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:
MS-DOS 5, for PC or compatible with at least 512K RAM, 2.8MB free disk space and previous version of DOS. $99.95 as upgrade from previous MS-DOS version. From Microsoft Corp., One Microsoft Way, Redmond, Wash. 98052-6399. (206) 882-8080.
DR DOS 5.0, for PC or compatible with at least 256K RAM and 1.2MB of free hard disk space. $79 as upgrade from previous DR DOS or MS-DOS version, $199.95 as first-time purchase. $19.95 option for Magellan. From Digital Research, Box DRI, 70 Garden Court, Monterey, Calif. 93942. (408) 649-3896.
MS-DOS 5 is the best DOS in years, smaller and more frugal with memory than previous versions of DOS, easy to install and equipped with a fine text editor, a decent task-switcher, more command options and an undelete function to recover lost files. However, DR DOS 5.0 with the Magellan utility option has all of that (except the task switcher) and more.
Both are good programs, and everyone with a PC should upgrade to one or the other. I prefer DR DOS. (But I want to thank Microsoft for the biodegradable disk packaging in DOS 5.)
MS-DOS 5 Performance:3 computers
Ease of use:4 computers
Value: 3 computers
DR DOS 5 Performance:4 computers
Ease of use:4 computers
Value: 4 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.)
WordPerfect. The best-selling commercial word-processing program has inspired a shareware author to develop useful utilities. Attorney David Seidman developed his programs after he found a PC on his desk one day and decided he had to handle specific tasks that would work with WordPerfect. These are designed for WordPerfect 5.0 and 5.1.
WPTOOLS. This group of programs, among many other things, lists fonts, lists and describes macros, converts a WordPerfect document to an ASCII file and replaces spaces with tabs, and paginates and formats an ASCII file for printing. Users who register get even more programs, such as a utility for password-protected files. To register, send $35 to Software by Mr. Seidman, 2737 Devonshire Place N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008.
MACROAID. Macros enable you to store long strings of keyboard
commands that you execute using just a few strokes. This disk full of utilities does such things as converting WordPerfect macro files into text files so they can be edited. One of the utilities compresses macro files and another finds text in macro files. To register, send $25 to the above address.
WPMD. The MD stands for doctor, and with this utility Mr. ... Seidman says you may be able to fix a damaged WordPerfect file either The Ordinary Way, or, failing that, with Drastic Surgery. Registration cost: $35.
(If you can't find these programs on your local bulletin board, we'll send you copies of all three WordPerfect utility disks for $10. Send the money to Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. Or phone (213) 595-6870. Please specify 5 1/4 - or 3 1/2 -inch disks.)