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:
Blaupunkt Travelpilot, $4,200. From Blaupunkt Bosch Telecom, Robert Bosch Corp., Sales Group Mobile Communications Division, 2800 S. 25th Ave., Broadview, Ill. 60153. (708) 865-5200.
Blaupunkt's Travelpilot is a specialized car computer that tells you where you are. Using wheel sensors, it can detect your car's direction and speed -- matching that to the grid of streets stored on a CD-ROM disk. It displays your current position on a 4 1/2 -inch screen in the car and lets you locate and see paths to any other place on the screen's map. It works well and easily but is too expensive for individuals. It may be practical for delivery, sales, public safety, field service and other organizations that can get fleet discounts and can team the Travelpilot with communications services for sending and receiving the latest information on clients and assignments.
Performance: 3 computers
Ease of use: 3 computers
Value: 2 computers
(These are reviews of shareware programs for IBM and #i compatible computers.)
Video Tape Control. Video rental has to be one of the most competitive businesses of the '90s. This shareware program for IBMs and compatibles will help you manage your inventory, keep track of customers, make reservations, print invoices and handle your bookkeeping. Look for Version 6.4 on bulletin boards. To register, send $95 to Micro Methods, P.O. Box 2027, Evansville, Ind. 47728.
The Vet Assistant. We've never set up a veterinary practice, although we've certainly contributed to the upkeep of our favorite veterinarian. So it was with great interest that we tried The Vet Assistant, a shareware program for IBM and compatibles that seems to do it all for a veterinary practice. It tracks clients (and their pets), tracks inventory, does the bills, helps with reminders and prints reports. Registration costs $125 from Micro Methods, P.O. Box 2027, Evansville, Ind. 47728.
For copies of the Vet Assistant or Video Tape Control send $4 apiece, to Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. A catalog on a disk costs $1. Or call (213) 595-6870. Indicate 5 1/4 - or 3 1/2 -inch disks.
(Want to try these shareware programs before you buy them? We'll send you copies for $4 each, plus tax for Californians. Our $1 catalog lists hundreds of shareware programs. Write to Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. Or call (213) 595-6870. Let us know whether you need 5 1/4 -or 3 1/2 -inch disks.)