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Zip Wizard Pro

Type of Program: Zip File Utility
Supported Platforms: Windows 3.1/95/NT
Company Name: Synaptek Software
Version: 2.0
Price: $29.95 US
Installed Size: 2.29Mb

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In the past fourteen years I have used, at home and in my workplace, literally hundreds if not a few thousand programs. And like everyone else who enjoys looking at software, I have seen The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. But every once in a while ( certainly not as often as I would wish ) I have had the pleasure of using a program that rises to a high level of craftsmanship. I'm talking about the kind of program in which the author obviously invested hundreds of hours of thought, planning and care in it's development. Well just such a program is Zip Wizard Pro.

Let me digress for just a moment. During all of 1993 and half of 1994 I took nine programming courses and worked as a junior programmer for my employer. I took away from that experience a basic understanding of what it takes to produce a quality program. It's laborious, time-consuming and often very frustrating work. But in the end, and if you persevere, there is such a sense of pride and accomplishment.

After a simple installation process I opted to take the tutorial. It took but a few minutes to see that the author, Kevin Willows, has taken unusually great pains to produce both a tutorial and a help file that exceeds by a large measure most of what I have experienced. They are well thought out, well presented and graphically informative. The program actually consists of the Zip Wizard and the Zip Pro Navigator. You are taken through each phase of both zipping and unzipping files in a manner that, while it informs, it does not put you to sleep with endless text that begins to fog the brain. The tutorial on the Navigator even shows representations of the various windows you will encounter, and allows you to click on parts of the tutorial for further clarification. Within each screen shot is further information regarding that particular operation. On a personal level, I am from the school that believes that "a picture is worth a thousand words" , so I felt well informed before I actually even ran the program.

It is not possible to describe every element of this program so let me just briefly touch on some of it's capabilities. The Zip Wizard adds and extracts to and from zip files using what it calls IntelliZip or "intuitive visual operation". It creates A Zip List which is a special folder showing all the zip files on your computer, regardless of their location. Another feature is the Home Folders, a real plus in keeping your zip files organized. You will have a My_Zips folder with sub-folders containing the programs you have zipped, and the programs that you extract will have their own folders with Unzipped as the parent folder. Throughout, the program makes extensive use of Context Menus so that a right click brings up a menu of the operations you can perform based on your current task. Of course you have the final say and you can change settings to suit your personal wants.

The other module is the Zip Pro Navigator. Here is where you can really move and groove ( sorry, that's drag and drop ) your zip files. For the power user the Navigator allows the ultimate in control and information. You use the following; Zip View, to directly view and manipulate the contents of files. Computer View, to view the contents of your computer from one window. Finder View, to manipulate groups of files. And Zip List View, for a live listing of all zip files on your system. There is also an Open Button to add or extract from a zip file, and a Computer Button, to allow you to switch between Content View, Split View, and Tree View. One last item is the Dock Zip List which is attached to the right side of the Navigator window for quick access to your files. This is a nice touch and like so much of this program's default settings you can change it, if you would rather not have the list on screen simply hide it.

I could go on and on, but don't waste any more time reading. Go download a copy for yourself and I'm sure you will enjoy using the program as much as I have. I very strongly recommend this program as an offering of the highest caliber. I sent an e-mail to the author with a question and got a very fast reply. It was also obvious that Mr. Willows cares about his creation and wishes all who use it to enjoy it's design, capabilities and power. This, as I said in the beginning, is a superbly crafted piece of software. It shows a commitment to intelligent design and an ease of use that others should mimic. I have no doubt that in the months and years ahead, this program will be enhanced even more, and I for one will support this author with my registration.

You can order Online via Synaptek's Web Site, by phone, mail, fax, or by e-mail. Online ordering can be by using Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. You can avoid shipping charges by using the sites WEBship, which allows you to order and download the registered version.

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Reviewed by Blain W. Jamieson


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