TAKE TOMORROW'S HOME TECH HOME TODAY
RICHARD C. LEINECKER
Listen to the computer press, and before long you'll hear the term multimedia. It's the merging of different technologies for more powerful presentations. Videotapes interact with computers and stereo sounds to make presentations come alive and underscore their messages. Although these high-powered applications are out of reach for most home and business computers, you can still use yours to get the most out of your stereo and VCR.
Since this month's In Focus theme is multimedia, we've filled the SharePak disk with programs that will help you manage your home entertainment systems. Now you can keep track of your VCR tapes and audio collections and tune your monitor for peak performance.
We screen hundreds of programs each month to bring you these fine collections. If you had downloaded the programs yourself and paid the connect charges, you would've paid many times what we charge for this disk. You don't need to spend hundreds of hours scouring the online services and mail-order catalogs for high-quality shareware. It's here on our disk, this month and every month.
It's hard enough to keep track of current albums, tapes, and CDs that you listen to often; last year's favorites may have faded from memory. This program keeps you organized and on top of things by cataloging your audio collections. Just run the program and search one of six indexes to find what you're looking for.
Whether it's a Beethoven symphony, a golden oldie from the Tams, a big band classic from Glenn Miller, or a country ballad, you won't have trouble locating the right recording. This program tracks more than enough information to give you the full picture. Besides the title, artist, and type, Audiolog records the medium, label (Polydor, CBS, and so on), and comments you've entered. You can search and edit the database or browse through it with a special option.
Printing reports is a breeze—a single keypress does it. The program runs in 256K with any monitor, so there won't be any systems left out. You don't have to be a computer expert to use the program, either. A simple, easy-to-use interface makes it a snap for even novices to use.
For audiophiles, this program is a must. Keep track of your state-of-the-art audio collection with a computer and enter the information age at home.
Today's monitors have come a long way from those amber and green monochrome systems. Plenty of people have graphic capabilities that make computers more friendly, pleasant, and fun. But it's hard to enjoy a fuzzy, out-of-focus game or desktop publishing program. VideoTest will help you adjust your monitor for maximum performance across the spectrum of applications.
And there are detailed descriptions of the internal workings of your monitor so that you have a better understanding of what's going on. (The program warns you not to open your monitor unless you're trained to do so.) You can put up dots, lines, and Crosshatch patterns for focus and contrast. Color bars will help you adjust the hue, tint, and saturation.
Of course, you could load a game or graphic application and do the adjusting. But then you may find another program doesn't look as good. Video Test lets you maximize performance in a more exacting way so that your system is tuned for peak performance in a wide variety of uses.
You don't have to be technical minded to use the program, either. Simple menus let you navigate with single keypresses. If you want to maximize your enjoyment and productivity by making sure that your monitor is perfectly adjusted, this easy, straightforward program is for you.
Video Librarian Version 2.1
Most households have at least one VCR. And the more people who use it, the harder it is to find the tape you want to view. That's why Video Librarian is so valuable. You can enter all of the information about a tape, and then the program worries about remembering the details.
There's room for everything you'd want to record. You can enter the title, starring and costarring actors, the production company, the release date, and personal comments. And it's easy to use. Options are clearly labeled along the bottom of the screen and are activated with a single keypress.
You can print reports to the printer, the screen, or a disk file. You can also generate labels for your library. Numerous search and sort options give you a lot of flexibility and power. Joining files is a single key-press away, too. The program merges all of your library entries into a single file.
Video buffs who use this program will soon be asking how they did without it. You'll never come up short when you look for your favorite Star Trek adventure. And if you're in the mood for a Woody Allen movie, let Video Librarian show you the list.