Making it big. (COMPUTE/NET PowerVision electronic bulletin board) (Column)
by Troy Tucker
COMPUTE/NET has been offline for a few months now. We've spent that time designing and testing the new COMPUTE/NET At last, it gives me great pleasure to announce that COMPUTE/NET has been reintroduced as COMPUTE/NET PowerVision on VideoTex of America.
We offer an electronic version of COMPUTE that is quite different from anything available online anywhere. In this installment, I'll guide you through our new service, show you how things work, and reveal the future of COMPUTE/NET PowerVision.
When you log on to VideoTex for the first time, you'll notice that every screen is in VGA graphics mode. The screens are in 640 x 480 resolution with 16 colors. You'll find COMPUTE/NET on the main screen. Simply click on the corresponding button to enter. Once inside, you'll be presented with a (free) Welcome screen that displays rate information and the latest news. From there, you are placed on the main COMPUTE/NET screen. Our colorful logo is drawn at the top of the screen, and several buttons are displayed in the center. These buttons provide you with a means of navigating through the service. The main menu gives you the following choices: News & Information, Software Library, COMPUTE Magazine, E-Mail, Chat, and COMPUTE Mart.
The News & Information button will take you to a screen with the following selections: News, Help, and Contests. The News section serves as a newswire that alerts you to new file uploads in the Software Library section, changes to the service, new products for sale in the COMPUTE Mart section, and rate changes. The Help button provides helpful information about navigating COMPUTE/NET, uploading and downloading files, procedures for the E-Mail section, and how to order products online. Just about anything you need help with can be found in this section. The last section under News & Information is Contests. You'll find puzzles, word hunt games, and scavenger hunt games. Winners receive free online time, subscriptions, T-shirts, mugs, hats, and more.
The next item on the main menu is Software Library. Our Software Library area is separated into specific sections so you can quickly find what you're looking for. These sections are as follows: Programming, Utilities, Games, Graphics, Productivity, Education, Books Online, and COMPUTE Disks. In each section you'll find software packs that include several programs already archived together for you to download. Now, you can download several great programs at one low price, regardless of the bps rate! Prices are marked in the file descriptions, so you'll know the cost before you download.
Returning to the main menu, our next option is COMPUTE Magazine. This is where the editorial content of our magazine resides online. In this area, you are presented with Tips & Tools, News & Notes, Readers' Feedback, IntroDOS & Hardware Clinic, Windows Workshop, Getting Started with . . ., and Test Lab. When you select one of these, you can read the corresponding articles and columns online. These files will be available for downloading in the future. One special feature in these sections is that many of the articles are accompanied by online photos. For example, the Test Lab section may contain photos of the equipment reviewed. Not only are you provided with factual test information, but you get to see the product being reviewed while online.
The next two items are E-Mail and Chat. I'm sure you're familiar with the concept of both, but you're in for a shock when see ours. The Chat area works just like any other chat service, except that you can see who you're talking to. To see the person you're chatting with, simply pull up the profile to receive personal information, such as residence, age, and sex. And a color photograph of the person. The subscriber can limit the amount of information obtainable by others. E-Mail works much the same way as Chat. With E-Mail, users may send and receive pictures along with their letters. At 9600 bps, it takes only 12 seconds to download the photo and view it; at 2400 bps, the process takes about 30 seconds.
The last item on the main menu is COMPUTE Mart, which is our discount online store. Here, we offer a variety of products at discount prices. You can take advantage of special subscription rates on any General Media publication by ordering online. We'll also be offering COMPUTE disks, COMPUTE books, and special promotional items online. We hope to work with some of the major software companies so that we can provide you with special prices on commercial software, too.
COMPUTE/NET PowerVision is so different that you have to see it to believe it. Circle the reader service number 102 for more information or write us at COMPUTE/NET PowerVision, 324 West Wendover Avenue, Suite 200, Greensboro, North Carolina 27408 for complete information and sign-up kit. I'll be seeing you online.