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Stop falling off the page.

In the past, Chemputing has reviewed WordPerfect 5.1 (ACCN, April 1990) and a variety of fonts and tools to go with it. While WordPerfect is a great package, the 80-character IBM screen is inadequate when you work with proportional fonts and you quickly get frustrated as the right side of your text falls off the screen. The exercise of scrolling back and forth gets to be both painful and frustrating. Stairway Software has the solution with ScreenExtender, a relatively low-priced (some stores sell for $79 or less) add-in for WordPerfect.

ScreenExtender converts the text screen into a graphics screen. Rather than print the characters, it draws them and can adjust their size to better meet your needs. With my SVGA screen, I have the choice of 100, 114 or 133 characters across and 30, 40, 50 or 60 lines down. Now, I can see a whole page at once if I want. I usually stick with a 100 character by 30 line screen as this is the most comfortable to view. With my 3.3-cm margins, I only get the odd line or two in any document that exceeds the 100-character width and then only by one or two characters, not quite enough to make me go to the 114-character mode.

Not only does Screen Extender allow you to see more of the text at once, it also eliminates that silly game of trying to remember the color coding to see the character sizes and attributes. Rather than having to remember that red is italics and blue is subscript, they actually appear in italics and subscripts on the screen. You can clearly tell a large font from a small one. It's not quite WYSIWYG, but it's certainly the ultimate in text-based displays. An added feature is that my cursor, which was almost lost by the SVGA driver, is again visible.

The installation is quite simple. Just type install and answer a few questions. Once installed, it is incorporated into the batch file and automatically invoked each time you start WordPerfect. If I want to change anything, a single keystroke brings up a screen with lots of choices including character sizes, colors and hot keys. Complex programs, such as WordPerfect, usually have corrections and improvements added from time to time. When I received a new set of disks updating Wordperfect, ScreenExtender came to a complete halt. Stairway had to develop an update to cope with the changes. The present version 2.0, dated 1992-10-01, works well with my Canadian WordPerfect, dated 1992-07-09. It will also work well with WordPerfect versions 5.0 and 5.1 issued in a variety of languages with earlier dates.

It took only a few minutes for the benefits to become very obvious. There is essentially nothing extra to do once it's set up. Just operate Wordperfect as before, but without the frustrations imposed by the 80-character IBM screen. If there is a negative, some actions are slower as graphics screen writers are slower than those in text mode. With my 80486DCL, that was no problem, except with a few of my macros. It was simple enough to modify the macros to reduce their need to rewrite the screen. Screen-Extender is a must for anyone who prints with proportional spacing and/or includes italics, and sub/subscripts in their text.

Software/hardware mentioned are trademarks of their respective developer.

ScreenExtender, ver 2.0: Stairway Software Inc., 700 Harris Street, Suite 204, Charlotte, NC 22903, USA; Tel: 804-977-7770; Fax: 804-979-3749.

Safe Computing

At one time the name Michelangelo immediately made you think of those magnificent works of art from the Italian Renaissance. Over the last few years, the name has become associated with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and now a sickness that has threatened the world's computers.

Unfortunately, there are people who have a diabolical desire to write life-threatening programs that can infect computer systems and result in serious and permanent damage. The frequency with which programs are transferred back and forth on disk, over networks or over telephone lines, makes it easy for a computer virus to quickly spread and infect a vast number of computer systems.

Today every computer requires some form of protection. There are limitations to the degree of isolation that is practical. While you can limit the borrowing of disks or otherwise connecting with others, you can never totally eliminate program exchanges, especially when you realize that viruses have actually been found in original shrink-wrapped program disks.

The ultimate protection is to install a program that can look for viruses and wipe them out. Virus Doctor is a simple and low-priced package ($39.95) available from Wanikas Software in Toronto. (Note: when this appears, Wanikas will have undergone an expansion and a name change to Solas Technologies.)

The actual program originates in Australia and is updated monthly. When you purchase a copy, you get a certificate for one free upgrade. After upgrade. After that you get certificates for purchasing additional upgrades at roughly $10 each. New viruses are being produced at an alarming rate. This means that you must have regular updates.

Installation is simple requiring the command INSTALL E for an English version and INSTALL F for French. My system was up when I tried it and Virus Doctor warned me about starting from a system booted from DOS on the hard drive and requested a start from the original DOS floppy. It wants to check everything out before installing on the hard disk.

Virus protection is a two-way responsibility. You check all disks received from others before using them ... and at the same time, you check your disks before handing them to others. A check takes about a minute and looks at the system areas and files with extensions such as .EXE, .COM, .OVL. There is no need to check all files as viruses are not really able to infect data files. It is a good idea to check your own system at least once a week and all floppies before they are used or distributed.

To be safe, you must have a current virus protection program. There are many on the market. If you don't have one, run out and buy one. We were quite happy with Virus Doctor and would certainly recommend it. If you are a network manager, consider their more advanced Virus Buster.

Virus Doctor: Wanikas Software/Solas Technologies Inc., 60 St. Clair Ave. W., Suite 4, Toronto, ON, M4V 1M7; Tel: 416-920-5006; Fax: 416-920-0778.

Marvin Silbert, FCIC, Marvin Silbert and Associates, Willowdale, ON, is ACCN's Computer Review Editor.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Chemical Institute of Canada
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:use of ScreenExtender 2.0 add-in/on software
Author:Silbert, Marvin
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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