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8/96 Reviews SW: Procomm Plus 3.0

Listing of August 1996 Reviews

Comm Collection Is Semi-Suite

By Lenny Bailes

Procomm Plus offers a kitchen-sink array of Internet browsing tools, terminal communications and fax management capabilities, clearly intended to compete in the kitchen-sink connection market of Delrina's CommSuite. It doesn't quite match up to that standard, although many of its tools are excellent.

Telecomm suites today offer the functionality users typically got from standalone terminal emulation, fax management and Internet software a few years ago. Procomm ties all this together with its Connection Directory, a tabbed interface that lets you create an all-purpose telecommunications directory in a single database. The Action Bar common to all modules lets you quickly switch between the Web browser and terminal window or fax manager without launching separate programs.

Procomm has always offered rich terminal communications, and this package is no exception. It supports most popular modem definitions and terminal emulations, and offers RIP 1.54 script support, a GIF viewer and a built-in QWK packet reader. Useful Aspect-language scripts enable the terminal window to perform double duty as a host-mode bulletin board, remote file-transfer utility, or access window to MCI Mail and CompuServe Information Service.

The suite's fax management tools are complete with editing, cover page generation, scheduling and mail merge within popular Windows word processors. It supports TWAIN-compliant scanners and offers an OCR utility that unfortunately was only 70 percent to 80 percent accurate even with scanned-in documents. Attempts to convert fax to text produced gibberish.

Procomm's Internet tools are adequate for the casual Internet user, especially under Windows 3.1x. But the suite's Web browser doesn't match the power and ease of use of Netscape Navigator or Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It doesn't support Netscape 2.0 extensions, and it can't properly launch a telnet client from inside a Web site.

Procomm offers only a 16-bit dialer; Windows 95 users should stick to the 32-bit version that comes with their operating system.

Procomm's best use will be as terminal program/fax manager; pros will want to buy other software for their OCR and Internet needs.

-- Info File --
Procomm Plus 3.0
Pros: Terminal emulation; fax
Cons: OCR; Internet tools
Platforms: Windows 95, 3.1x
Disk Space: 35MB
RAM: 4MB (8MB recommended)
Datastorm Technologies
800-474-1598, 573-443-3282
WinMag Box Score 2.5
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