Minifinders: Displays to Fonts

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Displays -- LCD

  Cinema Display ($1,299), from Apple Computer ( This 20-inch flat-panel monitor manages to maintain consistent color no matter what your vantage point is. If your Mac has an Apple Display Connector, you'll be happy with this display ( August 2003 ).

  CinemaLift ($369), from Innovative Office Products ( This clever product allows you to suspend your LCD screen above your desktop. Unfortunately, if you aren't into do-it-yourself tasks, you might want to look elsewhere: some assembly is required ( November 2003 ).

  CML200B ($1,443), from Hitachi ( This LCD has great speakers 2.5 inches wide, but you may be frustrated by hidden control buttons, and by the fact that color changes with viewing angle ( August 2003 ).

  DoubleSight DS-1500 ($799), from DoubleSight Displays ( This wide-screen LCD is really two 15-inch displays side-by-side in one case. It's great for helping with space limitations, but the image is a little soft-focused and it's VGA only (April 2004).

  Gallery 2010 Oxygen ($1,099), from Formac ( If you're looking for attractive style, this LCD fits the bill with a translucent picture-frame design and a one-legged leaning stand. It's also inexpensive, but it won't give you a whole lot of flexibility ( August 2003 ).

  LL-T2020B ($1,799), from Sharp: Though it didn't fare as well with older graphics cards, this flat-panel LCD takes the cake when it comes to its adjustment options ( August 2003 ).

  MultiSync LCD2080UX ($1,699), from NEC (see "Editors' Choice 2003: Best Display").

  SDM-X202 ($1,499), from Sony (http://eqmac.station You'll find good built-in speakers in this model; however, this monitor has a bluish cast ( August 2003 ).

  SyncMaster 213T ($2,399), from Samsung ( If you're willing to spend just a little bit more money, this LCD offers a slightly larger screen than some others. But if you need a monitor that is highly customizable, and whose colors don't change with the viewing angle, you'll want to keep looking ( August 2003 ).

  VX2000 ($1,689), from ViewSonic ( If solid overall image quality is very important to you, this flat-panel LCD might suit your needs. But be aware that you may run into trouble with older graphics cards, and you won't get good-quality sound from its tinny speakers ( August 2003 ).

E-mail Software

  4D Mail 5.3.2 ($149), from 4D ( This e-mail–server software package may be inexpensive, easy to use, and easy to integrate with other 4D products, but it's missing secure services and has the least-powerful spam controls of the e-mail servers we compared ( April 2004 ).

  CommuniGate Pro 4.1.8 ($499), from Stalker Software ( Along with Kerio MailServer, this e-mail server software is one of the best of the bunch. It's the best choice for very large organizations with money to spend and the administrators who want the most control under the hood ( April 2004 ).

  Eudora 6.0 ($50), from Qualcomm ( If it got a thorough update to its interface, Eudora could be the hands-down best e-mail program on the Mac. Instead, it's a cult favorite with a face only a mother could love ( January 2004 ).

  Kerio MailServer 5.7.4 ($395), from Kerio Technologies ( This e-mail server package, with its dedication to security, ease of administration, and flexibility, is simply spectacular, right out of the box ( April 2004 ).

  KidzMail 1.1.2 ($10), from KidzCan (www.kidzcan .net): If you have a child who is learning how to use the Internet, KidzMail is a great beginning e-mail program. Its overall functionality and security provide an excellent introduction ( December 2003 ).

  Mailsmith 2.0 ($99), from Bare Bones Software (see "Editors' Choice 2003: Best E-mail Client").

  PostOffice 3.5.3 ($295), from Tenon Intersystems ( A good choice for organizations that want their e-mail administration as hands-off as possible, this e-mail server package still leaves us wary of its lack of secure services and spam control ( April 2004 ).

Education Software

  Accordance 5.5c ($139), from OakTree Software ( Anyone who's interested in studying the Bible would do well to invest in Accordance. It offers tools for serious scholars, but it's simple and flexible enough for a novice to use ( September 2003 ).

  Easy Grade Pro 3.6 ($49), from Orbis Software ( A stellar grade-tracking software package with loads of features, Easy Grade Pro allows you to store multiple classes in one file, provides extensive reporting features, and lets you create seating charts ( November 2003 ).

  Gradekeeper X 5.4 ($20), from Daniel Ethier ( A relatively inexpensive piece of grade-tracking software with some serious limitations, such as the inability to open more than one file at a time or have more than one grade book per file ( November 2003 ).

  Master Grade X 1.5 ($44), from Maxium Developments ( No attendance tracking, an awkward interface, and a lack of standard features (such as being able to drop the lowest grade) mar this grade-tracking software ( November 2003 ).

  MicroGrade 6.02 ($90), from Chariot Software Group ( A confusing interface hampers this relatively expensive grade-tracking software package. Other limitations, such as being able to include only one grade book per file and have only one file open at a time, can be maddening ( November 2003 ).

  Perfect Score 1.1.6 ($15), from Matt Fahrenbacher ( .html): For an inexpensive grade-tracking software package, Perfect Score has a surprising number of features, like the ability to include photos of your students in a seating chart. However, the inability to store more than one class per file and the lack of cross-platform or Mac OS 9 support work to its detriment ( November 2003 ).

  Read, Write & Type ($80), from Talking Fingers ( This game gives kids ages six to nine all the tools they need to hone their keyboarding skills as they learn to read and write. It's compatible with operating systems as far back as System 7.5, but it looks awkward in Mac OS X, due to its fixed resolution of 640 by 480 ( August 2003 ).

  TimeLiner 5.0 ($80), from Tom Snyder Productions ( TimeLiner provides teachers with an effective tool for teaching across the curriculum, putting any chronological or numerical information on screen for students to see ( June 2003 ).

  Visual Thesaurus 2.0 ($30), from Plumb Design ( While it's no match for a real-world thesaurus, this singular application is a fun diversion that some users may find educational. Overall, it's a clever idea that doesn't live up to its own hype ( November 2003 ).

Personal Finance

  Budget 4.3.3 ($30), from Snowmint Creative Solutions ( With its conceptually vivid envelope metaphor, this personal-finance software helps you organize your money before you spend it. You won't find strong stock-tracking features or asset- and tax-reporting capabilities, though ( April 2004 ).

  iCash 1.4.3 ($25), from Max Programming ( This program is a conundrum: it's an elegant-looking Aqua application that's extremely confusing to use ( April 2004 ).

  Moneydance 2003 ($30), from Reilly Technologies ( Several bugs detract from this personal finance program's overall usability, but it's nonetheless comprehensive and extensible ( April 2004 ).

  PigMoney 1.1 ($13), from SweetCocoa Software ( This is a great personal-finance program for beginners who are just starting to keep track of their money. But we say "for beginners" for a reason: PigMoney has no check-printing capabilities and no way to balance a checkbook ( April 2004 ).

  Quicken 2004 ($70), from Intuit ( This is still the most comprehensive personal-finance program remains out there. Quicken 2004 is largely unchanged from Quicken 2003, though it adds integration with iCal, an Emergency Records Organizer, and tools for managing your stock portfolio ( April 2004 ).

Fonts and Typography

  FontBook 3.8 ($10), from Lemke Software ( The best little font-specimen tool for Mac OS X, FontBook offers a wide range of pages for printing. It doesn't perform well when displaying hundreds of fonts -- but not everyone is as font-crazy as our reviewer ( July 2003 ).

  FontDoctor 5.5 ($70), from Morrison SoftDesign ( If you have a large collection of fonts that sometimes causes trouble, FontDoctor can cure what ails you. It's an industry standard for a reason: it knows how to diagnose and treat font problems ( September 2003 ).

  FontLab 4.5 ($549), from FontLab ( Fontographer (or something like it) is back. Font designers who take the time to tackle FontLab's somewhat confusing maze of toolbars will be rewarded with the power to create full-featured OpenType fonts ( July 2003 ).

  Suitcase X1 ($100), from Extensis ( This version of font manager Suitcase is faster, easier to use, and more efficient than its predecessors, thanks in part to its keyword and QuickFind features ( February 2004 ).

  Typeset 1.6 ($25), from Vizspring Software ( A worthwhile type utility if you want to compare fonts on screen, Typeset has a nice slide-show feature for displaying customized text, and it lets you load uninstalled fonts ( July 2003 ).

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