M a r k e t F r e e z e - f r a m e

Dock Soup Returns

by Beth Kamoroff and Dan Lavin

What follows is a summary of reviews that have appeared in NeXTWORLD since the Summer 1992 issue, which was released nearly two years ago. Looking at the products side by side yields some interesting insights: Groupware is a rich source for emerging products; there is solid support for database computing; and, despite NeXT's lack of concentration on the publishing market, outstanding products continue to ship. Tailor, the savvy PostScript editor, is a recent example. Also, hardware ratings are high, reflecting the impressive quality of hardware being sold for NEXTSTEP.

To reiterate our reviews criteria, three cubes indicate a workmanlike product that does the job, while four cubes is the maximum for a product that is outstanding but does not push the envelope. Only one product, the ZyXEL fax modem, has received five cubes our indication of a nearly bug-free product that stretches the limits of the unique opportunities of NEXTSTEP. Products earning two cubes generally have flaws and bugs, while products with cube ratings of one cube or less have serious problems.

Product reviews in NeXTWORLD reflect the collective judgement of the reviewer and the editorial staff. We stand behind our reviews and invite comment on or discussion of our views.

This listing of NEXTSTEP products is not comprehensive, and only provides a summary of our reviews. Cube ratings and summaries are for the product version that we last reviewed, which is not always the current version. This listing only extends back to our Summer 1992 issue because we felt that previous reviews would be outdated by now.

Products that fall in the categories of database adapters, objects, and content titles are not listed because these areas have many products that did not yet receive formal ratings or are still in development. Similarly, products that have not shipped or are no longer shipping are not listed.

Listings are in the following format: Product name and version as reviewed; date of issue; cube rating, current version, and current price; summary; and contact information. The step icon indicates a Best of Breed award winner.

Productivity

CheckSum 1.0, Nov 1993
3 &1/2 Cubes (Ver. 1.12, $95)

An excellent job for personal finances but falls short in its claims for small-business accounting. Intuitive organization simplifies management of multiple bank and charge accounts.

Sirius Solutions, 415/957-9044, 415/ 957-1921 fax; glocker@sirius.com.

conText 1.0, Dec 1993
2 Cubes ($919)

Disappointing translating and spellchecking program, German only in its first version.

Lots Scneiders Kraft GbR, 46/631/ 109.91, 49/631/109.92 fax.

DataWise 1.0, Sep 1993
1 &1/2 Cubes (Ver. 2.0.1, $69)

Rewrite of Calendoscope scheduling program that is almost as weak as the original.

Ciusa, 612/822-1604, 612/922-4426 fax; ciusa@cup.portal.com.

FastTrack Schedule 2.0, Jun/Jul 1993
3 &1/2 Cubes($495)

This Gantt chart-based scheduling program did a solid job of organizing projects and tracking progress.

AEC Software, 703/450-1980, 703/ 450-9786 fax; aec.tech@applelink. apple.com.

Fiscal Dimension 1.0, Apr/May 1993
2 cubes (Ver. 1.2, $249)

Billed as NEXTSTEP's only personal-finance application, it has more in common with ledger books than checkbooks. Given a little effort, it will fit the bill, but a quirky interface remains a liability.

AXSYS, 215/667-6822, 215/667-2654 fax; info@axsys.com.

Mesa 1.4, Aug 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes (Ver. 1.5a, $499)

Mesa sets out to be a straightforward basic spreadsheet, and that's just what it is. A macro recorder and a better undo would be nice, but Mesa gets the job done.

Athena Design, 617/734-6372, 617/ 734-1130 fax; info@athena.com.

Mesa Sunrise 1.5, Oct 1993
3 Cubes ($349)

This stripped-down, low-cost version of Mesa is a fast, basic spreadsheet.

Athena Design, 617/734-6372, 617/ 734-1130 fax; info@athena.com.

Pro Lexis Version 1.1a, Sep 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes($395)

Easy-to-use and thorough French language dictionary and spell checker with grammer reference. Works with existing word processors.

Plexus Distribution, 514/270-1831.

QuantaFlow 1.1, Dec 1993
2 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. 1.2, $750)

A solid client-server-based double-entry accounting system for smaller businesses. Its innovative approach to computerized accounting is a win in the long term but lacks certain important features.

Sumeris Technology, 612/474-6505, 612/470-3593 fax; info@sumeris. com.

Questor 1.01, Aug 1993
2 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. 2.0 $495)

Questor's elegant design, innovative features, and exemplary NeXT interface are more than offset by unacceptably slow recalculation and file operations.

Xanthus International AB, 46/8/ 635-3060; questor@xanthus.se.

RedMark, Win 1992
3 Cubes (Ver. 1.2.1, $285)

Easy enough to use and professional in approach, this document mark-up package matches, but not improve on, editing on paper.

Epitome, 615/675-0910, 615/966-2558 fax; 72677.1034@compuserve. com (nextmail welcome).

TaskMaster 1.5, Dec 1993
3 Cubes($1395)

A project-management program competitve with leading apps on other platforms.

Lighthouse Design, 415/570-7736, 415/570-7787 fax; info @lighthouse.com.

Intel Hardware

Alpine NX Tower (manufactured by Lexar), Feb 1994
4 Cubes ($5699 [without software] as configured)

Very good price with strong performance slowed by middling SCSI disk and somewhat slow S3 graphics.

Alpine Computing MicroAge, 801/ 268-8877, 801/268-9096 fax.

ALR Evolution IV 4E/66D, Jan 1994
3 & 1/2 Cubes ($5838 as configured)

Strong system design at a competitive price with good performance but has outdated disk and slow ATI graphics.

ALR, 714/581-6770, 714/581-9240 fax.

Continental Professional NeXT Workstation, Dec 1993
4 Cubes ($7610 as configured)

Fast SCSI jazzes up GX chassis, but has slow ATI graphics and is not the low-price leader.

Continental Computer Systems, 203/953-8649, 800/829-3297 fax.

Data General Dasher 486 DX2/66 LE2, Oct 1993
4 Cubes ($7500 as configured)

Powerful machine at reasonable price hampered by ATI graphics.

Data General, 800/343-8842 (us), 33/1/40.94.62.82 (Europe), 65/258/ 99.77 (Asia, Pacific).

Dell 450 DE2/DGX, Nov 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes ($8297 as configured)

High price tag, but worth it for super-fast JAWS video.

Dell Computer Corporation, 512/ 338-4400, 512/794-4238 fax.

Epson NX User System, Oct 1993
3 Cubes ($4949 as configured)

Superior video offset by low horsepower design.

Epson America, 310/782-0770, 310/ 782-5179 fax.

GEC F86, Jan 1994
4 Cubes ($5745 as configured)

Low price for highly rated machine. Good performance, average graphics.

GEC, 602/834-1111, 602/834-1522 fax.

Lexar NSCStation IDE, Feb 1994
3 & 1/2 Cubes ($5699 plus $850 CD-ROM as configured)

Lots of extras for good price make for a solid value. Fast machine held back by IDE drive and slowish graphics.

Lexar, 609/890-9000, 609/890-3179 fax.

Logisys LG466NX/2, Nov 1993
4 Cubes ($5266 as configured)

Good video, strong performance, reasonable price.

Lucky Goldstar Int'l (America), 510/ 657-2229, 510/657-3339 fax.

Workstation 2000 W2000-PGX02, Dec 1993
4 Cubes ($7223 as configured)

Solid value GX chassis as configured but has slow ATI graphics.

Workstation 2000, 619/723-4827, 619/723-4827 fax.

Database and Information Management

DataPhile 2.0, Dec 1993
4 Cubes (Ver. 2.1, $695)

This classic NEXTSTEP app is an interface innovator and fun to work with. Although missing features such as record-level locking, multiuser access, and report summaries, DataPhile 2.0 remains the mainstream choice for flat-file databases.

Stone Design, 505/345-4800, 505/ 345-3424 fax; info@stone.com.

NoteBook 1.1, Apr/May 1993
4 & 1/2 Cubes (Ver. 1.2, $495)

An elegant synthesis of ideas yields a breakthrough application for storing, retrieving, and processing random information. Many users will use NoteBook as a central application that they constantly keep active.

Millennium Software Labs, 415/ 321-3720, 415/321-3650 fax; info@ millennium.com.

OnDuty, Sum 1992
3 Cubes(Ver. R1V34, $249)

A light-duty contact organizer designed for individual NeXT users and small workgroups. Straightforward with reasonable performance.

Digital Instrumentation Technologies, 505/662-1459, 505/662-0897 fax; od-request@dit.com.

PapyrusForms 1.0.1, Oct 1993
1 & 1/2 Cubes($249)

PapyrusForms serves adequately as a system for storing and printing digital forms, but it falls short in design tools, database connectivity, and workgroup features.

Ensuing Technologies, 702/792-6750, 702/792-6794 fax; info@ ensuing.com.

Pencil Me In, Apr/May 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. 1.1, $299)

Easy-to-use personal scheduler that scales up for use by small workgroups. While more flexible than most, could be improved by providing more personalization options.

Sarrus Software, 415/345-8950, 415/ 345-9365 fax; info@sarrus.com.

SBook 3.1, Jan 1994
4 & 1/2 Cubes($199)

This fast and reliable contact manager can find the person you want to contact, send e-mail and faxes, dial the phone, keep a log of your phone notes, and print envelopes, labels, and address books. Recommended without reservation.

Sarrus Software, 415/345-8950, 415/ 345-9365 fax; info@sarrus.com.

SpeedDex, Sum 1992
3 Cubes (beta intel, $149)

A simple, free-form database that is easy to use. Its price makes it a good value for meeting the simplest database needs.

Information Technology Solutions, 312/587-2000, 312/474-9361 fax; info@its.com.

(Stay)InTouch 1.25 (beta), Jan 1994
3 Cubes(Ver. 1.26, $125)

A competent contact manager. Some important featuers are missing, including the ability to sort entries by last name.

SmartSoft, 414/964-8864, 414/964- 4672 fax; smartsoft@parsec.mixcom.

VarioData 2.6, Dec 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes (Ver. 3.0.1, $749)

VarioData is two apps for database design and database access. VarioBuilder lacks DataPhile's extensive design tools, but both apps are solid performers. Together, they take the pain out of database publishing.

d'Art Computersysteme GmbH, 49/ 40/38.02.30, 49/40/38.02.32.90 fax; software@dart.de.

Alembic Systems, 303/799-6223, 303/799-1435 fax; info@alembic.com.

Vertex Librarian 1.2, Jun/Jul 1993
3 Cubes($399)

Conceptual searching and hypertext linking are added to standard Digital Librarian features, but interface flaws contribute to a less-than-pleasant experince.

Vertex Software, 412/931-7600, 412/ 323-7175 fax.

What's Happening, Feb/Mar 1993
3 Cubes (Ver. 3.0, $275)

Group-scheduling application that has most needed features. Underlying database lends an industrial feel.

Adamation, 510/452-5252, 510/452- 5033 fax; info@adamation.com.

Connectivity, Communications, and Emulation

Connect It! 1.0.1, Nov 1993
4 Cubes (Ver. 1.3, $145)

This UUCP front end greatly simplifies the ease of setting up UUCP and e-mail connections. Despite its inability to handle preexisting connections, it is a valuable tool.

Black Market Technologies, 718/ 522-5090, 718/852-4249 fax; info@ bmt.gun.com.

Cub'X Window 2.01, Sum 1992
4 Cubes(Ver. 4.21, $250-$590)

A very solid X11R4 X Window system for the NeXT computer. Fast and complete version of this popular workstation system software. Annoying copy-protection scheme.

Interactive Technologies, 33/1/46-93-29-25, 33/1/46-93-29-21 fax.

Alembic Systems, 303/799-6223, 303/ 799-1435 fax; info@alembic.com.

Microphone II, Feb/Mar 1993
3 Cubes (Ver. 5.0, $149)

Microphone II's powerful scripting tools, devoted phone-support staff, and money-back guarantee compensate for its first-release glitches.

Software Ventures Corporation, 510/644-3232, 510/848-0885 fax; samir@svedudes.com.

mix 2.0, Oct 1993
4 Cubes(Ver. 2.02, $200-1100)

An integrated communications software that combines the functionality of a fax modem, a telephone, and an answering machine. Powerful, but limited data-modem speed and hardware requirements.

Alembic Systems International, 303/ 799-6223, 303/799-1435 fax; info@ alembic.com.

Partner 1.17, Oct 1993
3 Cubes (Partner/uShare 1.17, $395)

Mounts AppleShare volumes under the NEXTSTEP file system, enabling you to read and write files on Macintosh computer networks. With included uPrint software, NEXTSTEP applications can print to AppleTalk printers via the standard Print panel.

Information Presentation Technologies, 805/541-3000, 805/541-3037 fax; info@iptech.com.

SoftPC 3.0 Apr/May 1993
4 Cubes($549)

A nearly flawless emulation of a low-end '386 PC on NeXTSTEP. Performance is a little slow in Windows, but more than adequate for DOS.

Insignia Solutions, 415/694-7600, 415/694-3705 fax.

Groupware

Front Desk 1.03, Aug 1993
4 Cubes(Ver. 1.1 $429/5 users)

Electronic version of a receptionist for messages and in/out tracking. Useful in some environments, superfluous in others.

Integrity Solutions, 612/223-8484, 612/223-8481 fax; steve@is.com.

LiveWire, Fall 1992
4 Cubes(Ver. 1.0, $195)

One of the first true pieces of groupware, LiveWire allows multiple users to work collaboratively on the same document over a network.

Adamation, 510/452-5252, 510/ 452-5033 fax; info@adamation.com.

ScreenCast 1.03, Jan 1994
4 Cubes($140)

An excellent implementation of a remote controller for NEXTSTEP machines. A godsend for education, technical support, and remote conferencing.

Otherwise, 206/647-9436, 206/738- 6017 fax; screencast@otherwise.com.

Utilities

Dark Forest, Apr/May 1993
4 & 1/2 Cubes(free)

Excellent shareware for examining sizes of files and for cleaning up disks. Highly recommended.

Found on archive servers and CD-ROMs by NeXT's Garth Snyder.

Designer Labels, Jun/Jul 1993
3 Cubes(Ver. 1.0, $99)

Labeling software and hardware. Slow and low resolution, but handy for one shots.

Marble Associates, 408/436-7299, 408/436-7147 fax.

Desktop 1.1, Apr/May 1993
1 & 1/2 Cubes($30)

A clunky interface mars this program, which provides a window onto a larger screenscape.

Johnson Sieu, P.O. Box 367, Berkeley, CA 94701-0367.

DiskMaker 1.5, Dec 1993
4 Cubes($115)

Speedy utility for mass duplication of diskettes. Flawless, but best for large projects.

SmartSoft, 414/964-8864, 414/964- 4672 fax; info@SmartSoft.com.

Engage! Desktop 2.0, Sep 1993
4 & 1/2 Cubes($149)

Millennium added desktop icons and Smart Levels to its already-useful Engage! utility to create a product that can change the way you use the workspace on a daily basis.

Millennium Software, 415/321-3720, 415/321-3650 fax; info@millennium. com.

HSD Spell, Apr/May 1993
4 Cubes ($149)

This replacement for the NEXTSTEP spell checker adds and improved English language dictionary and the capability to check spelling in any language.

HSD, 408/774-1400, 408/774-1402 fax; info@hsd.com.

Inspected by: Pinnacle, Aug 1993
4 Cubes($51)

Inspector gadgets for viewing and modifying images and sounds, all without leaving the workspace.

Pinnacle Research, 602/327-8949.

LoadEye 1.1, Nov 1993
2 Cubes($49)

Commercial-grade performance monitor, but not up to the standard of existing shareware.

Aurora Software, 608/231-3679, 608/231-1183 fax; info@as.com.

MetroTools 2.1, Feb 1994
4 Cubes($89)

The latest version of Metrosoft's utility package is a winner with feature enhancements, improved performance, support for mixed networks of black and white computers, and an extended API.

Metrosoft, 619/488-9411, 619/488- 3045 fax; info@metrosoft.com.

NetWatch1.0, Dec 1993
4 Cubes ($1995)

A simple-to-use SNMP network manager for use in smaller single system-administrator installations. Works well and as advertised.

Ridgeback Solutions, 310/456-6094, 310/456-9715 fax; info@ridgeback. com.

QuickStart 2.0, Jan 1994
3 & 1/2 Cubes($79)

Dock extender that outshines Metrotools version but comes in behind Engage. Sereral innovative features.

Aurora Software, 608/231-3679, 608/231-1183 fax; info@as.com.

SafetyNet, Aug 1993
Utilities Award (Ver. 2.1, $149-$399)

Flexible, reliable, and easy-to-use backup software that allows you to rapidly find and restore archived files and directories. Recommended.

Systemix Software, 410/290-8813, 410/290-8813 fax; info@systemix. com.

Simon Says, Sum 1992
4 Cubes(Ver. 2.0, $295)

Software that brings affordable voice recognition to the NeXT machine. This speaker-department, language-independent system can be trained to work with any NeXT application.

Metrosoft, 619/488-9411, 619/488- 3045 fax; info@metrosoft.com.

VirtSpace 3.0, Apr/May 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes ($30)

The most sophisticated of the virtual screen programs. Lets you simulate both a larger screen and multiple monitors.

Pinnacle Research, 602/327-8949.

WorldClock, Feb/Mar 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. 026.[mi], $49)

Worldwide clocks in Preferences format. Good, but lacks some daylight-savings support. Includes various alarm options.

Information Technology Solutions, 312/587-2000, 312/474-9361 fax; info@its.com.

Publishing and Graphics

Album, Sum 1992
2 Cubes($59)

Allows you to collect images, sounds, and text files (but not applications) for quick access, but its functionality is superfluous, and its interface is an encumbrance.

Forty-Two Software-Entwickling GmbH, 49/40/85.32.4242, 49/40/ 380.0443 fax; info@forty-2.de.

ArtBursts: Icons+, Apr/May 1993
1 Cube (Ver. 1.1, $109)

Amateurish black-and-white EPS and TIFF icons.

Ciusa, 612/822-1604, 612/922-4426 fax; ciusa@cup.portal.com.

CHaRTSMITH 1.0, Feb 1994
4 Cubes(1.1 out in Feb, $495)

The graphing app of choice for business users because of its effective use of the NEXTSTEP interface. With the printed docs and API that are promised for Version 1.1, it's a contender for a five-cube rating.

BLaCKSMITH,703/524-6147, 703/ 524-7215 fax; info@blcksmth.com.

Concurrence 1.0 (beta), Sum 1992
4 Cubes (Ver, 1.2, $995)

An excellent combination of an outliner and a slide-based presentation package. Both sides are clean, easy to use, and fully functional.

Lighthouse Design, 415/570-7736, 415/570-7787 fax; info@lighthouse. com.

Diagram!2, Apr/May 1993
4 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. 2.1, $499)

A substantial upgrade to the popular "digital whiteboard" that incorporates arbitrary text and graphic rota- tion and a revamped user interface. Although almost too unstructured, still a big winner. Highly recommended.

Lighthouse Design, 415/570-7736, 415/570-7787 fax; info@lighthouse. com.

Dots 3.4.1, Nov 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. 3.42, $149-$1500)

Dots lets you print from any NEXTSTEP computer to a wide variety of non PostScript printers using NEXTSTEP's Display PostScript interpreter. Unless you print through the SCSI port, speed could be a problem.

d'Art Computersysteme GmbH, 49/ 40/38.02.30, 49/40/38.02.32.90 fax; software@dart.de.

Alembic Systems, 303/799-6223, 303/799-1435 fax; info@alembic.com.

DragBook 1.0, Nov 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes(Collaggi Palette 1.0, $199)

Nifty workspace extender that is not as good as engage, but has a more familiar interface.

GSCorp, 415/257-4700, 415/454-8106 fax; info@goldleaf.com.

eXTRASET 1.1 with Goldleaf Imagesetters, Sep 1993
4 Cubes($19,000-$37,000)

High-resolution imagesetting made nearly as easy as printing to a laser printer. eXTRASET is a host-based RIP and an interface to the Goldleaf Imagesetters and other RIP's based on Linotype-Hell's Ultrex imagesetters.

GS Corporation, 415/257-4700, 415/ 257-4707 fax; joe@goldleaf.com.

Fonts For Design Art Deco Collection, Jun/Jul 1993
2 Cubes($87)

Set of 62 display faces meant for headlines and design. Some lack kern pairs.

Keystrokes, 802/525-8837.

Graphity 1.0, Feb 1994
4 Cubes($395)

The graphing app of choice for the NEXTSTEP power user. Allows users to turn graph documents into sophisticated multimedia presentations. Harnesses the power of Renderman to create textured, illumi- nated, and shaded 3-D graphs.

Xanthus International, 46/8/635-3060, 46/8/98.70.67 fax; graphity@ xanthus.se.

Alembic Systems 303/ 799-6223, 303/799-1435 fax; info@ alembic.com.

GraphRight 1.1, Feb 1994
3 & 1/2 Cubes($399)

This graphing app from an experienced data-visualization firm shows great promise for scientific and engineering uses and as a graphing module for custom apps. Needs a bit more polish in general.

Watershed Technologies, 508/460-9612, 508/481-3955 fax; graphright @watershed.com.

HERE's Color 1.002, Feb 1993
3 Cubes(Ver. 1.02 $895)

HERE's Color makes color management easy, flexible, powerful, and expensive. The only color-management system that lets end users create color-rendering dictionaries.

HERE, 513/792-0442, 513/792-0458 fax; here@here.com.

ICONgallery, Jun/Jul 1993
3 Cubes($99)

An icon manager and color-icon collection with many powerful features.

Trident Data Systems, 310/338-3594; icons@tds.com.

IconMaker, Sep 1993
4 Cubes($150)

The first real icon editor for NEXTSTEP applies intelligent assistance to the art of icon editing.

BlueSky Software, 818/988-5378, 818/989-4928 fax; eronike@cerf.net.

Image Agent 1.1c, Aug 1993
4 Cubes(Ver. 1.2c, $99)

Background image conversion that works smoothly with any NEXTSTEP app that supports filter services.

Bcchus, 310/820-9145, 310/820-5930 fax; info@bacchus.com.

intuitiv'3d 1.0, Jan 1994
4 & 1/2 Cubes (Ver. 1.2, $350-$695)

The best interface yet on a NEXTSTEP 3-D program helps make a complex world accessible to low- and mid-range users, while still providing plenty of power at the high end.

Intuitive Technologies, 33/1/47.08. 74.40; info@cubx.com.

Alembic Systems, 303/799-6223, 303/799-1435 fax; info@alembic.com.

Laser TechFonts, Jan 1994
4 Cubes(Ver. 3.1, $139)

High-quality typeface collection specifically designed for engineering and scientific use.

Nisus Software, 619/481-1477, 619/ 481-6154 fax; nisus@weber.ucsd.edu.

PasteUp 2.1, Dec 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes($495)

PasteUp combines the precision of Quark and the ease of PageMaker with lots of thoughtful touches courtesy of NEXTSTEP. Version 2.1 is ready for prime time, despite occasional idiosyncrasies.

Anderson Financial Systems, 215/ 653-0911, 215/653-0711 fax; info@ afs.com.

Pixel Magician, Sum 1992
4 Cubes(Ver. 1.4c, $99) A must-have universal graphics-format converter for desktop publishing and graphics work of all sorts. Quick, intuitive, and effective, the only thing missing is support for JPEG.

Bcchus, 310/820-9145, 310/820-5930 fax; info@bacchus.com.

solidThinking MODELER 1.2, Jan 1994
3 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. 1.3, $1260)

This update to the powerful 3-D modeler adds Intel support, new features like motion blur, and the ability to import a wider variety of file formats, including Wavefront, DXF, and OpenCAD files. Still suffers from an awkward interface.

Gestel Italia, 39/444-964974, 39/ 444-964984 fax; info@solid.gestel.it.

Alembic Systems, 303/799-6223, 303/ 799-1435 fax; info@alembic.com.

Tailor 1.0c, Feb 1994
4 & 1/2 Cubes($495)

Tailor allows full manipulation and editing of PostScript files. It is an exceptional program with functionality unknown on any platform. Highly recommended.

First Class NV, 32/9/227-6248, 32/ 9/227-1589 fax; peter@firstclass.be.

Alembic Systems, 303/799-6223, 303/ 799-1435 fax; info@alembic.com.

TIFFany II, Nov 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes($695)

A mid-range image-editing application that works well with large image files. Extensive image-manipulation tools, including morphing and some animation tools. Has an API.

benchMark Development, 606/255-3864, 606/254-4864 fax; info@ bmd.com.

Trilithon ViewFont, FontCase, MacToPfa; Sep 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes(ViewFont 1.1, FontCase 1.0, MacToPFA 1.4, $69)

A trio of utilities that bring integrated font management, viewing, and conversion capabilities to NEXTSTEP

Trilithon Software, 415/325-0767, 415/325-0768 fax; info@trilithon. com.

Virtuoso 1.0, Apr/May 1993
4 & 1/2 CubesVer. 2.0 out in Mar, $695)

A superb illustration program with many innovative features. Sporting superior layout and text-formatting capabilities than its competitor, Illustrator, it lacks only graphing tools.

Altsys Corporation, 214/680-2060, 214/680-0593 fax; virtuoso_info@ altsys.com.

WetPaint 1.2, Nov 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes($49)

An easy-to-use image-editing application that should appeal especially to beginners but is suitable for many uses. Includes a large selection of filters and special effects. Has a programmer's API.

Lighthouse Design, 415/570-7736, 415/570-7787 fax; info@lighthouse. com.

WSI-Fonts Professional Volume #1, Jun/Jul 1993
3 Cubes($99)

Basic set of 120+ typefaces. Good quality but not up to Adobe standards.

Abstract Software, 206/361-5080, 203/363-8271 fax; info@abstractsoft.com.

ZZVolume 1.4, Aug 1993
2 & 1/2 Cubes($1695)

A conceptual architectural design package sporting an unusual user-interface paradigm that, once learned, works with power and flexibility. Alone on NEXTSTEP but is not up to standards of other platforms.

Ares, 33/72/73.06.54, 33/72/73.22. 93 fax; gery@ares.fdn.org.

Alembic Systems, 303/799-6223, 303/799-1435 fax; info@alembic.com.

1 VISION 1.60.3, Oct 1993
1 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. 1.80, $30 $3250)

1 VISIONS's intriguing concept of an extensible publishing environment is buried under a confusing user interface and buggy implementation. Wait for version 2.

tms International, 31/2155/25792, 31/2155/25792 fax; info@tms.nl.

German 49/941/700.344, 49/941/ 700.516 fax; admin@tms-gmbh.de.

3D Reality 1.2, Jun/Jul 1993
3 Cubes(Ver. 1.4, $495)

A high-end set of 3-D modules with a great depth of features and good user interface. Advanced features result in a steep learning curve.

Stone Design, 505/345-4800, 505/ 345-3424 fax; info@stone.com.

Tools and Languages

CraftMan (beta), Fall 1992
3 Cubes(Ver. 2.0, $995)

Solid authoring system, roughly comparable to Macintosh HyperCard, that brings programming tools into the hands of mere mortals. Needs to improve on returning objects' names while scripting, object-class distinctions, and graphics handling.

Xanthus International AB, 46/8/635. 30.60, 46/8/98.70.67 fax; craftman@ xanthus.se.

HyperSense (beta), Aug 1993
3 Cubes(Ver. prbo9, $299)

An easy-to-use HyperCard look-alike with an accessible scripting language and the capability to convert many HyperCard stacks. Importing stacks is a hit-or-miss propo- sition in this first release. Lacks support for video, path-based animation, and MIDI.

Thoughtful Software, 303/221-4596, 303/221-0841 fax; info@thoughtful.com.

SuperDebugger 3.6, Dec 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. 3.71, $99)

Graphical front end for the GNU degugger. Useful despite cluttered interface.

Impact Software Publishing, 718/ 472-0600, 718/472-0160 fax; info@ impact.com.

Peripherals

Ikegami Monitor CT20D, Nov 1993
4 & 1/2 Cubes($2695)

Unbeaten overall monitor quality from a company with a high reputation in broadcast and film.

Ikegami, 310/534-0050, 310/329-9582 fax.

LaSTLock, Feb/Mar 1993
4 Cubes($195)

The only solution for solidly securing a cube to a desktop. Quality and attention to detail are evident in this homegrown product.

Prevail, 408/629-3972.

Microsoft Mouse, Jan 1994
4 & 1/2 Cubes(Bus Mouse, $125)

This new mouse design is terrific and recommended. Strong on control and ergonomics.

Microsoft Corporation, 206/882-8080, 800/426-9400, 206/936-7329 fax.

NXFax 1.03b, ZyXEL U-1496 modems, Jan 1994
4 CubesNXFax 1.03b

5 CubesZyXEL U-1496

(NXFax 1.03, out in Mar 1.04, $135; ZyXEL Plus, $749; ZyXEL E, $349; ZyXEL EPlus, $499)

Our favorite fax modem and fax-driver software. The ZyXEL modem is the best we've seen, and the NXFax software works flawlessly with it. Both are highly recomended.

Black & White Software, 802/496-8500, 802/496-5112 fax; nxfax@ bandw.com.

ZyXEL, 714/693-0808, 714/693-0705 fax.

PowerGuardian and Smart-UPS 400, Sep 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. 1.41, $149)

Helpful software with the popular Smart-UPS line of uninterruptible power supplies to protect your computer and your data.

BenaTong, 614/276-7859, 614/276- 7859 fax; info@BenaTong.com.

American Power Conversion, 401/ 789-5735, 401/789-3710 fax.

RollerMouse Trackball, Win 1992
3 Cubes($129)

A solid trackball with superior sensitivity and speed. Users should test for ergonomic comfort before buying.

CH Products, 619/598-2518, 619/ 598-2524 fax.

Screen Machine II, Sep 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes (Ver. 1.2, $1850)

Screen Machine II provides high-quality video capture and video-in-a-window capabilities for NEXT- STEP PCs, bringing back much of the functionality of the NeXTdimension. For now, it is most useful for grabbing single frames or watching television on your screen. When NEXTIME arrives, the Screen Machine may turn out to be the best way to make movies for NEXTSTEP.

Fast Electronic U.S., 508/655-3278.

Wacom SD-431D Digitizing Tablet and Pressure Sensitive Stylus, Apr/May 1993
3 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. SD-421-E, $1095)

Cordless stylus and built-in support from NEXTSTEP 3.0 make this digitizing tablet a strong alternative to mouse input, especially for graphic applications.

Wacom Technology Corporation, 206/750-8882, 206/750-8924 fax.

Math and Science

CuillaMartin Calculator Set 1.0, Feb/Mar 1993
2 & 12/ Cubes($79)

Basic functionality at an affordable price. Lacking some originality.

CuillaMartin, 708/223-5164.

EquationBuilder, Feb/Mar 1993
4 Cubes(Ver. 3.1, $270)

A highly intuitive solution for the thorny problem of typesetting mathematical equations.

Digital Tool Works, 617/742-4057, 617/742-4057 fax; info@dtw.com.

Sound and Music

Presto (beta), Win 1992
4 Cubes($295)

Entry-level music program that combines MIDI sequencing with DSP synthesis. Uncluttered layout and inviting drag-and-drop approach to measure editing.

Pinnacle Research, 602/327-8949.

Rhythm King, Jun/Jul 1993
2 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. 1.2, $99)

March to your own drummer with this digital drum machine. Installation can be tricky.

Ciusa, 612/822-1604, 612/922-4426 fax; ciusa@cup.portal.com.

SoundBursts, Sum 1992
3 Cubes(Ver. 1.1, $109)

Collections of professionally recorded CD-quality stereo clip sounds for use with all NeXT programs that support sound. Sound quality is excellent.

Ciusa, 612/822-1604, 612/922-4426 fax; cup.portal.com.

SoundHouse, Apr/May 1993
3 Cubes(Ver. 1.1, $69)

This inexpensive sound recorder is great for simple editing but lacks the mixing and special effects found in the higher-priced products.

Ciusa, 612/822-1604, 612/822-1604 fax; ciusa@cup.portal.com.

SoundWorks 3.0, Nov 1993
4 & 1/2 Cubes(Ver. 3.1, $395)

Powerful, accessible, tools for recording, editing, and mixing CD-quality sound. Provides real-time mixing and control over ATC compression.

Metaresearch, 503/238-5728, 503/ 230-2627 fax; info@metaresearch. com.