Reviews of shareware programs for IBM and compatible...


January 11, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

Reviews of shareware programs for IBM and compatible computers. Users try them, then pay a fee to register if they decide to use them regularly.


* DISK COPY FAST: By reading only the area that contains data, this disk copying program reads your original disk quickly, then copies it to a backup disk fast. There's no switching disks, either. Once you've copied the original (a high-density 3.5-inch disk takes about 30 seconds), you simply insert the copy disk, and it will copy the original to a formatted disk in about a minute.

* DLABEL: This is an easy-to-use program for making labels. You tell it which disk drive to read, DLABEL reads the disk and shows you which files are on the disk. You then can choose from a number of formats and you can print a label on nearly any kind of printer.

* SOFTWARE SUSIE: The ultimate software library program. You enter such vital information as the name and category of the program, cost, serial numbers, version and so on, then make printouts and tuck them away in safe places.

COST: $10 for all three.

Time organizers

* QUICK SHOP: My colleague from Kansas, a man of organization, will pick a recipe and get a printout of all the ingredients he needs. That printout will even tell him what aisles of his favorite grocery store have the pecans, the chicken and the rice.

* THE GROCER: This shopping list program is as good today as it was two years ago, when I first tried it. You choose food items, let The Grocer know how much that item costs, and once you've entered all your items, you get a bill -- hours, perhaps days -- before ever setting foot in the store.

* THE BUDGET: The idea behind this home budgeting program is that we all too often let money slip through our fingers. By setting up a budget based on four weeks a month, we can reap a savings bonanza when the occasional five-week month comes along. You set up budget categories, determine when the bills need to be paid and add where the money is coming from.

* HOME BUDGET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: A more traditional approach to budgets, this program will help you track the origin and demise of every cent you've ever earned. The initial setup takes some time, but once you've entered the kinds of codes that make the masses quake when accountants approach, you can just fill in the blanks for the rest of the year. Look for version 4.3 or higher on bulletin boards.

* CHRIS'S AUTOMOBILE RECORDER: Designed for people who need to keep track of lots of vehicles, this program could be used for the meticulous owner of the family car, too. You can track every gallon of gas used, including how much the gas costs, where bought, how many hours the car is in use and every time you replace a nut, bolt or tire. Look for version 13.1 or higher.

* CUMBERLAND DIARY: For folks who want to record every mundane and important event in their lives, this one is the electronic equivalent of the leather-bound diary you grew up with.

COST: $5 each, or $20 for all six.

For more information, contact Shareware, P.O. Box 7037, Long Beach, Calif. 90807. Phone (800) 395-7797. Fax (310) 426-0110. A shareware catalog on a disk costs $2. Please specify 5.25- or 3.5-inch disks.

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