What computer user hasn't been frustrated by tech-support phones? For a basic fee, it may be worth signing on to the PC Answer Line, a service that troubleshoots more than 1,000 software programs, 24 hours a day (Monday through Saturday, with shorter hours on Sunday), year-round.

Third-party software support is the idea of Arizona's Idea Servcom, which since the early 1980s has been dispensing multivendor help for hardware users. Taking on everybody's software is a herculean challenge, yet most requests for a solution are resolved immediately; Servcom will respond to even a real stumper, it promises, within the hour. Among programs supported are superannuated as well as current releases of MS-DOS, Unix Utility, Xenix, PageMaker, Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Quattro Pro, DBase, Q&A, Microsoft Word, and WordPerfect.

PC Answer Line costs $120 per year per user. For information call 800-528-1400, extension 7446. -- Robert A. Mamis

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