NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
WHEN the QL sales finally take off there will no doubt be people buying the machine who have no previous experience with computers. For that reason the two books QL Quill and QL Easel are a comprehensive guide to their operation.
QL Quill was written by Clare Spottiswoode and Francesca Simon. The former has had a great deal of experience with both mainframes and micros. Francesca Simon, as arts journalist for the Sunday Times, has expertise in writing for a non-computerate audience.
It is that combination which is responsible for the jargon-free nature of the book, which takes you step by step through the operation of Quill, the word processing program for the QL. The book is well laid out with ample explanation of each new concept. Besides that each new task is tied in to the story of Harold and Joyce Blake, their daughter Miranda, and her besotted admirer Nigel Wooton. Cartoons, from Derek Alder of the Sunday Times liven up the text. Whether you like or loath the family concerned, the tales of Harold, a soft toy manufacturer, and Joyce, setting up her jewellery business, provide adequate examples of the uses of Quill in a business.
The book not only teaches you how to use the program, but also contains a great deal of sound business advice. An example of that is Joyce's action plan for Jada Jewellery which contains all the necessary ingredients for preliminary action before starting a new trading venture.
One tiny quibble comes at the beginning, when you are warned "Don't ever plug in a monitor when the computer is switched on, or you could blow your system." That is not in bold characters but lost in the text which preambles setting up the computer.
There is also an error in the instructions for Search and Replace. If you follow the book the procedure docs not work; simply follow the screen instructions instead.
QL Easel, written by Alison Spottiswoode, who is as well qualified as her sister in the micro field, is written in a similar vein. There are more examples based on Harold and Joyce. The power of the program is readily accessible, and by illustrating that power the author has made it extremely easy for the business user to understand the usefulness of graphic interpretations of business figures.
Price: £7.95 each