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September 8, 1994
Volume 1 / Issue 1
Copyright, 1994, (C)1994
Cannot be Reproduced or Used without Prior Consent

Table of Contents
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

+------------------+
| General Topics |
+------------------+

1.0 Welcome to CyberNews!
1.1 Editorial
1.2 Where to Get CyberNews
1.3 How to Contact Us
1.4 How to Write for Us

+------------+
| Features |
+------------+
2.0 The End of Programmers, by Chip Cox
2.1 Being Yourself, by Paul and Sarah Edwards

+---------------+
| Classifieds |
+---------------+
3.0 Classifieds from Around the World

+----------+
| People |
+----------+
4.0 Interview with Scott Miller, President, Apogee Software

+-----------+
| Reviews |
+-----------+
5.0 Software Review Section
5.1 Business Software
5.11 CA-SuperProject by Timothy Cook
5.12 ExpenseIt! by Lenis Hazlett
5.13 Time PLanner Deluxe by Lisa Ramaglia
5.2 Home Software
5.21 PC Stitch by Gail Marsella
5.22 AutoMap by Chip Cox
5.23 Garden Guide by J. Barrett
5.24 The Homeybuyer's Guide for Windows by Carl Dolmetsch
5.25 Russell Knitter's Alphabet by J. Barrett
5.3 Multimedia/Games Software
5.31 Richstyles of the Rich and Famous Cookbook by J. Barret
5.32 Exploring Ancient Cities by Rob Wood
5.4 Educational Software
5.41 Bailey's Bookhouse by Jacci Howard-Bear
5.42 PlayBall by Louis Turbeville
5.43 Wayzata World Factbook by Loius Turbeville
5.44 Green Explorer by Loius Turbeville
5.45 Kid's Zoo by Louis Turbeville
5.46 Learn to Read in Wordland by Wayne Macleod
5.5 Communications Software
5.41 Close-Up 6.0 by Don Pelligrino
5.42 Delrina Communications Suite by Jacci Howard Bear
5.43 Reachout Remote Control by Don Pelligrino
5.6 Graphics Software
5.61 Collage Complete by Nathan Kay
5.62 Halo Desktop Imager by Nathan Kay
5.63 Image Pals 2 by Madonna Johnson
5.64 trueSpace by Judy Litt
5.65 Type Twister by Judy Litt
5.7 Utilities Software
5.71 CD Essentials by Madonna Johnson
5.72 CheckIt Pro by Wayne Macleod
5.73 PC Install by Ryan Yetter
5.74 Sidebar by Thomas Kiblin
5.75 Windows Magic by Carl Dolmetsch

+--------+
| News |
+--------+
6.0 Apogee Spawns a New Company!

-=> To Skip Right to a Section Search for the Section Number <=-

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
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+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
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| | ] o o o [ _______ ] o o o [ | ---- |
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| _-_-|_____]--------------[_|||||||_]--------------[_____|-_-_ |
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| |
|Call Support U. BBS at (314) 984-9691! We offer Internet, FidoNet, RIME|
| and the latest files! We even have a free access level! Call Today! |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

1.0
-=-
Welcome to the crowning issue of CyberNews! We are glad that you
have joined us to explore what is new in the world of CyberSpace!

CyberNews -
1) a new exciting frontier in the world of electronic publications
2) the best thing to come along since the Personal Computer
3) an invention by the geniuses Patrick Grote and Roger Klein

1.1
-=-
The Editors Speak
by Patrick Grote, Publisher

OK, so not everyone's idea of fun is to start an electronic
publication, pour money into and offer it up to the harshest critics
available . . . readers. It all started with a simple idea.
Almost instant views, news and reviews delivered electronically via
cyberspace in a format anyone can enjoy; from the highest end
Windows NT system running on an Alpha box to a lowly IBM PCJr
limping along at 300 baud, you should be able to read and enjoy
CyberNews! That's when I teamed up with Roger Klein, a person ho
shared the same idea. Call us visionaries, seers, pioneers. The
fact remains it is one thing to have an idea, an entirely other
matter to make it a reality. You can't do it alone.

The reason CyberNews exists is to allow consumers to read real
reviews about real products by real people. Not over inflated huff
and puff about some vaporware piece that you can't go out and buy.
We also throw in a few features and interviews to keep the
publication lively!

Our first issue is brimming with over 25 polished reviews penned
by real people who have used these products. We bring you reviews
in a variety of fields, so that all your interests can be met.
Scott Miller, the dynamic personality who created Apogee, of Castle
Wolfenstein and Blake Stone fame, appears in our first interview.
Together with features on programmers and individual expression, you
are sure to enjoy every last word you read!

To get here has been a team effort. In the true 90's spirit
this has been a family affair based in two homes separated by real
space. The Klein clan are the production duo responsible for
assembling, editing and publishing CyberNews. Roger and Laura.
Laura and Roger. Never mind who gets first billing, they have spent
the better half of the last month making sure what you receive is a
quality product.

The other family involved is the Grote group. Myself and Missy
form the administrative, marketing and distribution side of the
business. We handle making sure what Laura and Roger produce can be
paid for, meets the consumer's needs, meets the advertiser's needs
and is distributed and supported.

Individuals from around the country, heeding the call to write
honest reviews, joined us in scouring over the various software that
is available. Without their contributions you'd just be reading
this editorial.

Our first advertisers, even the ones who thought we were nuts,
deserve some applause. Electronic publishing is the leading edge in
publishing. Advertisers who sow the grains of hope in CyberNews
will reap the bushels of new customers and interest we can generate!

So to all reading this, welcome aboard. We promise not to bore
or lecture, not to blindly promote or advance, not to needlessly
cajole or flatter. We will strive to bring you a fun to read, get
something out of publication monthly!

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| 3D Realms Presents, Blood, A Shareware 3D Game to the Max! |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
|_________________ _________________ "Welcome to the |
| ~-. \ i\___/; / .-~ nightmare! Horror |
| ~-. \ / o o \ / .-~ rears its many heads |
| > \\ W // < in this eerie |
| / /~---~\ \ spine-tingling |
| /_ | | _\ action adventure. |
| ~-. | | .-~ Suddenly, all of the |
| ; \ / i subconscious and |
| /___ /\ /\ ___\ conscious evil in |
| ~-. / \_/ \ .-~ humankind's minds |
| V V has spawned macabre |
| manifestations all |
| "I know I won't bite at blood!" over the planet." |
| Buffy the Bat Coming From |
| 3D Realms soom . . . |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

1.2
-=-
Finding CyberNews . . . .

So, you really enjoyed the first issue of CyberNews? Fantastic!

You need to know how to get it every month? OK, check out the
listing below:

BBS: CyberNews is available on the following BBS systems:

Support U. BBS, the official support BBS: (314) 984-8387
PC Ohio (216) 281-3320
. . . and a whole host of other BBSs we upload to each month.

The filenames are:

CYBERW01.ZIP - Windows Version
CYBERA01.ZIP - ASCII Version
CYBERR01.ZIP - ReadRoom Format

FidoNet: CyberNews is FREQable from 1:100/380 via the following magic names:

CYBERW - CyberNews Windows Edition
CYBERA - CyberNews ASCII Edition
CYBERR - CyberNews ReadRoom Format
CYBER - All three versions.

Internet: wuarchive.wustl.edu:/pub/MSDOS_UPLOADS/zines
polecat.law.indiana.edu:/pub/Incoming
ftp.fonorola.net:/in.coming

CompuServe: CyberNews can be found in the following forums:

Work From Home Forum (GO WORK)
Novell User (GO NOVUSER)
IBM Bulletin Board Systems (GO IBMBBS)

Delphi: PC SIG

America On-line: Computing and Software Section

Email: There are two ways to get CyberNews through the mail.
Subscribe or UUENCODED files. To subscribe to CyberNews via
email, send a message to [email protected]. The latest
ASCII version of CyberNews will be sent to you. To receive
UUENCODED files, send a message to [email protected].
Indicate what version you want send (Windows, ASCII or ReadRoom,
and they will be sent.) This is a one time request. You will
have to request the latest UUENCODED files next month.

1.3
-=-
Contacting us:

We are really easy to contact:

CompuServe: INTERNET: [email protected]
Internet: [email protected]
RIME: Route your messages to Patrick Grote
on SUPPORTU
BBS: Support U. (314) 984-8387
Fax: (314) 984-9981
Voice: (314) 984-9691
Post Mail: 11221 Manchester Rd., Suite 313,
St. Louis, MO 63122

Departments:
=-=-=-=-=-=-

Production/Design: [email protected]
General Manager/Back Office: [email protected]
Managing Editor: [email protected]
Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations: [email protected]
Writer or Columnist: [email protected]
Compliments: [email protected]
Complaints: [email protected]
Letters to the Editor: [email protected]

If you can't get us through any of those means, you probably don't need

to talk to us.

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Do You Have Any Dinosaurs Laying Around? |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
|"KelData buys your old, . . Give KelData a call at |
| used IBM equipment! / `. .' \ (314) 843-0550 for a free |
| From printers to.---. < > < > .---. quote on your any of |
| workstations to | \ \ - ~ ~ - / / | your used equipment! |
| mainframes!" ~-..-~ ~-..-~ |
| \~~~\.' `./~~~/ We are driven by |
| .-~~^-. \__/ \__/ customer service! |
| .' O \ / / \ \ |
| (_____, `._.' | } \/~~~/Call (314) 843-0050!|
| `----. / } | / \__/ |
| `-. | / | / `. ,~~| |
|"They also ~-.__| /_ - ~ ^| /- _ `..-' f: f: |
| sell a complete | / | / ~-. `-. _||_||_ |
| line of AS/400 |_____| |_____| ~ - . _ _ _ _ _> |
| and other mid-range products." |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+


1.4
-=-

So you want to be a writer for CyberNews? Read on . . .

You need to do the following:

* Send a message to Roger Klein, Publisher/Production, asking for
a copy of our Writer's Guidelines. Guess what? They are
straight forward! You can contact Roger at
[email protected] or on the RIME CyberNews conference.

* Upload a copy of CyberNews to your favorite BBS. Ok, this isn't
required, but we'd appreciate it!

What benefits do you enjoy as a software reviewer?

* Deluxe accommodations in the finest hotels around the world.
(If you pay the bill . . .)

* Free airline tickets anytime, anywhere. (Again, if you pay the
bill . . .)

Ok, enough. The benefits are vast and wonderful. They are explained in
the Writer's Guidelines, which you can request by emailing Roger Klein
at [email protected].

Oh, if you are on CompuServe, send Roger the message at INTERNET:
[email protected].

2.0
-=-
The End Of Programmers?!
by Hugh W. (Chip) Cox

I was talking about how I wanted to get back into programming
and out of support with one of my cousins the other day. He
informed me that programmers are not needed any more. "There are
hundreds of programs out there that write programs for you. Support
is the place to be," he said. Personally, I don't think so. At
least I definitely hope he is not right. The office managers and
CEOs are saying, "I can create my own spread sheets; I can write my
own database queries." Even some programmers are saying that Visual
Basic does most of the work for you. It won't be long until
something comes out that can do it all. I am not saying that
non-software companies will always have programming departments. In
addition, I strongly believe that support is an often overlooked
need in our industry.

However, there are a couple of reasons I don't believe that
programming will die anytime soon. First and foremost, programming
will be kept in tact to make corporate America money. Who out there
thinks that XYZ Corp. will stop producing new operating systems or
environments? Who thinks ABC INC. will stop coming up with new
more powerful chip designs with more features?

Each new operating system or environment has a new set of
functions available to end users. Not to mention the fact that XYZ
Corp. will have to keep a couple of programmers on hand to write
the new operating systems. XYZ Corp. will also probably not do
things the way that everyone wants them done. Some people, due to a
protest vote or something, may not want to buy XYZ Corp.'s version
of the operating system. Programmers will be called on again to put
the new features now available into a different package with the
look and feel they want. New compilers will also be needed to
produce new versions of products that take advantage of the new
features available in the new operating system on the new chip.
Guess what?

Programmers will have to write significant portions of the code
for these new compilers. Other programmers will have to use these
new compilers to write their new applications. Even the programs
that write programs will have to be rewritten by programmers to take
advantage of the new features. Secondly, twelve year old kids! Do
you realize how many ideas were initially voiced by the children of
programmers? My three year old already knows what a mouse is (not
the furry thing on the ground eating cheese). Granted, he uses a
keyboard to hit his brother, but he is starting to get interested in
non-violent uses for a computer. By the time he is eight, he will
be fighting me for time on my computer. By the time he is twelve,
he will be coming up with new ideas of things he wants a computer to
do.

Some of these ideas, while decidedly juvenile, will find their
ways into the mainstream of corporate America. Better graphics in
shoot-em-up games led to the technology used in today's animated
movies and corporate product demonstration software. Games that
simulate flight result in better techniques to enhance flight
trainers. Guess who gets to produce most of these things? You've
got it, programmers!

The problem with most of the software packages that write
programs for you is that they don't know anything about new
techniques. The twelve year old in all of us is responsible for the
dream of what could be. The dream of what a computer can accomplish
for us. After all, the more work the computer does for us, the
sooner we can get out to play golf, watch the baseball players
strike, or play Doom.

Finally, and this is strictly my belief, I like programming. To
me it is an art form. It is a wonderful experience to start with a
blank screen and a dream of what could be and make the dream
reality. Programming incorporates almost every aspect of life. The
joy of seeing a dream made real. The frustration of undocumented
system calls and compiler bugs (features). The exhaustion of 20
hours typing behind a keyboard. The pains in your wrist from typing
all day. The amazement of what comes out when you disengage your
mind and let your fingers type. Every feature you give programmers
becomes a challenge, and every challenge is an opportunity. As most
people, programmers thrive on the challenges and changes of life.
Programmers love to find the answers that make life easy again.
Programmers will always find something that needs to be done better,
and they will work at making it happen. Programmers are idealists
and dreamers.

lf Star Trek and Commander Data become reality and computers
begin to dream, programmers will continue weaving the dreams of
society into reality. If you think about it, someone even had to
program Commander Data. 🙂

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Advertising with CyberNews is Profitable! |
| Advertising with CyberNews is Easy! |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| | Your company needs a star performer |
| | when you choose an advertising |
| `. | .' outlet. We are the brightest! We get|
| `. .---. .' your message to millions of people |
| .~ ~. each month. Guaranteed! |
| / O O \ Not only do we let you advertise in |
| -- -- -- ( ) -- -- -- three different versions of |
| \ `-' / CyberNews for no extra charge, but |
| ~. .~ we also offer advertiser benefits |
| .' ~---~ `. including free download service, |
| .' | `. reader response forwarding and much |
| | more! Rates start at $15.00 for |
| | classifieds and $75.00 for display. |
| Contact Patrick Grote at either |
| Sunny says, "Brighter profits 314-984-9691 or Internet email at |
| await those who advertise . . ." [email protected]! |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

2.1
-=-
WHAT RUSH LIMBAUGH, BILL CLINTON, AND HOWARD STERN HAVE IN COMMON THAT
WE SHOULD EMULATE: A COMMENTARY
by Paul and Sara Edwards


Having just returned from the annual conference of the National
Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts, we are imbued with renewed
appreciation for the freedom of speech our nation affords and duly
impressed with the value of individual expression. Here was a
gathering of over 300 individuals, all of whom were articulate and
not the least bit hesitant to express their heartfelt opinions on
virtually any subject. What an experience!

There were no wallflowers in earshot. Among the names most
frequently mentioned during the conference (outside of O.J.
Simpson, of course,) were Rush Limbaugh, Bill Clinton, and Howard
Stern, none of whom were present, although Clinton prepared a
videotaped message that was played for the conference. The
popularity, or should I say, infamy, of these three individuals
amongst this August group, got me thinking about what three such
seemingly diverse individuals have in common. And, indeed, it is
their individuality that they share most notably.

They don't hold back in expressing precisely who they are, even
at the expense of being highly criticized. That, in fact, we

learned during numerous sessions, is the chief characteristic of
what makes for a good talk show host. Yes, a host must be
informative, persuasive, and entertaining, but it's not how
precisely, politically correct, politely, or acceptably one goes
about it that makes the difference. Instead, success seems to lie
in how fully the host can express the essence of who and what he or
she is.

And there lies a message for us all. In our own businesses,
fortunately or unfortunately, it's usually not just competency that
determines our success, but instead it's the extent to which we can
"make a name for ourselves" as someone who does whatever WE do.
Just like Rush, Bill, or Howard, if we are to succeed, we have to
summon the courage to be and express who WE are if we are to stand
out from the myriad of others who do similar things.

Does that mean we have to be extreme like Rush and Howard?
Absolutely not! Few people would characterize Clinton as extreme.
It only means that we can be neither a copy nor a reprint of anyone
else. And, in the industrialized world of salaried jobs so many of
us have come from, doing that is unusual. We've been carefully
taught to fit in, to not "stand out like a sore thumb." (Isn't that
a revealing turn of phrase?) Here we are, a species in which each
and every one of us is as unique and different as a snowflake --
right down to our fingerprints and DNA. And yet, all our lives
we've been encouraged to become as indistinguishable as possible one
from another in anything but the most inconsequential details, such
as the color of our ties or the type of earrings we wear. Is it any
wonder we hunger to hear people like Rush, Bill and Howard! They
are making a clear statement, whether or not it's one we agree with.
And indeed, that's what we each must do in defining ourselves in our
businesses.

We need to stand out, not like a sore thumb, but like a green
thumb, a blue thumb, or an orange thumb, so that those seeking
green, blue, or orange will flock our way. We cannot settle for
being Carl, the computer consultant; Dale, the Desktop Publisher;
Brenda, the Bookkeeper; and Imogene the Information Broker. If we
are to become more than glorified temps, our businesses need to be
expressions of our unique talents, skills, styles, and
personalities.

It's only by expressing our individual talents and personalities
as brilliantly as possible that we will make a loud enough statement
that those needing, or simply preferring, what we offer will hear
about us, come running, and send everyone else like them. In other
words, that's how we will build a following. We can't try to be all
things to all people. We have to take stands on:

* What we offer
* To whom we offer it
* How, where, and when we go about offering it

We have to drop the fear that we might lose out on every
possible piece of work if we are to get the kind of work that is
right for us; the work that will help us gain a reputation for which
people will gladly and consistently pay us well. If we distinguish
our work in such a way that customers know no one can do it the way
we do, so one else will be able to fill OUR slot. So, if you ever
hope to be the best you can be, be 100 percent who you are in all
that you do!

"This article appeared in the July/August edition of MAKING IT ON
YOUR OWN, the monthly on-line newsletter of the Working from Home
Forum on CompuServe Information Service, written by Sarah and Paul
Edwards, authors of the best-selling books MAKING IT ON YOUR OWN,
BEST HOME BUSINESSES FOR THE 90'S, GETTING BUSINESS TO COME TO YOU
(with Laura Clampitt Douglas) and WORKING FROM HOME
(Tarcher/Perigree). You can talk personally with the Edwards on the
Working from Home Forum by entering 'Go Work' once you're on
CompuServe."

3.0
-=-

Classifieds
Rates Start at $10.00 Per Issue
Send an Email Message to [email protected] for rates!


(__)
($$)
/-------\/ "Moovelous values," says Bessy, CyberNews Classified's
/ |=====|| Mascot and late night snack . . .
* ||----||
^^ ^^

Connect BBS to Internet Telnet, Archie, Gopher and FTP available
from MurkWorks, Inc. Works with almost every BBS including PCBoard,
Wildcat, TBBS, MajorBBS, Searchlight and more. 315-265-4717 or
[email protected].

UniRom CDROMS 800-862-2457. Call for latest price list on all
CDROMs. CompuServe: 71172,2442

High Speed Serial Cards Your new 28.8 modem deserves a high speed
serial card. Byte Runner Technologies. 800-274-7897.

Novell CNE Flashcard Study Guides Complete sets for almost all
courses. NetWare 3.1X Advanced and Data Communications on special
for $9.95 each. Readables, POB 31351, St. Louis, MO 63131.

Processor Upgrades Computer too slow? Call us at 800-RAM-CHIPS to
upgrade your machine!

Get Your Degree! BS&MS Degrees available through home study. Call
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3D Realms Is Coming With Duke Nukem 3D!
___ (_)
_/XXX\
_ /XXXXXX\_ __
X\__ __ /X XXXX XX\ _ /XX\__ ___
\__/ \_/__ \ \ _/X\__ /XX XXX\____/XXX\
\ ___ \/ \_ \ \ __ _/ \_/ _/ - __ - \__/
___/ \__/ \ \__ \\__ / \_// _ _ \ \ __ / \____//
/ __ \ / \ \_ _//_\___ _/ // \___/ \/ __/
__/_______\________\__\_/________\_ _/_____/_____________/_______\____/_______
/|\
"The future is here and you may / | \ Duke Nukem 3D coming from 3D Realms!
be the only one fierce enough to / | \
face it! The World Government / | \ For more information on 3D Realms,
has lowered a gigantic dome / | \ see section 6.0! By reading the
around Los Angeles, which / | \ information you will have to be
has become a mecca for / | \ silenced, but hey, it's worth it!
criminals. Evil but / | \ (Just kidding on that part!)
ingenious scientists and / | \
bosses have activated the / | \ Duke Nukem 3D coming from
nuclear plants and / | \ 3D Realms! Can Duke save the
are building bombs!" / | \ world again? Can you?
/ | \


4.0
-=-

Interview with Scott "The Visionary" Miller of Apogee Games
Interviews by Patrick Grote

CyberNews is a reflection of how we communicate in cyberspace.
Understanding this, we want our interview section to reflect a
new age method of exacting answers from people.

In the coming months, we'll interview people via email, Internet
Relay Chat, BBS based Chat, CompuServe CB and many other
methods. Interviewing via cyberspace allows your interviewee to
reflect on their answers and deliver a more powerful message.

CyberNews:
Our first interview is with a leader is his field; a person who
single-handedly turned a money losing field into one of the most
profitable in the cyberspace arena. Scott Miller, President of Apogee,
is a visionary who saw an opportunity and grabbed it, or as Scott
explains it:

Scott Miller:
It was all dumb luck! I saw an opportunity to release some games I had
created onto BBS's and request money. First, I released Beyond the
Titanic, an Infocom-style text adventure. Beyond made about $100 in its
first year.

A year after releasing Beyond, I released Supernova as shareware, a very
advanced text adventure game. Still, it made very little money for me.
Then, in 1987, I had developed three Kroz games and I was on the verge
of letting them all go out as shareware, when it occurred to me to
release just one Kroz game (Kingdom of Kroz) and have it advertise the
other two for $15. I was simply tired of giving away my games for
free--since no one ever paid for them--so here was a way to make people
pay. It worked.

That first year I made over $30,000 and in 1989 I quit my job and
started Apogee full-time, even hiring my mom to help process orders.

CyberNews:
Of course, this begs the questions, why was the game so successful? The
trilogy approach?

Scott Miller:
The short answer is yes. We call this trilogy approach the 'Apogee
Model', since so many other companies, like Epic, MVP and Id, are using
it. We feel like this model is responsible for the success of games in
shareware, and we deserve the credit for inventing it.

CyberNews:
OK, now for the standard question for anyone in the PC biz. How did you
get started in the PC business? How long have you been in it?

Scott Miller:
I've been programming games since 1975. I bought a Commodore PET in
1978, later a C-64, then in 1981 an IBM PC. My career path, on the
other hand, always involved games in some way. In 1982, George
Broussard, Apogee's co-owner, and I co-wrote a book on beating arcade
games. Later, we both became managers at a video arcade. I went on to
write a weekly computer column, Computer Fun, in the Dallas Morning News
for four years, plus two dozen articles for computer magazines, like
COMPUTE!.

This all turned out to be very valuable training and experience in
running Apogee.

CyberNews:
No one can just do computers all the time. Do you hit the golf course?
Play a little ping pong? What?

Scott Miller:
I love high energy sports, like tennis, basketball, and especially snow
skiing. Lately, ping pong and paint ball have been mini-passions. I'll
save golf for when I'm much older!

CyberNews:
Do the words Pearl Jam mean anything to you? What type of music are you
in to?

Scott Miller:
Nowadays, I find that I listen to talk radio most of the time. I can't
take hearing the same songs over and over again that they play on the
radio. My favorite groups are Rush (pre-1985) and Joe Satriani. If
it's not hard and heavy, I won't listen to it. I have a huge drum set,
too, which I use to vent tension about once a day.

CyberNews:
Just for grins, what kind of car do you drive?

Scott Miller:
I have three cars. A '91 Nissan 300ZX Turbo with over $12,000 worth of
aftermarket stuff, like a very powerful Alpine system, 13 speakers, etc.
This is my fun car. The family car (I married eight months ago) is a
'93 Lexus SC400, plus I recently bought a '94 Grand Jeep Cherokee
Limited, for the ski season coming up. 🙂 Ed. Note: Success has its
rewards . . .

CyberNews:
Of all time, what are your top five PC based games?

Scott Miller:
I love these questions! The first game that pops to mind is M.U.L.E.
After that I have to think. In reality, I don't play many PC games at
all. Instead, I play arcade games and cartridge based games. Those are
the games that Apogee tries to release. Let's see, to round out the
list, I'll pick Prince of Persia, Stellar 7, Space Quest III and
Planetfall.

CyberNews:

How does Apogee select game ideas? Developers?

Scott Miller:
We always keep an eye out for demos, etc., that appear on bulletin
boards. If we see something really impressive, we contact the author
and see if they are willing to work with us. We also get a lot of
submissions, but most are not worth pursuing. Game ideas are a dime a
dozen. It's more important to find a talented programmer capable of
pulling off an idea.

CyberNews:
How big is your family? Kids? Ages? (of the kids :-))

Scott Miller:
Got married last November. I have a three year old adopted son through
that marriage.

CyberNews:
Why start 3D Realms? Is this just a more polished Apogee? What is your
day to day involvement with 3D Realms?

Scott Miller:
3D Realms is a new division of Apogee, headed by George Broussard, that
will focus exclusively on cutting-edge 3D game development. We decided
that 3D games are an exploding market, and it would be better to have a
new and separate entity dealing with it, and creating a new image for
itself. When someone sees a new game released by 3D Realms, they can
count on it being the latest, cutting edge technology in 3D PC graphics.

My involvement in 3D Realms is great. It was I who laid out the entire
plan for creating it and its image, etc. However, since my name is so
well connected to 'Apogee,' it makes better sense for George to be the
front-man for 3D Realms.

CyberNews:
What's the best city you have traveled to? Why?

Scott Miller:
I love Utah and Denver, simply because when I'm in one of those two
cities, I'm on my way to a four or five day ski trip! Ed. Note: He is
the world's best game marketer, not a geography teacher

CyberNews:
What award that you have won personally or professionally made you
proudest? Why?

Scott Miller:
I don't care much about awards, they rarely do anything but feed egos.
If I had my arm twisted, I'd pick a trophy I won in a karate tournament.
I had a red belt at the time (I now have a black belt) and I beat an
opponent who had 30 pounds and three inches over me, plus he was a black
belt. I remember never being so scared prior to the bout, but when I
entered the ring I took a deep breath and focused on the task at hand.
After the fight, I discovered I broke several of my opponents ribs. Ed.
Note: Sort of makes a Mortal Kombat type game a lock, eh? 🙂

Since we are in cyberspace, I had a chance to reflect on my questions.
The following questions were answered by Scott after the first set:

CyberNews:
What age would you let your child play Wolf?

Scott Miller:
My three year old son loves to watch me play Wolf, Blake and our coming
Rise of the Triad, which will be the goriest game ever released. I tell
him that it's not real, no one is being hurt, and it's just a cartoon.

I think that younger players should avoid overexposure to violent games,
and only play while parents are present to explain the game as not being
real. In Rise of the Triad, we've taken an extra step: This game will

have a parental lock-out code, which turns off the gore and blood in the
game.

CyberNews:
Did you expect Wolf to be the big hit it turned out to be? Describe the
experience . . .

Scott Miller:
Id Software had made two EGA 3D games (Hover Tank and Catacombs 3-D) for
Softdisk's monthly game publication, Gamer's Edge. After seeing these
two games, I knew that a shareware 3D game would be a tremendous
success. However, Id Software wasn't going to make a 3D game for the
shareware market originally. I had to work out a special deal with
them, in which Apogee made a game for Gamer's Edge, giving time for Id
to develop Wolfenstein 3-D.

It also took several weeks to convince them to make it a six episode
game, rather than only three episodes. This allowed us to charge $50
for six episodes, which is what most players purchased.

When Wolf was released, it easily surpassed our expectations. I knew
the technology was cutting-edge, but really, when you think about it,
it's just a maze game. So I wasn't sure if the public would dislike it
for being too simplistic. That fear was quickly shot down when orders
came in so fast we had to hire more phone operators.

CyberNews:
Can you spill any beans on where Apogee is headed outside of the PC
games market? Are you, say, moving into video, etc?

Scott Miller:
We don't have any plans other than to make PC action games.
Diversification is the opposite of focus, and we plan to remained
focused on PC games--and that's all.

Ed. Note: Scott Miller, a man who got tired of giving away his
software, invents a marketing practice that gives birth to a whole new
industry and still has time to play ping pong. What more can you ask of
a person?

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| 3D Realms Stuns Audience with BLOOD Preview! |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| . BLOOD is one of the first games to hit the . |
| . )`. streets from 3D Realms, Inc. A new . )`. |
| )`. / \ leader in 3D technology games! )`. / \ |
| / \ ( | . . / \ ( | |
| ( | ~---~ )`. Want a sneak peek? )`. ( | ~---~ |
| ~---~ / \ . / \ ~---~ For more info |
| ( | )`. ( | on 3D Realms and their|
|You'll need to ~---~ / \ ~---~ upcoming releases, |
|download the Windows . ( | check out the article in |
|HELP file format of )`. ~---~ CyberNews or search 3D REALMS! |
|CyberNews from any BBS/ \ You can also contact George |
|or online service. ( | Broussard on CompuServe at 71321,2743! |
| ~---~ |
| Look for CYBERW01.ZIP |
| Available on Support U., (314) 984-8387 or PC Ohio (216) 381-3320 |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

5.0
-=-

Software Reviews
By CyberNews Staff

5.1
-=-

Business Software

5.11
-=-=

CA Super Project
by Timothy Cook

If you are employed as a manager or are self employed then you
use some method of project management. Your method may vary from
the simple "keep a list in my head" routine to complex schedules and
graphs, either hand-written or maintained on a computer. My most
often used method has been the pen and notepad scheduler. With this
one I would take a note pad, make a list of things to do and a list
of items needed to complete the project. When an item needed to be
added in the middle of the list, I would just write very small and
make it fit. If I needed to remove an entry, the logical thing to
do was scratch it out with ten or fifteen strokes of the pen.
Eventually even the small projects turned into a pile of notes with
barely discernible tasks. Not a very good image for a guy that
makes his living with computers! The opportunity to review
CA-SuperProject 3.0 was quite appropriate (has the editor been
talking to my wife?).

Before going into details about the package I'm going to say,
"You need this software!" Inside the box you will find a total of
six 3.5" high density diskettes in two separate envelopes containing
CA-SuperProject 3.0. There are four books comprising the
CA-SuperProject 3.0 documentation. They are titled: "Getting
Started", "User Guide", "Reference Guide" and "Network Activator".
Also in the box is a copy of the CA-Realizer "Programming Guide". A
stripped down copy of CA-Realizer is included with CA-SuperProject
3.0 as a "macro" language. CA-Realizer is similar to Visual Basic
in use and application. As an added surprise is a copy of Time$heet
Professional by TIMESLIPS CORP. included in the package.
Bi-directional data exchange with CA-SuperProject 3.0 is built into
Time$heet Professional.

The documentation is perfect bound and well laid out.
Installation was easily accomplished by following the simple
instructions in the Getting Started book. Also in this volume, you
will find definitions and use instructions for the menus and tool
bar icons. Even if you have never had formal project management
experience you will find the User Guide easy to follow. The User
Guide starts the new user with preplanning concepts before you even
touch the keyboard. It then covers how to build your schedule using
the basic features. After developing your plan the User Guide
explains maintaining your schedule during the project using more
advanced features of the program. The two-inch thick Reference
Guide describes in detail all commands and functions of the program.
There are sufficient screen shots and examples throughout as well as
several shaded boxes containing usage tips. On-line help is
standard Windows style with the addition of a selection for
Tutorial. The tutorial is a must use option no matter what your
level of experience is with project management software. The
tutorial is primarily self running with stop points built in to give
you a chance to acknowledge each step. I found the example projects
very helpful in showing off the program's capabilities.

The Task Outline is the view used for most of your work while
building and maintaining your project schedule. It provides a quick
view of all task and resource information as it applies to the
project. Report generation is more than adequate, with several
customizing options. Building my own project schedule from scratch
was quite painless. The first step is to establish time slots
available to perform the work. This is done using the Project
Calendar. Next enter the tasks that need to be accomplished. I
found that you can brainstorm at this point because the flexibility
of CA-SuperProject allows you to move tasks by using the promote and
demote functions to re-arrange the order in which they occur. After
entering the tasks, you'll need people to do the work, possibly
rooms to work or meet in, tools and supplies to use during the
project. These are all entered as resources. Once the resources
are designed, assign each task a resource. You have now constructed
a project schedule.

What I have covered up to this point is a very small sample of
the capabilities of CA-SuperProject 3.0. It is very versatile in
design and allows for several user defined data fields and
preference settings. If you're looking for a comprehensive project
management program, for the most common needs, this is the one to
choose. One user relayed to me that it was an excellent package.
He would not have used it for the nuclear reactor project he worked
on, but on smaller projects it has been very capable.

Suggested retail price is $649.00 for the package that includes
the Windows and O/S2 versions. Recent Street Price (RSP) is less
than $150.00. On my scale of good deals it's a 10.

Computer Associates
(516) 342-5224

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²²²²²²²²²²Ûßßß²²Û ²²Û ²²Ü Asst. Sysop: Joyce Henke
ßßßßß²²Ûßß ²²Û ²²Û ßß Post Office Box 21411
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²²Û ²²Û ²²Ûßß²²Û ²²Û ²²Ûßß²²Û The Best BBS in America!
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5.12
-=-=

ExpenseIt!
by Lenis Hazlett

ExpenseIt!, recently released by On The Go Software, is an easy
to use utility program designed specifically for tracking business
travel expenses and producing expense reports. The program goes
beyond simply listing and summarizing expenses by category.
Expenses may also be matched to a specific project, client, or
purpose.

These features make the program versatile enough to be used by
both corporate and self-employed travelers. Other useful features
include: foreign currency conversion capability, mileage expense
tracking and expense reimbursement and billing capabilities. The
program comes with eight pre-defined expense categories that meet
the IRS' expense reporting guidelines. Users may modify these and
add up to 16 more categories. Categories may also be linked to
corporate general ledger account numbers.

To initially set up the program, users define expense and
payment categories. If desired, project names, client lists, and
even travel destinations may also be pre-defined. Data entry is
straightforward and typing is minimized by the use of pop-up menus
containing the pre-defined categories and lists. Receipts may be
entered in any order and are then organized by ExpenseIt! according

to the user's preferences.

This program has a variety of report options both for submitting
expense reports and for tracking expenses and reimbursement. The
program comes with eight portfolio or landscape pre-formatted
expense reports that should meet most users' needs. For an
additional fee, On The Go will develop a template matching a company
expense report, or users can purchase ExpenseIt! For Windows Report
Writer and develop their own template. Reports to track expenses
include a billing feature that allows expenses to be summarized by
client. An itinerary feature allows expenses to be reported by
business trip. Expenses can also be reported by year, quarter or
month.

A weakness of the program is in the handling of cash advances
and reimbursements. While expenses may be associated with clients
and projects, cash advances and reimbursements are associated only
with the time period of the trip through the itinerary feature.
Users expecting reimbursement from more than one source may find
this irritating. Another area of weakness is in the documentation
which tends to be scanty. Overall, business travelers will find
ExpenseIt! a useful, easy to use, and best of all relatively
inexpensive program. Don't leave home without it!

On The Go Software
4350 La Jolla Village Drive
Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92122
Phone: 619-546-4340
Fax: 619-546-0430

Suggested retail price is $129.99.

5.13
-=-=

Time Planner Deluxe 2.0
by Lisa Ramaglia

Time Planner Deluxe is a smart way for the small business owner
to manage time. Time Planner keeps track of multiple projects for
various clients, keeps track of the hours spent on a project, and at
which rate of pay. It will also keep account of your employees'
schedules and to which projects they have been assigned. Time
Planner will schedule meetings so they do not conflict. Then, it
will print out a report that summarizes this information. Let's say
for instance, you run a construction company. With Time Planner,
through the use of notes and folders, you can schedule meetings with
potential customers to discuss possible projects.

Notes are put into a folder, including job description,
hours/days to complete the project, hourly/daily rate of pay, which
employees will work on the job, and what their jobs will entail.
With this information, you can create a schedule on the calendar,
review time and cost information in the form of a report or chart,
and see whether or not the project conflicts with other projects on
the timeline. The program is formatted for use in Windows' easy
click-button style. A mouse is definitely useful, and recommended.

When you start up the program, you see a full screen with all
the options shown in a large window. Choices for viewing files are
in picture buttons at the top of the window. A click can change the
format. All information for a client may be entered into the phone
list, including separate work and home addresses. Does your client
have a modem? A simple click and you're on your way to accessing
your client without leaving the program. To begin planning your
time, you need to create a folder. Then make your notes using the
note feature. There are easy to use note templates to help you
create notes. You might have a note for a meeting you don't want to
miss.

Do you have a certain employee you want on the job? Write a
note to schedule him in. Notes may be used to describe the
project's features, the hourly rate, and when the job will begin.
To see how your job is progressing, select the Browse feature.
Here, you can see all of your notes and folders, and may assign
various notes to different folders. This feature comes in handy
when organizing projects. Do you need to know if Jake is available
to plan this new job? Switch to Calendar, select the day you want
the job to start, and see if Jake is listed there for another job.
If he is, reschedule the new job for another day, or schedule
someone else for the existing job. When scheduling a meeting, use
Calendar to see if all employees have that time free. With this
feature, appointments can be seen at a glance for the day, week, or
month. Calendar also has all major holidays taken into
consideration. If you have special office holidays, add them to the
list of holidays. Calendar assumes that your business hours are
Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, but this can be changed to meet your
business needs. With Calendar, events can be recorded as they
happen. This feature is perfect for consultants who need to keep
track of every minute. You've scheduled a job to start tomorrow and
run for three weeks. To see if this interferes with a current job,
select the Timeline feature and see if any of the blocks overlap.
Timeline displays horizontal bar graphs, grouped by folder
assignments. Conflicting assignments will be noticeable at a
glance.

Do you need to know how a job is progressing? When it was
finished? How long it took? How much money the job paid? Select
the Report feature. It provides all that information in spreadsheet
form. You can show all folders at once, and have it calculate the
revenue for several projects, say for the month of July. Does your
accountant need this information? Print him out the report. You'll
show him your hours, rate, who worked on the project, and any other
pertinent information that might be included in the report.

The graph feature can show how hours spent measure up to revenue
collected. It will create vertical graphs comparing the two, either
for the week or for the duration of the project. These graphs can
be printed as long as your printer is supported by Windows and will
print graphics. I found this program easy to use. Starting up the
sample and working through the tutorial in the manual takes away the
overwhelming feeling of confusion you might get with the numerous
features in this program. If you have a business that could use
these features and need a way to keep track of your time, I highly
recommend this program.

The package states that this program was selected for use by the
US Air Force, and over 70,000 copies have been purchased. It
installs simply, and provides just about every time-management tool
you could hope for. Give it a try!


H. M. Hinsch & Co., Inc. Software Development
20H Andover Circle
Princeton NJ 08540
Voice: (609)683-9494
Fax: (609)683-9486


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+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

5.2
-=-

Home Reviews

5.21
-=-=

PC-Stitch
by Gail B.C. Marsella


I asked to review PC-Stitch - without knowing a thing about it -
because I've been doing needlework for years and would like to start
designing my own projects instead of following purchased
instructions. Initially, I was a little disappointed. PC-Stitch
bills itself as a "tool that allows you to design and print
customized needlecraft patterns," but that's really an exaggeration.
It's almost completely limited to counted cross-stitch, not the more
elaborate stitches possible in embroidery or needlepoint. It cannot
do any of the shaping necessary to produce a garment, so that leaves
out knitting and sewing patterns, too. (It might be usable for
certain types of rugmaking that use evenly spaced knots, or for
intarsia patterns on a knitted fabric, although knitted stitches are
rectangular, not square, and the design would distort somewhat.)

As a full-featured design program, it falls short, too (in spite
of a reasonably good mirroring function so you can draw symmetrical
objects.). Counting squares individually is the only way to measure
something, for example, because there's no ruler. There is also no
way of copying and pasting irregular shapes, although you can do so
with squares and rectangles.

Additionally, I wish there had been a clip art library
containing outlines of objects common in needlework - flowers,
leaves, animals and so on - or at least a way of creating a
user-generated library for quick access. The main tools are the
computer equivalent of a box of crayons and a sheet of graph paper -
usable for design, but not great. Having said all that, though, I
think it's still worth a look. Consider what the program does
manage to do. The import function translates graphics files
directly to the stitch counting grid, where they can be edited.

You can paste more than one imported image on the same page, and
then rotate or flip portions of the image. (The program's features
begin to look a lot better when you consider them editing tools
rather than design tools.) The colors of the imported image are
automatically matched to embroidery floss color codes, and the codes
print right out with the pattern. Additionally, substitute codes
are provided so you can mix and match equivalent colors from all
three of the big floss manufacturers (DMC, Anchor, and J&P Coats.)
Nice. Very nice. No more fiddling around with making up symbols,
cross matching them with floss colors, and writing them in little
boxes on a grid.

For taking the drudgery out of translating a design into
cross-stitch instructions, this program may be invaluable. That's
what it does well. The requirements for running PC-Stitch are: an
IBM compatible computer (at least a 386), with two MB of RAM, a
mouse, a printer, and Windows 3.1. The installation instructions
are standard: select Run... from the File menu on Program Manager
and run setup from the source drive. The manual's illustrations are
too small and low-resolution to be helpful (the whole booklet needs
a rigorous proofreading, too), but it is well-organized, small
enough to be non-threatening, and will get the user started fairly
quickly. A brief tour of all the menu items is followed by a
thoroughly worked out example. I am unfamiliar with the stitch
terminology used here - whole, half, and quarter stitches - so I
will just mention that they are available for placement in the
pattern; the quarter stitches can be placed at various corners of
individual grid squares.

The program opens to a main screen with a grid on it. You can
select the stitch count and grid size for your pattern, and zoom in
and out on the grid. (Very complicated patterns take a long time to
be drawn on the screen if they are fully in view, so it saves some
time to zoom in on a portion of the pattern.) A menu bar runs across
the top of the main screen, and a toolbar runs vertically on the
left side. The last two buttons on the vertical toolbar are
confusing. They're both toggles, but each changes the choices
available on the other, and the combination of choices determines
what tool you get. Presumably the program designers did this to
avoid cluttering up the screen with icons, but I don't like it.
Call me a reactionary, but I want tool icons to do one thing, or at
most toggle between two. I don't want them interfering with their
neighbors on the toolbar. The same choices are available through
the menus, however, so I ignored the offending buttons. To import a
picture, you put a placeholder called an Edit Box on the main screen
grid, and then open a very well designed Import Graphics File dialog
box. It has a preview area for the various graphics files, and
access to .BMP, .PCX, .GIF, and .TIF formats. Additionally, you can
choose to vary the size of the Edit Box to match the imported
picture proportions (to avoid distorting or clipping it).

Printing is a memory intensive process for PC-Stitch, and the
larger the grid, the longer it takes. I exceeded the memory in my
laser printer for a pattern on a ten inch square canvas, and had to
make it smaller. The printout itself is clear and understandable,
with a color symbol in each square of the grid, and every tenth line
in boldface so you can find your way around more easily. The color
codes, symbol key, pattern size in inches, number of stitches per
inch, and the pattern file name print out on a separate sheet of
paper. The program allegedly supports color printing, although I
don't have the equipment to try that out.

In short, here's what you do with this program: first design
your images with regular drawing or CAD software, or scan
photographs or the kids' drawings, and then use PC Stitch to do the
translation, editing, color matching, stitch counting, and printout
of the instructions. Viewed as an overall design package, it has
severe limitations, but viewed as a design utility it works very
well indeed. I plan to keep it and use it for just that.

M&R Enterprises
PO Box 9403, Wright Brothers Branch
Dayton, Ohio 45409-9403

5.22
-=-=

Automap
by Hugh W. (Chip) Cox


To use the words of my neighbor who is the sales representative
for a large corporation handling the southeast corner of the United
States, "WOW!" Automap is a software package that helps plan how to
get from here to there in the most efficient way. On the basis of a
starting city, ending city, and any cities or location you want to
visit in between, Automap calculates the fastest, shortest,
preferred or alternate route which meets your criteria.

If all that seems like a lot from a program, it is. Having never
seen Automap before, it only took about ten minutes to plan my
neighbor's next sales trip once the program was installed. Automap
came up with a way that he had not thought about going before, and
it would save him about 30 dollars in gas costs. Automap not only
plans one stop trips, but it also allows you to indicate what cities
or locations via which you would like to travel. There is a limit
of 4 locations that can be entered as "VIA" locations for stopovers
between one location and another. If you are planning a trip and
want to stop several places, the best way to set it up will probably
be as several small trips between the locations of interest. For
example the picture below shows the route Automap came up with for a
round trip from Memphis TN, and back via Clinton MS, and Panama City
Beach FL. The gray lines are other routes Automap determined will
get me where I want to go. They are not as good a choice though
based on my preferences. • Sections of highway can also be marked
as "avoid" if you don't want to go that way for some reason. For
instance, by telling Automap to avoid highway 78 in Mississippi I
get the following map.• Installation from a CD-ROM was quick and
easy. The documentation handles both floppy and CD-ROM
installation. The entire installation to a hard drive only takes
approximately 5.5 megabytes. This ensures that it will easily fit
on any laptop. I tested Automap on a 386-33 under Windows 3.1 with
a CD-ROM drive, 16 megabytes of Ram and a 500MB hard drive. I found
the response to be fast and crisp even when drawing the entire
United States' road system. The minimum requirements for the CD-ROM
version of Automap are Windows 3.1, CD-ROM drive, 4MB Ram, and 2MB
hard disk space. These values assume a partial installation of the
software in which the databases remain on the CD-ROM drive. A full
installation requires 4MB ram and 5 1/2MB of free disk space. While
this version of the software did not provide city street detail it
was able to find all of the small towns we were looking for. Detail
maps of several cities can be purchased. Automap has several
overlays available to show rivers, lakes, and other geographical
formations. Places of interest are also identified. A nice feature
not currently included in Automap would be a tie in with city
information. This information would indicate which hotels,
restaurants, gas stations etc. are located in each city.

Another feature I would like to see is the ability to set dates and
times for the directions. For example, the following trip from
Memphis and back via Nashville TN would generate the following set
of directions.

TimeDist Instruction Road For DirTowards
12:00AM0.0DEPART Home location (Memphis) on theLocal road1/2
miles12:00AM0.4Take theI2401 mileN 12:01AM1.2Take theI2402 milesN
12:03AM3.0Turn off ontoU792 milesE 12:06AM4.9Go ontoI40193 milesE
2:41AM197.4Turn off ontoU7012 milesE (Opryland)2:52AM209.3Turn left
ontoU311/2 milesN Nashville2:52AM209.8ARRIVE Nashville
(TN)2:52AM209. 8DEPART Nashville (TN) on theU311/2 milesN (Berry

Hill)2:53AM210.2Turn right ontoU7012 milesS 3:04AM222.1Bear left
ontoI40193 milesW Jackson5:39AM414.6Go ontoU792 milesW
5:42AM416.5Turn left ontoI2402 milesS (Memphis
Airport)5:44AM418.3Take theI2401 mileS 5:44AM419.1Take theLocal
road1/2 miles5:45AM419.5ARRIVE Home location (Memphis)

This appears to assume that I am going to start out at 12:00 AM and
not spend any time in Nashville. Having the ability to modify the
times listed to indicate a lunch break, meeting or rest stop would
allow this listing to be used as an itinerary for my secretary.

In closing, Automap is well worth the expected street price of
$49.95 for anyone who travels extensively or wants to take a
vacation in the family car. I found Automap to be stable, easy and
intuitive to use. By the way, my neighbor made it back alive.

Automap Inc.
1309 114th Ave SE
Bellevue, WA 98004-6999
(206) 455-3552

Estimated Street Price $49.95

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5.23
-=-=

The Garden Guide Version 1.0 (1992)
by J. Barrett

The Garden Guide is an informational database program that
contains vital information for the home gardener. It seems to be
fairly general and not for any specific region of the US.

I found this program to be VERY useful. Although I do not have
a garden this year, I have had them in the past. This program has
sections on vegetable, flower and herb gardens. I thought I might
get one or the other, not all three. What a nice surprise! There
are also sections on how to choose vegetable plants, and the
planning stage. In one chart, it shows what is compatible with
another in a garden. The option of printing the display is only
available in the registered version.

I think a good enhancement to this would be for more interaction
from the computer user. My idea would be for the end user to be
able to actually input what he wants to plant. Then have the chart
drawn giving the vegetable names, placed strategically so they are
still harmonious with each other. The program should then be able
to determine if one vegetable should be relocated, prompt the user
and ask him where to place it. The program might also, after all
the input, be able to determine where one should plant their
vegetables.

One of my jobs is working with our local Town Planner reviewing
soil and erosion plans. I am satisfied with the methods this
program discusses on how to analyze soil and what kinds of tools one
will need in order to plant even a basic garden. With today's
threat of the environment, there is also a section on composting,
and the information provided is accurate and well written.

There is also a section on gardening through the winter season.
If this isn't enough, there are some recipes included that you can
use; one I will be trying will be the zucchini bread. Then, the
icing on the cake - a listing of catalogs is also included. Just
what I need, more sources of information on where to obtain seeds,
plants, etc.

This program also has the ability to generate a worksheet to
plan your garden on paper. After you've registered the program you
will have the capability to print this worksheet. In my mind this
program has it all and then some. I highly recommend this program!

5.24
-=-=

The Homebuyer's Guide for Windows Version 1.01
by Carl Dolmetsch

The packaging is unpretentious, a very simple (not elaborate)
User's Manual, and 2 disks. I decided to give it the ultimate test
by installing it, firing it up and trying to use it without knowing
anything about it. I did this for two reasons: First, a common
conception these days is that software should be so easy that it
doesn't require any reading to be able to use it (the "show me"
mentality). Second, I wanted to see for myself what this software
was without being contaminated by any publication hype or hoo-haa.

This software passes the grade on all accounts. It is
immediately easy to use with considerable help inside the program.
The primary purpose of this software is to assist people in making a
home buying decision. There are few things in this world that are
more complicated than buying a house (controlling federal spending
and reversing global warming come to mind). Granted, we manage to
make it a complicated process. Be that as it may, most of us who
have been through the experience at least once have come out of it
with our heads spinning. The Homebuyer's Guide simplifies the
process and displays the results in an easy-to-understand format.
It is not surprising that Realtors and Mortgage Bankers are
beginning to use this software. Once initial figures are plugged
in, the reality of the situation quickly becomes apparent to the
prospective buyer.

The Homebuyer's Guide divides the process into five major steps,
each identified by a large "Radio" button at the top of the screen:
Preparation, Home hunting, Financing, Offer, and Closing. Each
"Radio" button represents an available pull-down menu of options.
Options are displayed in blue and red. Blue options are text which
explain the home buying process at that given step. Red options
require data input and report out results. For example, the process
begins with an explanation of the buy vs. rent decision. The user
is then guided to a worksheet to plug in real numbers in their own
buy vs. rent assessment. From this, the user is guided through a
series of discussions to "prequalification" (always one of my
favorite steps). By this point, the prospective buyer has a pretty
good visual representation of the way things stand.

Although rich in detail, The Homebuyer's Guide is easy to use
and understand. The results of it can provide the prospective buyer
with that "independent source" of information to validate or
invalidate what the real estate agent or mortgage banker is saying.

I wish that I had it available when we were buying our houses
and even before -- when we were first assessing the rent vs. buy
decision! I ran a couple of analyses through the system. The
first, I based on a rent decision of twenty years ago. Had I chosen
a buy option, the house would have been paid off by now, and I would
be $50,000 ahead! Using the system to track our most recent house
purchase, I found that we had made a good selection in terms of
neighborhood and projected appreciation.

Tetra Solutions, Inc.
821 Alameda
Belmont, CA 94002
(415) 802-9896
Suggested retail price: $49.95

5.25
-=-=

RKA -- The Russell Knitters' Alphabet Version 1.20 (1988)
by J. Barrett

I decided on this shareware program for a lot of reasons. I
felt one can use it for a multitude of crafts. From the designing
stages of a cross stitch sampler to knitting, this program can be
utilized.

What it specifically does is take a word or phrase up to
approximately 72 characters (the exact length of the phrase depends
on the width of individual characters) and converts it into a chart
for knitting that word or phrase. It also calculates the total
number of stitches used by a phrase to assist the designer in
fitting the phrase into the space allowed. As a seasoned knitter,
crocheter, and cross stitch crafter, I can use this program with any
of those crafts with some slight changes. I feel anyone who is into
crafts can see exactly what it is they really want for a design
after using this program.

The program should run on any reasonably standard IBM PC or
equivalent clone. The program works satisfactorily in character
mode, so any 80- column monochrome or color configuration should be
adequate, but it works a bit better on CGA systems.

The program makes only the most basic assumptions about the
printer: that it can print ordinary characters and that it can
overprint a line before advancing to the next line. Most printers
will produce print at 6 lines per inch if nothing is done to alter
their power-up state. However, you may prefer the output of this
program with closer-spaced lines, e.g., 8 or 9 to the inch. If you
have some way of setting up your printer for such close spacing,
then use it before running RKA.

If you have an Epson printer, then you can use the small file
9LINE.PRN (included with the program) to set up your printer for
nine lines per inch. Just issue the command COPY 9LINE.PRN PRN to
send the appropriate codes to your printer. To reset the printer to
its usual 6 lines per inch, turn the printer off and on again.

Running on a CGA-compatible system, you will see the following.
If you ask for Low resolution, then you will see the phrase spelled
out in X's. (You may want to adjust the vertical size on your
monitor to make the phrase more readable.)



70 stitches total -- make a hard copy?
If you press "N", the program will exit to the DOS prompt.
Enter RKA again to enter another phrase.

If you want a printed copy of the phrase, make sure your printer
is ready and press "Y". Press Esc to stop the printing. The
printer will print out the graph. See the instructions below for
adjusting the line spacing on an Epson printer. For other printers,
see your printer documentation.

The message I printed out said "Cybernews-you read it here first."

This is the display one can use to work right into their craft
(either knitting or counted cross stitch).

CYBERSNEWS-YOU READ IT HERE FIRST
133 stitches

10 20 30 40 50 60
| | | | | |
.XXX.X...X.XXX..XXX.XXXX.X..X.XXX.X...X.XXX.....X...X..XX..X..X..
X....XX.XX.X..X.X...X..X.XX.X.X...X.X.X.X.......XX.XX.X..X.X..X..
X.....XXX..XXX..XXX.XXX..XXXX.XXX.X.X.X.XXX.XXX..XXX..X..X.X..X..
X......X...X..X.X...X.XX.X.XX.X...X.X.X...X.......X...X..X.X..X..
.XXX...X...XXX..XXX.X..X.X..X.XXX..X.X..XXX.......X....XX...XX...
| | | | | |
10 20 30 40 50 60
| | | | | |
XXXX.XXX..X..XXX...X.XXXXX..X.X.XXX.XXXX.XXX..XXX.X.XXXX.XXX.XXXX
X..X.X...X.X.X..X..X...X....X.X.X...X..X.X....X...X.X..X.X.....X.
XXX..XXX.XXX.X..X..X...X....XXX.XXX.XXX..XXX..XX..X.XXX..XXX...X.
X.XX.X...X.X.X..X..X...X....X.X.X...X.XX.X....X...X.X.XX...X...X.
X..X.XXX.X.X.XXX...X...X....X.X.XXX.X..X.XXX..X...X.X..X.XXX...X.
| | | | | |

10 20 30 40 50 60



What I would do with this display or hard copy is incorporate it
into my cross stitch pattern by marking off row by row when I've
completed a row of X's. Another easy way to do that is to use a
paper clip on the side of the paper or a ruler - if it can stay
stable enough. Although you can also do the same with graph paper,
this is a quick and unique way the computer can do it for you!

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| 3D Realms Presents, Blood, A Shareware 3D Game to the Max! |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
|_________________ _________________ "Welcome to the |
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| > \\ W // < in this eerie |
| / /~---~\ \ spine-tingling |
| /_ | | _\ action adventure. |
| ~-. | | .-~ Suddenly, all of the |
| ; \ / i subconscious and |
| /___ /\ /\ ___\ conscious evil in |
| ~-. / \_/ \ .-~ humankind's minds |
| V V has spawned macabre |
| manifestations all |
| "I know I won't bite at blood!" over the planet." |
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+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

5.3
-=-

Multimedia/Games Reviews

5.31
-=-=

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous Cookbook by Robin Leach (CD)
by J. Barrett

Although I am familiar with setting up a CD through windows,
Compton's sure makes it easy. When first installed the menus to
choose from are: contents, topics, search for (keyword or topics),
history of some of the famous people who've submitted recipes,
recipes, movies, tips and credits (enough of a variety for all to
choose from).

Under contents are the selections of: extravaganza affairs,
casual entertaining, relaxing at home, weight and measurement
charts, and herbs. At any time, you can search for a special topic
that interests you. The movies include some very well known people.
For example, one is about Jerry Lewis, while another is about Liz
Taylor. With the precise words only Robin Leach can select, the
movies are exciting to watch. There are also interviews with other
celebrities. The tips section tells all about what herbs compliment
what foods. The credits list everybody involved in the production
of this CD including the restaurants the chefs work at, the stars,
the editors, etc.

I selected cookies and came up with some really good ideas - a
bit too much to put in my kids lunch bags though . I then
selected zucchini bread as I was just given a bunch from a
neighbor's garden and it's already grated. The bread recipe was
just like the one I use, except I don't use salt and I used brown
sugar instead of white sugar. There are not many old fashioned
recipes, but then again not all of these are the extravagant type.

This cookbook features over 200 recipes and over 350
photographs. As on most multimedia CD's there are audio and
full-motion video that brings the stars, their homes and their food
to life on your computer.

The printing capability for all text and pictures was great. It
printed the recipe after I had copied it to the clipboard and put it
in a font which I could read. That's very important to me, as I am
visually impaired.



Below is an easy brownie recipe that I found through my search:

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
4 1-oz squares unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 TB (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 c sugar
1 c flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c chopped walnuts
1 12-oz pkg. mini semisweet chocolate chips
confectioner's sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9" x 13" baking pan.
Combine the unsweetened chocolate and the butter in the top of a
double boiler.

Stir over hot but not boiling water till melted and smooth. Remove
from heat and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, process the eggs, vanilla, sugar,
flour, baking powder and salt till smooth. Add the melted chocolate
and process till smooth. Add the walnuts and chocolate chips and
pulse briefly to mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and
bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to
30 minutes.

Invert onto a rack and cool completely Sprinkle with confectioners'
sugar if desired. Cut into squares and serve with vanilla ice
cream.

Makes about 30 2" brownies.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Along with the demo version of this are a few special offers
from Compton's. One is a free oven mitt (while supplies last).

I would highly recommend this CD for special occasions but I
will not be tossing out my hardcopy cookbooks. This seems to be
lacking the essential basic recipes, but then again, the rich and
famous only cook elegant enticing meals .

5.32
-=-=

Exploring Ancient Cities
by Rob Wood

If you're one of those people who thinks history is a subject
best left to archaeologists and college professors, check out this
CD from SUMERIA. The SF-based multimedia publisher has joined
forces with Scientific American magazine to create an interactive
aural and visual feast for the mind.

With easy to access maps, slides, text and QuickTime movies, the
CD leads you on a journey of exploration of four ancient cities
(Crete, Petra, Pompeii and Teotihuacan) which shared a historical
parallel development from 700 BC to 750 AD The program is completely
interactive and is "interest specific" in that it allows the user to
access detailed information about particular aspects of these
cultures, from art to architecture, via the media of active slide
show, movie, map or sidebar buttons which correspond to underlined
"hot text" in the main body. This flexibility should make the CD
appealing to those with a professional interest in the subjects as
well as to those who only wish to be entertained. As an alternative
to reading the text, the user can opt for a full-screen slide show,
complete with audio narration by Academy Award winner Rob McKuen.

The graphical interface, while a bit slow in transitions, is
excellent; with near-video quality Quick Time movies and
color-saturated photos (accessed via the included Apple software).
When double-clicking the CD icon in the Windows Program Manager, I
found that all of the colors on the screen turned black before the
"Ancient Cities" opening screen came up. A call to customer support
alleviated my concern, as it was explained to me that the program
draws all available colors from the palette for color saturation.
The CD includes interactive maps, which allow the user to zoom from
a world relief map to a regional map to a close-up street map of the
ruins. Clicking on the "Labels" icon on the street map provides
text for each structure symbolized on the map, and clicking on
indicated structure symbols causes a corresponding full-screen,
captioned slide to appear on the screen. An interactive timeline is
also provided, which allows the user to trace historical parallel
developments in the period.

In addition to the historical context provided for each city,
current information is offered in the form of text, slides and
interviews about visitor access to the sites, restoration and
preservation efforts. Finally, the user is given the option of
copying text, slides, music and movies to other programs for
non-commercial use.

Whether you're a serious scholar or merely curious about ancient
civilizations, Exploring Ancient Cities is well worth the suggested
retail price of $59.95.

SUMERIA
329 Bryant Street, Suite 3D
San Francisco, California 94107
(415) 904-0800 Fax (415) 904-0888

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5.4
-=-
Educational Software

5.41
-=-=

Bailey's Book House
by Jacci Howard Bear

Bailey's Book House is an educational program that develops
early reading skills. Combining sound, words, and pictures,
children hear the words and letters spoken, see them written on the
screen, and watch the colorful characters act out the meanings of
the words. While children see it as fun and games, parents may be
the ones having the most fun. Hearing my oldest daughter earnestly
instruct each animal character to "take a shower" or watching the
youngest search for the source of the "little voices" is delightful.

Aside from their enjoyment of the game, it is also a learning
tool that teaches while it entertains. Each of the five main
sections contains a variety of ways to learn letters, simple word
meanings, and sound-symbol relationships. Intended for ages 2 to 6,
Bailey's Book House holds the attention of children at each age and
provides enough variety to keep them interested in learning. My own
children are 2, 3, and 7 so I was able to get a range of "opinions"
about Bailey and his friends in the Book House. By the way, Bailey
is a big gray cat wearing glasses and a crooked baseball cap. His
friends are a menagerie of animals and insects from A to Z
(literally).

The Letter Machine uses an on-screen keyboard and computer
screen to teach the alphabet. Pressing or clicking on a letter
gives you roller-skating rhinos or pizza-eating eagles and other
animals in unlikely poses. For the older child this section can
teach early typing skills by learning the position of letters on the
standard QWERTY keyboard.

When I learned Mother Goose rhymes, the mouse always ran up the
clock, but in Read-a-Rhyme you may find him running up a block, a
rock or even a sock. In addition to putting new words to favorite
rhymes, children learn how to identify rhyming words.

Edmo & Houdini (one's a dog, the other a clown, don't ask me
which is which) demonstrate simple prepositions as children send
them in, over, or under the doghouse.

With my son's penchant for drawing and sending letters to
grandma, Kid Cards may be his favorite part of the Book House. A
child can design cards or posters with words and pictures for any
occasion to print and color.

In Make-a-Story, the child chooses the character, the mode of
travel, the location, and the activity. Each story is uniquely
theirs. You can also print and fold stories into storybooks.

With just a few minutes of instruction, my three-year old was
able to move through the program easily. Her favorite section is
the storytelling. For now she delights in putting Harley the Horse
or Dorothy the Duck into the bathtub and sending them to the island
where they can play a piano or fly a kite. As her interests change
so will the stories she creates. Her personal assessment of the
game? "I want to do that story." No doubt the other sections will
become favorites in time.

My 7 year old son already reads fairly well but even he is
learning with Bailey. The Mother Goose Read-A-Rhyme helps him
better understand rhyming words. For my two-year old twins,
Bailey's is a delight no matter what section we use. They
especially delight in the movement of the characters as they play a
fiddle, roller-skate, or pop out of the shrubbery.

For parents, there is an on-screen guide to the skills each
section teaches. It also suggests activities for parent and child
to do together to reinforce the skills taught by Bailey and friends.

On the technical side, I did have a few difficulties getting
Bailey's up and running. For one thing, the program requires almost
10 megs of disk space. It is not a small program. If you install
to a compressed drive (such as one compressed with DoubleSpace or
Stacker) be aware that you need double the required disk space in
order to install the program that is, you should have 20 megs free
before attempting to install. The program will only take up about
10 megs but needs to see 20 in order to install properly. Evidently
this is a common problem because my call to technical support only
took about half a minute after I described my problems.

The program also uses a huge amount of conventional memory (at
least 530K). I have to unload several TSRs before running Bailey's
Book House. They do not recommend running Bailey's from within
Windows. I was unable to get it to start up at all without
completely exiting Windows.

A sound device is required. I manage to run it using only my PC
speaker but the sound is not high quality. I can still hear and
understand the speech but it is halting and scratchy sounding.
Unless you have a very high-quality PC speaker I don't recommend
using it without the sound device as the spoken words are an
integral part of the learning process.

There are a few configuration options which allow you to adjust
the game for different ages including how the mouse moves and how
the keyboard in the Letter Machine is configured. If you have a 2
or 3 year old, this program is a perfect introduction to reading
that will grow with them. If like me, you have several children
under 6, Bailey's is one program that can meet the needs of all of
them.

Edmark Corporation
PO Box 3218
Redmond, WA 98073-3218
(206) 556-8484
Suggested Retail: $49.95

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Do You Have Any Dinosaurs Laying Around? |
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5.42
-=-=

PLAYBALL!
by Louis Turbeville

If you, or a youngster you know needs to learn more about
America's Favorite Pastime, this is a program to look at. In
typical MicroBase fashion this program is easy to use and full of
useful information. For those of you with doubts about the depth of
knowledge a computer programmer has concerning baseball, have no
fear. MicroBase used Alan Bannister as their expert technical
advisor. With his extensive professional career as a player and a
coach, rest assured the information is accurate and designed for
practical use.

When I originally got this program, I used it from the viewpoint
of a player and fan who wanted to learn more about the game. I
learned many new intricacies of the game that I had never thought of
before. This program gives you a lot of insight into what players,
coaches and umpires must contend with to be prepared for a game.

However, to my surprise, and pleasure, much of the information
presented can also be very useful to the beginning coach, and may
possibly be of use to the experienced coach as well. I volunteered
as a coach this past season at the local Youth Center and this
program is a beginning coach's delight. It was a reference tool I
turned to many times during our season. I think it made me a better
coach and a bit more understanding of all aspects of the game.

PlayBall! has information on each position on the field and
what skills that player needs and what drills best prepare a player
for that position. There is also offensive and defensive
information on all of the different plays that are normally called,
from how to play a fly ball to what to do when defending a bunt.
Much of the information is easy to read and understand. This
program does not have any audio or video to further explain game
situations, but that is the only shortcoming I can find with this
excellent, user friendly program.

I'm sure I could have found as much useful information in a
book, but it gives me one more reason to justify the computer with
my wife and includes a very fun game. The Baseball Trivia game is
designed to test your knowledge of baseball trivia and rules. The
baseball trivia game will keep youngsters and "youngsters at heart"
entertained and challenged for many hours, while subtly increasing
their knowledge and understanding of the game. This game is
designed for one or two players, so you can challenge your buddy to
a game of wits. Choosing the question difficulty determines whether
it is a single, double, triple or a homer. If the question is
answered correctly, you get a hit; answer it wrong and you are out.

If you desire to learn more about baseball or want to give your
little leaguer a slight advantage and confidence in knowing more
about the game, then this program is worth a serious look.

MicroBase Publishing, Inc.
923 South McClintock Dr.
Suite #402
Tempe, Arizona 85282
(602)897-7800
List Price: $59.95

5.43
-=-=

Wayzata World Factbook
1993 edition - CD-ROM
by Louis Turbeville

Here is a program that offers a mountain of information that can
be very useful to a traveler or a student doing a paper on a
particular country or world region. The Factbook contains maps,
pictures and a lot of textual information on every country.

Much of the data in this program was collected by either the
State Department or the Central Intelligence Agency and put together
in a very concise and easy to find manner. There is statistical
data for every country in the World, with traveler advisories
concerning terrorist activity and civil violence. For students who
need research information on a certain country or terrorist group,
this is the one place to find it.

While the information contained in the Factbook is very
detailed, the Windows interface program needs to be improved. While
testing this program, I stumbled across a couple of shortcomings
that can be annoying if you are not prepared for them. In the Photo
Gallery Tour there are several photos that do not display when you
choose the photo heading. You get a message saying "Number does not
exist." This means the program is trying to display a photo using
the wrong filename. There was also a time when I tried to read a
text file on country comparisons and I got a Windows dialog box
saying the file was read-only. This message by itself is not bad,
however when you click the OK button, you do not exit the dialog
box. Windows will not allow you to exit to DOS if a dialog box is
open, so you must reboot the system or turn it off with Windows
still running, which is not recommended. When working with this
program, be sure to save the data in other open sessions just to be
safe.

There are a couple of nice touches with this program that you
don't often see in CD-ROM software. First, it requires NO hard disk
space. It keeps all of its data on the CD-ROM, where it belongs.
It also includes a DOS based interface, which will display all the
text and photos. The DOS interface is not as easy to use as the
Windows interface, but it offers a little more stability than its
Windows counterpart..

As the program's cover jacket specifies, this program contains
"mountains of information," and it could be very useful to a student
or world traveler. If Wayzata World Factbook sounds appealing, you
should see about getting the 1994 version when it is available, the
minor bugs in this version should be fixed by then.

Wayzata Technology, Inc.
P.O. Box 807
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
(800) 377-7321
Retail Price: $39.00

5.44
-=-=

Green Explorer
by Louis Turbeville

If there is something you wanted to know about recycling, but
were afraid to ask, then this is a program you definitely want to
check out. This program will teach you most of what you will need
to know about recycling and what you can do to help preserve our
environment.

There is no fancy video or stunning audio, but this program is
loaded with useful information that can be found and read in a easy
manner. The information is concise, yet accurate and informative.

There are two sections of this program in which everyone will
find some useful information. The first area is the house tour. In
this section, you are given a display of a house with which you can
travel from room to room. In each room there is some information on
how you can make that room a little more environmentally sound.
Every room in the house is covered, from the kitchen to the bathroom
to the home office. You will learn what components of your house
are not very "green" and what you can do to improve the situation.

The second area of interest is called the Projects section. In
this section there are numerous projects that will educate you while
making the environment safer. All of these projects can be done
around the home, and a couple of these projects would be a great
group or classroom project. There is a project here for everyone
above the age of six. The projects in this section are just a few
of the many great ideas for environmental protection that you will
find throughout the program.

The other areas of the program include:

* a Multiple Choice Quiz Section, with which to test your "green"
knowledge.

* a History Overview Section, to give you some background
information on why recycling is important and some of the major
developments concerning recycling and the green way of thinking.

* an Address Base Section that provides contact information on
various companies and groups that are involved in the recycling
movement, from companies that used recycled products in the
manufacturing stages to publications that cover environmental
issues.

* an Index to quickly find vital information you may need.

If you are interested in learning about recycling and ways you
can make a difference, then this program is a must see. MicroBase
has a reputation for making its products easy to use and loaded with
information. This program will not disappoint you.

MicroBase Publishing, Inc.
923 South McClintock Dr.
Suite #402
Tempe, Arizona 85282
(602)897-7800/(800)897-3637
List Price: $59.95

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Tired of Getting Locked out of the Castle? |
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| and the latest files! We even have a free access level! Call Today! |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

5.45
-=-=

Kid's Zoo
by Louis Turbeville

This is a program that every kid is sure to love. Kid's Zoo is
designed to entertain and educate children about wildlife. How this
differs from most other animal education programs is that it does
not cover facts about adult animals, but rather their offspring.
Most children will be thrilled to learn about "kid" animals because
they can relate to them. It also helps that the voices that narrate
you through the many options are kid voices.

The first thing that will grab your child's attention are the
film clips of baby animals. Once they have seen all of the video
clips and are ready to explore the rest of the program, they will be
educated for hours. By going to the different sections of the
program, your child will learn the names of different wildlife
offspring, what sounds they make and what they do. A nice touch for
displaying text is through the use of "thought windows." This seems
much more appealing to youngsters than the use of a dialog box at
the bottom of the screen.

Here are a couple of words of caution if you intend to purchase
this program. This program can eat up a lot of hard disk space,
regardless of whether you get the CD-ROM or the diskette version.
When I installed the CD-ROM version, I chose the minimum
installation option and it still took up 1.6 MB of space; full
installation is around 8MB. The installation program will also let
you setup the program in Windows. However, since this program is
designed to run in DOS you may get warning messages about not enough
conventional memory available to play all of the audio. I got this
warning message each time I loaded the program through Windows, but
I could still get most of the sound effects correctly. However, the
safest bet would be to just run it from DOS and skip the Windows
setup step during installation.

Kid's Zoo is my three year old son's favorite computer program.
Before we got this program, my son loved San Diego Zoo's Animals
program but now he hardly asks to use it. If my son's enchantment
is an indication, then your kids will be sure to love this program
as well. Its a real winner.

Knowledge Adventure, Inc.
4502 Dyer Street
La Crescenta, CA 91214
(800)542-4240
List Price: $34.95

5.46
-=-=

Learn to Read in Wordland
by Wayne Macleod

Learn to Read in Wordland is designed for children aged 4 to 8
and includes activities geared towards increasing your child's
vocabulary and word recognition skills while having fun. It offers
digitized speech through your SoundBlaster compatible sound card or
PC speaker.

Installation is simple and painless. A neat feature of the
process is that it installs a menu system on your HD that can be
used to start Wordland or several other children's programs
available from the same company. The menu also offers an option to
uninstall the software. The menu is a convenient and safe way for
children to start the program on their own, but is not required and
can be deleted. The program is a DOS program, but comes with an
included PIF file and icon for use under MS Windows. Wordland runs
equally well from DOS or Windows. If you do not have a SoundBlaster
compatible sound card, you will need to run Windows in Standard mode
in order to hear the digitized speech of the program through your PC
speaker. The installation occupies just under 1 MB of disk space.

Loading Wordland takes you to the opening screen with
instructions on how to get help or start the program. Once past
the opening, you are presented with three choices, the
"Exploration" activity, the games area, or a detailed help system
with an excellent explanation of using both your mouse and the
keyboard to navigate the activities. Navigation via mouse is
simplest, but it is possible to use only the keyboard. A joystick
is not supported.

The "Exploration" activity consists of a typical barnyard scene
with animals, equipment and buildings you would expect to encounter
on a farm. Moving the cursor to one of the included pictures and
clicking will result in a visual display of the object's name, an
appropriate sound and an animated sequence. The cow moos and shakes
its head, a tractor roars and has smoke come out of its stack. The
sequences are very well done. This area also includes the option to
view the same scene in a winter setting, with different animals and
equipment more appropriate to the season. All screens also have a
button that offers very nice on-line help with an explanation of the
purpose of the activity as well as how to complete it. Within this
activity is a secondary activity. Clicking on the door to the house
takes you inside the house where you can explore and identify many
household furnishings . There are several rooms that can be visited
by using the doors in the picture to move about. Again, a change to
the Winter changes those items found in the house to things more
appropriate to the season, for example, ice cream becomes hot soup
and so forth. The purpose of this area is to give the child a
chance to associate the correct written word for many familiar and
some new objects that they will encounter in the games section. It
does this very well.

The games section consists of four games, Word lottery, Paint a
Word, Words in Space and Candy Factory. Each of these sections has
from two to six levels of difficulty you can select depending upon
your child's age and capabilities.

Word Lottery presents the child with three pictures and rotating
words he must move to the correct picture. Completing each section
provides a reward of a short animated sequence. At the top level,
the picture disappears after a short time and tests the child's
ability to not only match the word to the picture, but to remember
which picture was in what position.

Paint a Word brings up a scene such as a typical kitchen with
varying numbers of items blacked out. The object is to move the
correct word to the matching blacked out picture with success
yielding the picture being filled in, the name "spoken," and an
animation of the object.

Words in Space provides a picture of a single object and four
words to choose from. A correct selection earns a gold ball, and an
incorrect selection loses one. The child must earn 22 gold balls to
win the game and be rewarded with another cute animation. This
presents one of the few negatives I found with this game. The
number of correct selections, 22, required to finish a round is too
high to maintain many children's' enthusiasm. At higher levels this
game becomes more difficult in that the word choices move around the
screen if you wait too long to select them.

Candy Factory offers a picture and three possible words, but in
this game the words are numbered and the child must press the
correct number on the keyboard to answer. Each correct answer is
rewarded with a piece of candy on a conveyor belt. Ten correct
answers causes the belt to start operation and fills a box with the
candy that is then wrapped by an animated figure. In the upper
levels of this game, the program will answer before the child if
they are not quick enough.

Overall, I found this to be an excellent program for the
specified age range. It is fun and it is educational. The graphics
are acceptable and the digitized speech is good even through the PC
speaker. The animation sequences are top rate and enjoyable. But,
the major test of any children's program is...what does a child
think of it? To this end, I turned loose, my 5 year old Wyatt, to
put it through "the drill." He is capable of using a mouse and had
little difficulty maneuvering about the different sections of the
program. I found that a short explanation of how to play each
section was all that was required, a tribute to the programs
simplicity and well-planned layout. He played for a couple of hours
before getting bored and was back at it less than an hour later. It
is unusual for a game to hold his attention this long or lure him
back so quickly. As a parent I highly recommend this game, and as a
child, Wyatt states, "I like this the best!"

Optimum Resource, Inc.
5 Hitech Lane
Hilton Head, SC 29926
(800) 327-1473

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5.5
-=-

Communications Software

5.51
-=-=

CloseUp 6.0
by Don Pellegrino

"Close Up" is a remote communications package for connecting to,
and totally controlling, another PC by way of modem. It is not a
normal terminal program in the style of QModem, ProComm, Telix, or
CrossTalk which only lets you access the menus of a BBS, CompuServe,
or Delphi system. "Close Up", rather, will connect only to another
system that is also running "Close Up" and let you access that
system as if you were sitting in front of it.

"Close Up" consists of two main types of applications called the
"host" and the "remote." The host system is the one that is being
controlled, the remote is the one controlling it.

Installation: Excellent Time Required: 4 minutes
If only all programs could install with such simplicity,
incompatibility would be a thing of the past. The only slightly
technical question is one which asks for the brand of modem you are
using. All other aspects of the installation are covered by a very
advanced auto detect program. There was only one disk and the
program sits on just 1.5 MB of hard drive space.

Documentation/Customer Support: Above Average
The User's Guide is easy to read and has a very large index
which makes it not only a good tutorial but also a useful reference.
During my call to Norton-Lambert's technical support line, I spent
only 1 minute on hold and my questions were answered quickly and
accurately. Norton-Lambert also offers support via CompuServe at
"GO CLOSEUP." A BBS service is not offered although you are given a
free introductory membership to CompuServe. The only downfall to
this is that the Trouble Shooting section of the User's Guide is
very brief.

Terminal Program: Mediocre
The terminal program left a lot to be desired. It has only text
and XModem file transfer ability and doesn't even contain ANSI
support. It would be more efficient for the user to use any other
terminal program out there.

Host and Remote Programs: Average
The host and remote systems are very plain. They are easy to
understand and straightforward. All graphics are converted to 16
color by the host program, a strategy which lowers quality for the
sake of speed. At 14400 baud, DOS text and standard Windows came
through swiftly with the 16 color graphics at a reasonable rate.

File Manager: Average
Again, it seems that distinctive features were abandoned,
replaced by straightforwardness and ease of use. I attained an
average cps of about 1500 at 14400 baud, which is only 100 cps below
that of a normal communication.

Reliability: Below Average
There were some problems with my Windows video driver when
running host, and a few of my TSR programs also had a conflict. It
took me a while to get my voice to data capability working, and the
remote half of some of my connections offered some complex problems.
The preset configuration for my Viva 14.4/i didn't work correctly.

Synopsis: A simple, little remote control program.
"Close Up" is a bit buggy, but once you get it started you will
be able to access the host just as you would expect. The drop down

menus are very easy to understand and you won't have any trouble
learning the functions. You may be able to get a more advanced
remote control program, but nothing is as simple as "Close Up."

Norton-Lambert Corporation
Post Office Box 4085
Santa Barbara, CA. 93140 U.S.A.
Phone: (805) 964-6767
Fax: (805) 683-5679
Suggested List Price: $199.00

5.52
-=-=

Delrina Communications Suite
by Jacci Howard Bear

Delrina Communications Suite packs two powerful punches. It
combines WinFax PRO 4.0, the newest version of Delrina's popular fax
software, with a powerful but extremely friendly communications
package, WinComm PRO. Both programs have enough layers and features
to satisfy a wide range of needs, yet each is easy to use right out
of the box.

When you first install Delrina Communications Suite you may well
feel like a kid in a candy store. Upon initial installation I found
myself slightly overwhelmed by all the "sweets" of the two programs
combined. Each installs easily, and I was faxing and modeming
almost immediately. However, so intriguing are the multitude of
buttons, icons, and personalization features, that it is easy to
become confused. After the initial "new toy fever" subsides, each
program is easier to explore.

Like many people I usually forego the manuals in favor of
self-exploration. Yet to get the full benefit of the programs I
highly recommend checking out the manuals, especially the WinFax
tutorial. It is easy to read and follow. It also makes learning
and using the program a breeze.

WinFax PRO 4.0
Most of my exposure to fax software is with Delrina products for
both Windows and DOS. Delrina continues to impress with the release
of WinFax PRO 4.0. Even on my slow 386SX, WinFax performs
admirably.

Creating and sending faxes are just a matter of clicking a few
buttons and filling in some blanks. In addition to creating cover
pages and sending from WinFax, you can also send from within any
Windows program by choosing WinFax as your printer. Depending on
your hardware/software configuration, you can also use features such
as Fax-a-File and Remote Retrieval. Fax-a-File allows you to send
and receive data files in binary format rather than as fax images.
With Remote Retrieval, you can call your computer from a remote
location to retrieve received faxes.

If using a network and Microsoft Mail or Lotus cc:Mail, your
e-mail is available from within WinFax for one-stop communications.
With a TWAIN-compliant scanner, you have scan and fax capability
from within one program.

Most impressive to me is the tracking and storage features of
outgoing and incoming faxes and the phonebooks. You manage faxes
much as you structure your DOS directories, filing by project,
company, or whatever method suits you. Using keywords, billing
codes, and filters, you can find any fax in short order. Phonebooks
are created in a similar fashion. Entries are placed in multiple
phonebooks, and again, keywords, billing codes, and filters are used
to increase the flexibility of the system.

Other notable features include annotation which adds notes to
faxes, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) that allows you to turn
fax images into editable text files, and a seemingly endless array
of cover pages. Because I am seldom happy with "pre-fab" forms, I
find the flexibility of the Cover Page Designer especially
delightful. It has powerful text and graphics features comparable
to some stand-alone drawing programs. I created a custom cover page
in just minutes.

Even though WinFax PRO is attractive and functional in its
freshly installed state, sooner or later you will find yourself
wanting to rearrange and customize. By tiling or cascading multiple
windows, adding and deleting icons, and experimenting with graphical
and text views, you will find the perfect setup.

WinComm PRO
While my experience with fax software is chiefly with Delrina
products, I have used a variety of communications programs. WinComm
PRO easily beats other Windows communication packages. WinComm is
by far the most customizable program I've used. Commands are
accessible from pull-down menus, the tool bar, icons, and keyboard
shortcuts and macros. Powerful script and programming language
provides further options for automating the program.

If you love icons and buttons, you'll love the icon view of the
phonebook and the customizable tool bar. Those who are more
comfortable with text rather than pretty pictures can have it their
way too. Several text-only views of the phonebook plus a text-only
tool bar option are available.

It's easy to become absorbed in changing and rearranging icons
and pushing buttons in search of the perfect look and feel.
Fortunately, WinComm works easily right out of the box the custom
features simply make it more appealing to a wide range of users.

Once I got past how the program "looks" I was equally impressed
with how it works. The box says "Click and Connect" and it really
is as simple as that. Once on-line, WinComm makes composing and
sending messages and uploading and downloading files a snap. One of
the handiest features is the Scratch Pad. It allows you to compose
and edit messages off-line and then upload the text easily all from
within WinComm. The automation features make on-line sessions
faster and easier too. Without even cracking the manual I
constructed a simple script to logon to my own BBS, capture all my
personal mail, and logoff. I look forward to experimenting with
more complicated tasks.

The optional Host mode lets you turn your computer into a
mini-BBS. Users can logon and transfer files without your
assistance. Running in Host mode can be useful if you need to
access your own files from a remote location. Security features
allow callers to access only the areas you designate.

Other features not found in some popular Windows communications
programs include split-screen session windows, drag-and-drop file
transfer, and virus detection during download. Coming from Delrina,
I expect WinComm to be a good program. It's also loads of fun!

Technical Details
The programs install individually, or you can use the Master
Install program to oversee the installation of both packages. A
full installation of both programs can take up as much as 14MB of
hard disk space. Custom installation allows you to omit certain
options such as OCR or cover pages in WinFax or Host Mode files in
WinComm. Just as both options have a variety of configuration
options, there are a variety of ways to contact Delrina for
technical support. They maintain a forum on CompuServe, their own
BBS, a Fax InfoLine, Fax Support, and Telephone Support.

The Suite
Integration between Windows programs is something I tend to
expect. Both WinFax and WinComm work well with other Windows
programs and with each other. Although drag-and-drop is not new, I
never took full advantage of it until trying out these programs.
You can drag-and-drop files from File Manager for faxing and for
uploading quickly and smoothly. WinFax and WinComm also peacefully
co-exist on the same com port. While WinFax runs in the background,
I can call up WinComm for a little BBS cruising, and then when I'm
done, WinFax takes over again waiting for faxes. No more shutting
one program down to start up another.

Delrina Communications Suite has two things going for it: WinFax
PRO 4.0 and WinComm PRO. Individually and combined, they are
powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use communications tools for
personal or business use. It's a "suite" deal.

Delrina Corporation
6830 Via Del Oro, Suite 200
San Jose, CA 95119-1353
(408) 363-2345
Suggested Retail Price: $179.00 ($129 each individually)


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+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

5.53
-=-=

Reach Out Remote Control Version 4.02
Pro Edition, Modem Version
by Don Pellegrino

"Reach Out Remote Control" is not your average communication
program. While it comes with the standard terminal application for
connection to Bulletin Board Systems - CompuServe, Delphi, and the
like, it offers much more. "Reach Out" gives the user the ability
to totally control a computer in the next room, office, or around
the world.

"Reach Out" is like a mini network between two systems that is
created by a modem connection. The first system, the one sitting in
front of you, is referred to as the "viewer" and the second system,
the one you wish was in front of you, is called the "host" system.
The viewer can transfer any file available to or from the host
system. It can run any application available on either system and
be used to demonstrate procedures on the host system to the host
user. "Reach Out" offers a very advanced security system.

Installation: Above Average Time Required: 13 minutes
The installation procedure is very simple and relatively fast.
Most of the time required was spent copying from the two floppies.
A minimal amount of technical information is required. The list of
pre-configured modems is huge. You don't have to waste time filling
in useless facts, such as the product serial number, as required by
many other software manufactures. At least 1 megabyte of disk space
is required by the program, but with mine fully installed, 5MB is
being consumed.

Documentation/Customer Support: Above Average
The User Manual is slightly repetitive and a little vague, but who
spends time reading the manual anyway? The package provides a handy
quick-start guide and the program is pretty straightforward. The
on-line help is great and specific to each and every function.
Ocean Isle has its own BBS, (407) 778-2407, and offers a technical
support fax, (407) 770-2533. CompuServe support is also supplied
via "GO OCEANISLE." The tech support phone line, (407) 770-4777, is
available 8:00 am to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday. My call to
customer support took 3 minutes of hold time but when I got through
the representative gave quick, knowledgeable answers.

Terminal Program: Below Average
"Reach Out" provides a terminal program specifically for
connecting to BBSs, CompuServe, Delphi, and the like under the
standard style of communication. It contains the bare minimum for
such an operation, is slow, and a bit buggy. My system is running a
14400 baud modem and I usually get about 1660 average cps
(characters-per-second). With RchTerm I only got about 1550 average
cps. The Windows version of RchTerm does not minimize during a
background file transfer. RchTerm Zmodem has had problems handling
errors and hung-up or locked-up during file transfers. RchTerm does
not contain any host program for a normal connection, and although
it has a script language, there is no learn utility as in Telix,
ProComm, CrossTalk, QModem, and various others.

Host and Viewer Programs: Above Average
The host and viewer systems which are the mainstay of "Reach
Out" are excellent. At 14400 bps the DOS text mode programs operate
at full speed. It's just like being there. The Windows programs
also run at an swift rate, as long as they don't contain complex
graphics such as wallpaper or detailed animation. Word Perfect,
File Manager, and Program Manager all executed with the same fluency
as if they were sitting in the 486 in front of you. The initial
connection to a host system can be slowed by the display of
wallpaper and the animation of CD-ROMs are quite sluggish. However,
there is no way around that with all data moving via modem. You
won't be able to play any action games with "Reach Out" but if you
need to edit a last minute document or bring up a spreadsheet in
either Windows or DOS this program is quite adept.

File Manager: Average
The "Reach Out" file manager is a very organized and simplified
way of transferring files to and from the host system. It's worst
point is that it is slow, on a connection of 14.4k I was only able
to achieve an average cps of 1100 which is more characteristic of a
9600 baud connection. It's greatest trait is that it offers the
ability to do background transfers allowing you to chat or operate
the host from the viewer without canceling or delaying the transfer.
Drive remapping is also possible with "Reach Out." This means that
you could install a program from your a: drive to the host's d:
drive.

Reliability: Average
I experienced some graphic errors on the viewer system after a
color animation was run on the host and received a few Windows
system errors now and then. When I tried to remove the "Reach Out"
TSR from the Windows DOS Shell, Windows crashed and I was left
permanently at the prompt. Despite that, the majority of operations
went smoothly.

Synopsis: It will get the job done with ease. Beyond that...?
"Reach Out" is very easy to learn and understand, yet it offers
many extra functions such as multilevel security and drive
remapping. It doesn't do anything extraordinary with graphic
programs or file transfer speed but it does do a great job with DOS
text and standard Windows.

Ocean Isle Software
1201 19th Place
Vero Beach, FL 32960
Phone: (407) 770-4777
Fax: (407) 770-4779
Suggested List Price: $199.00
Network Version List Price: $295.00


5.6
-=-
Graphics Software

5.61
-=-=

Collage Complete
by Nathan Kay

My first impression of Collage Complete for Windows and DOS was
formed long before I ever thought about reviewing this top-notch
product by Inner Media, Inc. My first impression was formed while
reading The Mother of All Windows Books, an excellent guide to the
universe of Windows. As a side comment, the authors mentioned that
their screen shots were taken with Collage Complete. Since then,
it's been in the back of my mind, so I was overjoyed when I received
a copy to review.

The first thing I noticed upon opening the package were the two
versions, one for DOS, the other for Windows. My simple review had
just turned complex. While this gave me a few moments of unease as
I thought of the extra work, I've found in working with the two
versions that they complement each other well, and having both the
DOS and Windows versions adds extra value to the package.

I'll start by talking about the Windows version, as that's the
part I worked with first. The Windows install program, like most
install programs for newer pieces of software, is easy to use and
simple enough that just about anyone could get through it without
much trouble. From the beginning, my impressions were all positive.

The Windows software consists of a capture program and an image
manager, which work separately from each other. The image manager
is provided to view, catalog and perform basic manipulation of
images, while the capture program exists to take screen shots in the
Windows environment.

The capture program runs like any other application, and offers
many options. When I ran it, I was presented with the main capture
program, which allowed me to set capture options, and to capture to
preview, or to capture to file. In taking several screen shots, I
found that each has its time and place. For taking several screen
shots in rapid succession, capture to file is unquestionably the
method to use. When taking a single shot, the capture to preview
option allows for better control of the end result. Of course, from
the preview window, it's easy to save the preview to a file. When I
wanted to capture a screen, I found it easiest to minimize the
capture program, then arrange the screen the way I wanted it. From
there, all I had to do was press the correct hot-key combination,
and wait a few moments. In a few seconds, I either had the screen
captured to the preview window or to a file. A wide range of file
types and color depths are allowed, including black and white,
gray-scale and all depths of color.

The image manager is designed for easy access to basic image
manipulation tools. It's not an image editor, and doesn't have
flashy features. It's practical, easy to use, and flexible. It can
scan in graphics from any TWAIN compatible scanner, and decode many
different file types. Images may be cropped, cleaned up, combined
and re-saved. I found it easy to perform such functions as adding
text, lines, borders and other objects. I had no problems changing
color depth, or altering image size.

One of the great strengths of the image manager is a feature
called collage. Using collage, I created libraries of my various
graphics files, and was able to use collage to view them by their
filenames, a description that I entered for them, or by a thumbnail
sketch that is essentially a small version of the graphic in
question. Without a doubt, I found collage to be one of the most
useful functions I've found in a image manipulation program.

When I installed Collage for DOS, I had to spend quite a bit
more time reading the operations manual than I did with the Windows
software. Where the Windows software had obvious features, and
obvious ways of doing tasks, the DOS software wasn't quite so
obvious in it's uses. However, a few minutes reading the well
written manual solved that problem.

The primary component in Collage for DOS is the TSR. Because
the full TSR takes a sizable amount of memory, Collage for DOS
provides three TSR's: SNAP, SAVE and VIEW. SNAP is the largest of
these, and does the work of both SAVE and VIEW. SAVE is the second
largest, considerably smaller than SNAP. SAVE's only use is to take
a picture of the current screen in either PCX color, or TIFF
gray-scale. Despite seeming a little simple, SAVE does it's job
very well. VIEW exists to allow the user to view a PCX or TIFF
picture from within any other program. SHOW is a non-TSR program
that views PCX and TIFF images, allowing zooming and normal viewing,
but nothing else.

The main weakness of the DOS software is that there is no real
equivalent of the Image Manager. The VIEW and SHOW utilities are
only for viewing. Neither has the manipulation abilities of the
image manager.

Working with Collage, I found that the minimum configuration I
would recommend using would be a computer with a least four
megabytes of RAM, a VGA card capable of displaying at least 256
colors, and a 386-25 CPU. A less powerful CPU would still work, but
the speed of graphics manipulation would be slower than I'd want to
work with on a regular basis. For hard disk space, I found that I
only needed a megabyte or two for the programs, and another five
megabytes for storing graphics images.

Simple yet powerful is my basic description of Collage Complete.
It's managed to do close to everything I've asked of it, often
without requiring me to read the on-line help or manual.

Inner Media, Inc.
60 Plain Road
Hollis, NH 03049 USA
(800) 962-2949 (Voice)
(603) 465-7195 (Fax)
Suggested Retail Price $199


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5.62
-=-=

Halo Desktop Imager
by Nathan Kay

A few weeks ago, when I was first told that I was going to be
reviewing the Halo Desktop Imager by Media Cybernetics, my reaction
was fairly apathetic. To my mind, it was just another image editing
product, bug-filled and hard to use, like so many other image
editors I've used. However, I was pleasantly surprised by what I
got. I found the Desktop Imager to be a stable and useable product,
well worth looking into if you're in need of a high-powered graphics
imager, or are willing to shell out a little extra money for a high
quality viewer.

Upon receiving the evaluation copy, I found the install program
to be professional and easy to use, making installing the Desktop
Imager a simple task. When I first started the program, I found
myself at a simple screen (Shot #1). From here, I could access the
entire program. As I started working, calling up graphics I've
stored on my hard drive, I noticed that the imager loader worked
quickly, finding and loading the graphics easily. From the main
screen, I could visually access the more basic features, such as
brightness and contrast controls, as well as zooming. As these are
the functions I use the most often, having them right there in a
simple point-and-click configuration was very useful.

The other functions could all be accessed via the menu bar. As
with most programs, I found that sometimes the item I was looking
for wasn't on the menu I was excepting it to be on. However, with
only a little bit of searching, I could find what I wanted and
usually remember where it was the next time I needed it.

Unfortunately, while the program is for the most part a very
stable product, it does have its own problem with errors. For
instance, when I choose to open a file, but accidentally selected
.GIF as the file type, if I opened any other file type, instead of
returning an error message, the program would cause a general
protection fault. This isn't a great problem, but that same lack of
error handling ability is a common theme throughout the program.
It's stable, and mostly bug-free, but if something goes wrong, it
tends to display a standard Windows error message, then terminate
itself. Again as the program is generally very stable, I don't rank
this as being a major problem.

I found an interesting array of abilities packed into this
product. Among them is a very useable screen capture utility, which
I'll talk more about later, a database system called Gallery,
support for multiple file formats (though not as many as I'd like),
a high quality printing system, an OLE server, and importantly,
retouching tools.

The retouching tools were a source of great interest for me. In
this regard, the Desktop Imager goes far beyond a mere imager
program, into the realms of full image editing abilities, and, if
you're good enough at 'free-hand' drawing with a mouse, provides the
tools for creating your own graphics. Personally, I'm not very good
at drawing using a mouse, so I didn't get too much into that
function of the retouch tools. However, the few times I tried
retouching a picture, the few failures I ran into were my fault, and
not the program's! It's an added touch to this product that, to me,
pushes it out into the forefront of its class.

The Gallery database system was also a source of interest. I
was able to easily use Gallery to collect my graphics files into
sets, which could be viewed by filenames, descriptions, and even
"thumbnail" sketches, which are small representations of the full
image. The thumbnail sketches are well done, and while not as good
as the real picture, allowed me to visually identify each image in
the Gallery.

I mentioned earlier the screen capture utility, of which I want
to make special mention. While the screen capture utility included
in the Desktop Imager isn't quite the quality of a dedicated screen
capture utility, it does the job very nicely. It allows you to set
a countdown, giving you a certain amount of time between activation
and the time the screen shot is taken to make sure everything is the
way you want it. I've found this feature quite useful.

In working with the Desktop Imager for roughly a week, I've
developed a fair understanding of the basic software and hardware
configuration that's needed for it to run well. First, I noticed
that a graphics card that can display 256 colors or more is
essential. While the Desktop Imager will work with a mere 16
colors, a lot of the richness and fullness of having 256 colors is
missing. Secondly, four megabytes of RAM will do nicely, but when
working with larger images, I often found myself wishing for extra
RAM. As is normal for Windows, the more RAM, the happier my
programs will be. Hard disk size isn't too much of a consideration,
as the Desktop Imager is only five megabytes at full installation.
Regarding the CPU, anything better than a 386-25 would be fine in
terms of speed. Older 386 systems also do well, but cause longer
waits than I'd find comfortable. Personally I would never try
running this product on a 286 computer, no matter how modified it
may be. In short, the Halo Desktop Imager is worth the price if you
need high-quality graphics imaging and editing.

Media Cybernetics, Inc.
8484 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring Maryland 20910
(301)495-3305 (Voice)
(301)495-5964 (Fax)


5.63
-=-=

ImagePals 2
by Madonna Johnson

Image Pals is a useful collection of tools that offer media
cataloging, image editing, file conversion, and screen capture in
separate modules. The program can be a very versatile tool for a
wide range of users from all aspects of computing. While reviewing
the program, I was directly looking for ways that are useful to a
desktop publisher since that's where my main interests lie. The
most appealing feature to me was the cataloging module. The imaging
editing module has a number of very interesting special effects
filters while the screen capture module can also be very useful.

The media cataloging feature in ImagePals 2 is a versatile tool
that makes cataloging files of all types a breeze. I experimented
with cataloging a wide range of clip art as well as a directory of
PageMaker 5.0 and miscellaneous other files. Since Aldus does not
include any file description features similar to Word For Windows or
Corel that allow you to write a short description for each file,
this could prove to be an invaluable tool for cataloguing files.

This was a worthwhile experiment. I was able to catalogue
easily and although the book is certainly useful for learning about
all the many tools within Album, I was able to just jump in and
start experimenting before I even picked it up.

The catalogue features the ability to input long description
lines and add seemingly unlimited keywords for each of the
thumbnails created for any graphics. In addition, each file that is
catalogued can be entered into a subject category. Search options
are very simple yet effective in finding files once they are
catalogued. Viewing the file of a thumbnail is as easy as double
clicking. The actual file can be displayed and appears much larger
than the thumbnail, but not quite a quarter of the screen size.

ImagePals 2 comes bundled with its own global viewer for many
graphic types. Some file types that are incompatible with the
global viewer are "associated" with programs in the same way that
Windows associates files. For example, double clicking on a
CorelDraw! file automatically executes Corel and brings up the
file. The same occurs when cataloging PageMaker 5.0 files. A
simple double click launches PageMaker and allows you to view or
edit that file. With programs like PM 5.0 that don't include their
own file viewer or allow you to include file descriptions with the
file name like Corel does, this will be an invaluable time saver for
unarchived backup copies of files.

The actual cataloguing of files, as always, can be a time
consuming task. Ulead Systems has taken measures to ensure that the
process is as simple as possible. For example, one test that I
tried was to work with some samples from a clip art collection. I
catalogued a directory of over a hundred images and spent only about
15 minutes from loading the images to typing in the image names.

While entering keywords, I did not ever have to take my hands
off the keyboard. All the commands flow easily. Once a keyword has
been entered once, the system will always keep it "handy" for
repeated use later. For example, a set of several images of
children with baseball related items were keyed in a matter of a few
seconds. The first image I entered a description of "a boy holding
a baseball mitt and wearing a cap." I entered keywords of BOY,
BASEBALL, MITT, and CAP and created a subject group called Sports
Children. The second image was entered with a description of "girl
holding baseball bat over her shoulder and is wearing a baseball
cap." I entered as keywords, GIRL, and the letters "Ca" and up
popped the word Cap. Next I entered the letters "Bas" and the rest
of the word Baseball appeared. The same thing occurred with other
images as I encountered repeating keywords. The descriptions are as
easy to enter as they appear above. There is enough room to enter
an entire paragraph if needed. The program is very intuitive and
saves numerous keystrokes whenever possible.

Once keywords are entered for images, a word search query can be
entered by entering keywords to find particular images. For
example, entering the word baseball and cap would bring up all
images with both words as keywords. Using "or" in the search while
using the same words would search in a completely different way.

The screen capture module in Image Pals doesn't stand out in the
crowd as far as having any specifically wonderful features. When
capturing images, one or more destinations for the capture file must
be designated before beginning. The destination can be to a file,
to a screen capture, to the clipboard, to the printer or directly
into the image editor. The capture feature allows you to choose
exactly which part of the screen display that should be captured.
You can select from the active window, or simply parts of the
screen. The convert data type group box allows you to convert
captured images to a specific data type. The resolution can be
adjusted as necessary. When viewed on screen the capture files are
extremely "bit mappy." The writing is almost illegible on screen
although once printed out the images are much easier to see. The
contrast is tricky to adjust, but with practice you learn that
changing to a monochrome display before taking screen shots allow
the files to be printed lighter.

The Image Editing Module is a distant rival to some of the more
well known power programs. The Image Editor by no means offers as
many features as similar programs, but the tools that are included
within the program allow a great variety of editing. With these
tools you could easily create, compose, change and improve any type
of image, from black & white to true color.

With this overview in mind, I would like to see the modules
available individually as well as packaged together, specifically
the Album as a front runner program. For people who don't already
own a full featured program, they may find that they could save
several hundred dollars by investing in ImagePals 2.0.

ImagePals is available for $129 at in introductory price. For
registered users of ImagePals 1.0 and 1.2, the upgrade is available
for only $49.

S&S
400 Skokie Blvd., Suite 200
Northbrook, IL 60062
(708) 291-1616

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5.64
-=-=

trueSpace
by Judy Litt

Caligari's trueSpace is not for the faint of heart. If you have
some 3D experience, it is probably fairly easy to learn. If you
know next to nothing about 3D, like me, it is much more daunting -
but you can still create neat graphics with it.

Caligari states, "If you are a graphic artist, designer or video
professional using Windows, you need Caligari trueSpace, the first
3D graphics application with a natural user interface. With
trueSpace, you can produce photorealistic images beautiful enough
for the cover of Time magazine or video animation professional
enough for the CBS Evening News. It is also easy enough for a 6
year old to use." I beg to differ with that last statement.

Almost every action you take in trueSpace is done by clicking on
an icon. There are almost no menus to wade through. Right
clicking on icons generally brings up a panel with more options.
If you run your monitor at 1024 x 768 resolution, the icons will be
in one row - otherwise they occupy at least two rows. You can
arrange the icons either at the top or bottom of the screen.
There's also a help bar on the bottom which can be turned on or
off. When the mouse cursor is over an icon and the help bar is
turned on, you will see an explanation of the icon and the keyboard
shortcut for the icon if there is one assigned. You can also
assign your own keyboard shortcuts to icons.

I haven't decided yet whether all those icons are a good thing.
They certainly clutter up the screen. Since there are so many, they
are quite small and certain ones are difficult to recognize. You
can close all open panels with a single click of the mouse - on an
icon, naturally!

The manual begins with several tutorials. Then there are
sections explaining each icon group, its functions, and its panels.
Mini-tutorials are included in the explanations. The tutorials in
the front should follow the explanations. When I tried to follow
them, I got lost - I couldn't find the particular icon I needed or I
couldn't decipher the instructions. Instructions such as "move the
mouse pointer over the front bottom center vertex of the box, at the
bottom center of the subdivided polygons" might be more
understandable if accompanied by a diagram.

I'd also like to see a discussion of some 3D basics for novices
like myself. Terms like planarity, vertex, and ray tracing are
never adequately explained. Of course, the manual is already over
300 pages long. A second manual, a primer on 3D, would be useful.

One thing you'll notice about trueSpace - it's fast. 3D
programs are notorious for taking forever to render (draw).
Caligari's trueSpace represents objects in a wireframe mode - you
see just the frame of the object. You can render one object or an
entire scene. Rendering an entire scene is still fast - but may be
longer than you want to wait. I found the best way to render scenes
was to add a new perspective. This adds a small window to the
screen - you see everything the same as you do on the desktop, only
smaller. You can change the perspective of the new window: for
instance, get a top perspective in the new window and a left
perspective from the main window. You can render the scene only in
the new perspective if you wish. Since the new perspective window
is much smaller than the main desktop, rendering it takes much less
time.

You cannot print directly from trueSpace. You must first render
the scene to a file in .BMP, .TGA, or .AVI format. Support for the
.TIF format is noticeably lacking, but is supposed to be offered in
an upcoming release. Once you've rendered to a file, you can open
the rendered file that supports that format and then print it.

Caligari's trueSpace includes a small amount of material
libraries and objects. Materials are essentially "textures" that
can be applied to objects, although some are definitely too colorful
to be a real texture. Objects are 3D clipart. A CD-ROM with
additional textures and objects is supposed to be available to
registered users (due to ship in late September). An existing .BMP
can also be imported and applied to a face of an object.

If you're already familiar with 3D, trueSpace is a good value.
It's fast. I don't find the interface quite as user friendly as
Caligari claims, but after a week I was comfortable with it. What
could you use trueSpace for? Marketing communications, animation,
training, scientific illustrations, prototyping new products, and
architectural walkthroughs and simulations.

Caligari Corporation
1955 Landings Drive
Mountain View, CA 94043
(800) 351-7620


5.65
-=-=
Type Twister
by Judy Litt

According to Aldus, Type Twister is an "easy-to-use type
enhancement program for Windows and Macintosh that turns words into
wild, colorful art." The emphasis of this program is to make easily
available to the non-artist special type effects.

Aldus certainly fulfills their mission - this program is easy to
use with virtually no learning curve involved. The manual is
roughly 30 pages, and perhaps half of that is devoted to
installation and support. You can certainly be up and running
without reading the manual.

Installation is quick and painless. There are instructions in
the manual and on the first disk. The installation screen shows you
how much space Type Twister will occupy, although not how much space
you have free on your hard drive (a minor inconvenience, since the
program only occupies approximately 2 MB hard drive space!).
Installation automatically inserts your registration number. You
also have the option, at the end, to fill in the registration form
on your screen and then print it out. If you choose to skip this
phase, as I did, there is also a registration card at the front of
the manual.

The only problem I had with the installation is the fact that
you cannot do a custom installation. Type Twister comes with twenty
fonts - you are never given a choice on whether or not you want to
install these fonts. I can only assume that the fifty pre-set
designs use these fonts.

Type Twister comes with fifty built-in designs (design buttons).
You can use these as is, or as a starting point for your own
designs. You may add another fifty custom designs. You can delete
any custom designs you have added, but you cannot delete the
built-in designs.

You can change the style, alignment, color, font, shape, and
effect of any design. Designs may also be rotated, stretched,
condensed, and sheared (skewed). The combinations are literally
endless.

There are two ways to get Type Twister designs into your
documents: the first is cutting and pasting. Where Type Twister
shines, though, is OLE. Type Twister designs can be embedded into
documents through the Insert Object command on the Edit menu of
those programs that support OLE. Once embedded, double click on the
Type Twister design to open the program and edit your design. In
fact, the only way to see your Type Twister designs is by placing
them into a document - you cannot print them from Type Twister.

What Type Twister does, it does very well. It could use some
modifications for the serious artist. You can change the colors of
the type - but only to some pre-selected colors available in Type
Twister. You cannot modify colors at all - a very large drawback
for the professional designer.

Text in Type Twister appears with a bounding box - in fact, if
you're familiar with CorelDRAW!, it looks very similar to the
bounding box found when you use the edit envelope option. It does
not function quite the same, though. There are eight handles on the
box. All eight allow you to resize the bounding box. Two handles -
the upper right and middle right - have another handle coming out of
them. The outside handle on the upper right allows you to shear or
skew the type by clicking it and dragging. The middle outside
handle allows you to rotate the type by clicking and dragging.

If the effect you choose contains more than one line, you can
manipulate the color, font, and effect of each line. You can add
lines to a one line preset design, but the entire design is still
one group. You can change the color, effect, etc., but those
changes will apply to all the lines in the group. There is no way
to change a one line design to a design that contains two lines as
distinct groups.

There are several other software packages similar to Type
Twister, including: Effects Specialist, Font-O-Matic, and
TrueEffect. Although, none of these packages offer preset designs
or OLE support.

Type Twister is easy to use and learn. It lacks some features
that a serious graphic designer needs, such as true customizable
colors and kerning. However, even though I already own several
professional drawing programs, I may very well use Type Twister when
I need a colorful type effect fast. The support for OLE 1.0 is a
big plus in my book.

Aldus Corporation
5120 Shoreham Place
San Diego, CA 92122
(714) 454-8056

ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿ ÚÄ¿ . (c) 1989-1993
³ USR HST/DS (216) 381-3320 ³ ÚÙ À¿ ³ PC-Ohio, Inc
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5.7
-=-

Utilities Software

5.71
-=-=

CD Essentials
by Madonna Johnson

CD Essentials is Windows software that is advertised as
enabling you to control a CD-ROM drive fast, easily and
automatically. The program can be used to install CD's or it can be
used to automatically launch programs or media on each CD. The
friendly interface looks like a remote control that you would have
lying around your house. The CD has an LCD-like display that shows
the different options available to you and also includes a display
of what types of files are detected on the active CD drive.

CD Essentials includes a multimedia player that resembles a
home entertainment system. The player recognizes AVI Video, MIDI,
WAV, audio, image and Kodak Photo CD files. When any of the above
mentioned files are sensed, the player automatically launches the
appropriate component to play them.

The image player builds thumbnails of any image that you add
to the playlist. You can view these images individually or create a
slideshow to view them. The video player allows you to watch
animation clips by using Microsoft Video for Windows. Creating a
playlist for viewing is much the same as with the image player. You
can view clips in a window or full screen. While experimenting with
the full screen viewer, I experienced several general protection
fault errors due to an obvious incompatibility with my video driver.
Viewing in a window created no problems. The main problem with the
video viewer is that the image of the .AVI file was sometimes
cropped off in the viewing window. Overall, I was very impressed
with the Video/.AVI player interface. It appears to look much like
a TV screen. I sampled it by setting up a playlist as a slide show.
I used some files included with the New Groliers Encyclopedia. Most
of the .AVI files were too big to be played in full screen mode and
any attempt resulted in Windows completely locking up. Many of the
animation clips that I played were animated charts that included
subtitles and brief paragraphs under or on the image. Many of these
were cropped so that parts couldn't be seen.

The controls for both viewers are very simple to use without
even reading the small manual that is provided with the program.
Choices for playing the images can be set to sequence, shuffle, loop
or single play. Each of these options plays the files exactly like
it says. Sequence displays the files as they appear in the
playlist. Shuffle will randomly choose files from the playlist and
play each one until everything in the queue has played. Loop will
continuously play images until you manually stop it, while single
simply plays one file.

The MediaRak includes an Audio player that includes a Mixer
Module, CD Module, DAT (Digital Audio Transport) Module and a MIDI
Module. You can listen to your favorite musical CDs while working
in other Windows applications. Once a CD is playing, the main power
can be shut off and you will exit the program and the CD will
continue to play using the playlist and command that you have set.
This allows memory to be freed up for other programs that you are
running. The DAT Module lets you play and record digital audio
files in .VOC or .WAV file formats. The MIDI module lets you play
MIDI files using a built-in synthesizer and/or through an external
MIDI connector. You can record song files from an external keyboard
as well. The accompanying MIDI Orchestrator allows you to modify or
edit each track in a MIDI file.

The Audio Player uses a familiar stereo interface that makes
it easy to work with sound files. You can easily play audio tracks
from your CD-ROM drive by controlling your sound card mixer
functions and by creating playlists for digital audio, MIDI and CD
audio. You have the same playback option modes as with the Video
Player.

The systems requirements according to the documentation are:
A multimedia PC that includes a 386SX or better microprocessor, a
CD-ROM drive and an audio board, VGA or SVGA display with 256
colors, minimum 4 megabytes of RAM, Microsoft Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS
3.1 or later. The minimum hard drive space needed is 4 MB.

My system is currently running in VGA mode. When the viewer
didn't show the whole screen on the .AVI files that I experimented
with, I chose the option to view in full screen. Each time I did,
my system either locked up completely or I experienced a general
protection fault. I was unable to determine whether the
incompatibility was due to my video driver or other circumstance.

Phoenix Technologies advertises to offer free technical
support, but the registration card offers an option to waive support
in lieu of receiving your choice of several of their books or other
software packages.

In my opinion CD Essentials is a very good program. I did
find it very similar in many ways to the remote control software
that comes bundled with SoundBlaster multimedia kit. Many of the
features are duplications of software that people may already have
if they purchased an entire multimedia kit. For those who bought
their hardware individually this could be the answer for them.

5.72
-=-=

Checkit-Pro
Advanced Diagnostic Software
by Wayne MacLeod

Check-It Pro ADS consists of two separate but complementary
packages, SysInfo and Test & Tools. Between the two you can
identify the individual components of your system and perform
detailed diagnostic tests of those components. It is the type of
software that many of us have on our to get list and everyone should
have. It can be as useful to the novice, as to the power user, and
the rest of us in between.

The installation program is smooth and straight forward and
makes no changes to any files on your system. Earlier versions of
the software gave the choice of installing both programs or just one
of them, this version installs both only. Both programs are started
separately and there is no real integration or info sharing. A menu
to at least give the appearance of integration would be of benefit.
Both programs are DOS programs and can be run under MS Windows, but
this is not recommended. It is also noted that there may be some
inconsistent results of testing a hard drive using disk compression
such as Stacker or DoubleSpace.

SysInfo provides information about the hardware in your
machine as well as the operating system. It also allows you to
generate and save reports about your system for future comparison,
use in upgrade decisions, determining incompatibilities or whatever
you choose. It also offers a simple mechanism of editing
information in your primary DOS and Windows files as well as a
general text editor for other files.

The system area gives you a breakdown of what you have in
your system, both graphically and in text format. It had little
difficulty identifying the correct hardware and software versions on
my system, even determining that I have a CAS modem. It did
incorrectly identify my Intel SatisFAXtion 400 modem as a US
Robotics 9600 and reported 16450 UARTs where there were 8250 UARTs,
but otherwise was flawless in this area.

The Memory section gives a breakdown on the various types of
memory installed in your system. It reports total amounts, amounts
in use, available, and even reports what programs are using what
address areas. There is also a report of TSRs currently installed
and their usage and location in memory.

The Setup section provides information such as your CMOS
data, also allowing you to edit the data in CMOS. It reports dip
switch settings if appropriate, IRQ usage and interrupt vectors. It
also gives a run down of the device drivers installed, BIOS data and
your hard drive table. This area offers several "dangerous"
features, such as editing the CMOS and examining unknown I/O
addresses. Users should use caution commensurate with their
knowledge and abilities. These areas do present warnings to the
user before allowing you to perform the actual function.

The DOS and Windows sections provide information about your
settings under those programs and allow for editing of the info in
your autoexec.bat, config.sys and major Windows initialization
files.

The Performance section allows you to run tests on your
system in general, your hard drive and your video card. There are
several comparison files provided for use in looking how your system
stacks up to some fairly generic systems. You can also record your
own results to be used as a comparison when you make changes to your
system or problems arise

The Help section provides detailed context sensitive help as
well as Tech Support info and a reference library that covers topics
from an ASCII character chart to installation tips to information on
Viruses identified by the Test & Tools software.

Test & Tools provides for extensive testing of your hardware
and tools to repair or simplify recovery from a major crash. The
test suite can be run all at once or as individual tests. There is
also a quick test provision as well as a Burn-in test and
Certification test. The "Test Everything" option runs diagnostic
tests on your memory, hard drive(s), floppy drives, system board,
serial ports, parallel ports, video, mouse and joystick. To fully
test your memory, you must remove any memory manager and reboot your
system. There is also provision for making, saving and printing
individual reports of test results. A journal is kept of all
activity during the testing that can also be saved, displayed and or
printed.

The Tools section provides options designed to prepare you
for a system crash and help recover from a disaster. It allows low
level formatting of "more hard drives than any other formatter." I
did not test this ability. Their is an included virus scanner that
provides for detection only, not cleaning of any detected virus.
This scanner is only as good as the information it has to work with
and will require supplemental updates to stay current. There is the
ability to create a rescue disk that can be used to boot your system
in case of a hard drive crash and includes those files needed to get
you going after the disaster. You can also save the drivers that
your system requires to start up to the rescue disk or to a separate
disk. You can also save a record of your CMOS settings. A rescue
disk and a copy of your CMOS settings are the minimum that anyone
should have available in case of trouble.

Overall, Check-It pro is a very nice DOS program that does
all that it claims to do and does it well. It is simple enough for
the new user, but powerful enough for the experienced user also.
One nice feature is the ability to use many of the individual
applets from Test and Tools as stand alone tests via batch files.
They can be used to create custom setup and testing situations. The
only thing I found disappointing with Check-It Pro was its
unpredictability when run under MS Windows, though there is now a
Windows specific version with enhanced features. If you don't do
Windows, this program should easily fill your needs.

TouchStone Software Corp.
2130 Main St., Suite 250
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
1-800-531-0450

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5.73
-=-=

PC-Install
by Ryan N. Yetter

I recently tried out a version of PC-Install from 20/20
Software. This utility allows someone without any prior programming
experience to write a customized installation utility while
maintaining enough functionality that even a knowledgeable user
would find it very useful.

Say you are asked by your boss to update a program on every
computer in the office. The only problem is that you also have to
edit the settings in the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT file. If you
were to do this at just ten computers it could take nearly an hour.
That's assuming that everyone needed the same files and everyone had
the program in the same directory. If this is not the case, then it
could take you four or five hours to accomplish this task. Here is
where PC-Install comes in. In about 15 minutes you can write an
installation routine which will update the CONFIG.SYS file and the
AUTOEXEC.BAT file and install the correct files to the correct
directory. If you are having the user install it, the installation
routine will also display a message telling them what the disk is
for and how to install it.

Now, let's say you are in charge of computer maintenance at
a larger company with a thousand computers at 20 locations across
the country. You need a program to perform a specific task and a
programming firm was hired at several hundred dollars an hour to
write it. You could spend the extra money on having an installation
utility written to install it, or you could write one yourself
saving the company a great deal of money. In the same fifteen
minutes used in the last example, you could write a utility to
install the program on every one of those computers at each of those
20 locations. Since most larger companies would want it to look
nice it might take 30 minutes to fully customize the colors and get
the background you want. This would still save your company a great
deal of money!

You can see that PC-Install would be useful in a variety of
scenarios especially with its many other options. You can add a
customized title to the screen in any size font that will fit. In
the DOS version you can set ten different screen sections to 8
different colors with varying brightness. In the Windows version
you can change the color of three sections of the screen to the same
16 colors in the DOS version. You can add selection screens where
the end-user can select certain options to control the installation.
Custom messages can be added into certain parts of the routine and
README files can be displayed as part of the process. It can even
edit your Windows initialization file or assign the program to a
workgroup with a certain icon. Probably the best features are that
it will check for a minimum CPU and minimum disk space requirement
so the program will not load onto a computer that doesn't meet the
criteria.

If you have a program that has files on several disks, and
you would like to cut down on the number of distribution disks that
are required, you can purchase the optional PC-Shrink utility
program. This full featured file compression program will compress
one file on one disk or several files across many disks. This will
allow you to reduce the number of disks needed for distribution and
easily incorporate the compressed files into the installation
routine. By just changing a few commands you can switch an
installation routine for uncompressed files to one for compressed
files. If you have been using PKZip or LHA to compress your
distribution disks you won't have to switch over. It can
incorporate either of these programs into the process, although

there can be some confusion to end users when using PKZip's disk
spanning ability, depending on how the installation is set up. I
would have to recommend using PC-Shrink for use with PC-Install, the
reason being that they were designed to work together.

PC-Install does lack in certain areas, however. While it
can add lines to the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files, it can't
check to see if these lines are already there. The same is true for
adding a directory to the PATH statement. While the program can
check for a minimum CPU requirement, it can't detect Pentium
processors. It can display README files, but not print them. Due
to these facts, I wouldn't say that it is the perfect program to
fill the need for an installation utility, especially with
technology changing so rapidly. The company does state that they
plan to continue upgrading every year so hopefully they will fix
these minor shortcomings by the next release. While the program may
not offer what a professional developer is looking for, I'd
recommend the program to businesses for file distribution.

20/20 Software is definitely on the rise in the computer
world through partnerships with Microrim Software, Borland, and
Microsoft; so I think their name will be heard quite a bit in the
future.

20/20 Software Inc.
8196 SW Hall Blvd.
Suite 200
Beaverton, OR 97005
(503) 520-0504
(503) 520-9118 Fax
Compuserve at 76662,3072


5.74
-=-=

SideBar 1.0 for Microsoft Windows
by Thomas Kiblin

Quarterdecks' SideBar for Windows offers an object oriented
desktop for Windows 3.10, Windows 3.11 and Windows for Workgroups
3.11 today, without the wait for Windows 4.0.

SideBar offers you the power to organize your desktop the
way you work. It allows you to place folders within folders and
also adds the capability to place folders and application icons
directly on the desktop, something Windows lacked from its
inception. [See Figure 1]

SideBar can replace your Program Manager shell and the
Windows 3.11 Task Manager, or install as an application that still
allows you to run Program Manager. If you install it as a shell
replacement, it displays a bar of icons along either side of your
screen, hence the name SideBar [See Figure 2]. Inside this bar of
icons, some familiar icons appear, such as the MS-DOS Prompt, Drive
Listings, Print Manager, as well as some new icons. Once nice
feature is the Toolbar at the top of your windows, this allows you
to enter DOS commands directly without the need to open the DOS Box.
Along the bottom of the window appears a status bar to display
system resources.

SideBar offers a Shadow feature that lets you keep a
duplication of program files, folders, application listings, data
files, or folder icons in multiple locations, without taking up
valuable disk space. It simply points to the source file instead of
keeping information with each copy. For instance you may want to
keep a customer invoice form in several folders and on the desktop.
SideBar will update all the shadows automatically if you make a
modification to any other shadow.

SideBar installs as either a shell replacement for Program
Manager or as a stand alone application. If you decide not to use
SideBar as your shell, there is a feature within SideBar called
Synchronize, this will ensure you that any changes such as new
program groups or icons you add to Program Manager will be reflected
in SideBar when it is activated. Any changes are accurately
reflected in both SideBar and Program Manager, hence is it a
bi-directional synchronization.

If you like the TrashCan in the Mac world then you will like
SideBars "Recycler Icon." This icon is a drag-and-drop object,
meaning you can pick up files, folders, directories, or drives and
simply drag and drop them on the Recycler icon and it will delete
those objects. It has a built in safety feature that can be setup
to ask for confirmation before deletion. In fact, most of the areas
within SideBar allow you to enable or disable confirmation requests
for most commands or functions.

SideBar is not any different from most other "One-Dot 0"
releases, meaning it is not without some faults. It ran fine with
Windows 3.11, but when I tried to run it with Windows for Workgroups
3.11, some errors occurred. First, if you have the Microsoft
Network services enabled your "StartUp" group will not be active
when Windows is started. Also, when you re-size a window and then
exit Windows, the next time you enter SideBar it does not remember
the last size or location of the windows you had open in a prior
session. There are some reported problems with people using
"Virtual Desktop" video drivers and such, and errors within the
SYSTEM.INI including "load=" commands. Quarterdecks technical
support people know of these problems and a maintenance patch should
be available very soon.

If you want an "Object Oriented" desktop today, without
waiting for the next release of Windows or switching to another GUI
such as OS/2, I would suggest taking a look at SideBar for Windows.
The street price is comparable to other Shareware Program Manger
replacements. Quarterdeck Office Systems can be reached at
310-392-9851 and the list price for SideBar for Windows is $59.95.

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5.75
-=-=

Windows Magic
by Carl Dolmetsch

In the constant battle to make the PC increasingly "User
Friendly" we have moved from command driven systems, to menu driven
systems, to the graphical user interface. Among the most popular
of the graphical user interfaces is Windows. Windows is not only
easy to use, but is also a wonderful solution for performing more
than one task at a time. However, Windows still requires a set of
steps to move from one application to another. That's where
Windows Magic from WinWear comes in.

Windows Magic is a set of utilities that operate in the
Windows environment. They include a resource monitoring utility
(Resource-It), a disk monitoring utility (Disk-It), a print managing
utility (Print-It), an applications manager (Get-It), and an exiting
utility (Exit-It). It also comes with a large icon library. The
fundamental premise behind Windows Magic is that Windows CAN be made
easier. It does this by overlaying Windows' Program Manager with a
personally controlled set of options. These options include the
ability to minimize all of your program groups, yet still retain
maximum control over running them. You do this by moving your
favorite applications into a new group called "Favorite
Applications." A toolbar allows you to set this group as an "always
available" group. It shows up as a "Radio" button bar. Entry into
any of these programs then requires only a single button click.

Once in any Windows-based application you can move to any
other application directly without going back through the Program
Manager by using the "Get-It" option. This option is displayed as a
grasping hand that is always visible in Windows applications. Other
utilities include the ability to monitor the status of your
computer's resources. This monitor is modifiable and has the
capability of sending an alarm if your computer has exceeded any of
the thresholds you set. It also has a continuously available print
capability.

Installation is through a standardized setup routine run
from Windows. Once the files are installed, Windows Magic allows
you the option of replacing all of your group icons with custom
icons. It even provides you with a selection of 3800 icons to
choose from! A pull down menu from the Windows Program Manager then
allows you to customize the look and feel of your desktop.

From reading the above, one might easily think that Windows
Magic is the be-all to end-all Windows navigation and management
solution. Not necessarily. It does take some getting used to,
however. I found that it added a needless layer of complexity to an
already simple system. Because it sits on top of Windows, it takes
longer to fully load the system than Windows alone. For those who
manage their own displays, the results from Windows Magic take some
getting used to (reorganization of groups and icons). Also, because
Windows Magic overrides your Program Manager, certain Windows
functionality is lost. I found it very disconcerting that Windows
Screen-Saver does not work when Resource-It is turned on. Also, if
you have more than one printer connected such as a Fax-Modem,
changing from the default to secondary printers leads to changes in
the Print-It setup which then carry through to your next session.
At one time I received a "driver not found" message when I tried to
change printers. This was a message that I have never received
before and have to conclude that it was initiated by Windows Magic.
The on-line help for Windows Magic doesn't offer the extensive help
found in other Program Manager replacements. For some of the more
complex changes you'll need to refer to the User Manual.

WinWear
14150 NE 20th St., Suite 346
Bellevue, WA, 98007
(206) 635-0856

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6.0
-=-

News from the Gaming World


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: George Broussard
CIS: 71321,2743
America Online: Apogee1
Internet: [email protected]

Announcing 3D Realms Entertainment

New Apogee division dedicated to development of 3D games

Garland, TX -- August 27, 1994 -- 3D Realms Entertainment, a new
division of Apogee Software, Ltd., is focused exclusively on
creating the best 3D games for the PC. "By just focusing on 3D
games," says George Broussard, head of 3D Realms, "we'll be able
push the technology as far as it can possibly go on the PC, thus
providing our customers with the best 3D play experiences
achievable."

Currently, 3D Realms has four exciting, next-generation 3D games
under development. States Broussard, "3D games are an exploding
market, and it's not going to diminish any time soon. We see 3D
games as the future of gaming since they best represent how we live
in life--we don't live in a 2D world, we live in a 3D reality. It's
about time a company commits to specializing in this hot market,
without being distracted by other game styles."

3D Realms is committed to releasing innovative, cutting-edge 3D
games that totally plunge players into a realistic environment, be
it a hostile action game, a simulation, a sports game or an
adventure/exploration game. Most games rarely live up to their
hype. We believe the features and inventiveness of our games will
speak for themselves.

"Our current 3D development 'engine', Build, is tailor built for
fast action and realistic gameplay, plus it pushes the envelope of
3D gaming technology further than we've seen it," states Broussard.
"It's natural to compare it to Id Software's superb DOOM engine,
except it has many new advancements, like looking up and down,
moving transport vehicles, more realistic lighting, translucent
images, rooms above rooms, spiral staircases, and other more
technical improvements. The game characters can also jump, duck,
crawl, climb ladders, fly, or anything else you can imagine."

All of the games support modem play as well as IPX network play.

Here's a brief description of the current 3D Realms games in
development:

RUINS: RETURN OF THE GODS As an enterprising archaeologist, you have
dug up more than you can handle! You've just discovered an alien
mothership buried deep beneath a recent Egyptian excavation. This
vessel belongs to not-so-friendly aliens who built the ancient
pyramids in order to produce a mind-controlling energy field over
the Earth. After a millennium, the aliens have returned to finish
their dark work by enslaving the people of the world. Only you know
their sinister plot! Battle the Anubis and other Egyptian
mythological monsters, along with awesome alien enemies, as you
solve puzzles and escape traps in your quest to annihilate the alien
invaders.

SHADOW WARRIOR As a highly trained Ninja warrior, you're on a
mission to stop a powerful and evil mystical spirit that has been
released after a thousand years' imprisonment under Mt. Fuji.
You'll cast magical energies and use an array of weapons, including
throwing stars and a crossbow, as you battle a combative cult of
obsessed assassins and murderers. Controlled by the returning
spirit, this hostile horde seeks to overthrow first Japan, and then
the world. Only you have the power to give them the final
"Sayonara, baby!" Overcome trained martial arts opponents, elude
traps, defeat magical enemies, and conquer the supernatural as you
set out to save mankind in this action-packed mystical adventure.

DUKE NUKEM 3D -- The future is here and you may be the only one
fierce enough to face it! The World Government has lowered a
gigantic dome around Los Angeles, which has become a mecca for
criminals. Evil but ingenious scientists and bosses have activated
the nuclear plants and are building the mother of all bombs to
obliterate Earth in one last gesture! As the unflappable Duke
Nukem, you are assigned the job of entering the dome through a
secret passage and stopping the plan in its tracks. Done Duke's
way, this means kill first then ask questions. This non-stop
action/survival saga unfolds on a space station orbiting Earth where
you must knock out a force field surrounding the planet. With
astounding futuristic weapons, you'll enter a battleground of
phenomenal action to fry the foes before they undo the world.

BLOOD -- Welcome to the nightmare! Horror rears its many heads in
this eerie spine-tingling action adventure. Suddenly, all of the
subconscious and conscious evil in humankind's minds has spawned
macabre manifestations all over the planet. As a member of a secret
group that has been awaiting this event, you journey to the heart of
danger where the outbreaks of evil have been most reported. You
arrive at a mysterious castle, the first of several strongholds
where gruesome monsters and otherworldly creations are preparing to
do unspeakable horrors to the people of Earth. You must use every
weapon at your disposal, including a flame-thrower, to stop the
erupting evil. Without backup help available, you realize it's just
you against them!

SEE SCREEN SHOTS OF BLOOD IN THE CYBERNEWS HLP FILE EDITION!
DOWNLOAD CYBERW01.ZIP!

All four games are due out in 1995. Each one will have a shareware
version available for free through bulletin boards (i.e. Software
Creations BBS) and online services (i.e. CompuServe and America
Online). Each shareware version--approximately one third of the
full game--will advertise the complete game, which is sold directly
by 3D Realms. (The industry known "Apogee Model" shareware
marketing system.) FormGen Corporation has the worldwide exclusive
license to release each game into the retail channel at the same
time the shareware versions of each game are released by 3D Realms.

"We will continue to develop state-of-the-art 3D game engines,"
Broussard said. "Already under development is our PolyTex engine,
due to be ready in early 1995. It will let us design games that are
perfectly realistic using a true 3D environment. Imagine yourself
inside a space station without gravity and using magnetic boots to
walk on any surface at any orientation, climb ladders to rooms above
rooms and fly into space through an airlock. That's the kind of
realistic game environment that will be possible with the Polytex
engine."

3D Realms Entertainment--more than a just a new company, it's a new
outlook on game development. We are focused on creating the next
wave of realistic, engrossing gaming experiences. Games that *are*
real.

Additional notes:

3D Realms will release each game using the "Apogee Model", meaning
the first third of each game will be available freely as shareware.
The full version of each game can be ordered directly from 3D
Realms. Additionally, the version of each game will be available
through retail channels, too. FormGen Corporation (publisher of
SPEAR OF DESTINY) will handle the retail distribution of all four 3D
Realms titles.

The inhouse level editor and development tools will be made
available, so users can use these highly advanced tools to develop
their own levels and art.

RISE OF THE TRIAD, an Apogee release coming by November, is not
being released under the 3D Realms label.




COMING NEXT MONTH

More reviews . . .
More features . . .
More interviews . . .

Thanks for reading and be sure you mention CyberNews when patronizing our advertisers!


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  3 Responses to “Category : Various Text files
Archive   : CYBERA01.ZIP
Filename : CYBERA01.ASC

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: http://www.os2museum.com/wp/mtswslnk/