Tune in for future developments. (COMPUTE/NET computer bulletin board) (Column)
by Richard C. Leinecker
For nine months COMPUTE/NET has grown in popularity and increased its offerings. The number of people using our area has increased beyond our expectations. ON GEnie we now rank 32nd on the list of computing RoundTables. America Online doesn't rank its areas, but I'd expect a similar report there. A large part of the credit goes to our loyal readers and online following. Another round of applause goes out to out parent company, General Media. It made a corporate decision to support our efforts to make our online services a success.
Our corporate philosopy embraces new technology. It's influenced heavily by our sister magazine Omni, which now shares the same building with us. And our president, Kathy Keeton, never misses an opportunity to develop new ideas.
But the best is yet to come. I can't say in which direction we're headed, since things are currently under development and we don't want to give away any secrets. It's fair, thoughm to say that you'll be pleasant surprised at how COMPUTE/NET evolves in the next year.
I won't be on staff here at COMPUTE anymore. I'm moving on to a new adventure but will remain as a cosysop on COMPUTE/NET. I've enjoyed getting COMPUTE/NET started and watching it grow. Online services are just beginning to realize their potential. In several years they'll take a dominant role in information transmission and family entertainment and enrichment. You can still send me E-mail, but your best bet is to address the new online manager, Troy Tucker. His GEnie address is TROYGT, and his America Online screen name is TROY GT. (Note that TROY is spelled with zero instead of an O for his America Online screen name.)
This month on COMPUTE/NET we're featuring several terrific programs that you'll find useful. There's a disk utility called DiskTool, a system analyzer called PC Doctor, and a great game called PuzzleMaster.
DiskTool will become your friend. It you've ever erased a file by accident, then you know the agony of delete. One of DiskTool's features is a file uneraser. Unerasing a file is never guaranteed to work, but DiskTool hasn't failed me yet. It also has a built-in file and sector editor that's the best I've ever seen. And if that's not enough, you can defragment your disk drive with the optimize function.
DiskTool is a professionally written program with a terrific interface. It has pull-down menus, mouse support, the ability to change colors, and windows with scroll bars. The filename is DT26.ZIP
PC Doctor 4.0 is an enhanced version of the same program we talked about several months ago. It's a techie's toy. It lets you explore systems and peer into areas that are mysteries to most people. You can edit any portion of memory (conventional, expanded, or extended), view the memory-resident programs and information about them, get a look at the list of installed device drivers, and lots more. I've seen commercial programs for $80 and more that don't do as much as PC Doctor.
The program has a nice interface and is easy to use. It has pull-down menus and full mouse support. It's stored online as PCDOC40.ZIP.
The last of our featured programs is PuzzleMaster. It's a collection of siz puzzle-type games. Included are a version of Master Mind, a takeoff on Simon, a word jumble game, a slide puzzle section, a peg puzzle, and a jigsaw game. Each of the game has several variations, so you can customize each one for different skill levels or increase the challenge when you've mastered them at the easy level.
The game is controlled with a set of easy-to-use menus. Full mouse support makes control even easier. Attractive screen effects will make you want to play just to see which effect you'll get next.
Each of the six games has its own high-score list, so you can get some competition going among family members or use the program at school for some classromm fun. The filename is PZMASTER ZIP.
There's more for BASIC programmers. We've uploaded a selection of previously published BASIC programs. Included in the archive files are the source code, a compiled program, and a documentation file. If you're just learning BASIC, these are great examples. If you're already a BASIC programmer, you'll get lots of good ideas. If you're not a programmer at all, you'll probably enjoy most of these programs anyway.
Once again, I'd like to tell you how much I've enjoyed being involved with getting COMPUTE/NET started. Online services are an exciting part of the computer industry that's due for a growth explosion. I'll be watching, and I hope you will be, too.
You can still contact me with E-mail addressed to RLEINECKER on GEnie, ID 75300,2104 on CompuServe, or screen name RICK CL on America Online.