Classic Computer Magazine Archive CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 10, NO. 2 / FEBRUARY 1984 / PAGE 243

Home-Calc. (evaluation) Arthur Leyenberger.

Home-Calc requires the Basic cartridge and either 24K RAM (disk) or 16K RAM (cassette). It comes with a small black "security key," similar to the one Synapse's Filemanager used to use. The key is inserted into the left joystick port and must remain there for the duration of the session for the program to function.

After the program is loaded, you enter the number of rows and columns that you will be using. From 4 to 26 columns and from 18 to 99 rows are allowed. Since the program displays only the maximum number of cells, a little math is required (rows x columns) to make sure that you are under the limit. Then you are ready to go.

Unlike VisiCalc, Home-Calc does not allow you to move around the cell matrix entering numbers, labels, and formulas. Instead, you must press the escape key first and respond with a cell address to enter a label, value, or formula. The current entry, if any, is displayed and you have the option of leaving the cell as it was or entering something new. After your entry is completed, the cells are not automatically recalculated. You must specifically give the RECALCULATE command, which takes anywhere from 15 seconds to several minutes to complete.

Five functions may be used: addition, substraction, multiplication, division, and exponentation. There is also a SUM function for totalling rows or columns. All formulas are calculated from left to right: negative numbers are not allowed in expressions; and parentheses may not be used. A REPLICATE command is provided for duplicating the contests of individual or blocks of cells. Worksheets may be saved to and loaded from either cassette or disk, depending on the version you are using. Worksheets may also be printed, but there is no provision for sending control characters to the printer.

Having used VisiCalc and other more powerful spreadsheets. I am somewhat disappointed with Home-Calc. By comparison, it is slow and not sophisticated. But the comparison is really unfair. Home-Calc costs only $30 and will probably suit the needs of most home users. I suggest you give it a test drive at your local dealer before you decide. No Frills Program Lister

A company that calls itself XL-Ent Software is immediately suspect in my book. And if they package their programs in plastic baggies with a couple pages of photocopied documentation, I get read to write them off. But when the product is extremely useful and does not cost more than a couple rolls of quarters, I spread the word.

Products: Sim Computer Products Home-Calc (computer program)