Printing from a portableQ. Is there any way to automate...


February 01, 1993|By Knight-Ridder Newspapers

Printing from a portable

Q. Is there any way to automate the process of printing documents from my portable computer? I would like to have the computer keep track of everything I plan to print, and when I return to the office, connect to a printer and have it all print out at once. Is there some way I can put my printed items on hold until later?

A. Normally, your portable must have a printer attached before you can issue any sort of print command. But if you happen to have an Apple PowerBook, there is a product called On The Road that will do what you want and more.

Once the program is installed, you can continue to operate your PowerBook as usual, issuing print commands from any application. When you attach your computer to a printer, On The Road will start printing the documents for which you issued a print command.

It gets better. If you have a built-in fax/modem, everything you faxed will be sent automatically when you attach your computer to a phone line.

On The Road sells for $99 and works with all Apple PowerBooks.

Palomar Software

(619) 721-7000

Utilities that repair floppy disks

Q. I am a novice computer user and am confused by programs such as MacTools and Norton Utilities. These programs will supposedly detect and repair floppy and hard disk drives that contain corrupted data.

After reading the manual, I returned the program because I am convinced I need a doctorate in computer science to use it. Is there a program that will fix these problems automatically without my having to go to graduate school for the next 10 years?

A. Using diagnostic programs such as MacTools or Norton Utilities isn't as bad as you make it sound.

Granted, it does take some studying and general understanding of how a disk is structured to use some of the more advanced tools. However, in recognition of the many who feel as you do, Central Point Software has come up with Safe & Sound.

The program requires no technical experience whatsoever. At the first hint of a disk problem, insert the Safe & Sound disk and start the computer. It checks for disk problems, scans for viruses and offers instant fixes.

Press one key, and if possible, it will restore the ailing disk to working order. Of course, Safe & Sound will never replace the more in-depth diagnostic programs, but in a pinch, it offers a quick and easy solution to most of the common problems that plague magnetic disks.

Even those who use the advanced programs will find that if they reach for Safe & Sound first, they might save themselves a few hours of digging around. Safe & Sound is for the Apple Macintosh and sells for $49.95.

Central Point Software

(503) 690-8090

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