Software clueless - Posted by Ray Richardson

Posted by Yianni on November 15, 1998 at 09:02:59:

Ray, if you go this route, just let us know of your discoveries. : ) . Also, if you shop w/ $'s up-front versus shareware, take Jeff’s advice, and check out e-bay, I’ve shopped there, it’s exciting and cheap if you are patient.

Software clueless - Posted by Ray Richardson

Posted by Ray Richardson on November 13, 1998 at 13:44:31:

I need some very basic software advice. I’ve seen some good suggestions for property management software and the like, but my needs are even more basic. What do people find most useful for maintaining databases of names, addresses, phone numbers and such and for generating mailing labels? Is this the sort of thing that Excel does (which I suppose everyone has but me; darn that cheapo mail-order computer outfit!)?
If you’re not upgrading, that bad boy costs $300! Other suggestions? Thanks a lot folks.


Re: Software clueless - Posted by Jeff

Posted by Jeff on November 14, 1998 at 14:34:07:

I read the comments on this post and saw suggestings for Word, Excel, and Access, all of which are part of Microsoft Office Pro (It also comes with a PIM). You stated though that it costs around $300 if you are not upgrading. If you are paying more than $20 you’re paying too much. I recently bought 3 copies for my church for $17.50 apiece, and it’s completely legal! The only difference between this and the product that you buy in the store is that this is only the CD; not any books/documentation whatsoever. Go to your local bookstore and buy a $20 book about office and you will probably be getting better documentation anyway.

Microsoft doesn’t sell it directly for that, nor do the normal channels of distribution sell it for that price, but Microsoft is smart enough that they realize that once the software is no longer ‘new’, that they can’t expect the number of sales to stay high. Not only that, they also know that the more people use their product, the more people AREN’T using Wordperfect, etc. Not to mention, once people start using a particular software, they are less likely to change.

Think of it as a not so current movie. If you are willing to wait until after a movie’s initial popular release you can see the same movie for a dollar.

Go to and do a search for office 97. You will probably have a choice of 20 or 30 different people selling office for around that price. (don’t forget to compare the price including shipping costs) NOTE: A way to protect yourself from fly-by-night distributors that will take your money, (yes, you must pay first and then they send you the product) is to look at the number that is the feedback indicator. The higher the number, the more positive feedbacks that they have. Click on the number and you can read the feedback. Anyone who has a high feedback, even one that is as low as 20 or 30, has more at stake than to cheat you. They are making more money than your deal off of that auction. If it can be proved that they are cheating you, they get banned from the auction and will lose a lot of income.

Re: Software clueless - Posted by Yianni

Posted by Yianni on November 14, 1998 at 06:11:11:

Hi Ray,

Go to and download Maximizer lite.
It’s free, and a good beginning. It does not require you to know any programming. At a later time you can upgrade to the which ever full version meets your needs for around $100.

Another good software is Goldmine.
Many professional businesses run their customer databases using either Maximizer, or Goldmine. They are extremely powerfull, yet, very easy to use and manipulate to fit your needs.

Act is also good, but for the same price as the above, it’s not as speedy in the searches.

Re: Software clueless - Posted by greg scott

Posted by greg scott on November 14, 1998 at 24:26:57:

Before you go out and try MS Access consider the complexity of the task. If its small (in the hundreds, not thousands) you can get away with Excel yes, or even MS Word. The order of difficulty is like this:
MS Word
MS Excel
MS Access

Do you need to manipulate the data? Sort, search, etc?
Do you need to generate special reports?
If you need simply a list and labels try MS Word. If you do need data manipulation, try Excel, and if later you find Excel is not adequate the switch to Access.


Re: Software clueless - Posted by hk CA

Posted by hk CA on November 13, 1998 at 19:44:42:

Excel is a spreadsheet program. You want MS Access which is a database.

Re: Software clueless - Posted by Mr Donald

Posted by Mr Donald on November 13, 1998 at 15:57:15:

Asides from copyright infringement, try this site:

…and select DOWNLOADS. Then select BUSINESS. Look at the SUBCATEGORIES, and you should be able to find something suitable to you and your pocketbook.

Re: Software clueless - Posted by Bob - CO

Posted by Bob - CO on November 13, 1998 at 14:03:56:

You might look at MS Works. Its a stripped down version of MS Office–but will bet you started. Contact Managers are nice but aren’t as flexible.

You used to be able to get at Wally World.

Hope this helps. Bob

Follow Mr. Donald’s lead… - Posted by Soapymac

Posted by Soapymac on November 14, 1998 at 19:39:48:

and checkout the subcategory called “Vertical Market.” You’ll find many good shareware programs there.


4 Just Labels n stuff, try Lotus Organizer 4.1 - Posted by raelynn mitchell

Posted by raelynn mitchell on November 16, 1998 at 13:34:08:

It comes with Cardscan software in the box, which enables you to use any scanner to input business cards into a database without a lot of retyping.

Organizer Rel. 4.1 is a PC version of a DayRunner-type organizer; looks just like that onscreen, and for me was a no-brainer on how 2 use because of that visual aid. Since it’s a PIM, it’s nice to keep track of appointments and anniversaries and birthdates as well if you need to.

It can print in label, card file, list, and many paper organizer formats, as well as several other formats if needed. I believe it’s priced somewhere between $59 and $79 retail, and I’ve also seen the previous version (Organizer 97 GS) for $49 still on the shelves.

Both versions also can be linked to a handheld electronic organizer if you like, such as the Texas Instruments organizers available in Office Depot, as well as the 3Com Palmpilot. Great for carrying contact and other information on the go.

Hope this helps.