Here are summaries of some recent Computing product...

REVIEWS

March 16, 1992|By Knight-Ridder Financial Service

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:

FotoMan, for PC or compatible running Windows or Macintosh. $799. From Logitech Inc., 6505 Kaiser Drive, Fremont, Calif. 94555. (800) 231-7717 or (510) 795-8500.

Org Plus for Windows, for PC or compatible running Windows. $199.99, or $69.99 upgrade from DOS-version Org Plus Advanced. From Banner Blue Software, 39500 Stevenson Place, Suite 204, Fremont, Calif. 94539. (510) 794-6850; fax (510) 794-9152.

FotoMan is an electronic camera that can take up to 32 gray-shade pictures at a time, each with about the quality of a good newspaper shot. You can then transfer those pictures to a PC or Mac with the included cable and software. On the PC or Mac you can save, edit and print the pictures. For those who need immediate, computer-edited, or modem-sendable pictures, the film-less FotoMan is a great deal and very easy to use, though it desperately needs faster picture transfer software.

Org Plus for Windows will be a boon to anyone who regularly creates and changes organizational charts, the maps of group hierarchies. It automatically centers, aligns, sizes and otherwise formats such charts to look their best. It can import graphics, such as FotoMan images, so the pair would make a great team for illustrated charts -- with titles and faces.

FotoMan

Performance: 3 computers

2 Ease of use: 4 computers

Value: 3 computers

Org Plus

Performance: 4 computers

Ease of use: 4 computers

Value: 3 computers

These are reviews of share ware 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.

Most of us buy a computer to use as a high-tech typewriter or to tutor Junior and Jane. Computers do those things well, but they're positively miraculous when it comes to organizing

information.

Take a look at two share ware programs for such data base management. One is broad in scope, the other narrow. Both are sophisticated in design, and sparkling new versions of both have just been issued.

VP-Info. This powerful new share ware program is easier to learn than most of the commercial data base-management programs and it's as fast as the best of them.

It's compact enough to work on a laptop computer without a hard drive. It comes with a quick demonstration, a set of instructions for getting a fast start, and a 405-page manual you can print out.

If all you need is a program for keeping lists of addresses and phone numbers, this isn't the one. But if you need power and flexibility, VP-Info is a good bet. It can link simultaneously up to six data files, each with as many as 65,535 records. The authors suggest you take 60 days to make sure this is the program for you. Then, if you choose to register your copy and get a printed manual and the right to telephone support, the fee is $100. Look for the 1992 update -- version 3.30 -- on computer bulletin boards. In compressed form, it occupies two diskettes.

Household Register. Like other burglary victims, we've learned to keep receipts for big purchases and to jot down serial numbers and model numbers. But our recordkeeping is still pretty casual. And if we had a fire, our receipts might be ashes. The man with the answer is Lemuel D. Turner. Down in Marietta, Ga., Mr. Turner has written a colorful and almost entertaining program to enable a family to keep track of its possessions.

The manual is virtually unnecessary -- although people who register the program with Mr. Turner's TurboSystems Co. for $34.95 get a printed copy and a chance to get updates at low cost. He has updated the program several times since he introduced it in 1989. On computer bulletin boards, look for version 3.0s. This 1992 version contains some significant new features.

For a copy of VP-Info send $8, for Household Register send $5, to Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. Phone (310) 595-6870.

A share ware catalog on a disk costs $2. Please specify 5.25- or 3.5-inch disks.

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