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SuSE Linux 8.1 Professional

SuSE Linux 8.1 Professional

SuSE Linux 8.1 offers the best-looking desktop Linux distribution around. Easy to use and well organised, it also performs adequately. The installation process is so smooth and uncluttered, in fact, that this alone merits consideration by Windows die-hards. With two versions -- the £59 (inc. VAT) Professional package or the £39 (inc. VAT) Personal version -- SuSE 8.1 is far cheaper than Windows and is even more economical than the $129 (~£82) LindowsOS 3.0. We'd like to see better support for the GNOME desktop environment, but SuSE makes Linux palatable for any experienced Windows user and surpasses Red Hat 8.0 in both installation and interface. If you're ready to switch to Linux, switch to SuSE.

December 9, 2002 by in Enterprise Software

QuickBooks 2002 Pro

QuickBooks 2002 Pro

For a decade or so, Intuit's QuickBooks has set the standard for supportive, well-featured and economical small business accounting in the UK. QuickBooks 2002 Pro (a.k.a. QuickBooks Pro Version 10) continues that legacy. In the 2002 release, a dozen or so new features and enhancements improve its accounting functionality, and provide a better fit with 'real-world' business practices.

December 5, 2002 by in Developer

NEC Versa P440

NEC Versa P440

NEC’s Versa P440 is a silver machine, with a slightly grainy metallic finish that lacks the gravitas of black or anthracite. However, it does help to make large notebooks like the Versa P440 look a little less imposing. Even so, with its 32cm by 27.1cm (W x D) footprint and 2.9kg standalone weight, this system should be regarded as a desktop replacement rather than an ‘anytime-anywhere’ portable.

December 3, 2002 by in Laptops

Xara X

Xara X

Xara X, a substantial upgrade to CorelXara, makes it easier than ever for experienced designers to create impressive illustrations for desktop publishing, professional printing or the Web. For one thing, Xara's familiar interface and speedy rendering can save learning and drawing time. And at less than £100 (ex. VAT), Xara X won't break your bank -- dedicated illustration applications, such as Adobe’s Illustrator, can cost hundreds more. For newcomers, Xara X takes some getting used to. Still, Xara X is a fine choice for those who dabble in both print and Web graphics. If money is no object, Adobe’s LiveMotion is a more sophisticated choice for serious artists who deal with Flash animation.

December 2, 2002 by in Developer

TomTom Navigator

TomTom Navigator

TomTom is a strangely inappropriate name for an in-car navigation system. Mine was quickly re-christened ‘Topsy’ -- after the little girl who, when she was good, was very, very good, and when she was bad was horrid. Topsy is also a better match for the Navigator's female persona who keeps you on track by delivering excellent spoken instructions in a clear and confident manner.

November 29, 2002 by in Mobility

Compaq Evo N800w

Compaq Evo N800w

Power-hungry mobile users need look no further than Compaq's Evo N800w, which is the fastest notebook we've tested to date. Aimed at CAD users and multimedia content creators, the Evo N800w is the first notebook to feature ATI's new Mobility Fire GL 9000 graphics accelerator, an OpenGL-optimised version of the excellent Mobility Radeon 9000.

November 29, 2002 by in Laptops

Toshiba Pocket PC e330

Toshiba Pocket PC e330

Since its first Pocket PC device appeared towards the end of 2001, Toshiba has pursued the market assiduously. The company now has devices at a variety of price points that are innovative in design and share a certain style. But what can the new e330 -- an upgrade to the e310 -- add to the mix?

November 28, 2002 by in Mobility

Quicken 2002 Deluxe

Quicken 2002 Deluxe

We’ve compared the Deluxe version of Quicken 2002 with the standard version of Money 2003 in this review, as these products offer similar sets of features, although there’s a disparity of around £20 in price. Quicken 2002 remains a good-quality product, but it’s slowly slipping behind Money 2003 in terms of its features and online support.

November 27, 2002 by in Developer

Microsoft Money 2003

Microsoft Money 2003

The newest version of Microsoft’s personal finance package delivers a comprehensive set of features for a modest £29.99 price tag. Although you’ll need to invest in the £69.99 Personal and Business version of the product to get the invoicing facilities available in competitor Quicken 2002 Deluxe, most of Money 2003’s other features are comparable, at around half the cost.

November 27, 2002 by in Developer

Ventura 10

Ventura 10

Ventura, Corel’s venerable desktop publishing (DTP) tool, has traditionally come a poor third after QuarkXPress and Adobe’s InDesign. Rather than attempt to replicate the features of its rivals, Corel has aimed this new version of Ventura at organisations interested in making XML their main format for content creation. With the acquisition of SoftQuad last year, Corel absorbed XMetaL 3.0, an XML authoring tool. This version of Ventura offers integration with XMetaL to enable you to build a workflow incorporating both content creation and publishing.

November 27, 2002 by in Developer

Opera 7 for Windows (beta)

Opera 7 for Windows (beta)

Opera Software, developer of the most popular Web browser after Internet Explorer and Explorer, recently released a public beta of version 7. After taking an early look, we can say that all signs indicate that this paid-for browser could be launching a new strategy in the browser war.

November 26, 2002 by in Developer

Sharp ZQ-800

Sharp ZQ-800

Sharp's Wizard series of organisers has been around for some time, but the ZQ-800 is the first to have what we now think of as the normal handheld form factor. On the face of it, it offers all the normal functions you'd expect. Unfortunately this device is based on Sharp's own operating system, and lacks both features and expandability. This isn't a competitive product in today's handheld marketplace.

November 26, 2002 by in Mobility

Microsoft MSN 8

Microsoft MSN 8

You’d better get used to Microsoft Network's rainbow-hued butterfly -- you'll be seeing a lot of it over the next few months. Microsoft is hoping that a massive marketing push and a raft of family-centric features will transform MSN 8 into an AOL killer.

November 26, 2002 by in Developer

VideoLogic Sonic Xplosion DVD

VideoLogic Sonic Xplosion DVD

Since giving the PC its first set of high-fidelity speakers in the form of the Sirocco, VideoLogic has shifted focus from its graphics origins towards the more expansive consumer audio markets. In addition to a wide range of speakers and digital radios, VideoLogic also produces PC sound cards, the latest of which is the Sonic Xplosion DVD.

November 26, 2002 by in Hardware

Olympus W-10 Visual Voice Recorder

Olympus W-10 Visual Voice Recorder

Digital dictation is undergoing massive growth at the moment. Olympus, a major player in this area, recently added new features to voice recording with the DM-1, a combined voice recorder and MP3 player. The company's latest 'convergence' dictation device is the W-10, which combines digital voice recording and basic digital photography.

November 25, 2002 by in Hardware

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