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COLUMN: Savvy User

COLUMN: Savvy User

Tom talks about when not to use the 95LX, describes a clever way to transfer Solver equations to Lotus, and relates his experience with the new lithium batteries.

By Tom Page

Modern technology affects the way we live our lives and sometimes results in actions that do not make a lot of sense. For example, many people hop into their cars and drive to the park so they can take a walk. The effect of computers on our lives is no better -- and may be a little worse. The very structure of a computer affects our approach to solving problems. Sometimes, because we have a computer on our desk or in our shirt pocket, we may overlook a more effective way of solving our problems.

Brute force computing capability is often substituted for critical, insightful analysis. I am guilty of this sometimes. It is easy to substitute different values in a computer model until one is found that produces the desired result. Unfortunately this kind of number crunching often obscures important relationships between variables in a system.

Lotus 1-2-3 encourages ledger-like "rows and columns" thinking. This works fine if you're balancing a checkbook, but often there are better approaches to solving problems. Some of these approaches require thinking in a different way, with a different medium.

Alternative approaches can actually improve the usefulness of the 95LX. A more efficient way of representing a problem can produce results in 10 seconds instead of 10 minutes. The key to quick results is understanding the problem, and there is no method better for analyzing a problem than reducing it to an algebraic equation and solving (analyzing) the equation.

Try Algebra First?

Turn the 95LX Off and Put On Your Thinking Cap

Transferring Solver Equations to 1-2-3

Using the 95LX to Develop Lotus Spreadsheets for My Desktop PC

Subscribers Disk

Lithium Batteries

iPhone Life magazine


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