Here are summaries of some recent Computing product...


April 13, 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. One computer indicates poor; four is excellent:

HyperChem, for PC or compatible with 386 or 486 processor, 4 megabytes RAM, a math co-processor and running Windows 3.0 (also available for Silicon Graphics Iris workstations under Motif). $3,500. From Autodesk Inc., 2320 Marinship Way, Sausalito, Calif. 94965. (415) 332-2344 or (800) 332-2344.

NotePlay and RhythmPlay, for PC or compatible with 640 kilobytes RAM, DOS 2.0 or higher, and graphics display. Support mouse, sound card, and MIDI connections. $49.95 each. From Ibis Software, 140 Second St., Suite 603, San Francisco, Calif. 94105. (415) 546-1917.

Software can bend a computer to almost any task. HyperChem brings professional molecular modeling and analysis to the PC. It requires a potent PC, with fast processor, lots of RAM, and a math co-processor, but delivers sharp graphical images of molecules and a raft of commands for analyzing them.

NotePlay and RhythmPlay give simple lessons in note-reading, presenting musical notation on the PC screen and asking you to play the rhythms or pitches on the keyboard. They're simple and fun, but NotePlay realistically requires an attached MIDI keyboard.


Performance: 4 computers

Ease of use: 4 computers

Value: 4 computers

NotePlay and RhythmPlay

Performance: 4 computers

Ease of use: 4 computers

Value: 3 computers

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

DMPLAS -- This is the program to turn your computer back to a simpler era, the day when dot-matrix printers were king.

Most new word-processing and graphics programs are set up for today's standard: the Hewlett-Packard LaserJet printers. Older word processors and desktop publishing programs were designed to work with dot-matrix printers. Some excellent current children's word-processing programs are designed to be used with those printers, too.

Hewlett-Packard offers an expensive cartridge for its DeskJet printers that can emulate dot-matrix printers. But for the DeskJet and LaserJet printers -- and for LaserJet-compatible printers -- Martin L. Waldman has devised an inexpensive, efficient answer.

DMPLAS converts dot-matrix printer controls of the old Epson FX standard to laser printer control sequences. Mr. Waldman also provides soft fonts that emulate the Epson fonts with full laser quality. If the program works for you -- as it will for most laser printer and DeskJet owners -- make it a regular on your computer and pay Waldman a $32 registration fee plus $12 to register the soft fonts.

(For copies of the desktop graphics programs, send $15 to Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. Phone (310) 595-6870. Fax (310) 426-0110. For copies of Questmaker and Paint-By-Pixel, send $8 plus tax. A catalog on a disk costs $2. Please specify 5.25- or 3.5-inch disks.)

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