"There wasn't much commercial software in those days -- or not
that I could afford -- so I rolled my own. When somebody actually
wrote a spreadsheet for that little computer, I thought I was in
heaven -- and used it to do a series on defense spending.
"Today this is known as "computer assisted reporting," a
recognized specialty that gives reporters and editors the power to
sort through huge volumes of public data and write stories that
might have taken months or years in the days before PCs -- if they
were possible to do at all. Like me, most of the people who do this
are not math jocks or geeks -- just reporters who want answers to
questions and use computers as a tool."
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