such as Lisa and Macintosh have greatly affected the design of other machines and of software."