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July 18, 1986

ABC of Computing

JAMA. 1986;256(3):408. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380030110042

ABC of Computing is a collection of articles that appeared in the British Medical Journal in 1983. The first four chapters provide an introduction to the subject for those with very little "computer literacy." The material is general, but with an orientation toward microcomputers. Fourteen additional chapters cover computer applications in the intensive care unit, the laboratory, patient administration, medical education, and so on.

This book has three flaws that limit its usefulness, at least for physicians in this country. First, it is dated. The sophistication of hardware and software has increased dramatically since 1983. Then, too, the systems described were developed several years prior to the publication of the articles. The statement that "the software presently generally available is still in its infancy" does not give the reader a realistic view of what may be available in the marketplace. Second, there are no references. Someone who becomes interested in