Here are summaries of recent Computing product reviews. Each is rated on a scale of one to four, with one computer indicating poor and four indicating excellent:
HelpdisQ for Windows, for PC-compatible running Windows and equipped with a CD-ROM drive. $1,495 for an individual or for three users on a local area network. $3,900 for a site license. From M'aidez Inc., 2370 Qume Drive., Suite D, San Jose, Calif. 95131.
Support on Site, for PC-compatible with at least 640 kilobytes random-access memory, a hard disk, a CD-ROM drive and DOS CD-ROM Extensions 2.0 or higher. $1,295 for an individual, $4,995 for five users on a LAN. From Ziff Communications Co., One Park Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016. (212) 503-4400.
HelpdisQ for Windows and Support on Site (SOS) are CD-ROM optical disks crammed with technical manuals, newsletters, diagrams and other details on using, fixing and configuring PC programs.
HelpdisQ has only Windows and Windows-related information. It less expensive than SOS when shared on a network, but is very slow at searching through its information. SOS doesn't need Windows to run, has information on a wider variety of subjects and is slightly less expensive in the individual version than HelpdisQ. It is the clear winner of the two because it is so much faster at searching for just the right article or explanation.
HelpdisQ For Windows
Performance: 2 computers
Ease of use: 2 computers
Value: 2 computers
Support on Site
Performance: 4 computers
Ease of use: 3 computers
Value: 3 computers
These are reviews of shareware programs for IBM and compatible computers.
Here are two programs that will help you read and speak Spanish properly. The first actually gives you proper pronunciation. The second will help you convert English to Spanish and Spanish to English.
Spell and Pronounce Spanish Words -- Once you choose a category, ranging from animals, around the house, colors and shades, pharmacy, vegetables and even computers, you're treated to dual PCs on your screen. The first PC image, for days of the week, for example, reads: THURSDAY IS SPELLED EL JUEVES. The right-side screen then proclaims: THE WORDS SOUNDS LIKE EHL 'HWEH-BEHS. And so it goes.
Look for version 1.5 on bulletin boards. After trying it, registration costs $25 from Ray Zimmerman, Computer Specialties, P.O. Box 5694, Lake Charles, La. 70606.
Spanish Language Tutor -- We've shown this one to several students of basic Spanish, and they've been impressed.
You choose from nouns, verbs and phrases. Then you can go back and forth from Spanish to English and English to Spanish.
Look for version 1.02 or higher on bulletin boards. After trying it, registration costs $20 from Ultimate Software, P.O. Box 2454, White City, Ore. 97503.
(For copies of these programs, send $7 to Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. Phone (310) 595-6780. Fax (310) 426-0110. A shareware catalog on a disk costs $2. Please specify 5.25- or 3.5-inch disks.)