0. Our Charter
1. Welcome & What's been happening
2. Our shareware recommendations for the Month
3. Shareware review of the Month
4. Book review of the Month
5. Web Sites of Interest
0. OUR CHARTER.
Just a few quick words about our newsletters. They are normally be sent out around the middle of each month (this avoids clashing with other ezines that try to get out first thing each month) and will follow a similar theme to this edition. We would love to hear what you think about it, good or bad, and how you would like to see it evolve. After all it is to provide information that is useful to you, our valued customers.
If you have some tips, information or interesting products/web sites you'd like to share with other readers by all means please let us know prior to the next newsletter and we will endeavour to include it. We hope to build on the "information" content of the newsletter in coming months too.
1. WELCOME & WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING
Lots has been happening around the office of late, very late in some cases ;-) May saw us add an outstanding new touch typing tutor program in TypingMaster 98. In June we have added another 2 products. For those of you awaiting product specific newsletters, they will be beginning as soon as is practical and as relevant information comes to hand you'll be the first ones to know.
Just quickly, a bit about our new products:
(1) For all of us hunt-and-peck typers, this educational program is a godsend. It is a very thorough typing tutor, with a terrific design that makes it a pleasure to use. Graphical representation of hands on the keyboard makes it very easy to see what each finger should be doing.
More Info : Download Now:
"We tried a lot of other typing tutors before TypingMaster and nothing compares" -- Andrew Dudley, Zealous Concepts
(2) Repligator is a unique graphics manipulation tool that allows you to do what professional graphics designers can do but at the touch of 1 button! This program will really knock your socks off, it is quite addictive just pressing that button "one more time" too ;-)
More Info : Download Now
"when someone wants some funky image for a birthday card or whatever. I take a head shot and run Repligator over it and they think I'm a genius" -- Mike Finn
(3) Are you using an application repetitively, inputting the same information and pressing the same buttons and keys day after day? Well, you don't need to anymore Macro Scheduler can take care of it all for you.
More Info : Download Now
There will be a maintenance release of the Snippets (Free format text Database) and Cygnus (Hex Editor) programs in the next week or so. Check our web site for more details then.
Now, on with the show and happy Sharewaring...
2. OUR SHAREWARE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE MONTH
An interesting product that is a boon to those of us that are continually needing to print out reams of paper. This program captures printout sent to the printer and allows you to transform it on the fly so that single pages can become properly ordered as a flip over 4 pages to a sheet book. Great stuff!
Y2K, Yes everyone is into it seems. A friend of ours, Scott Kane, who runs MicroNexus Software has provided a simple tool to help users make sure their system has its system date settings correctly configured you can take a look at it here:
With Spam E-mail being such a PITA these days we thought we'd mention a Spam Killer worth a look:
NOTE: Please don't use it on US ;-)
3. SHAREWARE REVIEW OF THE MONTH
"Better Letter" 2.2
Formerly at: http://www.actcase.com, now, sadly no longer in existence...
This Newsletter/List management program from ACTCASE in the Australian Capital Territory is an absolute gem of a program for anyone wanting to get their own electronic newsletter off the ground and running.
"Better Letter is simply a means by which you can produce a regular newsletter and collect subscriptions to your mailing list. By using Better Letter you can maintain virtually unlimited mailing lists, produce and send out regular (or irregular) newsletters. All this can be done using your normal everyday E-mail address. You do not need to set up a special account, although it will work with that too."
It handles multiple lists and 1,000's of subscribers per list (according to the Help, we've not tried it with that many subscribers despite what the heading at the top of this newsletter says ;-). It can also provide automatic responders to Subscribe and Unsubscribe requests so that your readers know exactly what their status is.
You can add and remove users from with the program automatically, as well as make backups of the E-mail lists themselves.
Better Letter takes all the drudgery out of the maintenance of such E-mail lists giving you the time to concentrate on more creative tasks such as providing content for your readers ;-) The Letter writing component to the program is quite a basic "Editor" with no whistles or bells. We use our Boxer Text Editor to type and format the text, then just copy and paste into Better Letter.
Better Letter uses the Blind Carbon Copy option when sending mail which tells the SMTP server to send it to the first recipient (which is always *you*, just to make sure you have a copy of what was sent) and then copy the mail item to all the recipients listed in the Blind Carbon Copy field.
A new version is almost ready for release with many user requested features included that will make this an even better program!
I'd not hesitate to recommend Better Letter as a must have marketing tool, we use it and can give it no higher recommendation than that! Registration is priced at $US29
- Windows 95
- 8 Mb memory,
- 1 Megabyte of disk space,
- POP3 E-mail account, and
- SMTP access.
4. BOOK REVIEW OF THE MONTH
Tips, Tales & Techniques for Liberating Your Business Creativity
Bryan W. Mattimore
Whilst the sub title to this book says it is about "Business" Creativity, don't let that stop you from having a look at it. It is really about how to turn yourself into a creative problem solving dynamo. Mattimore goes through several techniques for not only brainstorming, but, also for ways to get the creative juices flowing when you seem to run out of ideas. All the way through the book there are liberal doses of real life "tales" from his many years experience in the field that illustrate just how these techniques work.
Although "99% Inspiration" does not introduce any new earth shattering ideas until now unheard of, it does bring together in the one place many differing proven ideas and approaches on how to get the most from your creative potential. A lot of the books' anecdotes refer to "New Product Development" obviously an area the Mattimore has specialised in. That does not detract from its usefulness in showing you new ways to approach coming up with a new angle on other things too.
Mattimore visits with some of history's best known creative geniuses such as Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Disney and Albert Einstein and explains how they went about solving the "mysteries" of their times. One common theme running though the book is to NEVER stop asking questions. Don't assume that the first answer you come up with is the only one or the right one. It might be, but until you exhaust the other possibilities you won't know for sure. Certainly something to think about in this day and age of "I need it yesterday".
At only 180 pages it is a light quick read that offers many insights into the creative mind processes. We rate it an 8. get more details here:
5. WEB SITES OF INTEREST
What is this site? Well it is the home of Alan Cooper and his company Cooper Software Inc. Who is Alan Cooper you may well ask... He is one of the most respected software designers of our time. He is the winner of the Microsoft Windows Pioneer Award for his work in designing Visual Basic. He is also one of the most outspoken critics of how the software industry goes about building the interface between products and people.
What's so special about this web site? Well, I think it is an outstanding example of practicing what he preaches. The site is very clean in looks and feel and conveys its message without oodles of animated GIF's and bright glaring banners and text. Something we'll be considering in the next redesign of our own web site.
Everything you've ever wanted to know about pencils. Contains short versions of the history of pencils, why they are painted yellow in the US, how they are made, how to tell a renewable one from others and much more