(These are 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.)
LASER LETTERHEAD PLUS:
The letterhead on your business or personal stationery says a lot about you and your company.
You want first class? Laser Letterhead Plus projects an image about you and your thriving business that reeks of success. And you don't have to spend a fortune going to professional designers. You are your own master. Want a bold image? A bold image is what you get. Want a little icon representative of your little empire. Have an icon. Whatever you want in a letterhead, memo or personal stationery is at your fingertips. You're the boss.
Version 3.5 comes with a built-in text editor, which means you can compose your letter and print it complete with the letterhead. Once you've tried Laser Letterhead Plus and decide you want to get serious about your stationery, registration is a mere $25. You'll need a hard disk and a laser printer.
FONTS: Most laser printers have a limited collection of typefaces, or fonts. When they say the printer has 14 fonts, they usually mean you get Courier and two others in regular, bold, condensed and italic faces. If you're looking for fonts, try the Elfring printer fonts, complete with TSR Download, which handles them for you. They're available on bulletin boards, or you can get a set for $10 for either ink-jet or laser printers.
PC REVIEWS: If you're looking for a new PC, software, printer, other peripherals or books about PCs, David Batterson's PC Reviews is an on-disk compilation of reviews and general information. Mr. Batterson has reviewed for PC World, PC Week and other publications. This latest edition has reviews through the end of August, including one of Ami Pro 3.0, a new commercial word processor.
ACTION GRAPHICS: Action Graphics is a wonderful Erector-Set type game that uses circles, squares and other geometric figures to produce some fantastic effects on your VGA color monitor. You can make circles burst, break up squares into dotted lines, assign colors to objects and attach them to each other as they move about in space. Great tool for teaching geometry, or just having fun for anyone who can handle a mouse and a VGA color monitor. Look for version 1.4 or higher on bulletin boards.
(For copies of Laser Letterhead Plus, send $7, for fonts send $10, for PC Reviews and Action Graphics, send $4 each, 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.)
QEMM-386 and QRAM. QEMM-386 needs a PC or compatible with at least a 386 or 486 processor and 1 megabyte of memory. QRAM needs a PC or compatible with an 8088, 8086 or 286 processor (that is, PC, XT or AT-level) with an EMS 4 or EEMS expanded memory board and DOS 3 or higher. $79.95. From Quarterdeck Office Systems, 150 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405. (213) 392-9851.
386Max, for PC-compatible with a 386 or 486 processor (or with 286 processor and a Chips & Technologies chip set), DOS 3.0 or later, and a hard disk. $99.95. From Qualitas, 7101 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1386, Bethesda, MD 20814. (800) 676-8386.
Memory Commander. $99.95. From V Communications, 4320 Stevens Creek Blvd., Suite 275, San Jose, CA 95129. (408) 296-4224.
Summary: Most PC owners should consider a memory manager, to let them run the latest programs or to let them add utilities such as disk caches that will speed up new and old programs. QEMM is the most popular and is certainly a good choice for anyone with a computer powered by a 386 or 486 microprocessor. QRAM is just QEMM for 8088, 8086 and 80286 PCs.
386Max is QEMM's equal, lacking some of its installation polish and failing to support Windows Standard mode but offering a disk cache utility and more flexibility in using small memory-resident utilities with Windows. 386Max doesn't need a special 8088-286 version as QEMM does; BlueMax is 386Max for PS-2s. Memory Commander can get the most memory from 386 and 486 PCs, especially for text-only DOS programs (such as dBASE), but is harder to install and lacks some of the extra utilities of QEMM and 386Max.