This months excuse for a short contribution is pressure of work! Once
again I have had to postpone the article on function keys – anyone who
is really impatient can obtain a listing of part of some software
which uses this technique by sending me an SAE. Due to our planned
expansion of te business we will shortly be appointing extra staff.
We need experienced hardware engineers, system and applications
software engineers, technical support engineers and a documentation
engineer. If there is anyone out there who feels that he or she might
meet the bill, please write to our Personnel Department.
This month sees the release of information on the Winchester disc
system, described below. In fact a number of these have already been
delivered to customers at the time of writing. Other developments are
mainly by way of enhancements to existing software products. We are
continuing to try to improve the standard of our documentation, both
on new products and existing ones. In particular the release of NAS-DOS
2.1 also sees a new manual, which we hope will be found to be more
‘user friendly’ than its predecessor. All manual updates are now
generally be accompanied by a pocket-sized summary card.
In mentioning new releases of existing software can I yet again make a
plea for you to register your software purchases using the cards
supplied with the products. This is in your own interests – special
software upgrade offers and technical support will ONLY be provided to
owners of registered products. From our knowledge of sales and
registrations it is obvious that not everyone registers. There are no
conditions attached or loss of any rights if you do register.
Returning to the question of documentation and general product
presentation (particularly software) it is interesting to see how the
microcomputer industry in general is now placing much more emphasis in
this area. As more new computer users appear, particularly in
business, software needs to become more polished and easy to use, with
corresponding improvements in documentation. However, while not
wishing to discourage a long needed move in that direction, I do have
some reservations. There seems to be a danger that presentation of a
product and documentation are becoming excessive – enormous manuals
and ever more fancy binders supporting increasingly complex programs.
Are there still at least some new users who really only require
straightforward basic software which is easy to understand and can be
explained fully in a manual of less than 100 pages? Any comments
would be received with interest.
As the time of writing there is a special offer on the Lucas LX80
printer – 80 characters per second, 80 columns and while the offer
lasts only £225. There are many special printing features, including
expanded and compressed text, italics, overprinting, undrlining and
graphics. Thiz offer will be for a limited period.