Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 143 / AUGUST 1992 / PAGE 48

Growing by leaps and bounds. (COMPUTE/NET) (Column)
by Troy Tucker

Electronic publishing is fast becoming a commonplace in our high-tech world of computers. Many popular publications, such as COMPUTE, have turned to this emerging medium to broaden their coverage.

Progress has been relatively slow in past years because the technology wasn't in place and because people simply didn't think of modems as necessary computer peripherals. But things have changed. Now, with high-speed data communications and advanced computer hardware, anyone can quickly connect to thousands of popular publications and databases. Where will this new technology take us? We've already heard metaphors like "global village" and "electronic mall." As the online world expands, it will bring everyone closer. I think we've only scratched the surface.

Video telephony and multimedia technology could easily become parts of online services. Imagine interactive videogames featuring high-resolution graphics and digitized sounds being transmitted via modem or perhaps a slick chat line that allows you to view the person on the other end--in realtime! These ideas aren't as farfetched as they sound. Video telephones are already in place in Europe. Interactive online videogames are also in operation. Both, though in early stages of development, could mark the beginning of things to come. Who knows what to expect from online services in the future? You can bet that whatever comes along, COMPUTE will be in the thick of it.

This month on COMPUTE/NET we're featuring a large variety of programs in our software library. You'll find everything from games to virus checkers. Here's what to look for in the New Uploads library: Directory Master, Quick Type, Skullduggery, MathMagic, Fast-buffer, Flu Shot, PC-KWIK, and Cshow. All of these programs have been pretested. Some of the programs are shareware, so I ask that you please honor the hardworking developers by paying the registration fees.

To find these programs, log on to GEnie or America Online. Use the menus or type the keyword COMPUTE to get to the COMPUTE/NET area. Once in COMPUTE/NET, enter the software library (it's called Files from COMPUTE on America Online). From there, enter the New Uploads area. If you have trouble finding the programs, please drop me a line, and I'll be glad to help you.

For all your power users, we have a healthy collection of programs that will add muscle to your computing. First up is Directory Master. This full-featured DOS shell allows you to customize an interface that includes 30 programmable keys. You can access commands such as COPY, MOVE, and DELETE with a single keystroke or program hot keys to perform multiple operations.

Next, if you're tired of waiting for slow key repeats, then we have just the remedy. Fast-buffer speeds up key-repeat rates and saves your monitor from burnout with a screen blanker. This memory-resident program comes complete with source code. While you're at it, you may want to speed up your hard drive, too. PC-KWIK is a transparent program that turbocharges file access by keeping frequently used files in memory, which results in fewer delays.

If you're in the market for educational programs, look no further. Quick Type is a valuable tool for those who are all thumbs when it comes to typing. Unique graphics entertain you while you improve your typing skills. Varying levels provide a challenge for all typists. Are you a little rusty on your math? Try MathMagic. This program tests your mathematical abilities with four educational games: MathCatch, MathRun, MathLander, and MathShoot. They'll hone your skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Looking for a new way to view all our popular online graphics files? Cshow is just the ticket. This high-quality GIF viewer will show pictures in Hercules, CGA, EGA, and VGA graphic modes. Cshow automatically adjusts to use the graphics card that you have installed. I use this program all the time--it's great!

Looking for mystery and adventure? Skullduggery is a game of intrigue that provides hours of brain-teasing entertainment. Look for clues in various text-based maps and diagrams, and then solve the puzzles that reveal the secret of Skullduggery.

Last but not least, we have a superb virus-checker program for you. Ward off computer viruses and the anxiety they cause with Flu Shot. It checks hard drives for uninvited code. Just add a line to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file, and you're protected. Suspected viruses are reported not only at boot-up but also while the program is running.

If you have any questions or comments about COMPUTE/NET, you can write to me her at COMPUTE in Greensboro or send E-mail to me on GEnie, address TROYGT, or on America Online, screen name TROY GT (that's with a zero). See you online!