CFOG's PIP, March 1989, Volume 8 No. 1, Whole No. 69, page 4


by Steve Lucius

PC Tools Deluxe Version 5

The most interesting MSDOS software package I have seen recently has been PC TOOLS Deluxe version 5. The upgrade from version 4 was a total of $8 and the software is well worth it. Included with the upgrade are 4 new program disks and a new manual. The program has been heavily modified to include a point and shoot backup system to make partial backups easier and major modifications to all utilities. Expanded memory can now be used to store utilities when not in use. I really haven't explored it enough to do a full review. One caution is that the version 5 backup program can not read files made by the version 4 program, hence a new backup is required.

WordStar 5 Upgrade

The cheapest upgrade I have seen has been Wordstar 5 version 093. It brings 11 replacement disks and includes new printer drivers. Haven't tried it on anything fancy yet but also haven't found any bugs. Looks like they did fix my pet peeve with headers where you couldn't put a blank line between the header and the text. The cost is a phone call to tech support or a message left on the MicroPro Sig on Compuserve.

MicroSolutions Drive Controller

Received an interesting add from MicroSolutions of Dekalb, IL. (815-756-3411) They make disk drive controllers and floppy disk drives to allow such things as 3 inch drives on XT and AT machines and external 5 inch drives for PS2 machines. They support 1.44M drives on XT machines which many vendors don't. They are the same people who have the software package Uniform to allow reading CPM disks on MSDOS computers.

Mindware's Colmpute Mouse

A product to avoid is distributed by Mindware (800-447-0477) called the Calmpute Mouse. The Mouse is not your normal rodent but actually a biofeedback sensor to detect the level of stress in the body. It then displays it on a graph or supposedly gives off a tone and gauges the level of stress by the pitch. I don't know how the other Mindware products are but this one is mostly vaporware.The product is produced by Thought Technology Ltd. and while the hardware works fine the version of software sent out was beta test, poorly documented and had many features missing. An interesting feature of the program is that part of it runs on CGA and other parts require VGA. The companies other products include analog biofeedback sensors that give out a tone. They have several courses based around the tone version that could be used with the Calmpute Mouse except for the small fact that the tone feature doesn't work on the mouse.

New Member Disk Update

I made a minor update to the CFOG new member disk. Since PKARC is no longer supported by PK Industries I removed it and added the latest version of ARC. Also added was ANSI.COM to speed up screen writes and allocate more memory to keyboard reassignments. Also added was an improved print spooler MSPOOL2.

CFOG Library Update -- ZIP

Additions to the CFOG library include a disk of dBase programs, 3 tax programs (AMTAX is by far the best), a demo of Mathcadd, Phil Katz latest file compression utility called ZIP and the newest version of ARC. Also included are a couple of disks of assorted utilities.

It is good to see Phil Katz producing more software. I briefly tested his new method of file compression, on an ASCII file it made a smaller file than QARC and took the same amount of time. He also has utilities to convert ARC format files to ZIP. We will have to wait and see if it is accepted.