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:
CompuAdd Multimedia 320sc. $3,195. From CompuAdd, 12303
Technology Blvd., Austin, Texas 78727. (800) 627-1967.
The CompuAdd Multimedia 320sc personal computer is one of the first systems to appear with the new MPC trademark. This indicates it meets the official MPC standard, a minimum of software and hardware abilities for multimedia agreed upon by a dozen PC hardware and software companies. The 320sc is really just a 386SX-based PC with an added audio board, a CD-ROM drive and the multimedia extensions to Windows. The 320sc works well and offers a faster CD-ROM drive than you'll find in just any MPC, along with speakers and a microphone. But its price isn't anything special, and the way its software works (though just as the MPC spec calls for) is awkward. If you must have an MPC now, then the CompuAdd is a decent choice, but I would wait, especially for home use by those not familiar with PCs and Windows, until the MPC folks set a higher standard for ease of use.
$CompuAdd Multimedia 320sc
Performance: 3 computers
Ease of use: 2 computers
Value: 3 computers
These are reviews of shareware programs for IBM and #i compatible computers.)
BizWiz. If the thought of actually having a hand-held calculator upsets you in any way, relax: The folks at CalcTech have come up with a shareware program for Windows 3.0 called BizWiz, which looks and acts like the Hewlett Packard HP-12C calculator. Yes, BizWiz looks just like the HP-12C on your computer screen, except it does things the HP-12C doesn't do, such as leasing functions and rate of return. Shareware users can try BizWiz for 60 days. If you keep using it, registration costs $40 from CalcTech, P.O. Box 15277, Seattle, Wash. 98115.
Type Trek. Here's an imaginative typing program that's actually a game for Trekkies. You determine one of 15 levels of difficulty, and Type Trek takes over, with colorful or monochrome graphics, depending on your monitor. Your job is to beat the Klingons, which are trying to destroy your star ship. I've never met a typing program that is this much fun, and even though I type like a maniac, this one was just what Mr. Spock ordered. To beam up your version of Type Trek, send $20 to Tea Time Software, 92 Acorn Circle, Oxford, Ohio 45056.
(For copies of these try-before-you-buy shareware programs, send $4 each to Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. A shareware catalog on a disk costs $1. Please specify 5 1/4 - or 3 1/2 -inch disks.)