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Published in TidBITS 22.
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Alarming Prospects

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Lately the market for appointment and reminder programs has offered a number of useful programs. In some ways, it's odd that it took so long on the Mac for alarm programs to appear, since they been around on the PC for a long time, dating at least from the introduction of Sidekick, an early do-it-all TSR (terminate stay resident program).

The shareware Calendar DA was perhaps the first of these programs, but it had no reminder capabilities, so it was easy to miss appointments. Then, Smart Alarms from JAM Software and Comment 2.0 from Deneba both appeared, allowing the Mac to sound an alarm at a pre-specified time. More recently, the shareware Remember? and CE Software's Alarming Events have come onto the scene. And most recently, some new companies have shown up, TeamBuilding Technologies with the $99 AgentDA and TeamSynchro, and Psybron System with CalenDAr. JAM also updated Smart Alarms to version 3.03 and announced a more powerful version called Smart Schedules for maintaining multiple schedules. Smart Schedules is looking at a fall ship date.

TeamSynchro, also slated for the fall, sounds like it should compete with Smart Schedules. Both programs are aimed at work groups who need to schedule time quickly and flexibly and need to be able to modify each other's schedules over a network to account for group meetings and the like. In contrast, CalenDAr is going after the low-end market with a $49.95 price and fewer features. CalenDAr can import sounds and record reminder sounds with Farallon's MacRecorder (and probably other sound digitizers), though, so it's not entirely featureless. Psybron is also working on a hardware device that can trigger external devices like lights and radios, but that will be sometime next year.

Despite all the bells and whistles (literally) of the new appointment programs, CE's $129.95 Alarming Events, JAM's $125 (more for multiple users) Smart Alarms, and Dave Warker's $20 shareware Remember? all do the job perfectly well. Alarming Events and Smart Alarms both can work with multiple files over a network, though probably not so well as TeamSynchro or Smart Schedules. And while Remember? doesn't have any multi-user capabilities at all, it is useful for an individual who uses the Mac much of the day. So, if you're the sort who is always forgetting appointments, check out one of these programs - it may make your life a lot easier.

Dave Warker -- 1330 W. North St. Egg Harbor, NJ 08215
Deneba Software -- 800/622-6827 -- 305/594-6965
CE Software -- 515/224-1995
JAM Software USA -- 415/663-1041
TeamBuilding Technologies -- 514/278-3010
Psybron Systems -- 800/866-4260 -- 304/340-4260

Information from:
Adam C. Engst -- TidBITS Editor
CE propaganda
Remember? documentation
Comment 2.0 documentation

Related articles:
MacWEEK -- 25-Sep-90, Vol. 4, #32, pg. 14

 

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