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This theme, addressed by John Graham (Verulam, 2 January 2001)has clearly interested many members, who have provided helpful advice. Martin Elvidge from Bradford writes: John Graham of Quorn, Leics., should take a look at Bruce Irons’ solution to the problem of solving finite element equations. His elegant frontal system cured the problem of limited storage in 1970 using much inferior computers to those available today. It takes advantage of the fact that contributions to variables in the structure matrix are complete unless there are other elements connected to it. It is therefore possible to assemble the matrix and eliminate variables at the same time, thus saving computer storage.