Square One - A square deal !
Author: Larry Kuhn
Date: January, 1994
Keywords: software utility program review Binary
Text: In the world of Macintosh utilities, there is no lack of contestants. Applications range in performance and price from $40 to over $100. As with all software, what you need depends on what you do. If you don't need to manage a gigabyte of data, 40 INITS, and 400 appli- cations. you probably don't need a high priced, multi-featured utilities package. Square One is a low priced utility that is specifically aimed at application launching and application man- agement. Square one has very modest hardware and software requirements. It comes on a single disk, and installation is straightforward and easy. Square One occupies less than 500K of RAM. It works well with System 7, and can understand both AppleScript and UserLand's Frontier scripting commands. This makes Square One accessible in other ways than the traditional application level. I do not currently have System 7 Pro (with AppleScript), or Frontier, but I believe that applications that are written to support these 'scriptable commands' will prove to be more useful than those which are not. Square One reminds me of a fancy version of Apple's ''At Ease'' iconic program launcher, except the intent here is not to keep people out of certain areas of the desktop or folders. Square One's purpose is to let you gather all the resources you need on a regular basis all in one area so you don't need to be pulling down menus all the time. Loading applications is straightforward, and this program is intuitive enough to win my ''Manual not Needed'' award. But the manual is included and is generally well written without being patronizing. Within 10 minutes I had a palette full of icons that launch my favorite and most often used applications. The squares on the palette can show the name and the icon of the application. Which, and what is shown is set in the 'preferences' menu item. A neat feature of Square One is that you can add a folder to the palette, and select items from the folder that appear in a list below the palette squares. This really works well for often used control panels, and Desk Accessories. To access an item from a folder list, (like monitors), you can either double-click on it when it appears in the list, or it will also have a command key equivalent like cmd-2. Who would benefit most from using this program? People who use a lot of different programs in a session at their Mac. (I just raised my hand.) Also, this is a good program for people who have kids; especially for kids who don't have great mouse skills, they can just double-click on their favorite program icon and shazam! This isn't a bad feature for the rest of us either. All in all, Square One doesn't try to be a 'do everything' utility package, but it does what it claims to do pretty well. It is easy to install, easy to use, doesn't require much memory or disk space, and can be modified or even operated from other programs (like Quick Keys). It helps you cut down time in the Apple Menu, and you can consolidate the things you use most often and place them right in front of you. Square One is available for $69 from: Binary Software 2210 Wishire Blvd. Suite 900 Santa Monica, CA 90403 310-451-9044
Copyright © january, 1994 by Larry Kuhn