Here are summaries of some recent Computing product reviews. Each product is rated on a scale of one to four. One computer indicates poor; four is excellent:
TimeClock Plus, for PC-compatible with at least DOS 3 and 320 kilobytes of random-access memory available. AT machine with hard disk and printer recommended. $149.95. From Data Management Inc., P.O. Box 61603, San Angelo, Texas 76906. (800) 749-TIME.
Teknon Accounting for MS-DOS, For IBM PC-AT or compatible with at least 640 kilobytes RAM, a hard disk and DOS 3.3 or later. $249. From Teknon Corp., 8603 E. Royal Palm Road, Scottsdale, Ariz. 85258. (800) 899-8603.
TimeClock Plus turns your PC into a time clock and scheduler for hourly employees. Although it is full of features to schedule, monitor and report on hours worked, it is not as easy to set up and use as it should be and does not feel tough enough for a time clock environment.
Teknon Accounting for MS-DOS brings the clear and easy approach of the atOnce! small-business accounting program to the PC. It provides all the basic accounting commands a small business needs for general ledger, payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable.
Performance: 2 computers
Ease of use: 2 computers
Value: 3 computers
Performance: 4 computers
Ease of use: 4 computers
Value: 4 computers
Remodeling? Here are programs that will estimate paint, wallpaper, paneling and any other building materials you might need. They also will tell you how much things cost, including labor. And, for those with a real creative desire, there's even a computer-assisted diagramming program. These programs, which I modestly call Dream Home, also would be useful to professionals who paint, plaster, wallpaper and do other domestic chores. All run on IBM or compatible PCs.
Handyman -- This slick, easy-to-use program tells you how to measure a room, then asks you for the measurements. That done, it tells you how much paint, wallpaper, wallboard or paneling you'll need. It also will give you costs for the work, complete with labor. Then you can print it all out. About the only thing Handyman won't do is print the money it will take to do the job. Look for version 1.2 or higher. Registration costs $20 from R. L. Joy, 138 Second St., Ilion, N.Y. 13357.
Layout -- If you have dreams of building a home or doing even minor wall moving, or even if you just want to build a better bookcase, you'll be able to get the help you need with this program. As you plan your dream home you enter sizes of walls and rooms, then you can get a screen or printer view of your project. Used with Handyman, you even will get quantities and costs of material for your project. Look for Version 3.0. Registration costs $35 from Software Co-op, 5437 Honey Manor Drive, Indianapolis, Ind. 46241.
Remodel Estimator -- Anyone from individuals to big-time contractors will find this program easy to use. It's especially useful when you're getting several estimates on a project. You enter common variables, such as sales tax and materials markup, then record the estimates you get. What's really useful, though, are lists of tradesmen's pay (I'm paying a plumber how much an hour?) and the time it takes a worker to do certain jobs. Very useful when you're estimating big jobs. Look for version 1.46 on bulletin boards. Registration costs $95 from CPR Inc., P.O. Box 3465, Berkeley, Calif. 94703.
(For trial copies of these Dream Home programs, send $15 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.)