Simtron
G.S. Harber
1985
Domestic
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

28
Bill Scolding
Chris Bourne

SOME software houses persist in believing that loading up illegible text on a flickery screen is preferable to turning the pages of a book.

Car Cure is one such absurd program. It attempts to do the job already done adequately by car maintainance manuals, but unlike those cannot be stored in the glove compartment nor consulted when you break down on the Honiton bypass. Neither does it have any detailed illustrations of the funny oily things located in bewildering abundance under the bonnet.

A manual can be accessed in seconds. Car Cure takes four minutes to load, during which time you are invited to solve a maze displayed on the loading screen.

Fault diagnosis is a matter of pinpointing symptom areas such as 'instruments and warning lights', and then narrowing that to a specific problem - for instance, 'ignition warning light won't go off correctly'. All that is done through menus over which you move little arrows.

Having found the best description of your problem, you then move to a further menu listing possible faults. If you're a mechanical novice like me, then you'll give up at this point. After all, if I knew what 'alternator regulator defective' meant then I'd have whipped out my spanner long ago. Assuming, however, that you hazard a guess, you will eventually be rewarded with the comforting screen display: 'competent home mechanics can handle this.' Exactly. I'll have to take it down the garage after all.

Competent home mechanics will have no use for this program. They already own libraries of service manuals and don't need to get oil all over their Spectrum keyboards. Incompetent home mechanics will be totally baffled. Software like this gives computers a bad name.

Bill Scolding

Publisher: Simtron
Memory: 48K
Price: £9.95

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1/5