Home Computing Weekly

By Wizard Supersoft
Spectrum 48K

Published in Home Computing Weekly #6

Planning the family finances for the year ahead can be a headache - all those figures to add only to find that you will overspend. Then it's a case of trimming certain expenses, and adding it all up again.

"Now, there's a good application for my home computer," I hear you say, and Cashcalc is designed for that specific purpose. It is designed to give 12 columns of figures, each representing one month's financial activity, and up to 18 rows of various items of income/expenditure.

This one-year plan can be displayed on your TV screen, and manipulated at modest speed. Six columns are displayed at a time, but on the screen the name you have assigned to each row always appears alongside the data.

The instructions provided with the cassette reminded me of the fine print at the bottom of a legal document - even if you can read it, it is difficult to follow. For those who do have trouble with the written instructions there is a verbal commentary on the reverse side of the tape. A nice idea, this, but it didn't explain the operation of the program any more clearly.

Once mastered, the program is quite powerful, if slow, in operation. Items of income/expenditure can be displayed as cumulative or non-cumulative. Income items are entered as negative numbers, and expenditure items as positive numbers, which feels odd but saves a lot of keying.

Copies of the tables can be dumped onto the ZX printer, and program and data saved on tape for future use (e.g. to compare actual with predicted expenditure, and modify the plan for the rest of the year).


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