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:
AceFile, for PCs or compatibles with at least 2 megabytes of RAM and running Windows 3.0 or later. $299 from Ace Software Corp., 1740 Technology Drive, San Jose, Calif. 95110. (408) 437-3456.
WindowBase, for PCs or compatibles with at least 2 megabytes RAM and running Windows 3.0 or later. $495 from Software Products International, 9920 Pacific Heights Blvd., San Diego, Calif. 92121-4330. (800) 937-4774.
Superbase 4, for PC or compatible running Windows 3.0 or later. $695 from Software Publishing Corp., 3165 Kifer Road, Santa Clara, Calif. 95051-0804. (408) 986-8000.
AceFile is a simple data-base manager for Windows that's easy to install, learn from the manual and use to browse through and report on dBASE files. It doesn't offer much network or any SQL abilities and has extremely limited macros for automating queries. If you need just basic data-base features under Windows, AceFile is OK, but you'd save money by using the data-base section of an integrated "Works" package.
WindowBase and Superbase are powerful relational data bases for Windows. They pack SQL and networking abilities, customizing languages and image, text and number storage. Both are confusing to learn, with too many manual sections, modules and menus. If you need connections on a network or to minicomputer data bases, you should consider WindowBase (with a lower price and a 30-day money-back guarantee) and Superbase (which is best for storing images), but you should delay any big decision until you see the imminent Windows versions of Paradox and FoxPro.
AceFile: 2 computers
WindowBase: 3 computers
Superbase 4: 2 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.)
Capital Gainz. This is an easy to understand and use program for small investors, thanks to its menu system. You can perform some "what-if" scenarios, in addition to keeping track of every cent you have invested in the market. If after trying Capital Gainz (version 2.2), you decide to give it a permanent place on your hard disk, registration costs $32.50 (add $10 for a printed manual) from DBLinx, P.O. Box 12545, RTP, N.C. 27709.
Windows Corner. Four little programs for Windows 3.0 grow in stature as you use them. WinClock version 3.05 places time and date at a convenient position on your monitor and has enough alarm clocks to keep you awake all day, while running applications at specified times. Hop version 1.02 is a challenging Chinese checkers-type game in which you try to replace gray circles with black ones. RunProg version 1.05 allows you to display applications big, small, hidden or at specific points on your monitor (the answer to our Windows prayers, believe it or not), and Mem version 1.21 gives you a running display of free memory and will alert you when you are running short of memory. Registration for each of these programs costs $15 or less from David Feileib, 1430 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 306-42, Cambridge, Mass. 02138. Or I'll send you evaluation copies of all four for $10.
(For copies of these programs send $7 for Capital Gainz, and $10, plus tax for Californians, for the Windows programs to Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. Or call (310) 595-6870. A catalog on a disk costs $2. Specify 5 1/4 - or 3 1/2 -inch disk.)