These are reviews of shareware programs for IBM and...


December 23, 1991|By Knight-Ridder Financial Service

These are reviews of shareware programs for IBM and compatible computers. The programs are available from bulletin boards and computer clubs. Users try them, then pay a fee to register if they decide to use them regularly.

But seriously, folks. Humor has finally come to shareware in the form of:

Portable Punch Line -- "Sign outside a hospital nursery:

"All babies are subject to change without notice."

(Drum roll. Har har)

"There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you." (Will Rogers).

(Snickers. Drum roll.)

"An oral contract isn't worth the paper it's written on." (Samuel Goldwyn).

(Groans. Cymbal crash.)

Looking for a joke for tonight's Chamber mixer? Search through "business" jokes, and you'll find Mr. Goldwyn's timeless quote.

And if you fancy yourself a comedian, you can enter your jokes in much the way you would enter recipes, sort them by category, print them out on little cards and store them either on your desktop PC or your laptop. Imagine yourself on a transcontinental airplane trip seated next to Henny Youngman, laptop steaming away, and you'll get an idea of the quality of the jokes that come with the program.

We haven't seen another shareware program like this one, especially one that gives you as many jokes intentionally.

Try it (you'll like it), then send your $20 registration to U.D. & Associates, P.O., Box 1322, Beverly Hills, Calif. 90213-1322.

Disk Labelmaker 4.0 -- Not to be confused with other programs with similar names, this program will make labels for your 3.5- or 5.25-inch floppies on your dot matrix printer, as long as it's IBM or Epson-compatible, which includes most printers.

You'll be able to sort files on your floppies by name, file extension, or the way we sort our files, which is to say in no particular order at all. Then you can print labels on your floppies, store them properly or attach them to a brick and sail them across the room to Accounting. However you store them, this is an inexpensive ($15 for registration) program that delivers what it promises.

Write to Micro Assist, 313 Washington NE, Albuquerque, N.M. 87108-1152. Registered users also get a supply of labels.

Windows Corner: Click! Filer is a program-manager enhancement for Windows 3.0.

Once it's installed (a one-minute procedure, if you're new to Windows), you can copy, delete, rename, move and otherwise tweak your hard disk files. My favorite feature, though, is Click! Filer's ability to call up a text file (via the Windows notepad) and Edit! It as well as Read! It.

If you're into editing your autoexec.bat or win.ini files, for example, you'll appreciate this feature. Better yet, you could call up the manual and do some much-needed editing. Look for version 1.42 on bulletin boards.

Registration costs $20 from Troglo Byte, P.O. Box 36258, Cincinnati, Ohio 45236.

Flexibak Plus -- If you think we're nags when it comes to backing up your work, just wait until you install Flexibak Plus on your hard disk.

You're told in no uncertain terms when you boot up that it's been days -- days! -- since you backed up.

For our money, any backup program is better than none, so if you are reading this and realize that you not only haven't backed up your hard disk recently but don't even have a backup program, call your local bulletin board and download Flexibak Plus. It's easy to install, easy to use, and it will give you the peace of mind a full backup provides.

There's an online manual (simply press the F1 key, and a window pops up for technical advice), and the rest of the program is pretty straightforward, even if you've never used a backup program.

Flexibak Plus' claim to fame is that you only need to make one full backup. Incremental backups then are made to the same disks. After you've tried Flexibak Plus for a few weeks and decide to keep using it, registration costs $43.95 from Shareable Software International, P.O. Box 59102, Schaumburg, Ill. 60159.

AnsiMouse -- Faithful readers of this column must realize by now that we have actual jobs to pay the rent. Because if all we did was to review delightful programs such as this, we would long ago have turned into magnetic tape.

AnsiMouse is a program for creating screen graphics. Why would you want to produce screen graphics? Perhaps you're doing some programming, or you're using the computer as a teaching aid in school. Or perhaps you just want a fun little program that also plays music. Look for version 1.11 on bulletin boards. Registration costs $15 from Alan Deala, 1288 Antrim Drive, Roseville, Calif. 95678.

(For copies of these programs, send $4 each to Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. Or call (310) 595-6870. A catalog on a disk costs $2. Please indicate 5 1/4 or 3 1/2 -inch disks.)

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