ProComm Plus. (communications software) (evaluation)
by Barry Brenesal
A longtime favorite among the legions of the DOS-faithful, ProComm Plus, a dependenble, multipurpose telecommunications program, is back. And as the first major upgrade to Datastorm's premiere communications package in several years, ProComm Plus 2.0 debuts as a winner, touting some significant, much-appreciated enhancements.
Full mouse compatibility and 132-column support have been added. (Switching from 80 to 132 columns and back presents no problem to ProComm.) If your system doesn't have EGA or VGA higher-resolution modes, ProComm Plus scrolls across the larger 132-column window.
Roughly doubled in size, the Aspect script language now necessitates a separate manual. The manual itself has been written and includes a helpful tutorial. Several appendices provide useful information on common problems such as file transfer protocols and terminal emulation. Background communications are supported, but notably, expanded and extended memory use isn't. However, the amount of memory required--300K for fully functional operations--is small enough to allow multitasking with ease. Intended primarily for DOS users, ProComm Plus nevertheless operates in the Windows multitasking environment. Just set it up as a DOS application and you can switch between telecommunicating and Word for Windows, for example. You're also saved the memory expense of accessing ZMODEM as an external protocol; ProComm Plus features it as part of the main executable file.
ProComm Plus remains, above all, easy to use. ProComm Plus 2.0 is fully compatible with the older 1.1B release and both the installation process and the program are supplemented by generous online help, which now includes a topic index. If problems occur that require outside assistance, unlimited technical support is quickly available. You'll find Datastorm's technicians very knowledgeable and courteous.
In short, ProComm Plus reestablishes its claim to a first-tier position among communications software. Combining breadth of features, low memory usage, and excellent documentation, ProComm leaves little to be desired. This is the DOS-based asynchronous telecommunications package to buy.