Computers: The Busy Signal Predicament

Calls for help are clogging the phone lines of software firms

James Hinkle's ordeal began when he ran into a snag while loading a $400 program called Framework into his Kaypro Model 16 computer. He carefully reread the Framework instruction book for guidance but failed to find it. Stymied, the Alameda, Calif., dentist called the service number printed in the manual. The number was busy, but after dialing repeatedly over a period of several hours, Hinkle eventually made the connection--to a recorded message instructing him to call a different number, which was also busy. Says the normally mild-mannered Hinkle: "I started in the morning, and by 3 p.m., when I finally got...

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