Here are summaries of some recent Computing product reviews. Each product is rated on a scale of one to four, with one computer indicating poor and four indicating excellent:
Display-Accelerator, for Apple Macintosh SE. $995. $1,195 for two-page display. From Mobius Technologies, 5835 Doyle St., Emeryville, Calif. 94608 (800) 669-0556.
The Mobius One-Page Display- Accelerator is a plug-in card for the Macintosh SE that attaches to a full-page display. Such displays are vital for desktop publishing and useful for most other computing tasks. For about what most other companies would charge you just for the display, Mobius also gives you a new processor chip that can run your programs up to six times faster.It isn't easy to install unless you're familiar and comfortable with opening up a Macintosh and playing with screwdrivers and cables, but it is easy to use. If you have an SE, it's an inexpensive way to catch up with some of what the latest Macs offer.
Performance: 4 computers
Ease of use: 3 computers
Value: 3 computers
These are reviews of shareware programs for IBM and compatible computers. Shareware programs are available from computer bulletin boards and computer clubs. Users try them, then pay a fee to register them if they decide to use them regularly.
Boxer. You can spend many hundreds of dollars on commercial word processing programs, and that's not necessarily a bad idea, given the sophistication some of them offer. But if your needs are fairly basic -- you want to write personal letters, handle business correspondence or even write the Great American Novel -- a word processor such as Boxer, which costs $35 to register, will do just fine. Boxer was developed by a software engineer as a text editor, but we found that it's very well suited to everyday word processing. It allows you to edit multiple files in separate windows, has macros, a useful help system, does search and replace, and allows you to put headers and footers on your files. We especially liked the box-drawing feature, which allowed us to construct an organizational chart of our little fiefdom in a flash. To register, write to David Hamel, Route 2-74A, Temple, N.H. 03084.
Diary. There is absolutely nothing wrong, fellow software junkies, with jotting down dates in an appointment book, having a separate section for phone and fax numbers and doing your planning on a desk calendar. You can even compile your diary on paper. But if you want to use the full power of your PC and you have a color monitor, you'll be very pleased with Diary, which gives you, in a colorful and innovative fashion, a personal address book, planner, phone base and even a music cataloging feature. The latter allows you to catalog CDs, cassettes, anything that makes music. And you can make searches within Diary as you enter pertinent facts about your day.
Personally, we prefer pencil and paper for all these tasks, but the entertainment provided by this program's graphics is almost worth the $30 price tag. You'll need a hard disk and some patience. The graphics, while nice to look at, do slow you down.
To register for Version 1.6 of Diary, write to Nathaniel Johnson Associates, 171 W. 57th St., Suite 12-C, New York, N.Y. 10019.
Regmaster. If you're a systems manager or if you, like the software junkie, simply have a lot of software, here's a program that will help you keep track of all of it. You simply enter the name of the program, serial number and other pertinent details, and you'll soon have a list of all your software, which you can admire either from your screen or in printed form.
Look for Version 1.0 on bulletin boards. To register, send $20 to Complete Computer Solutions, 6224 Hendrickson Road, Middletown, Ohio 45044.
(For copies of these programs, send $4 each to Shareware, P.O. Box 7031, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. Or call (213) 595-6870. A catalog-on-a-disk of shareware programs costs $1. Please indicate 5 1/4 - or 3 1/2 -inch disk.)