F10 Launch Studio 1.2
F10 Launch Studio is a little utility that tries to make your Mac life easier by putting all your applications, folders, and documents on a single launch pad. The beauty of F10 Launch Studio is that it’s invisible until you press the F10 key; it then pops into view, filling the whole screen, and as soon as you open a specific item, it disappears.
Among the program’s more useful features are its 16 customizable pages for organizing your files and applications; an option-tab program switcher that lets you switch between open applications; and the new Chameleon Filter, which, like Objective Development’s LaunchBar (
Mac Software Bargains,” July 2002), selects an item when you type any of the letters in its name. To help you get your applications onto the launch pad, F10 Launch Studio will find them on your hard drive and place them on an appropriate page, but we found that this feature was only marginally useful, especially when it came to organizing the apps.
Unfortunately, although F10 Launch Studio has many excellent features, it’s no match for TLA Systems’ similar but far more versatile DragThing (
– Jeffery Battersby
Read, Write & Type
Read, Write & Type aims to teach six- to nine-year-olds proper keyboarding skills as they learn how to read and write. It’s a complete kit that includes an activity guide, two CD-ROMs, stickers, a laminated cardboard “practice keyboard,” and 18 miniature books to read — hence the high price for users accustomed to $20 education games.
The Read, Write & Type game takes kids to a fantasy world: a computer inhabited by Lefty and Rightway, a pair of left and right hands. A green glob named Vexor tries to steal letters from the keyboard, and it’s through proper typing that kids can vex Vexor. The laminated practice keyboard and stickers give kids hands-on experience away from the computer, too.
The included Spaceship Challenge assesses how well the kids are learning. OS X users be warned: Spaceship Challenge is only compatible with the classic Mac OS (Read, Write & Type runs natively in OS X).
With support for System 7.5 or later, Read, Write & Type will work on a wide range of systems, but its fixed 640-by-480 resolution looks awkward in OS X.
– Peter Cohen