(These are reviews of shareware programs for IBM and #i 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.)
SUREFIRE: If you've ever struggled through creating form letters, data bases, expense reports, property leases and the like, you'll appreciate how easy Surefire, a shareware program for IBM and compatibles, handles those tasks.
My experience handling form letters revolves around appeals to fund the Noah Matthews Rehabilitation Center for Software Junkies in Devils Lake, N.D.
With expensive commercial word processors, I was able to set up a master letter in three or four hours. After going through Surefire's tutorial, I made my appeal by setting up one of its "smart documents."
Surefire works like a word processor, and it let me insert my massive data base of past contributors. Since this is a non-profit organization, I was able to create another form for expenses associated with the mailing.
Best of all, Surefire did my arithmetic far better than I could have, even with my shoes off.
Surefire Contacts also can be part of the package for folks who want templates, such as memo forms or expense accounts.
In addition to its contact data base, you can generate travel expense reports, manage all kinds of property lease documents, track your budget and generate an organizational chart of your little business empire.
Surefire runs on virtually any kind of PC with 640K of memory and one floppy disk drive.
Look for version 1.1 or higher on bulletin boards.
(For copies of Surefire and Surefire Contacts send $12, plus tax for Californians, 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.)