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COMPUTER ANSWERS ONLINE - INDEX TO TOPICS


Computer Answers was the help column in Personal Computer World magazine. The early columns were edited by Sheridan Morley, and do not appear here though I'd be happy to add those, with the permission of their author, if I can get them in machine-readable form.

These columns come from the heyday of multi-format microcomputing in the mid 1980s, when Simon N Goodwin answered the letters from readers which magazine staff passed on (and was encouraged to chip in with answers which were generally useful though not explicitly submitted).

These texts come from the original Video Genie floppy disks on which the columns were written (via Sinclair QL, Amiga and Linux conversion software) and include all the answers contributed each month - some were carried over by the magazine sub-editors, for reasons of space, or edited in minor ways, so this text may not exactly match that printed in the corresponding cover-month. All but one column has been recovered - the text of the October 1986 column has been lost and will be re-instated from the printed version if someone OCRs it for us. Volunteers welcome - original magazine copy on request.

The main misunderstanding between readers and the magazine, other than the assumption that we'd answer questions not printed in the magazine (no chance for a freelance on a fixed-fee of 140 for two pages of copy a month, regardless of incoming post volume) concerned vague but common questions which could be summarised as 'what should I buy?' Such questions were normally binned, because the answers were rarely generally applicable to other readers and it was most unlikely that the person asking gave enough information for a sensible specific answer to be compiled. Besides, such questions were addressed directly by other parts of the magazine, such as reviews, benchtests and adverts.

Like any 'agony' column, this is only superficially one of personal replies. It serves several purposes - to alert the magazine to the new interests and problems of readers - to share answers likely to be of general applicability - and to encourage readers to learn more about other systems which they might never own but might yet need or wish to interact with. Thus it served hundreds of thousands of readers, rather than just the hundred-odd whose questions were answered directly.

Simon stopped writing Computer Answers in 1987 when new Editor Derek Cohen switched the focus of the magazine from multi-format home computing for amateur enthusiasts to business computing on IBM compatible systems, though Simon continued to contribute reviews of non-IBM innovations later. Computer Answers continued for a few months with various contributors, but soon vanished. The magazine itself lasted into the 21st century, but had little in common (other than Guy Kewney's once brilliant but increasingly and disappointingly ghost-written news reports) with the pioneering original which was the best - and best-selling - micro magazine of the late 70s and 1980s. RIP PCW.

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COMPUTER ANSWERS JANUARY 1985
CATCH 64
SMALL LOGO OR LISP
MONITORING SHOCKS
MUSICAL MICROS
LEGAL ADVENTURES
'PLUGGING' THE GENERATION GAP
RELATIVELY EASY


COMPUTER ANSWERS FEBRUARY 1985
PREHISTORIC PROCESSING?
SCREEN DAMAGE
BBC MICRO UPDATE
TAKING THE QUANTUM PLUNGE
DEATH OF A ZX 81
DECODING ORIC DISKS
JUGGLING WITH DAISYWHEELS
MAGIC WAND WAIVED...
DRAGON KEY MYSTERY
SYMBOL OF CHANGE


COMPUTER ANSWERS MARCH 1985
CONNECTION CONVENTIONS
MIXING YOUR OWN PAINT
EXPERT IN TROUBLE
MORE ACE SPACE
TRANSLATION FRUSTRATION
COMMODORE ASSEMBLERS


COMPUTER ANSWERS APRIL 1985
GRAPHICS AND TEXT
EKING OUT AN APRICOT
FINANCIAL EXCHANGE
BBC DISK DILEMMA
AGE OF AQUARIUS?
IT'S NOT WHAT YOU'VE GOT...


COMPUTER ANSWERS MAY 1985
CROSSING YOUR CHANNELS
MATHEMATICAL MACHINATIONS
IN SEARCH OF QL PASCAL
PERIPHERAL PROLIPHERATION
ARRAYS AND MACHINE CODE
COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE
OVER THE COUNTER


COMPUTER ANSWERS JUNE 1985
TRANSATLANTIC POWER STRUGGLE
COMPUTERS FOR ARABS
HOW TO GET HACKING
ATARI COLOUR COMBINATIONS
MENAGE A TROIS
COBOL ON A MICRO
BBC PRINTER PROBLEMS


COMPUTER ANSWERS JULY 1985
GETTING STARTED
CHARACTER STUDY
A SLOW PROCESS
TWO FACED PRINTER REQUIRED
OPERATING SYSTEMS EXPLAINED


COMPUTER ANSWERS AUGUST 1985
INSURANCE AND MAINTENANCE
STRUCTURED BASIC
WOT PRICE EDUCATION?
A DISPLAY OF PRECISION
DRAGON PORT


COMPUTER ANSWERS SEPTEMBER 1985
TANDY AND APRICOT COBOL
A CLEARER VIEW
THE ART OF
PROGRAMMING SLOWLY...
ATARI ENQUIRIES
LINKA FRANCA?
THE 5.25 INCH ELECTRON
SPELLING OUT INSTRUCTIONS TO YOUR SPECTRUM
ZIL0G Z800 REVISITED


COMPUTER ANSWERS OCTOBER 1985
MUSIC AND THE MICRO
AMSTRAD 'MERGE' BUG
THE BLINKING APRICOT CURSOR
A SHARP LOOKOUT
EXTRA COLUMNS ON SCREEN
UPGRADING YOUR ROMS
REALLY RANDOM NUMBERS


COMPUTER ANSWERS NOVEMBER 1985
PERFEC PITCH
BEEFING UP THE BEEB
THE RIGHT CONNECTION - 1
THE RIGHT CONNECTION - 2
COMPUTER TUTORS
THE END OF THE LINE
AMSTRAD LITERATURE
HIDDEN PROBLEMS
HAS TANSOFT FOLDED?


COMPUTER ANSWERS DECEMBER 1985
COMPUTER DATING FOR COMPUTER SOFTWARE
UNIX, 'C' AND ALTOS POLLING PROBLEMS
APRICOT ANSWERS
LIES, DAMNED LIES AND BENCHTESTS
IBM ASSEMBLER
LIGHTING UP THE TORCH
THE SHARP END


COMPUTER ANSWERS JANUARY 1986
WORDSTAR AND THE JUKI
LOSING TOUCH...
ATARI ESOTERICA
MICRO CLUB LIST
THE SERIAL SERIAL


COMPUTER ANSWERS FEBRUARY 1986
FREE MAC SOFTWARE
AMSTRAD COLOUR
COMMODORE CONNECTIONS
TANDY DISK PROBLEMS
ADVANCE/RETARD
POCKET COMPUTING
68000 WORKSHOP MANUALS


COMPUTER ANSWERS MARCH 1986
TRUNDLE TROUBLE
SHARP MZ-700
SOFTWARE
ATOMIC DECAY
A SKETCHY ANSWER
TRACING THE BUG
RADIO CONTROLLED APPLE
FORTRAN FOR ENGINEERS


COMPUTER ANSWERS APRIL 1986
NEW ANSWERS
SOFTWARE REVIEWS
AMSTRAD W-P
MEMORY EXPANSION
ATARI XL WORD PROCESSING
QL NEWS
ORIC AND AMSTRAD
APRICOT VIDEO
TEXAS D-I-Y
FEEDBACK


COMPUTER ANSWERS MAY 1986
COLLECTOR'S CORNER
MIND YOUR LANGUAGE
DAISYWHEEL PRINTER INFO
QL DISPLAY GLITCHES
THE BROTHER & THE BEEB
CP/M QUERIES
FEEDBACK:
FURTHER ADVANCES
GLOBE
SHARP PRACTICE


COMPUTER ANSWERS JUNE 1986
MAKING A DATE
PROGRAM MISSING
NOT SO PERFECT?
PROGRAM FAIL?
MEDICAL MICRO SOFTWARE


COMPUTER ANSWERS JULY 1986
FLOATING POINT PITFALLS
QL ICONS
DISK COMPATABILITY
SHARP RS-232
HOMEPAK HOPES
SPECTRUM BUS
CONNECTIONS
ATOMIC FUSION


COMPUTER ANSWERS AUGUST 1986
VIEWDATA EN FRANCAIS
COMPUTER CHESS
GENIAL GENIES
ORIC PRINT
NETWORKS
ATARI ST BASIC
MUPPETS & MODEMS
FEEDBACK:
GLOBAL AID
FAT JOYCE
ANDROMEDA
FORMATTER


COMPUTER ANSWERS SEPTEMBER 1986
THE ORIC'S INARDS
SUPERBASIC AND THE BROTHER EP44
COLOUR BY NUMBERS
PRINTER INTERFACING
ELECTRON PLUS 1
AMSTRAD CONNECTIONS
QL CAD


COMPUTER ANSWERS OCTOBER 1986
LOST COLUMN


COMPUTER ANSWERS NOVEMBER 1986
TRANSFER TRAUMAS
INSURING YOUR MICRO
MULTI-USER
MICRO TERMINAL
LYNX LINKUP
FEEDBACK:


COMPUTER ANSWERS DECEMBER 1986
THE 64K QUESTIONS
MONITORS AND UPGRADES
QL TAPE INTERFACE
SOAP STORY
UPGRADING THE 6128 KEYBOARD
ATARI MAGAZINES
WORDSTAR CONFIGURATION


COMPUTER ANSWERS JANUARY 1987
BBC MICRO VERSIONS
MUSIC PROCESSORS
QL EDITING
PCW 8256 KEYS
CRYPTIC COSTOPOULOS
COMMODORE 128 TEXT
FEEDBACK


COMPUTER ANSWERS FEBRUARY 1987
APRICOT INFO
SPECTRUM ROM BUG
COMPUTER FRAUD
CP/M ON THE PC


COMPUTER ANSWERS MARCH-MAY 1987
AMSTRAD PC BASIC
AT LAST THE ITV MICRO!
MT80+ MEMORY
TERMINAL EMULATION
FAULT FINDING BY NUMBERS FILE SIZE GRANULARITY
MONITOR SHAKES
SIDEKICK HICKUP
D-I-Y MATHS FUNCTIONS
BATCH OF PROBLEMS
DIRECTING ERRORS
DOUSED PHOENIX

Copy for March to May issues was scrambled in editorial changes, and has been recovered en bloc. It includes some good work, not all of which has previously been published - Simon.


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