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May 1996 Features

Products We Love

Ever wonder which products make WINDOWS
Magazine staffers' hearts beat faster? Here's a look
at the items we consider special.

Shining Start

Windows 95

By Mike Elgan

Click Here to see a 108 KB bitmap image of artwork which goes with this article, entitled:
Windows 95

Despite all the hype, controversy and complaints, Windows 95 is a truly great product. It runs my old hardware and software, but really shines with new Win95-specific products. And the interface lets me do things my way. Shortcuts, the taskbar and Start menu advance the state of the art. There are so many intelligent improvements in Win95 that I have to admit: It's more than just a crush.

$209; upgrade $109 Microsoft Corp. 800-426-9400, 206-882-8080

Let's Get Visual

ASAP WordPower 1.95

By Eileen McCooey

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ASAP WordPower 1.95

Flip charts falling flat? Wish you had the time (and talent) to create a scintillating slide show? Now you do. With ASAP WordPower 1.95, even artistically challenged users like me can whip up a professional presentation 1-2-3. In a matter of minutes, I installed the software, breezed through the three screens (Outline, Preview and Present) and voilˆ-showtime! ASAP's ample array of layouts, designs, color schemes and sample presentations provides structure without stifling your creative spirit. And the whole process is refreshingly simple-the six-page brochure is the only guide you'll need. ASAP is just as easy on your system, making it the perfect companion when it's time to take your show on the road.

$99 Software Publishing Corp. 800-336-8360, 408-537-3000

Love on the Run

Dell latitude XPi P120ST

By Jonathan Blackwood

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Dell Latitiude XPi P120ST

I've carried a notebook for three years, though never the same one for long. My job requires me to evaluate and review constantly changing models from virtually every notebook manufacturer. I never really considered doing without a desktop, however, until I received the Dell Latitude XPi P120ST. With its terrific 10.4-inch active-matrix screen, 120MHz of Pentium power, 810MB hard disk, 16MB of RAM and nearly five hours of battery life on a single charge, I can take it with me-and bring it back. A PCMCIA Ethernet card lets me walk into the office and get connected as quickly as I would with a desktop.

$4,399 Dell Computer Corp. 800-613-3355, 512-338-4400

Heartfelt Graphics

Adobe Photoshop 3.05

By Serdar Yegalalp

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Adobe Photoshop 3.05

You never know until you try-or until you have the right tools. When Photoshop 3.05 was released, I didn't see myself doing much more than converting files with it. Artist? Me? Feh! But with a steady hand, a little clip art and Photoshop's tools from A to Z, it takes minutes, not hours, to build graphics to die for. I can do everything from gorgeous digital collages to slick retouchings of my favorite out-of-print rarities with quick and beautiful results. The program's layer-handling feature lets me experiment with as many different variations on an image as I can imagine.

$895 Adobe Systems 800-521-1976, 415-961-4400

By the Numbers

Quicken 5 Deluxe

By Nancy A. Lang

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Quicken 5 Deluxe

I just love Quicken 5 Deluxe. When I first open the application, the setup function takes me by the hand, and with a few clicks I've opened three new accounts. These accounts look just like a check register, and as I enter regular payees, Quicken remembers them. The next time I enter a check to one of those payees, the program's QuickFill feature fills in the name and the amount as I type. By entering expense categories, I can make tax time, well, less taxing. I can reconcile my bank statement in five minutes flat-and that's just for starters. I can also track my investments, get stock quotes and pay my bills electronically. It's the next best thing to having my own personal bookkeeper.

$59.99 (street) Intuit 800-624-8742, 415-944-6000

A Card to Pick

Ositech Jack of Diamonds

By John J. Yacono

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Ositech Jack of Diamonds

The Ositech Jack of Diamonds Ethernet/28.8 modem card is aces in my book. Occupying a Type II PC Card slot, it delivers connectivity on the road via its 28.8Kb-per-second fax modem, or in the office over its 10BaseT Ethernet connector. Thanks to Windows 95 driver support, it installs in seconds with absolutely no fuss. In months of extensive use, the modem portion never once had a connection go awry or perform at less than 26.4Kbps, hitting that perfect 28.8Kbps connection most of the time.

$549 Ositech Communications 800-563-2386, 519-836-8063

Sense and Sensa-bility

Logitech MouseMan Sensa

By Donna Tapellini

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Logitech MouseMan Sensa

I haven't double-clicked in more than a year, but that's not because I've given up graphical computing. It's because I have my hand on a Logitech MouseMan Sensa, and I've assigned the double-click to its middle button. If you like doing the desktop two-step, you can program the middle mouse button to do something else, like copy or paste. (The right mouse button is also programmable, but I let that one perform the default Win95 commands.) You can also set the mouse to send the cursor directly to the default choice in a dialog box. But what I like best is how the mouse looks and feels (I told you I still do graphical computing!). My hand and wrist work in comfort, and the mouse's jet-black design gives my desk that essential techno-attitude.

$49.95 (street) Logitech 800-231-7717, 510-795-8100

Think Small

WinZip 6.1

By Richard Castagna

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WinZip 6.1

Not too many software products score big by thinking small, but WinZip 6.1 is winning Windows users' hearts by doing just that. WinZip effectively squeezes the air out of files to reduce them to more manageable sizes. For mobile professionals who have to hit the road with their work, WinZip can make it a lot easier- and safer-to make the move from the desktop to the blacktop. This handy utility's compression algorithms can reduce the size of some files to a fraction of the original. It lets you cram a diskette full of data when you'd otherwise need a short stack of floppies. It's also a great time-saver when e-mailing files, and it can take some of the confusion out of multiple-file swaps by tying them all up in a tidy package that's actually smaller than the sum of its parts. WinZip comes on a single diskette, is a breeze to use and even has its own Microsoft-style wizard in the latest version.

$29 Nico Mak Computing 800-242-4775, 713-524-6394

Image Is Everything

Collage Complete 1.1

By Cheryl Dominianni

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Collage Complete 1.1

I was losing patience with the cumbersome process of using the Print Screen key and The Paint applet to capture screen images. Luckily, I discovered Collage Complete 1.1. Using this screen-capture utility is as easy as clicking a camera. Simply assign a filename, choose whether you want the entire screen or the active window only, and then click on Save Screen/Save Window. Collage Complete supports all the popular formats and also provides image-handling capabilities. The latest version is compatible with Windows 95 and Windows NT.

$149 InnerMedia 800-962-2949, 603-465-3216

Roamin' Holiday

Socket Communications GPS Card

By Marc Spiwak

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Socket Communications GPS Card

Have a bad sense of direction? You no longer need to stop at a gas station to find out where you are. The Socket Communications GPS Card slides into a PCMCIA slot in a laptop, and its bundled Windows software provides longitude and latitude readings, altitude, speed, course and time indications. But for more fun, the GPS Card also works with City Streets for Windows, a mapping program from Road Scholar. With GPS input, City Streets can superimpose a little car on the map that traces your route as you drive. The total package includes the GPS Card, a magnetic antenna, software and the basic City Streets program. The worst thing about the system is that it's a bit too entertaining--I actually passed my exit on the parkway because I was paying more attention to the laptop than to my driving.

$799 Socket Communications 800-552-3300, 510-744-2700

A FileMaker to Remember

FileMaker Pro 3.0

By Cynthia Morgan

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FileMaker Pro 3.0

You know the old saying: You never forget your first database. That mad weekend with Oracle, the dBASE trysts and the passionate FoxPro, Approach and Access affairs? Mere infatuation. Through Macintosh, Windows and now Windows 95, I always return to FileMaker Pro 3.0. Okay, so it wasn't relational-I was too young for relationships anyway. And now that I need one-to-many links, FileMaker's grown along with me. Add fields? Share data? Build hyperlinked applications? I can get all that done in FileMaker--without a Ph.D.

$199 (street) Claris Corp. 800-544-8554, 408-727-8227

Keys, Please!

NMB RT-8200W

Hailey Lynne McKeefry

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NMB RT-8200W

Since I reviewed this keyboard for the March issue, I've been loath to give it up. The NMB RT-8200W gives me the familiar click of my first IBM Selectric typewriter, and that made me feel at home the minute I began using it. Don't let that fool you into believing the NMB is a dinosaur-the Windows 95 layout provides extra keys to quickly access the Start menu and right-mouse-button commands. Another innovation is the split spacebar; the right side handles conventional spacing, while the left side acts as a backspace/erase key. That feature alone is worth the price of admission and then some.

$79.95 NMB Technologies 800-662-8321, 818-341-3355

Time to Get Serious

Digital Celebris GL 5133ST

By Lori L. Bloomer

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Digital Celebris GL 5133ST

They'll take it from me when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers. No, that's not an NRA member talking about his shotgun. It's just me, enthusing about the Digital Celebris GL 5133ST Pentium mini-tower. It's got everything I need: a size and shape that fit perfectly under a desk or alongside a monitor, plus a 133MHz processor, 16MB of EDO RAM, a 1.6GB hard disk and a 4X CD-ROM; I also get sound, SCSI and Ethernet capability right on the motherboard. Add Digital's 17-inch Energy Star-compliant monitor in place of the standard 15-incher, and you have a system ready for some serious work. How do I know?
Well, I'm using it right now.

$4,939 Digital Equipment Corp. 800-DIGITAL, 508-624-6400

It All Adds Up


By David Gabel

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QuickExpense is one of the best programs I have ever seen. This gem reduces the time required to prepare an expense report from hours to minutes. No more sorting of receipts to make sure everything gets put down in the put down in the correct order. No more cross-addition to make sure that the daily totals match the category totals. Enter receipts as they come into your hand, press the Print button, sign your name and turn that sucker in. What could be easier?

$69.95 (street) Portable Software 800-478-7411, 206-702-8808

Love at First Fax

WinFax PRO 7.0

By Tom Ponzo

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WinFax PRO 7.0

Ah, WinFax PRO 7.0. It was the first, and remains the best, way to fax any type of document anywhere. It saves me the trouble of getting up from my desk and going to the fax room to send it manually-and when you're knee-deep in work, that's a necessity, not a luxury. WinFax PRO also comes with an assortment of built-in cover pages that complement whatever type of document I may be sending, from a serious inquiry to a fun fax for a friend.

$129 Symantec/Delrina Group 800-441-7234, 541-334-6054

Spinning Pages of Praise

Web Publisher

By Paul E. Schindler Jr.

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Web Publisher

I love Web Publisher because Ken Skier, the author, hates the phrase "by hand." As a result, everything is automatic. The program lives up to its motto, "Instant Web Publishing." It converts Frame, Word or RTF files to HTML (including tables) without user intervention. It also has a unique feature-it not only creates a table of contents for each file processed, but it can also produce a master TOC for a group of files. I create a lot of HTML, and I've tried a lot of tools. It doesn't get much better than this.

$495 SkiSoft 617-863-1876, fax 617-861-0086
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