Screen Ruler 3.1
Smart Scroll 3.2
Clock Talk 1.3.1

Screen Ruler 3.1
Company: Micro Fox Software

Shareware: $10.00

From the minute I opened Screen Ruler, I thought: “Why hasn’t someone already thought of this!” Yes, it’s that good. Read on and I think you’ll agree with me.

Screen Ruler is exactly what its name suggests: a ruler on your screen. But this isn’t any plain, wooden, twirl on your pencil ruler. Screen Ruler can be set for centimeters, inches, pixels, and much more. You can also flip it horizontally or vertically, have a center point in the middle, and set how many major, medium, and minor marks are in the ruler. All in all, very customizable.

Screen Ruler also has key combinations for almost every command. You can even use Command-Escape to toggle the ruler on-off without quitting the program. And Screen Ruler only takes up ~70Kb of hard disk space and ~260Kb of RAM-hardly enough to even make a mark on today’s computers or Mac OS Extended (HFS+) formatted hard disks.

The Summary
Screen Ruler is absolutely ingenious! Just the originality makes it great, but its versatility and customization options are unmatched. Screen Ruler is a tool that almost anyone using a computer today should be using, from high-end graphic designers to a college student typing a paper.

I’m wholeheartedly impressed with Screen Ruler. $10.00 may seem steep initially, but when you add up the time and worry Screen Ruler has saved, it will pay for itself.

  • Download Screen Ruler 3.1 
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    Smart Scroll 3.2
    Author: Marc Moini
    Shareware: $12.00

    About a year ago, I did a review of Smart Scroll 2.0.3. (See Issue #25, May 1997) . Since then, Smart Scroll’s interface has been redesigned, and compatibility with Mac OS 8.x and a host of programs has been added.

    Smart Scroll allows you to enable “live scrolling,” a feature that is already built into the Mac OS 8 finder. With live scrolling enabled, dragging the scroll thumb in any window will cause the contents of the window will move along with you, so there is no more guessing where you will end up.

    Smart Scroll also allows you to have proportional scroll bar thumbs, where as the length of the scroll thumb will be proportional to the remaining contents in the window. The more contents remaining in the window, the smaller the thumb will get, and vice-versa. This lets you determine how much information is left in the window without even scrolling.

    The Summary
    Smart Scroll is indeed the “smartest” and most compatible scrollbar enhancement out today. Its live scrolling is near flawless, and proportional scrolling is compatible in most major Mac OS applications, including the Mac OS 8 Finder.

    As far as I’m concerned, $12.00 is nothing to ask for this control panel. Heck, I’d pay $20.00. Allegro (Mac OS 8.2), which is scheduled to ship this summer has the option of proportional scroll bars. However, Allegro is not here yet, but thanks to Mr. Moini, Smart Scroll is. Bottom line, if you’re looking for an easy way to enhance your scrollbars, it’s smart to try Smart Scroll.

  • Download Smart Scroll 3.2 
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    Clock Talk 1.3.1
    Company: Crystal Reality Software
    Shareware: $10.00

    Clock Talk is a rather simple, yet effective control panel. It allows you to not only set chimes for every quarter in the hour, but also allows you to have the computer speak the time via the PlainTalk/Macintalk voices included in Apple’s text-to-speech software.

    Clock Talk lets you select any Macintalk voice to read the time either at designated times (every 15 minutes), or at any time via a customizable hot key. The hot key can be any function key (F1, F2, etc.) or a three-key combination of Command-Option- and any number between 0 and 9.

    The Summary
    Clock Talk is very well written, and it has a beautiful interface that could only be accomplished on the Macintosh. While it complements Apple’s Date & Time control panel with its system sound chiming features, it lets you use Macintalk voices to speak the time-a feature that is long overdue for the Mac.

    However, $10.00 is a bit pricey for this control panel. My advice: If you think that speaking the time will be beneficial for you, and will be a feature you will use often, $10.00 is well worth it. But if you are thinking of buying Clock Talk only to use occasionally, your $10.00 is better spent on something else.

  • Download Clock Talk 1.3.4 

    Requirements/Availability: Clock Talk will run on any Macintosh system running System 7.5 or later. In order to run Clock Talk on systems earlier than Mac OS 8.x, you must download and install Appearance Manager 1.0.2 from the Apple DevWorld Web site

    No requirements were given for Screen Ruler or Smart Scroll. All three are available at their respective Web sites.

    Adam Karneboge

    Websites mentioned:

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