Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 115 / DECEMBER 1989 / PAGE 16


It's a new era of détente. America has an almost friendly relationship with the Soviet Union, Solidarity controls part of the Polish government, and Commodore Amigas are reading and writing MS-DOS disks.

Consultron's CrossDOS package lets you use MS-DOS and Atari ST disks in standard Amiga disk drives.

The real beauty of Cross-DOS is that it's not just a file-transfer program. You can read and write MS-DOS disks from within any Amiga program—you don't have to copy the files to Amiga-format disks first. For instance, if you're running MSS's Analyze! spreadsheet, you can read Lotus 1-2-3 files directly from a disk you created on your PS/2 at work.

CrossDOS lets you address your disk drives normally if they contain Amiga-format disks, or as DI0: through DI3: if they contain PC disks. Most AmigaDOS commands, such as Copy, Dir, and Info, work fine on MS-DOS disks. Also, CrossDOS supports 360K and 720K disks and works with the Amiga 1020 5¼-inch drive.

If you need to share data with PCs, CrossDOS is a must-have. It's available for $30, plus $3 shipping and handling, from Consultron, 11280 Parkview, Plymouth, Michigan 48170; (313)459-7271.

Easy Words & Pictures

Pen Pal ($149.95) proves that a word processor doesn't have to be stripped down to be easy to use. Along with multiple fonts, IFF graphics import, a spelling checker, and full color support, Pen Pal has line- and box-drawing tools, a "forms fill-in" feature for creating invoices, and an integrated database.

Unlike many graphics word processors, you aren't forced to use bitmapped fonts if you want to print graphics on a page. Pen Pal lets you combine graphics and your printer's built-in fonts on the same page, allowing faster and cleaner printouts.

An intuitive user interface and comprehensive online help facility make learning Pen Pal a snap. Writers will appreciate the ability to turn off the rulers and scroll bars to get the maximum amount of text on the screen.

The built-in database is fairly sophisticated, with report capabilities and total fields. Its integration makes Pen Pal a perfect word processor for creating form letters.

To get your own Pen Pal, contact 16795 Lark Avenue, Suite 210, Los Gatos, California 95030; (408) 395-3838.

Turbo Fun

Microlllusions has finally released Turbo, the third game in its One-to-One Series. Turbo puts you in the driver's seat of a James Bond-ish sports car for a race to the death. You have to beat your opponent to the finish line while avoiding other vehicles that are determined to bump you off the road.

If you hit a pedestrian, you hear a bloodcurdling scream and see a red splotch on the pavement. This isn't a game for the squeamish.

Unlike the other games in the series, Turbo doesn't support modem play. Strangely, the modem option can still be selected, but it doesn't work reliably. Microlllusions should have taken the time to remove it from the menu.

You can turbocharge your Amiga for $24.95. Contact Microlllusions, 17408 Chatsworth Street, Granada Hills, California 91344; (800) 522-2041.

Hard Drivin'

Tired of doing the floppy shuffle? Check out Xetec's Amiga hard drive controllers. The Amiga 500 ($249.95) and 1000 ($274.95) interfaces feature a slot for adding up to eight megabytes of expansion memory. Just attach a hard drive in an external case and you're ready to go. The A2000 Fast-Card ($199.95) lets you mount a 3½-inch hard drive directly on the controller card. All three models autoboot under Kick-Start 1.3.

Although they don't do DMA, the Xetec interfaces are very fast. DeluxePaint III, a 280K program, loads in under two seconds using the Fast-Card in my A1000 expansion chassis.

For more information, contact Xetec at 2804 Arnold Road, Salina, Kansas 67401; (913)827-0685.

Denny Atkin