This is an example of a READ statement. This form of the READ statement is used
to get information from the standard input device (normally the
keyboard). The asterisk (*) represents list directed input. With this
kind of input, the programmer does not specify exactly how the data is spaced
out but only the order and the type of each component in the list of data.
Here there is only one item in the list that follows the asterisk, namely an
INTEGER variable showing where the input data is to be stored.