OVER-COMPLEX BABY GROW
SOME SOFTWARE houses seem determined to dispense with paper and pencils. They are overwhelmed by the excitement of new technology and do not stop to think whether the jobs they are asking computers to do would be better done by a few simple calculations.
The latest company to offer something of the kind is Medidata with its Cycle Planner program for the 48K Spectrum. It analyses menstrual cycles, working-out the most recent cycle, the next period date, the maximum fertility date and what the company calls unsafe dates. Also when conception occurs it can predict the most likely date of birth.
As the program has been designed to be used by beginners to computers, the chances of entering errors are small.
The information obtained is worthy and well-presented but could be determined with the same degree of accuracy in the time it takes to load the cassette. On the other side is Growth Tracker, a menu- driven database which estimates the growth of a baby before birth and for the first 24 months of its life.
It also shows the common illnesses which can affect young children, with their treatments.
The cassette costs £7.25 and Medidata says that its aims are as an aid to women and also to introduce more people to computer technology.
Both aims are commendable but there are cheaper and less complicated ways of doing them. Medidata is at PO Box 26, London NW9 9BW.