Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 136 / DECEMBER 1991 / PAGE 134

The Ultimate Computer Software Buyer's Guide. (software package) (Evaluation)
by Richard Rapp

Everyone enjoys making a great computer deal that stretches your hard-earned dollars even further. With its new product, The Ultimate Computer Software Buyer's Guide, Lilac Akiko may help you find a bargain on your next software purchase, and it will definitely make the search less strenuous.

The Guide contains information on almost 600 programs and 35 mail-order vendors. Mail-order companies aren't saddled with a traditional retail store's overhead costs, so they can offer prices substantially lower than those at most local computer centers. A quick search of the database allows you to compare prices, shipping charges, payment methods, and several other factors to find the best overall deal on the software you want.

Because software prices change constantly, Lilac Akiko updates The Guide's information monthly. It distributes The Guide by subscription, which assures you of always having the most current data. Both 6- and 12-month subscription are available, or you can purchase a single trial issue. And The Guide is growing. Upcoming issues will contain information on more than 1000 programs and 40 vendors.

The Guide's design makes it very easy to use. Its character-mode interface uses pop-up menus to input user selections and text windows to display product and venor information. You can locate product information by entering the name of a specific program or by searching all the programs in one of The Guide's 16 categories.

This package has only one flaw; it needs a database of product features. Currently, you have no way to compare features to find the program that best suits you. This ability would make The Guide truly indispensable rather than just useful. Still, for those of you who know what you want but need some help finding the best deal, The Ultimate Computer Software Buyer's Guide and be a valuable tool.