Some of the early computer teaching and quiz programs tried to personalize the machine by having it make extra little comments depending on whether the human operator had just given the right or wrong response. It was quite common for a computerist to be told "you're wrong, you turkey" or the equivalent by his machine.

Saner heads have prevailed in recent years. The current emphasis on user-friendliness is also reflected in the fact that few programmers will put such insults into their creations for fear of needlessly embarrassing - and thus turning off - the user.

But if you're one of the few who miss this rather sophomoric aspect of early home computing - or you just enjoy exchanging slurs - Abuse is right up your alley, you shallow nerd. Oops, guess this program is even getting to me!

The format is simplicity itself. The computer prints an insult on the screen and prompts you to type in a reply on the keyboard. Based on certain key words in your insult, the computer churns out a hopefully appropriate snide remark. There's even a semi-competitive version in which the human player gets points for hurling jibes that hit the program's key words.

In the absence of graphics or other complications, this program must be judged as having only limited appeal to a special audience of crypto-masochists. It's well done enough - though the computer's habit of throwing phrases together somewhat randomly causes it to speak gibberish from time to time - but it is unlikely to hold the typical computerist's attention for more than a few minutes.