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March 19, 1985 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-03-19

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COMPUTERS

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, March 19, 1985

Page 5

Programs minunimze spelling errors

v

By ROB FRANK
Feeling chained to your dictionary?
Is your thesaurus your best friend when
ever a term paper is assigned? Well,
three new software products available
for the Macintosh can now free you
from the grasp of Roget and Webster.
Newest in the line of word processing
assistance are spelling checkers which
can scan most full papers for
misspellings and typos faster than you
can look up your first word. Best of all,
all three can be purchased for under
$100 apiece putting them well within the
budget of most students.
THE THREE checkers currently
available for the Mac are the Hayden
Speller by Hayden Software, Mac Spell
Right by Assimilation Process, and
MacSpell + by Creighton Development.
Though the three are similar in format
and offerings they each have their own
strengths and weaknesses.
All three of the spell checkers are lit-
tle more than word lists of commonly
used words. Each has 30,000 to 40,000
words and each utilizes currently
available word processing programs,
either MacWrite or Microsoft Word.
All three unfortunately suffer from
dictionaries which are far too incom-
plete for most papers and which fail to
recognize such things as place names,
personal names, and the like. This
inability can make scanning a paper
rather time consuming if the paper con-
tains a large number of words the com-
puter sees as foreign.
The software also lacks the ability to

recognize forms of the same word. In
other words, though the word
"develop" may be recognized as
correct, the word "development" may
not. This too can be frustrating.
Probably the greatest use for all
three is finding typographical errors.
Because the programs select out any
word which is not in the dictionary,
forgotten vowels and other misspellings
are plucked out for correction.
HAYDEN SPELLER by Hayden Sof-
tware was the first spell checker on the
market for the Macintosh. Hayden
claims their product can recognize 97%
of the words in the English language. If
this is so, the author of this review
managed to write a five page paper
using just the other three percent.
The biggest advantage to the Hayden
product is the degree is can be expan-
ded. In addition to the initial word set,
the user can add up to 50,000 words held
in a separate dictionary called
"MYWORDS".
Besides this personal dictionary,
separate dictionaries can be created for
individual documents. This might be of
use for a paper containing a large num-
ber of technical or foreign words.

There are however, a large number
of problems with the Hayden Speller.
For one, text documents must be loaded
onto the dictionary disc. For those with
only one disc drive, this involves the
ususal inconvenience of transfering
files between discs. After they are
checked, the files must be removed
because of limited space on the Wayden
Speller disc.
IN ADDITION, the Hayden Speller
cannot be used with Microsoft Worp,
the only other wordprocessing program
besides MacWrite available for the
Macinthosh.
MacSpell + by Creighton Develop-
ment adds a new dimension to the
Hayden Speller by incorporating a
Thesaurus along with a Dictionary.
This speller unlike the Hayden
Speller, is contained on one disc which
makes access much easier. This ease,
however is not without cost; MacSpell
+ can only accomiodate 2,500 of the
users own words. Since MacSpell + is
relatively new to the spell checker
market, it is not carried by many of the
local retailers. Carl Gambrell of Sof-
tware City, one of the few places Mac-
Spell + is available, however, says he
still recommends the Hayden Speller.

Braille processing ^"*'-aress
A computerized representation of Braille characters appears on the screen as Sally Hering enters data into a new com-
puter system last month at the Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka, Illinois. The new system produces 400 Braille
characters a second and can produce 100 pages in the time it takes a Braille typist to produce one page.

C pany gives
money for 'U'

compute
By JENNIFER MATUJA
The need for computer literate
University graduates has risen so much
in the last few years that one company
iswilling to pay for student's training.
Though they don't really pay for
student's tuition, the accounting firm of
Coopers and Lybrand has donated fun-
ds to the University's business school to
set up two classes integrating com-
puters with traditional business school
curricula.
ACCORDING to business Prof.
James Wheeler, Coopers and Lybrand,
like many other companes, is utilizing
computers much more than in the past,
amplifying the need for better training
at the university level.
"Companies are interested in greater
computer .expertise," Wheeler said.
They want college graduates to have
more exposure to computers."
The program, which started last fall
on a $20,000 grant from Coopers and
Lybrand, funds two classes, Accounting
313 for undergraduates and Accounting
574 for graduate students.
UNIVERSITY students benefit, said
accounting professor Paul Danos,
-because "it exposes the students to real
quality software packages that are the
actual packages used in the real
world."
A student who has never taken a
computer course will not be at a disad-
vantage, Wheeler said, because the
students will inevitably "be forced to
take a computer class at some time in
t:heir career."
"(the work) is fairly simple; there is
no writing of programs," he said.
The University was one of the nine
I schools which Coopers and Lybrand
donated money to for the classes. ac-
cording to Bob Anthony, the companies'
partner in charge of the program in
Michigan.
Anthony said the schools were
chosen "based on the good reputation of
the school within the geographical
areas. The univerities must have the
reputation of being forward thinking -
as far as business school standards are
concerned."
Coopers and Lybrand is alone in of-
fering this program to University's
business school.
There are other CPA firms that have
in-house software, but they do not make
the equipment available to schools like
Coopers and Lybrand," Wheeler said.
The firm benefits in a number of
ways. The company can develop sub-
stantial accounting problems that the
students can solve for them, Wheeler
said. In addition, students that Coopers
and Lybrand hire will probably need
Typesetting &
sWord Processing

classes

"
Happenings
Tuesday .
Chalk Talk: File Manipulation with *COMBINE, 12:10 - 1 p.m., 1011
NUBS.
Lecture: Introduction to Sigfiles and Initfiles, 3:30 -5 p.m., 171 Bus. Adm.
Wednesday
Lecture: Introduction to Microcomputers, 1:30 - 3 p.m., 3113 School of Ed.
Lecture: Introduction to MTS Command Extensions and Macros, Part II,
3:30 -5 p.m., 165Bus. Adm.
Thursday
Chalk Talk: Using *SORT for Sorting and Merging, 12:10 - 1 p.m., 1011
NUBS.
Workshop: Command Extensions and Macros, 3:30 - 5 p.m., 171 Bus. Adm.

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only a minimum amount of computer
training if they've already used the
firm's software.
Other companies will benefit from
the program, Anthony said, because
they "will get better qualified people,
so they will spend less money on
training."
Most students agree that the program
will help them. Sharon Holman, a
business school junior, said the classes
were a good idea, "because they make
us more marketable."

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