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:
WinTools, for PC-compatible running Windows 3.0 or later. $149. From Tool Technology Publishing, 1125 A St., No. 107, San Rafael, Calif. 94901. (415) 459-3700.
NewWave 4.0, for PC-compatible running Windows with at least 2 megabytes of extended memory. $195. From Hewlett-Packard Co., NewWave Program, 974 E. Arques Ave., Sunnyvale, Calif. 94086. (800) 554-1305 or (408) 720-3000.
Windows 3.0 brought some of the Apple Macintosh ease-of-learning and ease-of-use to the PC. But it has some rough edges. WinTools replaces the awkward Program Manager and File Manager with its own icons and tools, improving on the original. It is easy to learn and lets you build your own "desktop" with the programs and documents you use most.
H-P's NewWave also replaces the PM and FM with its own icon-based approach but goes further than WinTools by offering a complete "agent" language for automating tasks. However, NewWave is harder to learn and requires twice as much memory as WinTools.
If you're just looking to clean Windows up, try WinTools. If you have the time and need to create complete customized Windows applications, NewWave is the more powerful addition.
Performance: 3 computers
Ease of use: 3 computers
Value: 3 computers
Performance: 4 computers
Ease of use: 2 computers
Value: 4 computers
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.
Datawave Personal Edition. San Jose, Calif., shareware author David Kramer has compiled all the programs a PC owner might need for business and personal use. The 23 programs include: banner maker, budget manager, calculator, card file, modem program, form generator, graphic drawing program, grocery list, label generator, ledger manager, memo generator, printer manager, project outliner, word processor with spell checking, birthday/anniversary calendar, and a half-dozen utilities, including a music generator, reminder calendar, and slide-presenter.
A Swiss army knife should be this complete. Mr. Kramer has done a nice job of making his software user-friendly and functional.
Register with Mr. Kramer, P.O. Box 3676, San Jose, Calif. 95158. Cost to register ranges from $20 to $65.
(For copies of this program, send $25 to Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. A shareware catalog on a disk costs $2. Specify 5.25- or 3.5-inch disks. Phone (310) 595-6870. Fax (310) 426-0110.)