Speak Out. (word processing software) (Evaluation)
by Dana Stoll
Ever since I learned that Congress could approve its own pay raises, I've been waiting for software that would make writing politically charged missives practical. Speak Out sent me on a letter-writing spree and filled my correspondence with appropriate names and addresses. Directing disapproval or kudos to almost anyone on the government dole has never been simpler.
"Apathy is democracy's biggest enemy," declares Speak Out Software's president Ken Rosmarin. "A nation of sheep eventually begets a government of wolves--which means politicians make bad decisions when good people don't speak out." With its ample database, Speak Out encourages you to strike a blow for democracy by putting often tedious-to-track-down information instantly in your hands. You'll find the names and addresses of all elected federal officials, the government officials of one selected state (you select which one during installation), federal agencies, the Supreme Court members, the mayors of the 100 largest cities, and the CEOs of the Fortune 200 companies. You can make use of listings for the leaders of foreign countries, the United Nations, international organizations, foreign embassies in the U.S., and U.S. embassies in foreign countries.
Worth its purchase price in database assets alone, Speak Out throws a rudimentary but functional word processor in as well. You can easily master the database's uncomplicated interface, even in the heat of anger over planetary deforestation. A search feature, however, is noticeably absent. Scrolling through long lists using Page Down consumers too much time for my taste. However, the manufacturer assures me that a complete keyword search function, as well as listings for national, House, and Senate subcommittees, will accompany the 1992 release of Speak Out.
No system resources fat cat, Speak Out resides on only 2MB of hard disk space--a bargain all around and a socially responsible one to boot. Do everyone a favor and change the face of politics. Raise your voice to the right people by putting it on paper and dropping it in the mail with Speak Out.