Here are summaries of some recent Computing product...

REVIEWS

March 23, 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:

MacGlobe, for Mac Plus or later with a hard drive. $79.95. From PC Globe Inc., 4440 S. Rural Road, Tempe, AZ 85282-7044. (602) 730-9000 or (800) 255-2789.

Power Japanese, for PC or compatible running Windows 3.0 or later with at least 10 megabytes free on its hard disk. $389. From Bayware Inc., 201 San Antonio Circle, Suite 128, Mountain View, CA 94040. (800) 53-TUTOR.

MacGlobe is a computerized atlas for the Mac, with maps and facts on the countries of the world. Although its collection of details is fascinating, the program needs some sort of "search" function to simplify finding a particular map or chart. Power Japanese is a PC tutor for reading, writing and speaking Japanese. It animates the writing of characters on screen and packs many megabytes of digitally recorded spoken Japanese, which you can hear through an included sound adapter and pair of headphones. The interactive drills are thorough and pleasant, but the program is far, far too slow on a 386SX machine. Get a 486 with lots of RAM and a fast hard disk to squeeze the best out of this impressive tutor.

MacGlobe

Performance: 2 computers

Ease of use: 3 computers

Value: 3 computers

Power Japanese

Performance: 2 computers

Ease of use: 3 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.

FormGen 2.1, an updated version of the classic form generator, gives you the tools to design your own forms, or, for those of us whose needs may not be so esoteric, to use dozens of pre-designed forms. And what forms these are: Want to keep a log of programs to tape on your VCR? Or perhaps you need to track car expenses for tax deductions. Or you're in need of a quick fax cover sheet. Or you want to track your golf scores. Whatever your needs for home, business, sports or church, a pre-designed form probably exists. Even if you don't find an appropriate form, creating a new one is not as tedious as it may look. With a good help screen, a clearly written manual, your own creativity and some trial and error, you can design as classy a form as you want.

Omniday -- Keeping a diary is great if (remember: you read this here first) you have something to say. Samuel Pepys, the mad housewife and others throughout history kept diaries for posterity. While a quill pen would seem a prerequisite for keeping a diary, your desk-top PC or lap-top is the perfect compromise. You can reminisce by going to previous entries, and even edit a day's entry, all from a friendly menu.

(For copies of the forms programs send $15, or for a copy of Omniday send $4, to Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. Phone (310) 595-6870. Fax (310) 426-0110. A catalog on a disk costs $2. Please specify 5.25- or 3.5-inch disks.)

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