Statspak (Chalksoft) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

A&B Computing

By Chalksoft
BBC Model B

Published in A&B Computing 3.01


Statspak must be regarded principally as a teaching aid rather than a practical number cruncher, due to the limited size of data sets that it can handle - e.g. single samples of only 56 numbers. It does, in fact, have four options. Two of these handle single sets of data, the difference being that the second allows them to be divided into classes and displayed as frequency histograms. In either case a handy bunch of statistics are calculated and displayed.

The third option handles pairs of numbers and computes both correlation and regression coefficients, while the fourth option computes the chi square statistic on data entered as observed and expected frequencies. The program is designed as a teaching aid only, so that it assumes that the user has been taught the underlying theory needed to interpret the statistics displayed.

The general presentation of the program through attractive menus and error trapping is good. There are also options provided for entering and editing data sets and saving and reloading them from disc. The graphical displays are good and the print dump routine for Epson compatible printers worked fine with my Shinwa CP 80.

A few things irritated me, like the childish and time-wasting use of animation and sound on loading the program. The program disc is also protected so that one cannot make a backup for practical use as is common with this sort of software. One of the consequences is that one frequently needs to swap program and data discs in the drive. Chalksoft have aggravated this problem by failing to provide for users of dual disc drives. I was also baffled by the claim that the package is aimed at 'schools and polytechnics'. The package would in fact be little use in the latter who, of course, predominantly teach university level courses.

In general, Statspak would seem to be a reasonably useful package for aiding the teaching of statistics at 'O' and 'A' level.

Jonathan Evans

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