Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 123 / NOVEMBER 1990 / PAGE 32



Japan has for centuries fascinated us with its beauty, culture, and ingenuity. This month's SharePak lets you explore these qualities in three great programs: a language and culture tutor, a Japanese puzzle game, and a Japanese compression program.

With the SharePak, you get value in every byte. We screen hundreds of programs and choose only the very best. Since the online services have an average hourly charge of about $12, obtaining these programs yourself would cost many times the price of the disk. And that's not even considering the time you'd have to spend running the programs and sorting through them.

There's also a money-back guarantee: If you buy one of our SharePak disks and aren't satisfied, just return it for a refund. You can also call us for technical support if you have trouble using the programs on the disk.

Japanese for Business and Travel Version 1.1

Imagine a gentle, patient, and pleasant teacher willing to spend hours helping you learn. That's what this tutorial software is all about. Fifteen lessons bring you through a basic course covering language, social customs, and other information. And the program is easy to use. There are simple menus to select the lessons and options, and most questions have multiple-choice answers requiring only a single keypress.

Pronunciation is the very first lesson. General rules are given with a short quiz afterward. These pronunciation lessons appear throughout the course when new word categories and concepts are introduced.

The tutor also helps with usage, verb tenses, cases, and negatives.

Lessons throughout the program illustrate problems that could lead to social blunders. Learning to recognize and avoid these should give you greater assurance as you interact with Japanese culture.

Vocabulary drills give you the essence of the language. In spite of their drill format, they're fun. You go from English to Japanese and from Japanese to English, and you work on your spelling as you go. The step-by-step progression from easy to hard simplifies learning and builds your confidence.

If you're planning a trip to Japan, if you have Japanese business contacts, or if you just want to prepare yourself for international competition, this program is for you.


The Japanese are famous for their puzzles and games of logic. This program follows that tradition and presents a variety of challenges in the form of jigsaw-puzzle variations. And with the Japanese art that's included, you'll imagine yourself in an Oriental garden alongside other puzzlemasters.

This program is easy to use. Simple menus help you select the game type and set your options. And there's mouse support if you have a Microsoft-compatible mouse. Colorful backgrounds and attractive screens make this a commercial-quality product with a value far greater than the price of the disk alone.

Puzzle variations will give you hours and hours of challenging stimulation. You can set the puzzle-piece size to one of a dozen different choices. Of course, the smaller the pieces, the more difficult the task. You can also race against a timer and try to qualify for the high-score hall of fame. If that's not enough, you can reload the same puzzle and have your friends try to beat your time.

Any of the puzzles can be saved and finished later.

For die-hard puzzle fans, the fun doesn't end with the four that are included. You can load in any GIF, PCX, or IFF picture that's in 320 × 200 resolution. And the program runs on almost any video card. Support for Hercules, CGA, EGA, MCGA (VGA), and Tandy 16-color is provided. Puzzle buffs and avid jigsaw players won't be able to turn their computer off once they have this challenging and graphically impressive program.

LArc Version 3.33

If you send files over the modem or store them on floppies for later use, this program will save you time, money, and disks. It's a utility that compresses disk files. So programs that were 100K will now occupy only about 50K of disk space. Of course, all files compress differently. Some may sqeeze down to less than half their former size while others may not get that small. Whatever the case, this program does a great job.

It's easy to use, too. All you have to do is type LARC at the DOS prompt and a menu of options comes up. Pressing H for help gives you a synopsis of all of the commands. If you want to bypass the menu, you can just enter the options you want as command line arguments.

Then, when you want to transfer your compressed files over the modem, your connection time is reduced. If the connection is long distance, that means you'll save money. When, on top of long-distance expenses, you're paying an online service for connect time, you'll save even more. And if you're saving files to floppies, compression lets you cut your space requirements about in half.