ROM Computer Magazine Archive ROM MAGAZINE ISSUE 6 — JUNE/JULY 1984 / PAGE 30

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by Peter Ellison

    This column, which was started in issue 3, is written for the person, who is considering buying a computer. Or for one who has just bought an ATARI and wants to know what reasons he or she bought it for? In the third issue I wrote how unlike its' competition, the Commodore 64(tm), was able to access excellent graphics through BASIC. Then in the fourth issue I discussed how one should go about buying his or her first home computer. Then in the last issue I commented on all the support ATARI has. Firstly, from its' manufacturers; Warner Communication, and then the numerous User Groups, BBS's, magazines, and third party software houses.
    In this issue I'm going to discuss a very important reason why many people buy a computer, that is Business. Many being unfamiliar with computers, think of the Atari as just a game machine. Because Atari was first to come out with a game machine(2600), which took the nation by storm, many think of it as being nothing more than just that. The reality is, however, that Atari has the same basic structure as the Apple II and the Commodore 64(6502 microprocessor chip). In this issue I'm going to discuss some of the business and word processor software available for the Atari.
    Last year one thing that really depressed Atari's sales was the lack of business software. I think this is all changing. One program that has made a strong impact on the computer world is VISICALC, a program that has been described as `The program worth buying a computer for'. This program is finally available for the Atari and is a must for anyone who wants speed in keeping books. Any problem that can be solved by using a calculator or pen and paper can be done by Visicalc better and much, much faster. Another excellent piece of business software that Atari has produced is `The Book Keeper`. This program allows a person to keep a general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll. This program can make book keeping for any business a snap.
    One excellent Payroll program put out by a third party software company is called `Miles Payroll System`. This program from Mile's Computing will keep track of up to 50 employees, allowing weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, or monthly pay periods. It accomodates regular, overtime, doubletime, sicktime, holiday, vacation, bonus, and commission earning categories. For a big or small business, this program has the flexibililty and ease of use that would save money on secretarial costs alone. Another third party vendor of Atari software called Continental software has a whole new line of business software available for the Atari. Though these programs were previously only available for the Apple II, they have now been converted to run on the Atari. They include The Home Accountant and The Tax Advantage. More program conversions are expected to be released in the next year.
    Other good business related software is `The Money Processor` from Luck Software, `Financial Wizard` from Computari, `Personal Finance System` from Dynacomp, `Home Inventory` from Creative Software, and a whole lot more that can be found by just looking around. Below is a list of the different company names mentioned, and their addresses:

Atari, Inc.
P.O. BOX 50047
San Jose,CA 95150

Miles Computing
7136 Haskell Avenue,#204
Van Nuys,CA 91406

Continental Software
11223 S. Hindry Avenue
Los Angeles,CA 90045

Luck Software
1160 Niblick Road
Paso Robles,CA 93446

9607 Athlone
Dallas,TX 75218

Dynacomp, Inc.
1427 Monroe Avenue
Rochester,NY 14618

Creative Computer Software
230 E. Carribean Drive
Sunnyvale,CA 94089

    Another area in which Atari has strength, is its' word processing department. The function of a word processor is, as its name indicates, to process words. That is, to organize them. A newspaper is an example of this. Wherein a bunch of words are so organized that they are evenly spaced and create a straight margin on either side of the page. One of the best of the available word processors is `ATARIWRITER` from Atari. This 16K cartridge gives the user the ease of use, plus the convenience of a cartridge. This program, written by William Robinson, is an improvement over his earlier word processor (which I still enjoy) Text Wizard(Datasoft).
    Other good word processors on the market include: `Bank Street Writer` from Broderbund, `Letter Perfect` from LJK Enterprises, `Super Text` from Muse, and `Letter Writer` from The Programmers Workshop. Each program is good and has their own particular. Two spelling checkers for word processors are `Atspeller` from APX and Spell Wizard from Datasoft. The latter is the better of the two, because it has a special dictionary of up to 33,000 different words to check your spelling. Below is a list of the different word processor companies:

Datasoft, Inc.
9421 Winnetka Avenue
Chatsworth,CA 91311

Broderbund Software, Inc.
17 Paul Drive
San Rafael,CA 94903

LJK Enterprises, Inc.
7852 Big Bend Blvd.
St. Louis,MO 63119

Muse Software
347 N. Charles Street
Baltimoxe,MD 21201

The Programmer's Workshop
5230 Clark Avenue, Suite 23
Lakewood,CA 90712

    I hope that after reading the above article you will have a fuller appreciation of the capabilities of this machine. Your Atari has the power, and all that is needed is the program. That is one thing the Atari has over the competition, ease of use. In the next issue I will be discussing education and "Atari goes camping".