The Micro User1st November 1989
Published in The Micro User 7.09
Try making a fortune
Every week for the last eleven years I have religiously completed my 8 out of 10 column on the pools coupon. The more astute members of The Micro User readership will deduce that I have still to land my first big pools win since I am still writing reviews and not living it up on my private Caribbean island.
System 8, from Blue Ribbon, is a football pools predictor program that may improve your chances of winning. I use the word may because Blue Ribbon merely hints that its program will improve your success rate.
According to the cassette inlay card, the program's database must contain at least four weeks' results before any level of prediction accuracy can be assumed. This means that you must persevere with the program for a whole month before you can begin to reap the benefits - although you could enter past results.
The data file on the tape is not intended for use with predictions - I know this because when I asked the program for its predictions based upon that data, it selected all ten matches from division one. Now this may have been a genuine prediction... but I have a sneaking suspicion that sticking pins in the coupon would have proved more successful.
System 8 was written in 1988, so the default teams in each division aren't much use for the 1989/90 football season. Job number one therefore is to get hold of your latest pools coupon and shuffle the teams up and down between the various divisions until they are correct, then save the lot to a tape.
While on the subject, I would have found the program far more useable had it included a routine to transfer itself to disc - saving files to tape is positively primitive in these days of cheap disc drives. Perhaps they assume the software will only be bought by hard-up and desperate types!
Setting up the divisions in a once a season task, a more frequent chore is creating the weekly match list for every match in all seven divisions. For Saturday matches this list can be prepared in advance and saved, ready for vidi-printer time on Saturday afternoon.
Result entry is actually the easiest routine in the whole program. The day's games are displayed on the screen one by one and all you have to do is press an S for a score draw, N for a no score draw, H for a home win and so on until every game has an associated result. Data entry complete, you can save your work in preparation for the following week's matches.
System 8 will predict possible score draws for your treble chance entry or produce Perm against Plan columns that are ready to be copied straight to your coupon.
If you browse through the adverts in The Micro User you will see Pools Predictor programs that cost almost ten times as much as System 8. They may prove easier to use with their pre-prepared fixture lists, but at a price of £2.99, what have you got to lose?