[conclusion of Nickell article at top of this page]
One of the most unfortunate circumstances of the current microcomputer revolution is how many educational institutions, businesses, and individuals are ignorant of the VERY inexpensive programs that are available in the public domain. These include word processors, full business systems, utility programs, indexers, languages, language subroutines, and smart modem programs (for data transfer via cable and smart modems like the Hayes and the U.S. Robotics). A typical public-domain disk will contain ten to twenty programs and documentation files per disk (volume). Certainly, considering the hundreds upon thousands of dollars that are spent on programs by separate businesses, universities, and individuals
each year, these inexpensive opportunities deserve consideration. If they don't satisfy needs, simply throw them away; they're that cheap!
While many of these programs may not be on the proper disk format, there are companies and dealers that will transfer them to the appropriate format (one such, P/D Software, is listed below; sometimes local dealers will also do it). A typical charge is $20 (includes shipping and handling). In addition, a few programs (like the modems) will require installation. A typical installation should run $50 to $70. This is for example, far cheaper than nearly all commercial programs.
Here are the sources for public-domain software and custom disk formatting and configuration, listed by operating system. In addition to these, there are also numerous "users' groups" throughout the world devoted to specific computers. Your local dealers and computer clubs should be aware of these.
Apple is a trademark of Apple Computer, 20525 Mariani Ave., Cupertino, CA 95014
CP/M-80 and CP/M-86 are trademarks of Digital Research, P.O. Box 579, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
IBM-PC and PC-DOS are trademarks of International Business Machine, P.O. Box 1328, Boca Raton, FL 33432
KayPro is a trademark of Kay Corporation, 833 Stevens Ave., Solana Beach, CA 92075
MS-DOS is a trademark of Microsoft Consumer Products, 400 108th Ave. N. W., Suite 200, Bellevue, WA 98004
Hayes Smartmodem is a trademark of D.C. Hayes Microcomputer Products, 5923 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Norcross, GA 30092
U.S. Robotics is a trademark of U.S. Robotics, 1123 West Washington, Chicago, IL 60607