Lotus 123 was, to my mind, the best of the first killer apps: better than space invaders and the word processor. You could tabulate data and construct elaborate formulae to produce whatever result you wanted! That delight is now enabled by Excel.

On behalf of the family judiciary I’ve been having a go with maintenance awards following the recent surge of interest in this subject.

Let’s say his millions x basic multiplier x duration in years x duration factor x her sacrifice in k/y x sacrifice factor x (1 + (number of kids x kiddie factor)) = award in millions

We now have it on the highest authority, that:

17.5 x Bm x 2.75 x Df x 85 x Sf x 1 = 5 (Miller)

and (using annual income figures this time):

0.75 x Bm x 2 x Df x Sk x Sf x (1 + 3Kf) = 0.25 (McFarlane)

Let’s assume Bm = 1/3 (surprisingly close to both final awards).

Can we now solve:

800 x 0.33 x 2 x Df x Sk x Sf x (1 + Kf) = Am (McCartney)?

Sk is not known to me, but presumably could be established.

The pundits, and the meedjah in their trail, assume Am is approximately 200. For want of anything better, let’s plug that in. That still leaves us with three variables and only two simultaneous equations. So, it will still be guesswork even after the Macca settlement/award.