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9/96 Reviews SW: Crosstalk inter.comm Suite 3.0

Listing of September 1996 Reviews

Comm Pioneer Evolves into 32-Bit Pro

By Paul E. Schindler Jr.

Good news: Crosstalk, that venerable old asynch comm program, is still around. Better news: It's now 32-bit-faster, easier to use and even more feature-laden.

Crosstalk pioneered many of the comm features we take for granted, such as automatic scripting and flexible telephone directories. Some of its advantages, such as a huge list of supported modem types, are superfluous, given Windows 95 and Microsoft's Telephony API.

But Crosstalk inter.comm Suite 3.0, Attachmate's 32-bit upgrade, is worth the wait. It preserves users' investments in system, host and bulletin board profiles while offering expected Win95 enhancements. Besides asynch, Attachmate includes a full version of Netscape 2.0 and a TCP/IP stack, ftp and Internet mail software. A new 16-bit Windows version offers incremental enhancements.

Unlike many of its 16-bit brethren, 32-bit Crosstalk installed smoothly. It recognized the existence of a previous Crosstalk and let me choose how to handle ambiguities rather than making assumptions. It had trouble with references to the ancient Vidtex terminal type, but there are enough Vidtex users that AttachMate will add support in an interim release, 3.01, that should be on the shelves by the time you read this.

Crosstalk directly supports modem types or uses Windows 95's built-in support. It excels at terminal emulation and offers customizable file transfer via the likes of Xmodem, Ymodem and Zmodem.Crosstalk's CASL scripting language is easy to use, intuitive, and comes with an autorecord button. You can quickly and easily create custom buttons for frequently used keystroke combinations, which I find to be a much better option than the usual function key or menu method. Crosstalk has prebuilt button bars for popular services such as MCI Mail, Official Airline Guide, Dialog and CompuServe.

My only real complaints about the new version are two small, irritating old features. Despite that fact that Control+C and Control+V are keyboard standards for copy and paste, Crosstalk uses Control+Ins and Shift+Ins. You can't edit session settings until phone book entries are complete.

But its faults are minor and its benefits major. Crosstalk is an excellent choice.

--Info File--
Crosstalk inter.comm Suite 3.0
Price: $179
Pros: Easy; fast; flexible
Cons: Old keyboard shortcuts
Platforms: Windows 95, 3.1x
Disk Space: 20MB
Attachmate Corp.
800-426-6283, 206-644-4010
WinMag Box Score: 4.5

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