The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing

Issue 1.2                                                           9/96

This issue of KDP is sponsored by:



As you may have noticed, Digital Media Monthly has a new name. As it turns out, there were some trademark issues surrounding the term "Digital Media." To avoid any conflicts, we changed the name of the publication to "The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing." For now, all of the email addresses and URL's from DMM will still work. We will gradually update the web site to reflect the new name. The publication is the same, so there is no need to re-subscribe. The name change and legal issues are what delayed this issue of KDP, and we apologize for the delay.

We also welcome a new sponsor in this issue. Impossible Software, makers of the TypeTamer font utility for the Mac, is sponsoring this issue of KDP. Impossible is also extending a special offer to subscribers of KDP. Our readers can purchase TypeTamer for $29.95, a discount of about 50%.

In an effort to make advertising feasible for shareware authors, we are now running a special promotion for shareware authors. You can buy a "panel-size" ad on one of our secondary pages or an issue sponsorship for the price of a single license of your program! If you sell just two copies by advertising with us, you make a profit! This offer is only for shareware authors and some restrictions apply. Send email to <> for more information.


by Professor Michael Kleper <>

OpenDoc and its "parts", now called Live Objects, have finally come into their own as a real technology. Live Objects provide a new category of "component publishing", whereby a publication may contain a variety of digital media parts, such as text, video, teleconferencing, web links, live web data feeds, web pages, charts linked to web pages, and more. The capability of publishing live documents will certainly raise the bar for traditional computer publishing applications and their delivery systems.

OpenDoc technology was created, in part, in response to the runaway sizes of software suites, and the incompatibilities between competing products. The benefits of Live Object publishing will be a motivator for traditional software publishers to create either Live Object parts, or to build in component publishing capabilities to their existing products, or perhaps, both. Regardless of how it comes about, component publishing is now established as the most seductive and effective way to present information.



by Scott J. Kleper <>
By now, you've probably heard about Apple's new plans for shipping quarterly OS releases. The idea is that instead of releasing monolithic distributions, like System 7 and Windows '95, and causing huge problems, they intend to ship much smaller updates and spread the problems out over a longer period of time.

Naturally, many Mac users are worried about this policy. After the problems users experienced installing System 7.5 Update 2.0, the possibility of another one of those every three months spawns several headaches. Personally, I'm not worried. Maybe it's because I installed 7.5.3 without a problem, or maybe it's because I know that Mac users can get along just fine on their own even when Apple seems to abandon them.

What's the secret? In my opinion, it's about a dozen or so Macintosh web pages that constantly provide prompt support for the latest Mac-related problems. Browsing some of these pages every couple of days can cure a lot of problems and alert you of offers and releases that you might not have found otherwise. Here are some of the best ones:

Macintouch - Ric Ford, of MacWeek, has set up a web site that tracks various problems and notifies users of updates. His site is a terrific resource and I recommend stopping by once a day to get the latest scoop on updates and fixes.


The Macintosh Resource Page - While similar in content to Macintouch, the MRP tends to have more links to free downloads as well as more commentary. The MRP also does the weekly RAMWatch page, which tracks the prices of RAM chips so you can get the best deal. The site also has a software page, feature stories, links, and more.


The Online Macinstuff Times - For excellent stories and commentaries, head over to the Online Macinstuff Times. This site contains around ten stories each day with topics ranging from Mac rumors to software reviews.


MacSurfer's Headline News - If you're on a time budget, the MacSurfer's Headline News is the answer to all your problems. This page was an incredibly smart idea. It tracks the various Mac web sites (including all of the above) and lists the headlines for each of them. You can then pick and choose which sites you want to visit. Links to daily news stories are also included and the site is updated several times each day, generally in the afternoon.


AppleSauce - For Macintosh gossip and rumors, head over to AppleSauce, a daily digest of humorous tidbits and speculation about the Mac industry.


Mac Rumor Page - This site contains a wealth of information about what Apple has in store for us. The most recent additions include detailed information and screenshots from MacOS 8. The author of the pages, Ethan Allen, provides reviews of confidential alpha and beta software currently under development by Apple.


TidBITS - As one of the first email-based newsletters, TidBITS established a loyal Mac following. Adam Engst, author of the "Internet Starter Kit for Macintosh", is editor of this excellent Mac-only newsletter.


While these web sites might not solve all your Mac-related problems, they're guaranteed not to keep you on hold.

Feature Review: Personal Font

Personal Font is a custom font that is designed to reproduce a user's handwriting. It is constructed from a written specimen which incorporates samples of characters used in common letter pair combinations. The user is provided with a kit containing a grid form, listing various words, characters, and character pairs, and a black pen. The user returns the form to Signature Software and receives a custom font in 2 to 4 weeks. The resultant Personal Font is provided in TrueType format.

Using the Personal Font is somewhat of a surreal experience. We are conditioned to expect typographic characters to appear on the computer screen as a result of keyboarding. With the use of Personal Font we see our handwriting being composed before our eyes...quite amazing! The Personal Font makes it possible to prepare faxes, letters, notes, or any kind of document, with an excellent reproduction of one's own handwriting. In addition, the Personal Font includes a multi-key sequence which composes one's own signature. The capability to compose a signature is very useful, especially for signing electronic faxes that do not originate in paper form.

The Personal Font can be composed within any application, and it benefits from the use of a proprietary utility called "SigSoft". Most fonts have only one shape for each character, but Personal Font, since it has connected characters, and the nuances of personal handwriting, has several. The SigSoft utility is used to analyze the composed characters and substitute the proper shape so that the words appear as if written by hand. $99.95

Contact: Signature Software, Inc., 489 N. 8th St., Suite 201, Hood River, OR 97031, 541 386-3221, Internet:, <>, fax: 503 386-3229.

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DTP Reviews

Publishers on a tight budget will be interested in a new low-cost tool called MacPublisher. MacPublisher, named after one of the original DTP programs for the Macintosh, boasts a long list of high-end features. These include linkable text boxes, kerning and leading controls, a 93,000-word spell checker, automatic hyphenation, spot color separation, and several other capabilities. All of this on one floppy! Despite the give-away price, which also includes a CD-ROM with 1000 clipart images and 40 fonts, the performance of the program is slow and imprecise. We tried it on two PowerMacs and got similarly lethargic, unresponsive behavior on both. $24.99

Contact: MacSoft, a WizardWorks Company, 3850 Annapolis Lane, Suite 100, Plymouth, MN 55447, 612 559-5301, 800 229-2714, <>, fax: 612 577-0631.

Everyone has seen a bargain font library. Here's one that's different in several ways...the most important being that these fonts are original, having never appeared in another collection. ImageFonts 3000 contains 500 unique typefaces, each with extended, condensed, thick, stretched, and super-condensed versions, each in TrueType and PostScript Type 1 formats. These fonts are a real buy at about one cent per font! $29.99

Contact: MacSoft, a WizardWorks Company, 3850 Annapolis Lane, Suite 100, Plymouth, MN 55447, 612 559-5301, 800 229-2714, <>, fax: 612 577-0631.

Handwritten Fonts is a CD-ROM collection of 300 TrueType fonts made from handwriting samples from real people (just like you and me!). The variety of designs offers a unique opportunity to select fonts appropriate for personalization. Handwritten fonts can be used as a stark contrast, and refreshing change, from conventional fonts. $39.95

Screen Shot: <>

Contact: Signature Software, Inc., 489 N. 8th St., Suite 201, Hood River, OR 97031, 503 386-3221, Internet:, <>, fax: 503 386-3229.

PenPals is a set of five TrueType fonts which resemble handwriting. The fonts are accessible from the System font menu, in both regular and bold weights. One shape is provided for each uppercase, lowercase, figure, and punctuation character. $29.95

Contact: Signature Software, Inc., 489 N. 8th St., Suite 201, Hood River, OR 97031, 503 386-3221, Internet:, <>, fax: 503 386-3229.

SUPERscripts is a set of five contextual fonts, which provide multiple shapes of most characters, to create a realistic rendition of handwriting. The user types normally using one of the fonts, and then uses the supplied SigSoft Handwriter to substitute the appropriate character shape. $49.95

Contact: Signature Software, Inc., 489 N. 8th St., Suite 201, Hood River, OR 97031, 503 386-3221, Internet:, <>, fax: 503 386-3229.

Editorial Tools Reviews

End Note 2 Plus is a powerful full-featured utility program for managing reference citations and generating bibiliographies. The program works either as a standalone application or a plug-in, working within popular word processing software. Sets, or "libraries" can contain up to 32,000 references, each of which can contain up to 16 pages of text. A user can create an unlimited number of libraries, and library entries can accommodate large abstracts and notes. Each library entry can be edited, and extensive search options of all fields (with unlimited length boolean search strings) can be conducted quickly.

Each citation is entered in a reference template which has the fields appropriate for its particular type, such as a book or a magazine article. There are 16 pre-defined reference types, with up to 27 fields available to hold data, although the user can define new types or modify existing ones.

Term lists, which contain terms; and journal, publication, and author names, which are used repeatedly in one or more libraries, can be generated easily. The terms can be copied to ensure consistent data entry throughout the bibliography.

The program includes over 300 bibliographic formats which can be selected to produce a bibliography that conforms to almost all known specifications. The user can also generate a custom format as needed. Bibliographies can be generated from the citations that the author inserts while the paper, article, or scholarly work is being created; or directly from any part of the library of bibliographic entries. The program can work directly within a word processor and can update the bibliography at any point, renumbering all citations on-the-fly.

Bibliographic information stored in other formats, such as a database, can be imported into End Note 2 Plus to gain its organizational and formatting benefits. $299

Screen Shot: <>

Contact: Niles & Associates, Inc., 800 Jones St., Berkeley, CA 94710, 510 559-8592, Internet:, <>, fax: 510 559-8683.

With the sophisticated spell checking capabilities contained in programs like MS Word and WordPerfect there would not seem to be much of a need for a standalone spell checker. But Spell Catcher is not only superior to native spell checkers, it works within any Macintosh program, even e-mail. This one spell checking program eliminates the need for the large dictionaries which accompany application-bound spell checkers, and provides a consistent and powerful set of writing tool aids.

Spell Catcher is customizable, and can catch spelling mistakes as they are made, and offer suggested spelling alternatives. It provides an audible signal when a word is typed that does not appear in its dictionary, which incidentally, contains 95,000 words. Auxiliary medical, legal, and HTML dictionaries are provided, and the user can also construct a custom dictionary. Spell checking can be performed on any selected text, from a single word up to an entire document.

Other helpful features include a comprehensive thesaurus; a Shorthand Glossary that will expand user-defined abbreviations such as "tyia" into "Thanking you in advance"; a Ghostwriter feature that saves keystrokes to disk to avoid the loss of text during a crash or power outage; a Punctuation checker that can correct capitalization errors, substitute an em-dash for double hyphens, and more; and a statistics screen that counts characters, words, syllables, sentences, and paragraphs, and provides two readability indexes. Incidentally, if you understood what you just read, Spell Catcher will tell you that you are reading at a Flesch Index level of 35, appropriate for a college or university student. $79.95

Contact: Casady & Greene, 22734 Portola Dr., Salinas, CA 93908-1119, 408 484-9228, Internet: c&, fax: 408 484-9218.

CD-ROM Reviews

Pacific HiTech has one of the largest collections of low-cost Macintosh and Windows CD-ROMs. Among the titles we've recently seen are: PHT Illustrations ($39.95), a cross-platform collection with 100 royalty-free illustrations in categories such as animals, art, food, landscapes, space, etc. The files are provided in 300 dpi and 72 dpi resolutions in TIFF, BMP, and PICT formats. MacSource CD-ROM ($29.95) contains source code, compilers, interpreters, utilities, and tips for Macintosh programmers and developers. HyperStacks CD-ROM ($19.95) contains a large collection of HyperCard stacks that work with the Claris HyperCard Player. Wheat Paper Volume 5 ($39.95) is a collection of royalty-free, drum-scanned, high-resolution paper backgrounds for desktop publishing and multimedia applications. The CD-ROM includes a browser for viewing and copying images. All images are in TIFF, at 300 dpi, with dimensions of 2610 x 3570, and 900 x 900. Light of Days, Volume One ($29.95), is a cross-platform set of 100 royalty-free images from the Norman Bosworth Original Photography Series. The images are provided in both 72 and 300 dpi resolutions for multimedia and desktop publishing uses. Categories of images include backgrounds, desert scenery, seascapes, people, mountains, fireworks, leaves, buildings, deep canyons, and sunsets. Browsers are provided for both Macintosh and Windows users.

Contact: Pacific HiTech, Inc., 3855 So. West, Suite B, Salt Lake City, UT 84115, 801 261-1024, <>.

Image Club has released several new clipart collections, each distinctive and reasonably priced.

Schoolsville, Volume 40 in the Image Club series, is a highly modern interpretation of the stages leading from grade school to college. The iconic collection consists of black & white and color images in EPS format. $99

Sketches Around the World Clip Art is a collection of over 200 EPS travel images rendered in pen and ink. $99

Hoopla! is a collection of artwork, typefaces, layered photographs and original sounds designed by artist Dean Stanton. The CD-ROM collection is stylistically coordinated so that all elements will work together. $179

Neo Retro is a collection of more than 150 clipart images with the nostalgic feeling of the postwar period. The images are grouped in six categories: Heroes, Home Life, Just Folks, Leisure Time, Technotronic, and Working Stiffs. $99

Screen Shot: <>

Contact: Image Club Graphics, Suite 800 - 833 Fourth Avenue Southwest, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2P 3T5, 800 661 9410, Internet:, <>, fax: 403 261 7013.

Personal mapping and personal phone search CD-ROMs have been available for quite a while. Now Delorme has linked them together so that users can pinpoint the locations of individuals and businesses on a map, using the information that they find in the phone directory.

Street Atlas USA 3.0 ($79) contains street-level detail for the entire U.S. Phone Search USA 2.0 ($29) contains three CD-ROMs, one for each one-third of the country. The user can search by name or business type, reverse search by phone number, limit a search by given criteria, and export the results to a file or paper copy.

Contact: DeLorme, Lower Main St., POB 298, Freeport, ME 04032, 800 452-5931, Internet:, <>, fax back: 207 865-7083, fax: 800 575-2244.

BMUG has released another series of CD-ROMs focused at the needs of Macintosh users. Roadside Resources 3.0, The BMUG Internet Collection not only contains an essential collection of Internet tools and utilities, but also six complete Internet books, and excerpts from several more. ($28)

ResNova's Web For One, Personal Web Server is a personal web server that lets any MacOS computer on a TCP/IP network publish documents on the Internet or LAN. The Control Panel interface provides simple prompts for assembling, publishing, and securing a basic Home Page. Inexpensive and useful. ($24)

The BMUG PD-ROM, Fall 1996 Edition is packed with over 600MB of publicly distributable shareware, all of which has been tested to work with System 7.5. Categories include business, education, entertainment, graphics, Internet, programming, sound, telcommunications, utility, updaters, and demos. $30

The QuickTime 2.5 CD-ROM contains QuickTime 2.5, MoviePlayer 2.5, sample movies, and complete documentation for using and applying QuickTime movie technology. $10

Cyberdog/OpenDoc CD-ROM provides a workable Living Objects environment. Cyberdog is a Web browser, FTP browser, telnet client, mail manager, and news reader. $12

Contact: BMUG, Inc., 1442A Walnut St., No. 62, Berkeley, CA 94709-1496, 510 549-2684, fax: 510 849-9026.

Several rare and meticulously rendered image collections have been released as a series of four CD-ROMs of steel engravings. These new Wildside Press titles consist of Animals; Castles and Cathedrals; Designs, Dropcaps and Borders; and Arms, Armor and Battles. Each image has been digitized as an 8-bit grayscale TIFF file at 300 dpi, resulting in average file sizes of from 1 to 4 megabytes.

Each cross-platform collection, which averages between 200-300 images, includes a KUDO image browser with multiple keywords for each image and thumbnails in three sizes. Selected images can be cut-and-pasted or drag-and-dropped onto a layout or document page. The images are royalty free and can be browsed quickly using the accompanying variable speed slide show. $49.95 each, $149.95 for all four.

Contact: Wideside Press, Judson Rosebush Co. Inc., Carnegie Hall Studio 826, 154 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019, 212 581-3000, Internet:, <>, fax: 212 757-8283.

CD-ROM Express is a utility program that uses unique techniques to significantly increase the performance of CD-ROM drives and multimedia applications. The program uses hard disk space to store frequently-used CD-ROM sectors which not only improves the delivery of information at hard disk rather than CD-ROM speeds, but also preserves the information from one session to another. $79.95

Contact: PC-Kwik Corp., 3800 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Suite 260, Beaverton, OR 97005, 503 644-5644, fax: 503 646-8267.

Spacecraft Encyclopedia (WIN) is one of several new low-cost multimedia titles on CD-ROM that incorporates a proprietary software engine that is controlled by 14 icons. These icons allow for access to program content in a variety of ways, such as written articles, video clips, slide shows, narrated text over a background image, and more. Each title in the collection includes informative text, narration, music, over 100 photographs, and 20 minutes of video. The Spacecraft Encyclopedia includes every spacecraft in the world. $16.99

Contact: American MPC Research, 11849 E. Telegraph Rd., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670, 310 801-0108, fax: 310 801-0138.

Digital Photography Reviews

A new collection of digital art has been developed for the critical high-resolution requirements of vinyl sign making. The cross platform CD-ROM contains each lineart image in 13 file formats and each of the 200 original images can be used for sign making or printing. Major categories include animals, business and industrial equipment, food, business objects, plants and flowers, sports, tools, transportation, workers, and miscellaneous images. $119.95

Contact: Allied Compugraphics, Inc., 401 Norwood Ave., Satellite Beach, FL 32937, 407 777-4004, 800 330-4488, Internet:, <>, fax: 407 777-8003.

Clipart collections are pretty standard elements in most desktop publisher's design arsenals. In the early days of desktop publishing, before the widespread use of scanners, and the proliferation of image suppliers, a single image could cost several dollars, and the selection was limited at that. The trend over the last couple of years has been to offer more and more images at increasingly reduced prices. This has lowered the per image cost to just pennies each. The latest clipart collection release from Zedcor introduces a new level to the economics of digital clipart. Their DeskGallery Mega-Bundle consists of 15 cross-platform CD-ROMs, containing almost 120,000 600 dpi images arranged in four volumes. The printed manual of thumbnail specimens is thoroughly indexed, and consists of more than 1000 pages.

Each of the four volumes is available separately at $49.95 each, or together in the Mega-Bundle at $149.95 (a savings of almost $50). They consist of the Advertising Art Volume with 3500 EPS images, each in ten variations (bordered, shadowed, colored, watermarked, etc.) resulting in 32,000 images; Lifestyles and Occupations with 30,000 images of people in a wide variety of situations and settings; Animals and Plants with 27,500 images drawn from nature; and Universal Symbols with 30,000 spot illustrations.

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Contact: Zedcor, Inc., 3420 N. Dodge Blvd., Suite F, Tucson, AZ 85716-1469, 520 881-8101, Internet:, <>, fax: 520 881-1841.

Owen Jones' Grammar of Ornament is one of the most famous works on Ornamental Design ever published. It was produced on over 600 hand etched stone plates and took five artisans nearly a year to complete. Many of the 2300 designs shown in the book were from ancient monuments and buildings that no longer exist.

The new CD-ROM multimedia edition of the 1856 Folio Edition, is presented in Adobe Acrobat format. In this form it is fully searchable, with over 23,000 hypertext links. The copyright and royalty-free Professional Artists' Edition includes the AliveArt! collection of 160 precision drawn files in Adobe Illustrator format. Each of these illustrations is provided in CMYK, grayscale, black-and-white, and lineart formats. The Compact Edition, which does not include the AliveArt! collection is priced at $99.

The book has translated perfectly into multimedia form, and benefits from the excellent navigational tools; QuickTime morph movies; and examples of how several of the designs have been applied to products, such as stationary, posters, video, ceramics, and needlepoint. $199

Screen Shot: <>

Contact: Direct Imagination, POB 93018, Pasadena, CA 91101-3018, 818 793-8387, <>, fax: 818 449-6083.

Printing Reviews

Pizazz 5 is a screen capture and printing utility that combines ease-of-use with superior graphic capabilities. The Capture Activation window lets the user select if the captured screen, or screen area, will be opened with the Pizazz 5 Edit program, for customization, or will be automatically printed, or saved as a file. The Pizazz 5 Edit program provides capabilities to open saved screen capture files, display them, edit them, print them, and/or convert them to another file format. Editing options include swapping black-and-white, inverting color images, adjusting color, changing size and color level, cropping, changing the image orientation, mirroring, adding borders, and more. Up to 32 sequential effects can be saved as a "recipe" to be repeated automatically for a different image. All in all the best program of its class. $99

Contact: Application Techniques, Inc., 10 Lomar Park Drive, Pepperell, MA 01463, 508 433-5201, 800 433-5201, fax: 508 433-8466.

Internet Reviews

Eudora has a long history, by Internet standards, as a hassle-free, efficient email application. The freeware Lite version is available from several sites, however, once you try the Lite version, the benefits of the Professional version 3.0 become irresistible. I've used Eurdora everyday for years, and the newest version is well worth the modest price.

Eudora is much more than a way of sending and receiving mail. It is a mail management tool that provides these important features: Unlimited mailboxes and folders into which incoming mail can be sorted and filtered automatically, and automated responses can be generated for common requests; sounds can be enabled to alert the user to important messages; incoming mail can be forwarded automatically to other locations or users; built-in spell checking eliminates typos; boilerplate stationery can be generated to reply to habitual inquiries; a toolbar provides access to the most-used features; live URLs provide instant access to the WWW; text formatting supports bold or colored fonts; file attachments make it easy to send multiple documents, graphics, digital videos, or any other kind of file to one or more recipients; multiple signatures can be composed to personalize any message; a multiple field address book makes it easy to address messages by the name the user prefers; mail lists can be composed, maintained, and executed easily; mail can be moved easily from one mailbox to another, and can be sorted by name, date, or subject; mailboxes can be exported to a database or other application; third-party plug-ins, which perform such specialized functions as language translation, can be added; and more. How can you resist? The Macintosh version is shipping. The Windows version will ship in late fall. $89

Contact: Qualcomm Inc.. 6455 Lusk Blvd., San Diego, CA 92121-2779, 619 658-1292, 800 338-3672, Internet:, <>.

Any serious HTML designer should have BBEdit (MAC) in his or her arsenal of tools. The powerful text editor from Bare Bones software was designed for editing any type of text file. Version 4.0 comes loaded with a wealth of HTML tools and extensions. The new version also features syntax highlighting for HTML, making it obvious when you leave off a quote. BBEdit and its shareware counterpart, BBEdit Lite, support extensions, which allow developers to add functionality to the program. The BBEdit 4.0 CD-ROM contains extensions from various developers and information on how to write your own. BBEdit 4.0 is also scriptable, which greatly extends the power of the application. For example, I wrote a script that would allow BBEdit to interface with my HTML conversion program. Now I have HTML conversion functionality from within the BBEdit program! If you work with HTML code directly, I highly recommend BBEdit. BBEdit Lite can be downloaded for free from Bare Bones Software's web site and Bare Bones also offers upgrades from other HTML editors, like Adobe's PageMill. US$119, $79 cross upgrade.

Review by Scott J. Kleper

Bare Bones Software, Inc., PO Box 1048, Bedford, MA 01730-1048, (617) 676-0650,, <>

Phantom is the first commercial Web crawler for Macintosh, from Maxum Development Corporation, a prominent Macintosh internet developer. Like Digital's Alta Vista, Phantom works by sending out little robots on your (or any) web site. The pages are then indexed in Phantom's database, which is searchable. You can use Phantom to to mirror or archive a site, to make your site searchable, or to watch a site for changes. The program is easy to use, provides powerful searching capabilities, and perhaps most importantly, behaves itself--Phantom recognizes the robots.txt file, which sites can use to restrict the use of robots. Once a Phantom index has been created, it can be searched offline on a Mac or be run as a CGI script on your web site. US$395.

Review by Scott J. Kleper

Maxum Development Corporation, 820 South Bartlett Road, Suite 104, Streamwood, IL 60107,, <>

It took an inventive mind to think of using a printer driver to convert text from any application into HTML, and a programming genius to make it a reality. Myrmidon (mur-muh-don) automates Web publishing by converting any document into HTML code with a single click. It works within any application that has a "Print" command (and of course, most do).

As useful as this main feature is, the program fulfills its purpose as a Meta-Printer in several different ways. It can do creative things like locate all of the addresses in a document and print them, one per page. It can also identify the From and To addresses in a document and print an envelope. Finally, it can convert all of the text in a document into an email message for Eudora, Claris Emailer, or America Online. The user can also create meta-printers with special features. $49.95

Contact: Terry Morse Software, 4546 B10 El Camino Real, Suite 427, Los Altos, CA 94022, 415 858-1017, Internet:, <>, fax: 415 494-6272.

WebTalk is a software application that contains two licenses for using the World Wide Web through which to speak to another Internet user. The package includes a copy of Quarterdeck Mosaic web browser and a microphone. $69.95

Contact: Quarterdeck Corp., 13160 Mindanao Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292-9705, 310 309-3700, Internet:, <>, fax: 310 309-4219.

Utility Reviews

Macintosh power users will be interested in DragStrip 2.0, a desktop organizer that puts buttons, representing frequently used files, in user-customized windows right on the desktop. The program is a tremendous help in organizing applications, projects, boilerplate files, etc. $59.95

Contact: Natural Intelligence, Inc., 725 Concord Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138, 617 876-7680, <>, fax: 617 492-7425.

No one with any computer experience would ever question the need for regular disk backups, yet most users don't do it. Now there is a simple, direct application which requires only three easy steps. The DataSaver Personal Backup Utility for Macintosh requires first, that the user select the source to backup; second, identify where the backup data will be stored; and third, select a filter (selecting either modified files, the entire drive, applications only, system files, or user data). $79.95

Contact: Software Architects, 19102 North Creek Parkway, Suite 101, Bothell, WA 98011-8005, 206 487-0122, <>, Internet:, fax: 206 487-0467.

They've done it again, and they've done it better. RAM Doubler 2 for the MacOS provides up to triple the available built-in memory, up to 256MB. The program installs in seconds and exhibits little or no performance impact. An easy purchase decision. $99

Contact: Connectix, 2655 Campus Dr., San Mateo, CA 94403, 800 950-5880, 415 571-5100, fax: 415 571-5195, Internet:

How do you clean unwanted file fragments, unattached aliases, empty folders, unused Preferences files, and other hard disk clutter? The hard way is doing it manually...the easy way is with LaundroMac. LaundroMac automatically performs eight file cleaning functions: resolving unattached aliases, removing unneeded code from "fat binary" applications, removing empty folders, eliminating unused fonts, deleting unneeded help files, completely removing all associated files belonging to an unneeded application, locating orphaned files and assigning them to a compatible application, and removing unused Preferences files.

Contact: The Excelsior Group, 7900 Kelly Ann Court, Fairfax Station, VA 22039, 888 239-0433, Internet:, <>, fax: 703 239-8982.

DiskMapper is a useful utility that provides Windows 3.x and Windows 95 users with a colorful map of their hard drive contents. The map, which can be customized to reveal such attributes as file extensions, directory levels, file types, time since the last use of files, and the date of file creation, offers a much more visual and informative look at hard disk contents than standard tree listings.

The space taken up by applications and other categories of software is clearly shown, and sub-directories can be zoomed to reveal lower levels of detail. As the mouse pointer moves across the map, the full file name, path, size, date and extension type are displayed on the status bar, and optionally, next to the cursor.

The business part of the program is the Delete and Zip toolbar buttons which are used to instantly remove or compress any files with a click. This easy deletion feature can be a mixed blessing since needed files can be erased all too easily. $49.95

Contact: Micro Logic, 89 Leuning St., So. Hackensack, NJ 07606, 201 342-6518, Internet:, <>, fax: 201 342-0370.

According to Post Office surveys, more than 30% of all mailpieces have misspelled street or city names, improper state abbreviations, missing or incorrect ZIP codes or other inaccurate or incomplete information. All of these errors can delay, or in the worst case, stop delivery of the mail. A cure for this problem is Address Fixer for Microsoft Word and Office. This add-in checks any address in Word against a CD-ROM database of U.S. addresses, corrects misspellings and mistakes and adds the complete 9 digit ZIP code. $19.95

Contact: CoStar Corp., 599 West Putnam Ave., Greenwich, CT 06830-6092, 203 661-9700, <>, fax: 203 661-1540.

First Aid uses an extensive knowledge base to analyze and fix most common Windows software configuration problems as they happen. The program is memory resident and senses when a system error message occurs. When that happens the program pops up, analyzes the situation, and offers to repair it immediately. All changes are logged so that the user can check what has happened, and even undo the changes if he or she so chooses. $49.95

Contact: CyberMedia, 2029 Century Park East, Suite 810, Century City, CA 90067, 310 843-0800, fax: 310 843-0120.

Multimedia/Graphics Reviews

One of the frustrating parts of working with feature-rich software applications is that they sometimes don't include the one feature that you need. In the case of Adobe Illustrator 6.0, one of the major voids is the lack of style sheets. This deficiency has been met with the release of Stylist, a plug-in which includes 100 preset effects. Stylist lets the user directly set both the text and path properties of styled objects. Objects that have become linked to styles are automatically updated as the style sheet information is modified. Because of this link, Alien Skin refers to the effects as being "live." $199

Contact: Alien Skin Software, LLC, 800 St. Mary's St., Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27605-1457, 919 832-4124, Internet:, <>, fax: 919 832-4065.

Special Delivery 2.1 is a multimedia authoring tool that does not require programming, timelines, flowcharts, or scripting. The patented graphical user interface enables users to employ an extensive set of interactive capabilities that add interactive control to projects for business, education, training, kiosks and interactive CD-ROMs. The Special Delivery run-time player allows users to distribute their productions, on any medium, with no royalty fees. The package also includes a large collection of buttons, backgrounds, and transitions. $399

Those new to multimedia might want to buy the Interactive Multimedia Getting Started CD-ROM, which includes a collection of clip-media, tutorials, sample Special Delivery projects, and tryout versions of several complementary products. $24.95

Contact: Interactive Media Corporation, POB 0089, Los Altos, CA 94023-0089, 415 948-0745.

Entertainment Reviews

The developer and publisher of Volkswriter, Correct Grammar and The American Heritage Dictionary has published Crossword Wizard. Crossword Wizard is the first program to completely and automatically create true crossword puzzles that fit the construction criteria of professional puzzles published in newspapers and magazines. The program has a vocabulary of over 70,000 words which can be used both to construct puzzles, and to solve them. The program also includes the Idea Wizard, which provides insight into how the puzzle was constructed and the ways that words and ideas relate to each other. Puzzles can be published using most word processing and desktop publishing programs. $19.95

Contact: Cogix Corp., 419 Redwood Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960, 415 456-8182.

Many games claim to deliver 3-D graphics, but few offer the sense of depth and realism that is achieved by Jeremy Bem's Glimmer for the Mac. Glimmer uses the red-blue movie glasses technology of the 1950's combined with the raw processing power of the Macintosh to deliver "genuine stereoscopic 3-D". The results are very impressive. Each level of glimmer places you in a room filled with various obstacles and enemies. The object is to collect the diamonds scattered throughout the room and exit through a small tunnel. The game is surprisingly addictive and the 3-D effects are incredible. Best of all, Glimmer is shareware! If you have a pair of 3-D glasses around, you can download Glimmer immediately and try out the first six levels. If you sold the glasses at your last garage sale, Jeremy will send you a free trial pair if you send him a self-addressed stamped envelope. If you decide to register, for $20, you'll get two pair of glasses, a registration code to allow you past room six, and maybe another unexpected surprise...

Jeremy Bem, 301 Wyckoff Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850,, <>

You can buy into some inexpensive and fun role-reversal with the Murder, She Wrote multimedia CD-ROM. Four murders are presented, each with a video cast of suspects. Solving each case depends on keen listening skills and an eye for detail. Clues are hidden in computer-controlled jigsaw puzzles, with user-defined piece shapes, number of pieces, and sound effects. The disc incorporates Centron's Jigsaw Power puzzle engine which features a slew of controls, and over 100 puzzles. Users can also convert their own graphic files into puzzles, and save puzzle solutions in process. $29.95

Contact: Centron Software, 300 American Legion Lane #4, Pinehurst, NC 28374, 910 215-5708, 910 295-8908, 800 848-2424, Internet:,, fax: 800 848-2424.

Miscellaneous Reviews

Certainly the key new feature, among the over 100, in Claris FileMaker Pro 3.0 is its relational database capability. This capability lets users combine the information in multiple files without duplicating data. This report is composed, incidently, using FileMaker Pro 3.0, with the vendor addresses kept in one database file, and the news items kept in another. We've always found FileMaker to be powerful and easy to use.

Claris has just released new training materials to flatten the curve on learning the new FileMaker Pro 3.0 features. Going Relational with FileMaker Pro 3.0 is a self-paced workbook covering four areas: converting existing FileMaker Pro 2.0 (and later) files to the new version, basic relational concepts, relational database design, and a tutorial on how to compose a working business solution database. The workbook includes a set of exercise files on Macintosh and Windows diskettes. $24

The FileMaker Pro 3.0 Relational Video, presented by expert Rich Coulombre, also covers four areas: relational database concepts, planning your databases, creating databases, and converting databases. $39

Contact: Claris, 5201 Patrick Henry Drive, Box 58168, Santa Clara, CA 95052-8168, 408 987-7000, 800-3-CLARIS, 408 727-8227, <>.

Using an intuitive graphical interface, Project KickStart for Windows helps the user organize projects into easily definable phases, tasks, sub-tasks and details. The project organizer helps to generate effective strategies, task lists, and resource assignments for projects.

The user is led through eight steps, answering questions that draw information that leads to a clear overview of the project and its requirements. A context-sensitive Project Advisor provides tips; and a library of phases, goals and obstacles reduces the time necessary to describe the project. $99.95

Contact: Experience in Software, Inc., 2000 Hearst Ave., Suite 202, Berkeley, CA 94709, 510 644-0694, 800 678-7008, fax: 510 644-3823.

3D MAX LCD shutter glasses are based on field-sequential theory, and incorporate the proprietary VLSI ASIC chip. The lightweight glasses provide a realistic three dimensional sensation in games that have been designed to work with them. The system package includes the glasses, a plug-in card, a cable, a 3D Stereo Graphics CD-ROM title, utilities, a manual, and a demo program. Under $200.

Contact: Kazan Electronics, 1428-2 Kwanyang-dong Anyang, 430-061, Korea, 82-343-21-0114, 82-343-24-0114, fax: 82-343-21-8500, 82-343-22-8500.

A Word From Our Sponsors

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