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Shareware Report Awards for 2001 Print
The Envelope Please....
The movie industry has its Oscar, the television its Emmy, and the stage its Tony.

The shareware industry, has among its countless awards,
the "Shari" (formerly known as ShareAware Awards),
presented for the fifth year by your humble reporters.

Fifth Annual Best ShareAware Award Winner is: ZoneAlarm.

ZoneAlarm performs everything expected of a firewall. Easy to set up and use, it automatically detects and warns when an application like AOL Instant Messenger tries to connect to the Internet. You decide which applications can acess the Internet. That's security!

Where to find it: http://www.zonelabs.com/
Price: FREE for individual and not-for-profit charitable entity use
System requirements: Windows

Best Music Maker: Simple MP3 Player/Maker

We fell in love with this elegant but simple MP3 player and maker packed with tons of features. As a ripper, it rips a new one in our mantra: KISS! (Keep It Simple Stupid!)

Where to get it: http://www.geocities.com/simplelance/
Price: FREE
System Requirements: Win95/98/NT/2000

Best Desktop Utility: StatBar

StatBar, a configurable system status checker, sits on your desktop, monitoring your system usage, RAM consumption, and disk space. Call it a dashboard for your PC.

Where to find it: http://www.statbar.nl
Price: FREE
System requirements: Windows

Best Add-on : SmarterChild, ActiveBuddy, Inc.

Who says no one likes a smart-alecky kid? We do! SmartChild is an add- on buddy that delivers news, stocks, dictionary, local movie listings, local weather, games, and more.

Where to get it: http://www.activebuddy.com/
Price: FREE
System Requirements: AOL Instant Messenger

Best Office Alternative: EasyOffice

EasyOffice is simple to learn but packed with productivity. It includes several Office-compatible apps: EasyWord, Contact Manager, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Calculator, and even a Zip manager. Our favorite, EasySpeaker, was integrated into EasyWord and Calculator. With office suites like this, who says nothin' is easy?

Where to find it: http://www.e-press.com/
Price: FREE for personal use; businesses must purchase.
System requirements: Windows

Best Finance Tool: Judy's TenKey V4.2

To sum it up, Microsoft's built-in calculator's days are numbered now that we have Judy's TenKey. It's like putting your roll-tape calculator with its many scientific and financial functions in your PC. It adds up to a must-have application.

Where to get it: http://www.judysapps.com/TenKey.htm
Price: $19.95 registered
System Requirements: Win95/98/Me/WinNT/2000/XP

Best Print Utility: PDFMaker

We've always liked FinePrint's products; in fact, the original FinePrint won our first Best ShareAware Award. What could the fine folks at FinePrint do for an encore? pdfFactory is a simple print engine that allows users to create Portable Document Format (PDF) files viewable with Adobe Acrobat Reader. pdfFactory is an inexpensive and easy way to create PDF files. If you know how to print a document (or image, or Web site), you'll know how to use pdfFactory.

Where to get it: http://fineprint.com/
Price: $39.95; free trial version not time-delimited but prints an ad at the bottom of the file
System Requirements: Win98/Me/2000, Adobe Acrobat Reader (available at www.adobe.com)

Best Web Design Tool: Spandix Software's JR Screen Ruler v1.4

This virtual ruler measured up to our ShareAware Awards for simplicity of use and accurate measurement capabilities. If you're designing a Web site, don't leave the home page without it.

Where to get it: http://www.spadixbd.com/freetools/jruler.htm
Price: FREE
System Requirements: Win95/98/Me/WinNT/2000/XP

Best Web Resource Utility: Web Design Insights Express v1.2

Although we pride ourselves on our HTML coding skills, we still revert to basics sometimes. That's why we keep Scott Kuhl's Web Design Insights Express v1.2 on our desktops. It's a Help file, accessible by a icon on your desktop with HTML coding information about JavaScript, cascading style sheets, validate forms, designing pages, and more.

Where to get it: http://insights.iwarp.com/.
Price: FREE
System Requirements: Win95/98/ME/NT/2000

Best Holiday Theme Game : Gekko Software's Passage 3, Christmas Edition

We were feeling holly and a bit jolly when we wrote about Passage3 Chirstmas Edition last December. But, with additional tiles to use when you're not roasting your chestnuts on an open fire, this matching tile game is adictive anytime of year.

Where to get it: http://www.gekko-software.de/down_p3_e.htm
Price: FREE Christmas Edition; other editions: $16.99 registered
System Requirements: Win98/Me/WinNT/2000/XP DirectX 6.1 or later

2002 © Bill Dubie and Dave Sciuto

About the Authors:

Bill Dubie and Dave Sciuto co-host The Computer Report on Talkradio 980 AM in Greater Boston.
Check out the show at
and send them mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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