Don't expect to find here the sort of technical descriptions of hardware and software guaranteed to baffle the people who can really benefit from computers. Some people who believe a computer might be a help to them, but don't know exactly how .Computers used to be expensive, but not anymore. At current price levels, more people are taking the plunge - and many of those will soon be wondering why they left it so long. The rest seems to have convinced themselves that they could never come to terms with a computer, and that they have some affliction which will mean they can never understand them. This, of course, is nonsense.
Ease of use
The windows operating environment has done much to dispense with the objections that many raise over the difficulties of familiarising them selves with computer equipment. More recent software, in general, is of a higher standard and consequently much simpler to use. Also, software prices have taken a tumble, so that there is not such a great disparity between the price of hardware and software. It no longer costs an arm and a leg to get started and gain your first step on the computing ladder. The other good news for the consumer is that the industry is focusing on quality of service In a big way. In short, this is a very good time to buy a business has suffered of late, small businesses should think long and hard before dismissing the money a computer could save - or the business it could bring in.
Write letters or reports with the ability to make changes and correct mistakes easily.
Find and re-use text you've typed before.
Automatically send personalised letters to as many people as you have addresses for.
Have all of your correspondence look as smart as any sent out by big companies and government departments.
Buy ready-written business letters, to which you only have to add the name and address of the recipient.
Keep track of very long texts, using key words to cross and index lists.
Check the spelling and even the grammar of the words you write.
Maintain a contact listing in any order you choose.
Instantly display information without having to search through a number of entries.
Produce reports on your customers sorted by their postcode, by their surname, by their credit status - in fact, by any method you see fit.
Ensure that only correct information is entered onto your record cards.
Have instant access to thousands of pages of information, with the ability to search for a single word on any of the pages.
Create your own handbills, letterheads, forms even newsletters cheaply and quickly.
Make your own business communication vastly more impressive than the office it came from - even on a tiny budget.
Store and re-use text, artwork and layouts, rendering the effort used to create them more cost-effective over more applications.
.As quickly as prices and specifications change, update your sales information an price lists at a minimum cost Cut design and reproduction costs hugely - computers make professional presentation affordable for many small concern.
Buy templates and artwork designed by professional artists which you can import into your own work for an effortless polished finish.
Perform double-entry accounting in a trice on your PC.
Give yourself the opportunity to prepare Vat returns at the touch of a button.
Get management accounts information when you need it, without incurring additional professional charges.
Eradicate the chance of an error of calculation slipping into your accounts.
Exercise better budgetary control with more accurate and flexible reporting.
Save considerable time, whether you're maintaining a full ledger system or operating back of an envelope accounting.
Use your computer as a sophisticated calculator - any job that you currently do with a manual or programmable calculator can be performed more quickly an easily on a PC.
Prepare budgeting and forecasts using financial models, then use the models to test the effects of varying factors.
Use ready-made spreadsheet templates to quickly produce company forecasts, accounts or
Produce graphical representations of your figures simply and effectively.
Statistically analyse the results of a survey - without having to do the calculations.
Photographic reproduction and restoration ( see separate Module on this subject )
Use your computer as the world's most patient teacher by running educational software time and time again.
Communicate and exchange data with other computer users - transfer information to another office across town, or maybe across the world.
When it comes to leisure time, there is a wealth of games of vastly ranging styles.
Convention testimonials Nicola Hutchison: feeling rather tender after @TheSocieties convention but wow, buzzing with ideas and inspiration!
Find out more about the Convention here