Magazine article Information Today

Take Charge!: A Diverse Package of Utilities

Magazine article Information Today

Take Charge!: A Diverse Package of Utilities

Article excerpt

Take Charge!: A Diverse Package of Utilities

Once the user has gone through the set-up procedure for Take Charge! the package performs well. Package capabilities can be accessed from the DOS prompt or from user-created menus. Those capabilities include a simple communications routine that does file transfers through a modem with Xmodem data checking, disk and memory maintenance utilities, a text editor, and address book utility. Also included in the package are some useful extras such as calendar, calculator, appointment book and alarm routines.

With so many features, some will undoubtedly be less than useful to many users, but benefit can be derived from this package even by users who do not take advantage of all the features.

I initially thought that a software package which attempted such diverse functions would probably not perform any of them well. However, Take Charge! surprised me with its very adequate performance.

Compact In Memory

Take Charge! uses just 23 KBytes of computer memory. The package allows users to start one routine from a menu while another routine or program, which had previously been started from the DOS prompt, is still running.

Two Main Menus

Press one of the two Take Charge! hotkeys to bring up either of its two menus. The first menu, which can be customized by the user, offers a choice of application and utility routines outside of those offered by Take Charge!, which can be invoked while other PC programs are running. As needed, Take Charge! will locate routines on disk and move them in and out of memory, or simply use those which are memory resident, as the menu selections are changed.

The second menu accesses routines offered by Take Charge! itself. The routines operate through well-designed individual menus, and through function keys.

A system setup menu allows users to cause the keyboard to click with each keystroke, to increase the size of keyboard buffer storage, and change the keyboard repeat rate.

The system setup menu also offers features calculated to minimize unauthorized misuse of files. Included is the ability to lock the keyboard with a password and to blank out the screen when the package is not in use.

The calculator operates as a simple adding machine. It also uses reverse Polish notation to provide financial, statistical and programming assistance functions.

The address book operates like a Rolodex file with limited search capabilities, and allows the computer to do telephone dialing for the user.

From the file management screen, the user has access to DOS directories and all standard directory functions, including viewing file contents, and searching for file names. …

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