by Richard C. Leinecker
Since summer months are the biggest travel months, we've collected three terrific programs targeted to the laptop audience. If you don't have a laptop, though, don't worry. The same principles that apply to laptop-specific software usually apply to desktop systems as well.
You may be running a floppy-only system, or your available hard drive space may be in short supply. If you're in either situation, hang on; these programs are for you, too.
First, there's SimplyWrite, a text editor for writing letters, outlines, and documents. PROspector is a prospect tracker for salespeople who need to stay organized. And when you get back to the office, Filesync will copy over and update only the files you've worked on while you were away.
Why should you order our SharePak disks? Because they're always packed with the best programs, handpicked from hundreds of submissions. The cost of downloading these programs from an online service alone is worth many times the cost of the disk. And we spend many hours screening them to select the very best programs so you don't have to. There's one more important incentive: We guarantee our SharePak. If for any reason you're not happy, just send it back with your reason, and we'll refund your money. A subscription can save you even more money. You can get 12 disks for $59.95, a 37-percent savings over individual disk purchases.
This ASCII text editor does more than just edit ASCII text. It has the full list of features you would expect: search and replace; insert and overwrite toggle; block operations like cut, copy, and paste; keystroke macros; wordwrap and autoindent; margin and tab operations; complete print-formatting commands like bold, italic, compressed, and letter quality; and much more.
There are some surprise, too. You can edit the cursor size, set the keyboard speed, edit documents with up to 1000 columns, and use a built-in pop-up calculator and calendar. These features aren't even found in many commercial word processors.
The keypresses I needed were easy to learn--thanks mainly to the great online help that's merely a keystroke away. SimplyWrite was easier to learn than most text editors I've used, and the best part is that the required disk space was 273K--small enough to put on a single floppy and have plenty of room for documents.
For laptop owners, SimplyWrite is the answer to the fight for programs small enough to fit on a single floppy. If you need to economize on disk space, this program is also for you. Not only is it a quality piece of software, it's small and won't hog your system's resources.
You're on the road or in the air, and you need to refresh your memory. Instead of fumbling through legal pads, take out your laptop computer and run PROspector 1.0. It'll give you a complete picture so you can mentally prepare for upcoming events.
PROspector is pretty easy to use; if you're familiar with similar programs, you shouldn't have any trouble learning how to use it. Entering data is simple. The program gives you a box, and all you have to do is type in the information and press Enter. It does all the worrying about updating your disk files and keeping track of them.
You can sort the entries just about any way you want, and you can set the search criteria for a wide range of uses. The search routines can find entries in any of the fields. That way you can search for all references to Bill, for example, and then turn around and find all the phone numbers with a 919 area code.
For such a powerful program, you won't have to give up much disk space. The directory I put PROspector in contained a total of 359K of files, including several test-data files. That leaves plenty of room on a 3 1/2-inch disk for your files.
If you want to keep track of appointments, clients, and contacts, this program is a must. It will give you a needed edge in your business, and it won't tax your computer's resources too heavily.
Once you're back in the office, you'll want to copy your files back to your desktop system, but it isn't always a good idea to copy everything. That's why Filesync is so handy. It compares the dates and times of files and makes sure you're left with the latest updates.
The program is simple to use. Just type in the source and destination directories, and let it go to work. This handy utility can save you time and aggravation, and possibly prevent mistakes that will wipe out your latest file changes.
When using a laptop, you have to find ways to get the most computing power out of the least amount of disk space and memory. These programs do that and provide some of the most useful tools to use on the road--and they're useful for desktop systems, too.