A new method based on the use of a hand-held microcomputer, has been developed to record inspection information for the CHART highway maintenance system. Compared with older methods which involve manual recording, it reduces errors and eliminates transcription and keypunching. A program loaded into the memory of the microcomputer guides an inspector through a CHART inspection by displaying a series of prompts on a screen. Inspection records are entered on a keyboard, checked by reference to criteria specified by the maintenance engineer, and stored in the device. At the end of each day the stored records are transferred to a main computer for processing by the CHART computer suite. The records may be transmitted either directly to the computer using a dialogue or spooled to a peripheral device such as a microcomputer or cassette recorder prior to input to the computer. A new program has been added to the CHART suite to convert the information received by the computer into the standard format. Costs and benefits of the microcomputer method are illustrated by reference to the experience of two local highway authorities with the DATAPORT5 (model 10) equipment. (A)

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