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Verulam

Microcomputers Microcomputers are a subject of immediate concern to our readers; we are therefore squeezing into this column, as a sort of ‘stop press’ item, ideas put forward by Mr S. R. Ashley. Having pointed out the difficulties of users checking packaged programs, possible limits on use, the seller’s need to maintain security, the terms of sale, and possible effects on professional indemnity insurance cover, he closes: I have come to the conclusion that programs should be supplied unsecured, enabling users and checkers to satisfy themselves properly that the methods and results are valid for any particular application, which to my mind would relieve the deviser of responsibility while restoring a spirit of goodwill and trust which would almost certainly lead to more rapid improvement and development of programs. prepared to take this step or not, I would also like to see an independent body set up for the express purpose of checking the performance of programs; a ‘kitemarking’ or accrediting system based on comprehensive testing and comparison of results by different methods and programs. Verulam