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Documentation

The documentation for the Now Utilities is decent, with a few typographical errors, including one mistake on page 1-1 (the punctuation gods will be unhappy with Now Software). Now laid out the manual strangely – there is no title page; the publishing information is where the title page should be; and the conventions, introduction, and installation procedures come before the table of contents (thanks to Lorie Call for pointing this out – I had been unable to lay my finger on the problem). The glossary and index are present, but the glossary is short and not terribly consistent (they define "Extension" as the new name for INITs, but continue to use the term INIT throughout the glossary) and the index appears to have been created by indexing a certain level of heading titles. Few people will be forced to turn to the index because each section is so short. None of this poses much problem though, because with the exception of Super Boomerang’s more advanced features, all of the parts of the Now Utilities are easy to use and seldom require the manual.

I found the manual sparse at times, though the information I needed was always present. The impression of sparseness may stem from the jovial notes that accompany much shareware, whereas this manual is polished and less personal. One addition I would like to see is a short note from each author at the beginning of each utility’s section, talking briefly about why and how this utility came about, and perhaps a little about its history. That would warm up the manual a good deal and add to the sense that most of these utilities are long-standing labors of love that are finally giving something back to their programmers.

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