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$175.00 list($609.00)
21. Adobe Photoshop 7.0 [Replaced
$109.99 list($129.99)
22. Punch! Home Design Architectural
$199.99 $149.00 list($289.99)
23. Final Draft 7
$66.99 $66.88 list($79.99)
24. Punch! Master Landscape Professional
$329.99 $228.00 list($399.99)
25. Microsoft Office Standard Edition
$399.99 $379.99 list($499.95)
26. QuickBooks Premier Professional
$247.99 list($299.95)
27. QuickBooks Pro 2005 for Mac
$44.99 list($79.99)
28. Quicken Willmaker Plus 2005 With
$399.99 $389.99 list($499.95)
29. QuickBooks Premier Non-Profit
$89.99 $89.88 list($99.99)
30. SuSE Linux Professional 9.3
$434.99 $239.95 list($499.00)
31. Microsoft Visio Professional 2003
$437.99 list($499.99)
32. Microsoft Office 2004 Professional
33. The Sims 2 (Mac)
$292.99 $284.95 list($329.00)
34. Rosetta Stone German Level 1 &
$54.99 $54.86 list($59.99)
35. Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping
$194.99 $173.99 list($229.00)
36. Microsoft Access 2003
$79.99 list($99.99)
37. Palo Alto Business Plan Pro 2005
$214.99 $199.99 list($239.99)
38. Microsoft Office 2004 Standard
$292.99 list($329.00)
39. Rosetta Stone Chinese Level 1
$869.99 $290.00 list($999.00)
40. Microsoft Project Professional

21. Adobe Photoshop 7.0 [Replaced by Photoshop CS]
list price: $609.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000063EMG
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Adobe
Sales Rank: 118
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Review

Mixed-media professionals such as photographers, Web designers, andgraphic designers will not be disappointed in Adobe's latest incarnation ofPhotoshop. In this release, Adobe aims hard at addressing the issues of filemanagement, easy photo retouching, and smarter output for the Web. While Adobemanages to successfully address these issues, it also remains true to its photoediting roots. New and improved features and tools such as a painting option andan enhanced brush palette allow Photoshop to build on its reputation as theleading tool for image manipulators. New-school designers of wirelessapplications will smile when they discover that Photoshop 7.0 offers support forWBMP-formatted graphics.

Photoshop 7.0's new file management system comes in the form of a WindowsExplorer-like file browser that allows users to easily sort and locate theirimages within various projects. Users can now organize projects by name, date,resolution, and a number of additional parameters.

The enhanced brush palette allows users to create custom brushes and save themas presets that can be accessed from the Tools options bar. Users can easilyvary different aspects of the brush by changing the hue, opacity, or flow of thebrushes for pastels, oils, and charcoal. Photoshop 7.0 also introduces a newHealing Brush and Patch Tool. With these tools, users can easily "heal" theirimages by removing scratches, blemishes, and other imperfections whilepreserving shading, lighting, and texture attributes.

Adobe has taken great strides in revamping Photoshop 7.0 to be more Web-readythan ever before. With the help of its companion software Image Ready, users cannow easily create rollovers and complex navigation bars by using the newRollovers palette. Additional Web-ready features include enhanced Web exportfunctions that allow designers to preview images designed for PDAs and mobilephones in the WBMP format. Users can easily create a slide show of their imagesand post online using the new Web Gallery. People concerned about posting theirimages online can secure their images with the new password protection featurebefore sharing them.

Adobe has finally introduced a long overdue spell checker with wickedmultilingual spell-checking capabilities. A new search and replace featureallows users to search and replace across different layers in the same document.

While Photoshop 7.0 introduces an impressive array of features that allowphotographers, Web designers, and graphic designers to work more effectivelywith Web and wireless devices, it also remains the leading tool for anyoneserious about digital imaging. No other software package provides users with theability to create such high-quality images. --Rich Ting ... Read more

Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing...
Adobe Photoshop is simply the best when it comes to photo-editing. I've personally been using it for years and have found it to be one of my most valuable tools in the field of web page design. When version 6.0 came out I was blown away by all the new features, more filters, more powerful. Version 7.0 is slated to be the BEST version of Photoshop EVER, with tons of new features such as the new Image Browser the Healing brush, and Spell Checking. Now, while Photoshop is one heck of a great piece of software...

4-0 out of 5 stars State of the Art
Adobe sets the standard in imaging and graphics applications. I have been using Photoshop both for PC and Mac for over a year, and would not even consider using anything else. Yes, there is a learning curve as my fellow reviewers have noted. But, tutorial books on photoshop are plentiful. I would suggest taking a non-credit course at your local college or university to get the basics down.

Photoshop features a vast array of tools for photo editing and you may become overwhelmed at first. You'll want to try everything! Play around with the artistic filters and amaze yourself. You can always undo any changes you make.

This is a professional grade photo editing suite. If you are simply looking to touch up family snapshots, you may wish to consider Adobe's Photoshop Elements, which has several features found in Photoshop, but for less than half the price.

Photoshop is truly a digital darkroom in a box!

5-0 out of 5 stars The best Picture editor
This program can do so much...

weather it is making the color look nicer in pictures, Adjusting the light, adding things, or even making scenery textures for computer games! It is also great for making web pages... just draw out what you want your web page to look like, and seperate the links and Voila! I highly recomend Photographers (like me), Game editors (like me), web designers (like me), or other jobs that you are tired of using MS paint for or that ms paint cant do. What ever your need Adobe Photo Shop is a great program.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest inventions ever.
Everybody talks of Photoshop simply as software. But it's implications in the modern day digital world are huge. Photoshop as an invention has been as influential as the light bulb, because it has changed our perception of reality. Today, every time we look at an image, say it's on a website, a magazine, television or any printed media, we wonder or contemplate the posibility of how much "Photoshopped" the image is. In the popular realm Photoshop can create crazy aberrations that are at times fun, and to the trained eye you can detect just where the editing took place. But in the hands of experts, we can just wonder how much media images have been manipulated without us ever noticing. What Photoshop has done over the years is to democratize digital image editing, something that was one time limited to high end image labs and pros. Photoshop has no real learning curve, because it's progressive. The thing is that if you're intrested, go for it, there are hundreds of learning resources available (tutorials included with the software are complete and comprehensive). Photoshop is a must have tool.

3-0 out of 5 stars The ok adobe
I think that this is and ok program but not a very powerful one. If you wont a powerful program go to this web site and get a program called Kneson imagener and you can get it in pro or standard version. And Adobe photoshop i rate it a 4/10 and the Kneson imagener a 8/10.

SO, Go and get Kneson imagener NOW,

Before its to LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ... Read more

22. Punch! Home Design Architectural Series 18
list price: $129.99
our price: $109.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006SIJQ
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Punch! Software
Sales Rank: 2709
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

From layout to landscaping, Home Design Architectural Series 18 from Punch! Software delivers a complete home-design solution. Flexible and easy to use, this software integrates 18 programs and adds more than 60 new features and enhancements. Explore easy-to-use wall tools, robust text and dimension tools, additional 2-D geometric creation tools, photo-realistic lighting, enhanced framing and estimating, and much more. Help text and video clips explain and demonstrate how each tool is used. Plus, you can join the Punch! Developers Network, download the free developer's kit, and get started customizing your own PowerTools plug-ins. ... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Home Design Software & Value
I was looking for an inexpensive and powerful Architectual program and now I found it. My profession is a Senior Mechanical Engineer and I have used 2D & 3D mechanical CAD programs for the last 15 years. I was truely amazed when a friend showed me a house he designed using this product. I saw a product like this 15 years ago running on a main frame computer and hoped that one day I could run a program like that on a PC. Well that day is here. I started drawing a simple rectangular house with three floors and a hip roof in five minutes. I then drew up my complicated house with a full kitchen addition including cabinets, furniture and landscaping in less then 40 hours. You do not need to be a CAD Professional to take advantage of this full featured program. Just take your time and have fun with it.

2-0 out of 5 stars slow program and 3d bugs make it practically unusable
This is a very frustrating product - it is good in that it has a lot of features, however the major features seem to have bugs that make them almost unusable. Doors and walls disappear in the 3D view unless you "nudge" them around so that the program redraws, and even then it doesn't always do it correctly. I have spent more time on this program trying to get it to do what I want it to do, and it is extremely aggravating.

I am using Windows XP with a 1.5Mhz Pentium IV processor and 512MB of RAM, so I don't think the speed problem is due to my computer, but just a problem inherent in the product. Viewing Punch's website support forum reveals frustrated users continually running against the limitations or outright flaws of the software.

I don't know what other home design software to recommend, but not this one - there's just too many flaws for it to be worth the purchase price.

5-0 out of 5 stars An exceptional product!
I will make it short and sweet! Punch has developed many different programs and Architectural series 18 tops them all! I have been using PUNCH software from the beginning in 2000! I have been very satisfied with their programs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Built a VR model of my new home
I found the Punch 18 interface easy to use. First, I scanned my first, second, and elevation blue prints into a picture image as a file. Next, I imported the both the first and second floor designs into punch; using the ruler, I redimension the floor plan designs to scale; next I added exterior walls, interior walls, doors, windows, tiolets, tubs, sinks, and mirrors; punch allows you to switch between floors and see only the working floor or all floors; using the custom wizard, I added furniture, entertainment centers, tables, and appliances - additionally, the custom wizard allow you to create user defined objects; next, I used the cabinet wizard to design the kitchen cabinets full, bottom, and top to dimension. Punch allowed me to add staircases, porches, and landscapes. Textures for the exterior such as siding, rock, and stucco were also available from a drag and drop capability. I was also able to add different types of roofs and control their elevation and the exterior walls were pitched up to match the roof angles. However, I did not find a turret type roof which I needed.

Features I found difficult, the 2D navigation control was ok. You have a dot and arrow to control movement of the 3D tour, it requires two clicks, one to move, and one to orientate. If you have a computer graphics accelerator card, the running man mouse navigation is two fast even at the slowest setting.

I have a VR home exportable to VRML for the internet. I've seen my home before it was built. The control of size and portion was very helpful. By adding color and texture, lighting, and landscapes the complete picture of your home is possible. You can import photo images into the model increasing realism. A good buy for the money.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fine for the consumer, but not for constuction documents
Punch! AS 18 gets a C+ grade at best. It's fine for drawing up a house to "walk though" to get a feel for what it will look like, but it falls frustratingly a bit short of providing the tools needed to design real construction drawings that you could give to a contractor or submit for permits.

I'm designing a two bedroom apartment over a garage, and I need to submit drawings to my city for permits. The last design I submitted to the city for permits was a garage that I designed using pencil and paper four years ago. I'm an engineer and I'm used to drafting in this fashion. However, it was painful when I had to make a change to a window or a door, erasing and re-drawing all the wall studs and everything. So, being the 21st Century, I figured that there has got to be some architectural software design program out there that a design/builder could use to draft up drawings to submit to the city for permits without having to manually draw wall studs (like AutoCAD and other general CAD programs).

I searched high and low and found that you could spend $1,000 or more for a true architectural design program like Chief Architect or ArchiCAD, and everything cheaper seemed to fall into the consumer floor plan design category of not being able to produce real construction drawings. Since I draw up buildings for permits about once every four or five years, I didn't want to spend $1,000 for a program. I thought Punch! AS 18 would be just the ticket. It has a framing utility for automatically framing walls, floors and roofs, and it has an elevation editor.

The frustrating part of this software is that on the surface it appears to provide the features needed to design construction documents. It's only when you put the software to work that you realize its deficiencies. For instance, the software has a framing tool for adding wall, floor and roof framing. It provides very "pretty" 3D views of the framing. But, when you decide to print a framing section, you find that you cannot print the section to scale. It also doesn't insert any dimensions or allow you to manually insert dimensions or text. Your typical contractor isn't going to pull out a scale to find that your header is 2 @ 2 x 12, and the city wants to see this information. So, you can sort-of work around this deficiency by saving the "image" as a BMP file, editing it in an image editing program like PaintShop Pro to print at the correct scale and add the required text. The question that begs itself is why Punch! didn't program the software to automatically display dimensions and text in the framing editor? It already has all the information in the design for header sizes, height, width etc. It also doesn't allow for edits to the rafters or studs. One of the rafters was displayed with a large spacing of about 25" on my design, while all the other rafters were spaced at 16" o.c. It doesn't allow you to edit this at all, and again, you have to edit the BMP file in a drawing program to try to get it right.

This is only one of the deficiencies. The DXF export utility will export every floor on top of itself. So, when you open the file in a CAD program, you see a huge mish-mash of dimensions and floors on top of itself. The program really didn't want to draw a basement, and I had to do all sorts of work arounds to show one. At one point I had a 3' deep foundation showing up at 6' high in the air, and it took me hours of editing to get the foundation to display correctly. As with other reviewers, I had the problem of objects protruding through walls, and I had to constantly view the design in 3D to be sure everything was aligned and not penetrating another solid body.

If all you want to do is see what your house design will look like after it's built by using the 3D walk through and fly around features, this product should work fine for you. However, it seems like there are plenty of lower priced competitors (3D Home Architect, FloorPlan 3D, etc.) that will do the same thing. If you want to draw construction documents, look elsewhere or draw it up by hand. While you may be able to monkey around with this program to get what you need eventually, either by editing in another program or editing with a pencil after printing, it's a frustrating experience when you know that other software out there will do what you need. ... Read more

23. Final Draft 7
list price: $289.99
our price: $199.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001XNGZ2
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Final Draft
Sales Rank: 186
Average Customer Review: 2.69 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • Word processing combined with professional script formatting
  • Designed for writing movie scripts, television episodics, and stage plays
  • Automatically paginates and formats script to industry standards
  • 100-percent cross-platform compatibility; easily import/export files
  • 50+ templates; text to speech, have your script read back to you

Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars Great formatter with poor font rendering.
As a screenplay formatter Final Draft 7.0 works as well as its predecessors, but still has a rotten font rendering quality. I would have thought that this would the number one priority to attend to at this stage in Final Draft's development cycle.

That gripe aside - and it's a really significant one - everything else works very smoothly.

Because of this issue, I would recommend Screenwriter 2000, which does everything that Final Draft can do, and doesn't have any issue with its ability to render fonts cleanly. In addition, screenwriter 2000 has a more useful suite of associated products, notably: Dramatica 4 pro and Storyview 2. The tech backup is superior, too.

2-0 out of 5 stars If you're a new user, DON'T BUY IT!
I've used Final Draft since version 5 through version 6, and although it was antiquated and clunky compared to contemporary word processing software, it was at least useable and relatively stable.

HOWEVER - I recently upgraded to FD7, and it's a mess. It implemented new features in such a way as make them impractical in daily, minute by minute by use, while simultaneously dumping several genuinely useful features from previous versions. It's been through two patches since it was released already, and it's still clunky, bug ridden, crash prone, and less usable in practice than the previous version.

If you are a first time buyer, I'd recommend delaying your purchase for at least six months till they sort out the bugs (assuming that's possible), or consider buying another of the many products available, e.g. Screenwriter or Sophocles.


I'd also recommend you read some of the reviews on this site with a pinch of salt - there are a couple that I would consider suspiciously glowing. There's nothing to stop someone from the manufacturer adding a review, is there...?

1-0 out of 5 stars Just add words?
I have to work every day with FD 7 (Mac OSX) as the production company I write for asked me to do so. To cut it short: I have never ever seen a programme with so many bugs and crashes! Unfortunately recent updates have not changed anything. :-(

3-0 out of 5 stars Weird (on a PC anyway)
I have a friend who uses the Mac version and swears by it. I purchased the PC version and it's certainly interesting. It behaves like no other text editor I've ever seen. Simple operations like cut and paste become strange exasperating games to see what text Final Draft will actually decide to let you cut and paste. I guess it's trying to keep script elements contiguous--but there are times when you move...the damn...WORDS. Final Draft makes the mistake of assuming too much.

Edit: I hereby redact the rest of my review. I still think the program could use some polish on a PC...but my previous ire was more from ignorance than the program itself. It ain't so bad.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finished Another First Draft With Final Draft
I have written or re-written over 30 scripts, both hits and flops, both TV and Feature, with Final Draft. Like most people who have made the mistake of buying Movie Magic Screenwriter, I switched when the program didn't work and they made me angry on the phone. I have never had a problem with my fonts, or tech support, or upgrading or updating. Ever. They even make their own font to make the switch from Mac to Win seamless and it is. The other programs are okay, but not as 'finished', maybe because just about every TV show and Film is made with Final Draft. It really is combat tested. I just bought another copy from for my office and both companies are great! ... Read more

24. Punch! Master Landscape Professional and Home Design
list price: $79.99
our price: $66.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001ARFHU
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Punch! Software
Sales Rank: 1072
Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • Design a dream landscape with survey, deck, and plant wizards
  • New state-of-the-art animation and outdoor lighting
  • Create property lines with surveyor tool; customizable plant editor
  • Simple, complex, and multi-level deck templates
  • PhotoView editor; file import/export options; dynamic user interface

Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars Big Disappointment
I bought this package with the intent of designing a large patio for my backyard. The tools are very clumsy to use and attempting to draw free-form curve lines is almost impossible. Drawing a rectangular patio would be fairly easy, but who needs a software package to do that?

I should have saved my money and bought some graph paper to sketch things out by hand.

4-0 out of 5 stars Powerful tools, takes time to learn
This program can do a lot, you just have to take the time to find out how to do it. We scanned our floor plan, and using the Floor Plan Trace tool, we had an exact copy of our house modeled within two hours. The lot topography was more difficult to duplicate; the tools allow slopes and excavated areas, but contours are hard to get right. Some room for improvement there. We built terraced stone retaining walls, various plants beds, and reserved an area for a future pool. The database didn't have all or even most of the specific plants that we wanted, but we could find suitable equivalents. The program doesn't offer a huge assortment of pre-made objects, but the tools allow you to construct just about any 3D object you want - it does take time. As a previous review stated, for some smaller projects it might be quicker to do a paper sketch. But if you want to model your existing house and landscape in order to do a "what if" analysis of what a blue spruce would look like next to the garage, or where to route a new garden path (and be able to examine it from all angles), this is a good planning aid.

4-0 out of 5 stars Easy to visualize
It made my backyard & deck design easier to visualize. I put a picture of our house in the program then drew a new deck. I also added plants and other landscaping ideas to see how they looked. I hadn't used the computer to do stuff like this before and I didn't have much trouble figuring it out.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth it even if it were FREE!
Absolutely AWFUL for doing any type of landscaping. It was $70.00 wasted in buying this program. It is NOT intuitive, has VERY limited capabilities other than a few of the basics for landscaping. I wanted to design a brick walkway, a round brick sitting area and a Koi pond with some plants around it. Not too demanding of a project. The results were totally unacceptable, and the touted features virtually worthless. Perhaps if you want to design a basic deck... square with a railing, you can do. Maybe even a bit more than that. But if you want to do anything OTHER than a wooden deck, better get out a pencil and sketch pad -- it'll be a lot easier and look better.

My advise? Don't waste your money or effort with this program.

1-0 out of 5 stars Great for homes but landscaping NO WAY
I have just bought this software and although this is good for homes (not alot of selection like chimneys) this is not the way to go for landscaping. There are not enough plants to be happy with and the plants that are there you can not change the height or how wide they get. The plant editor is lousy as well, the plants all look like pices of cardboard cutouts. I would not recommand this software. ... Read more

25. Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
list price: $399.99
our price: $329.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AZJVB
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 428
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • Junk e-mail filtering and blocking of unsafe attachments
  • Backward compatibility with older versions of Office programs
  • Automatic backup and recovery of documents
  • Create professional and effective documents using Word
  • Access, analyze, and display data with Excel spreadsheets

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Office 2003
Office 2003 - Well - For a start it looks and works a lot better than previous versions of Office. Including the New Programs (Project, Infopath and Notes)

Only problem I could find is that the font look as though they are made up of coloured dots when they are black.

I coulnt find any other problems. ... Read more

26. QuickBooks Premier Professional Services Edition 2005
list price: $499.95
our price: $399.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00062AK4S
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Intuit, Inc.
Sales Rank: 500
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • Create a forecast of income and expenses for the year ahead, based on your existing QuickBooks data with the click of a button.
  • Build a professional, accurate business plan more easily than ever.
  • Track inventory assemblies and finished goods.
  • More easily apply payments, such as overpayments, underpayments, credits and refunds.
  • More easily merge QuickBooks data into Microsoft Word [2000, 2002 or 2003] letters and envelopes for quick, professional mailings to customers, vendors or employees.

27. QuickBooks Pro 2005 for Mac
list price: $299.95
our price: $247.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00062AJQ2
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Intuit, Inc.
Sales Rank: 165
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • Financial management software for small businesses
  • Easily pay bills, print checks, track expenses, and much more
  • Export reports to Microsoft Excel; customizable reports
  • Transfer data from Quicken for Mac or QuickBooks for Windows
  • Takes advantage of more Mac OS X features, including iCal and .Mac

28. Quicken Willmaker Plus 2005 With Free eBook
list price: $79.99
our price: $44.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00030B3JY
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Nolo Press
Sales Rank: 94
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • Choose from 40,000 legal documents; protect family and assets
  • Create a legal will, living trust, financial power of attorney, and more
  • Comprehensive and easy to use with step-by-step interviews
  • Automatically reflects specific state laws; cuts legal fees
  • Comprehensive onscreen legal manual; expert tech support available

29. QuickBooks Premier Non-Profit Edition 2005
list price: $499.95
our price: $399.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00062AK2K
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Intuit, Inc.
Sales Rank: 1645
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • Customized finance-management tools for nonprofit organizations
  • Generate reports instantly; transfer expense totals directly to IRS forms
  • Create a budget with one click; check budget against actual spending
  • Produce thank-you letters, pledge forms, and receipts automatically
  • Get a snapshot of any donor or vendor; share local area network

30. SuSE Linux Professional 9.3
list price: $99.99
our price: $89.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007XQBWQ
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: SuSE Inc.
Sales Rank: 110
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • Leading graphics and multimedia applications: F-Spot photo organizer, the GIMP 2.2 and Inkscape graphics programs, multimedia viewers, CD/DVD burners and more
  • A complete Linux Operating System: SUSE LINUX OS built upon the Linux kernel 2.6.11
  • Multiple intuitive desktop environments: Latest KDE 3.4 and GNOME 2.10
  • A comprehensive set of Internet tools: Firefox 1.0 Web browser; e-mail and instant messaging clients
  • A complete office suite: 2.0 (works with Microsoft Office documents)

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars 2 V. Ivanovskiy "Linux fan." : double quote key does work!
I install it on my notebook Dell Inspiron 8200. Instalation was fine as usual. All hardware works at once except wireless card in WPA-PSK and 108 MB/s mode. To install native NVidia driver I have to read documentation, yast work is not enough. I was surprised when discover that double quote key doesn't work in US international keyboard layout in KDE. Also I cannot install/remove any software after initial instalation from Yast, it is not able to find DVD in my drive. Every application starts very very slow. Compare to my previous SuSE 8.2 I would not say this distributive is better but hardware support is good.

Dell Latitude D400, SuSE 9.3, KDE 3.4, US International, double quote works :)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Distro
I find this version to be user friendly
looks like good competition for windows
Suse 9.3 Linux was very easy to install didn't take long at all
was so nice to only have to put in one dvd to install all
the software bundled on the dvd is excellent
the packages are all current with lots ofapplications browsers, email clients etc to choose
and with wine can run alot of windows programs if need to
Novell also provides great tech support on the install if troubles

4-0 out of 5 stars Advansys SCSI Cards Not Supported
Buyers who have a system with an Advansys SCSI card should know that SUSE dropped support for these cards beginning with version 9.1.(Some kernel hackers claim there are problems with the driver, though mine, which controls a Yamaha CD burner and an Epson scanner, has always worked fine.)This was a great surprise to me, since the Advansys cards had been supported on many distributions through many versions.

(The same thing happened with the Fedora spin off from the Red Hat distribution, but if I understood the discussion I found last night, the Advansys driver was restored, as of Core 3.)

3-0 out of 5 stars Very friendly distributive but with serious bugs.
I install it on my notebook Dell Inspiron 8200. Instalation was fine as usual.All hardware works at once except wireless card in WPA-PSK and 108 MB/s mode. To install native NVidia driver I have to read documentation, yast work is not enough. I was surprised when discover that double quote key doesn't work in US international keyboard layout in KDE. Also I cannot install/remove any software after initial instalation from Yast, it is not able to find DVD in my drive. Every application starts very very slow. Compare to my previous SuSE 8.2 I would not say this distributive is better but hardware support is good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Linux Distro
A wonderful Linux distribution. Very intuitive and user-friendly installation. Good for both power users and novices.Great hardware support and easy to install.

Here's a partial list of the packages included in SuSE Linux 9.3:

Linux Kernel
KDE 3.4.0
Gnome 2.10.0
OpenOffice 2.0 beta
Mozilla 1.7.5
GCC 3.3.5
Apache 2.0.53
PHP 5.0.3
Samba 3.0.12
Xorg 6.8.2 ... Read more

31. Microsoft Visio Professional 2003
list price: $499.00
our price: $434.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000BZ54T
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 791
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • For IT professionals, engineers, and developers
  • Provides the most comprehensive technical diagramming and drawing tools available
  • Create and share complex information
  • Allows for software diagramming and reverse engineering
  • Great for building, space, and floor plans

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Powerful, Versatile, Sophisticated Business Diagramming
Visio has always been an excellent solution for technical diagramming. Version 2003 is no exception and improves upon its predecessor with support for the web and integration with other Office applications. The program still lacks certain elements of Microsoft Office which I feel concerned about. Users are able to import Native Auto CAD drawings directly into Visio, and use the Visio tools to further customize and edit drawings to their hearts content. You can create custom stencils save them and share with other Visio users over a corporate network. You can export diagrams as a webpage so that users who don't have Visio installed locally on their machine can View diagrams through web browser at different resolutions with ease. The program enables IT Adminstrators to create Diagrams for Active Directory role outs for Windows 2000 Server and Server 2003. SQL Server or other third party database products such as Oracle and IBM DB2 can use the Visio functionality to outline a companies storage of data through active digrams that automate how data is stored and used. You can create simple project management task, and also export other Visio digrams to PowerPoint and further edit within PowerPoint or Word.Other features include searching for stencils online in the program, which makes it easy for you to find that particular diagram. Visio still lacks certain elements such as native support for WordArt. Overall, this upgrade is a must have for existing Visio 2000 or 5.0 users, but some 2002 users might not see any need for some of the functionality and might wait first to see if their diagramming and network infrastructure needs demand the new functionality and technology that Visio 2003 has to offer. ... Read more

32. Microsoft Office 2004 Professional (Mac)
list price: $499.99
our price: $437.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001WN1A8
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 662
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • A productivity suite with a host of ground-breaking new features
  • Easily share ideas across platforms and around the globe
  • Confidently create stunning documents with impressive new tools
  • Spend less time managing info and more time using it
  • Includes Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac Version 7

33. The Sims 2 (Mac)
list price: $49.99
our price: $49.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006B63RW
Catlog: Video Games
Manufacturer: Aspyr Media
Sales Rank: 7
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

The Sims was one of the most popular games ever made. In it, players micromanage the lives of a family of virtual people, or Sims, and influence their paths toward success or something akin to a nervous breakdown. Its open-ended blend of cartoonish behavior and everyday living is unique in an art form otherwise obsessed with carnage and sports. With The Sims 2, longtime fans now have a deeper game with lots of ways to customize and share their experiences. The game will also attract first-timers because the goal-oriented gameplay and the luridly fun starter families make it easier to get into the action right out of the box.

Now Sims are born with the traits of their parents, families grow, and Sims grow old.

The People in Your Neighborhood
The game starts at the neighborhood level. Here you can create a housing development from scratch or start with one of three premade neighborhoods, each with its own theme. From there, you'll settle on a house and a family of Sims to control.

The Sims 2 body shop
Create your own Sim (above) or your own house (below) from scratch with advanced tools.
The Sims 2 house-building tools
Aside from the basic needs carried over from the previous game, Sims now have aspirations, wants, and fears. The wants and fears are the day-to-day things that occupy their minds, like wanting to see friends or get married and fearing death or being rejected for a kiss. Satisfy their wants, and they become more efficient at completing tasks you assign them. Realize their fears, and Sims become lethargic, cranky, and unresponsive to your commands. Aspirations are the big-picture things, like raising a family, becoming wealthy, and gaining knowledge. Succeed here and you'll be able to buy odd gifts for your Sim to improve his or her life, like a money tree that pays dividends or a "fountain of youth" water cooler.

What Else Is New?
Of course, you wouldn't be able to juggle all that if it weren't for the improved "Free Will" option, which makes it easier for Sims to fulfill their basic needs. The artificial intelligence of the game is noticeably improved; they won't turn on radios just as a family member is going to bed but, strangely, they do occasionally put their dishes on the floor.

Another big change in the series is the concept of the lifespan. Now Sims are born with the traits of their parents, families grow, and Sims grow old. Not only does this go hand in hand with aspirations (growing up is the first aspiration that a baby Sim will have), it provides a limited time with which your Sims can achieve their goals.

Sims in live mode
The Universal Control Panel helps you manage your Sim family.
A Family Affair
The Sims 2 not only lets you create just about any type of Sim in any type of family, build elaborate houses, and even create a neighborhood from scratch, but it also allows you to start the game in medias res, with premade households. These families all have backstories that are smart spoofs of soap-opera plots--lots of scheming, romance, ghosts, and family fighting. Parents of teens shouldn't worry, though, because nudity is tastefully blurred out and "woo-hoo" between Sims takes place completely under the covers. The ESRB has given this a Teen rating. If The Sims 2 were a film, it would likely land between PG and PG-13.

The makers have included some nice tools to help share the universe you've created. For example, you can capture in-game stills and video to show friends the private moments, family interactions, and house parties of your Sims. You can even package a household to share as a blog or an album on a special Web site.

The Sims 2 is for patient gamers. Like life itself, the game is filled with mundane details, like getting ready for work and doing dishes. The game also demands a level of creativity from its players that the run-and-gun game genres wouldn't know what to do with. But those who stick with it will be rewarded with an absorbing, amusing diversion and a virtual family history that they've created themselves. --Porter B. Hall ... Read more


  • Build dream homes and design neighborhoods with new building options
  • Lifestyle simulation where you manage your Sim's dreams and fears over a lifetime
  • Mix Sim genes and see physical and personality traits through the generations
  • Control the camera and capture the action into mini movies
  • Generate unique Sims with the new Create-A-Sim feature

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Sims2 for Windows
Hi, I have the sims2 game. My friend and I really enjoy playing it! It is so much fun. People just need to try it out and see if they like it!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Sims 2
Yes, I am a Mac user, and yes, I can't wait until May 30th!!
I have played The Sims 2 before, and it is SO COOL!! I love to go to the park, stand under the trees. It feels like you're right there with them!
I may not have to wait, though, if I get the Windows computer I've been wanting so badly. And if I don't get that computer, then I'll just get this on May 30th. Oh, lucky me.
Well, anyway, I've always liked building the houses, and now I can make so many changes (especially when I do the cheat -- hee hee!)
All my friends like The Sims, especially me. So I root the sequel on!

-- Nina S.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Sims 2 for Mac - Why the Wait?
I've waited since the slightest infromation of the Sims 2 to get it, with much impatience. And now, I find out that it's not coming out for Macs until May 30th? I really, can't wait this long. All of my friends have it and I just watch them play it in raging jealousy. So not fair. I wish Maxis would have waited until May 30th to release the Sims 2 for Mac and PC, then I wouldn't have to watch all of my friends play it and brag and stuff. I played it at my friends house, and I was glued to the screen until I had to go home! I can't...wait...until...May...30th. I'll be so mad if Maxis pushes it later for Macs like they did for PC!!

5-0 out of 5 stars finally...
Well I'm really excited that they're coming out with sims 2, but does it have to be in may? the 30th? But luckily I'm getting a new computer, so I really don't have to wait. But its a really good game, and you guys should enjoy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Super game
Sims 2 is the best game I've played. Now you can actually choose the color of your Sim's eyes and hair, choose what type of cheeks, eyebrows, nose, chin, lips (ect) you want!!! And this time, Sims actually GROW UP!! It's much more reallistic than the other Sims. May 30th is waited with impatience.... ... Read more

34. Rosetta Stone German Level 1 & 2 Personal Edition
list price: $329.00
our price: $292.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000077DD3
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Fairfield Language Technologies
Sales Rank: 845
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent progam, lousy online support.
This would definitely be the way to go with this company. I used the online version of this program for over a year and found it to be very helpful. When I ran into technical problems, however, the technical support was virtually non-existing. I had to cancel.

The price is a bit steep, but the structure of the lessons and the features are very good. Get the CD and don't suffer the incompetent "support."

3-0 out of 5 stars Learn vocabulary fast
The Rosetta stone teaches by 'complete immersion'. Using picture context the student asborbs vocabulary with ease. Immediate rewards for correct answers help motivate the learner to keep working. However, there are some weaknesses. First, you need to have a reliable dictionary on hand. There are times that you come to wrong conclusions about word meaning and you must double check with a dictionary. Second, this course is weak in grammar. I recommend a text to demonstrate basic grammatical structures. Last, this software does not give separate phonetic information. you are expected to learn by listening. Certain individuals, based on learning style may want to see phonetic information in print.

5-0 out of 5 stars The ONLY worthwhile language learning software!
The Rosetta Stone series of language instruction software is "Pimsleur" level of effectiveness and unfortunately, Pimsleur level cost as well.

The programs work on a total immersion basis, with no English used at all. There are several types of drills, ones where you hear a word or sentence and pick it out of a group of pictures, another where you read the text of the word and pick out the pictures, etc. There are also typing drills in your language to help you spell (without having to download special fonts), pronounciation drills that allow you to hear a word, speak it to your computer and hear your voice in comparison to the native speaker played back to you.

This is the first program of it's type I've found where this feature actually works!

I own both German and Russian 1 and 2. There is a LOT to learn here, especially if you do all the types of drills for each lesson. You learn grammar from inference, such as word endings when the subject is "in" something rather than "on" or "under" it. You see the same endings used, compare them with the pictures and you start to recognize patterns.

But one of the best things about this software is the user interface. Since it's an immersion program, there's no English used and by it's very nature needs to be intuitive. This is how it should be done. I've used other types of language software that had a klunky, confusing interface with features that didn't work, etc. None of that is the case with the Rosetta Stone software.

On another note, I switched to Mac about nine months ago and Fairfield Language Technologies sent me out a new Mac OS X systems disc for free, no questions asked. At this price level you'd think this would be commonplace, but it's not. Adobe allowed me to change from PC to OS X when I upgraded from Photoshop 6 to 7, but Macromedia wouldn't and expected me to buy all new software (I didn't). So kudos to FLT for their stellar customer service!

Is it too expensive? I'd say yes, but this is a serious language learning tool for serious self students, and it's a lot cheaper than classes at the U. The axiom is true with both this and the Pimsleur method tapes; you get what you pay for.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic learning tool for the beginner to intermediate stu
I would have given the product a 5 star review if it could have found the contents of the Lesson CD I copied to my laptop hard drive. You are forced to use the Lesson CD in the CD drive to work the program.

The program is a very good learing tool. You learn to hear, read, speak and write in the language. The early lessons at first seem too easy, until you get to the unit that has you type in the words or phrases for the image you are viewing. That's when the learning starts. The advanced lessons will have you typing whole paragraphs.

Better by far than any Berlitz programs etc. that you commonly find at a computer store.

You won't truly learn a language until you can write in it. This one gives you a really good start! ... Read more

35. Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer
list price: $59.99
our price: $54.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007Z72OK
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Chief Architect
Sales Rank: 37
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Review

Your yard has always been good to you, giving you space to play with your kids, barbecue, and even sun-bathe on those lazy summer days. But now you're ready to bring some creative elegance and flair to your outdoor living. And you don't want to spend a mint just to have a landscape designer or consultant tell you what you want. If you know what you want, but you just need a little help turning that vision into reality, the Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer software package is just for you.

Better Homes and Gardens, the number one home and garden publisher, has partnered with leading software designer Chief Architect to bring you the Landscaping and Deck Designer. This program can help you transform your yard space into the landscape of your dreams, at a fraction of the cost of what a professional would charge. Using the software's fun, intuitive, and easy-to-use tools, you'll quickly be on the way toward becoming the envy of your neighborhood as your backyard barbecues in the sun turn into elegant moon-lit affairs on your new deck.

With the Landscaping and Deck Designer, you don't need any design experience to plan your new landscaping, deck or patio areas. In a few easy steps, you'll be able to take care of site planning and cost estimating. The software will give you everything you need, from conception to planning to pricing.

With a huge library of over 1,200 plants at your disposal, you won't have to be stuck with the same old options the local home and garden shop offers. You can create beautiful landscaping with trees, shrubs, water features, and flowers of your own choosing. You can even import your digital photos and add your own custom landscaping features to your plans. To keep those plants thriving, you'll want to install a sprinkler system. The "sprinkler designer" feature can help you lay out sprinkler zones for optimal watering. A "furniture" feature allows you to project a wide variety of backdrops, objects, images, and textures onto your designs. It's never been easier to select the right patio furniture for your new deck or out by the swimming pool.

As you plan your new outdoor living area, the software can project 3D models of your plot and perimeter designs, giving you realistic images of what your designs will look like. A "terrain" feature can help you build fences and driveways, and the software will help you choose the best materials for the pathways you design through your gardens. You'll even have a special "fence tool" at your fingertips that will help you to choose from several different custom fence and gate styles.

In short, with the Landscaping and Deck Designer software at your fingertips, you can say good-bye to all those cookie-cutter yards that populate new developments. You can finally say hello to an outdoor living area that not only reflects your dreams and visions, but that also reflects how your outdoor area should be experienced, day in and day out, for years to come.


  • Landscaping templates designed by Better Homes and Gardens help you to quickly place your landscaping beds
  • Use the Better Homes and Gardens Design Planning Center to guide your designs with tips and advice
  • Choose from a library of more than 4,000 items for your designs, including over 1,200 plants
  • Plant Hardiness Zone reference maps helps you choose the most appropriate plants, and a Plant Chooser feature helps you search for plants based on climate, drought tolerance, deer resistance, and much more
  • Layout sprinkler zones quickly and efficiently
  • Design single or multi-level decks with Deck Designer
  • Assign the materials you want for your new patio design
  • Quickly lay out your deck, add stairs, then place and arrange furniture
  • Deck foundations automatically generate to match sloped lots
  • Design and visualize your areas in 3D
  • Import your own photos of houses, plants, people, and more
  • Produce realistic images of your outdoor projects
  • Easily create hills and valleys for custom landscapes
  • Automatically generate materials list to estimate costs
  • Includes free How-To Tutorial CD
What's in the Box Landscaping and Deck Designer software on CD and instructional CD. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Fence angles on odd shaped lots will be a problem.
From the online reviews I decided to purchase Landscaping and Deck Designer ver. 7.01. I have to warn you that if you have an odd shaped lot you'll run into a problem with the software. If you have to make fence angles that aren't at 90 degrees perpendicular to each other you may not be able to draw a fence that is exactly shaped like yours. I have an odd shaped lot and when I tried to make the fence angles the same as mine the drawn fences only rotate in 7 1/2 degree increments. This means you either have to make a lot size bigger or smaller than what your actual lot size is. The work around is to draw a lot size bigger than yours then manually draw your actual fence lines. I confirmed with their tech support that the software works that way.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is best consumer level landscaping software out there
After extensive research, I eventually concluded that nothing really good existed in the low end consumer world of Landscape Design software, but I held out great hope that Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer would be different.

So I took a chance and bought it from Amazon in April.and After some initial delays in actually getting the product, it was worth the wait!This software has blown me away after using it just two days now!!

This is the newest 7.x version of the landscaping modules first introduced in the BH&G 6.x home designed suite.The new version, just recently released in Mar/Apr 2005 by Chief Architect for BH&G is now standalond landscaping and deck design product.I suspect a 7.x home designer suite will eventually follow.

It is clear that this software has inherited many good things from its more professional rooted product line at Chief Architect.

This latest Landscape and Deck designer is really easy to use.It comes with a program CD and tutorial CD.After a quick and easy installation process ... I found myself able to use this software quite quickly.

This worked for me, since I despise reading confusing manuals and going through endless tutorials ... this software was easy enought to "figure out", with a little help from the tutorial videos and the help subsystem.

Each video clip on the tutorial CD is only 2-4 minutes in duration and shows how to do several useful things at a time.This "show and tell" approach to learning really worked for me.I watch a quick video -- then I go do it myself.

Unlike other tutorials, this one is quick and to the point.You won't spend more than 30-45 minutes to watch all of the videos included.I reccomend watching the first 1-3 videos, then go try the program yourself, then come back to the tutorial videos a finish them off after you have an initial grasp of the program.

There is also a more comprehensive help utility where you can look up individual topics by topic or search for things within the help system ... very good overall.

This program is easy to use and the 3D capabilities are very impressive.I had my new home' irregular shapes lot laid out and my new home located on that lot to within half foot precision in the first night of use.You almost fool yourself into thinking this program is more than just landscaping, but there are certainly limits, but reasonable ones.

I was zooming around my lot and house in 3D on the first night of use.The house roof wasn't exactly correct, but very close ... and thats where the landscaping program meets its limits ... you can't really make the house architechturally correct from top to bottom, but very accurate dimensionally and certainly good for planning your landscape and/or deck.

You can even take an actual picture and mask out the surrounding and paste that picture onto your 3D model of the house.That really makes the product yield realistic looking models.And I did that one side of the house on my first night of using it.

You can save pictures of your 3D drawing to files, you can even make a motion video tour of your landscape ideas.I was blown away by the capabilities.I can't wait to get home and see what else I can do.

I didn't get into the landscaping till day 2.By the end of Day 2, I had an initial landscape layout 80% completed.This program is very usable and probably could be used by a pro if they didn't have the budget for the $1000+ software out there.

I can't say enough good things about this software.It should be a top seller within 1 year, if others feel the same as I do.My hats off to BH&G and Chief Architect -- "home run" guys.

5-0 out of 5 stars Professional Calibre Software But Easy to Use
As a designer and general contractor who has for many years relied on Chief Architect professional level CAD software, I nevertheless decided, when it came time for me to research consumer-level home design and landscaping products (as I am frequently asked to recommend these products), that I would evaluate those by other companies, as well.

I'm happy to report that the BH&G products won out.I was amazed to see how much Chief Architect capability has been incorporated into its consumer level products, marketed under the illustrious Better Homes & Gardens name.I am thoroughly impressed with how useable these programs are and how quickly non-professionals are able to learn them.The quality of the output is stunning and, as far as I'm concerned, the Chief Architect based products far surpass the competition in terms of integration and useability.

The unexpected outcome of my evaluation is that I deem these products, despite being consumer oriented software, to be of sufficiently high quality that I can use them in the office as ancillary products for interns and short-term employees to use.The output from Home Designer Pro can then even be opened in Chief Architect for further work by professionals.The Home Designer series is a boon for the consumer and the professional alike.In this day and age it's nice to see software developers who take their craft seriously and who are responsive to their customers, and to acknowledge that rare quality I've taken the time to write this review.

Jay Palmer
New York, NY
... Read more

36. Microsoft Access 2003
list price: $229.00
our price: $194.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AZJV4
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 761
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • Supports a variety of data formats, including Extensible Markup Language ( XML ), OLE, Open Database Connectivity ( ODBC ), and Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services
  • Access data from multiple databases in forms, reports, and data access pages, linking tables from other Access databases, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, ODBC data sources, Microsoft SQL Server databases & other sources
  • Stored Procedure Designer creates & modifies procedures stored in SQL Server, without requiring you to learn Transact-SQL
  • Quickly find tables, queries, forms or reports that depend on a particular database object
  • Update properties automatically

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars License agreement includes internet activation?
Hi folks.

I bought MS Access 2000 3 years ago. Then I upgraded to their next version MS Access 2002 upgrade but it had a policy of only working on the first computer you installed it on due to internet activation. I had two PCs(one a test PC that tends to get reimaged a lot) so that didn't work out too well and I switched back to Access 2000 and dumped the 2002 CD as my refund date had passed.

Does this new MS Access 2003 have the same policy? If so I won't buy it. Also does this new version have any "gotta have it" features or is it just the same old application made a little prettier?

I'd need a good reason to buy MS Access 2003. Lately I've been looking at other products like Star Office. Unfortunately their 6.0 version didn't have as easy a database as MS Access and Star Office didn't document that part much. I haven't seen their 7.0 version yet.

I gave this review 3 stars because I'm pretty sure Access 2003 will meet my needs if it's anywhere as good as Access 2000, but I don't like Microsoft's licensing policy and internet activation. If they have that, I won't buy. So please post a review and let me know.

4-0 out of 5 stars Puts data in motion for any company.
This new version of Access is also XML integrated, enhanced features such as extraction of data from multiple tables, Access 2003 also improves Smart Tag integration. The ability to design solutions within the program makes web services a powerful resource for the enterprise; the flawless integration with Microsoft SQL makes information sharing a productive experience. This makes data storing and retrieval an easy way to control how data is implemented across many scenarios using personalized solutions, allowing your information to have a stronger impact across the Enterprise. ... Read more

37. Palo Alto Business Plan Pro 2005
list price: $99.99
our price: $79.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002IKHIK
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Palo Alto Software, Inc.
Sales Rank: 218
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • Software for professional and customizable business plans
  • 400+ sample plans; instructions and examples at every step
  • Easily exports to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe PDF
  • Built-in Plan Review ensures bullet-proof financials
  • 2 expert business and marketing planning books included

38. Microsoft Office 2004 Standard Upgrade (Mac)
list price: $239.99
our price: $214.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001WN0KY
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 471
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • A productivity suite with a host of ground-breaking new features
  • Access e-mail, documents, contacts, and more from one central location
  • Take notes, flag information, and record audio directly into documents
  • Convenient Excel page-layout view and PowerPoint presenter tools
  • Improved junk e-mail protection

Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Better than Office v.X
This new version of MS Office for Mac OS X is definitely a big improvement over the original version.
As a student I had the option of getting the full version for a reasonable price, so I did, mostly because several other students I know had problems with the upgrade version. I can't really comment on their experiences other than hearing their complaints and frustrations persuaded me to go with the full version.
I had no problems with the installation or the use of the Office 2004 full version.
Yes there are some (relatively) minor annoyances, but most of the major problems (text formatting, printing alignment issues-- the old version was definitely NOT WYSIWYG) are gone. Admittedly I have fairly low expectations after the disappointing original version. The new one has not crashed or lost data yet.
Although I find the Project Center (or whatever it is called) awkward to use, it is definitely a good idea. Hopefully it will become easier and more intuitive to use in future versions.

It is a big disappointment that it does not work with my Palm. I still have to use and iCal because I rely on my Palm. It would be nice to have everything integrated into one environment.

Visually Office 2004 seems less clunky and more sleek than OpenOffice, which is surprising because it runs noticeably slower than OpenOffice.

4-0 out of 5 stars MS: I'd like to clear something up...
My friend worked with the MS team on this product. So reading some of the reviews, I've noticed quite a few inaccuracies. I personally have no direct connection with Microsoft and not interested in defending its interests much, but I'm against spreading bogus information.
First of all, there is no "3 strikes you are out" rule with the new Office 2004.
Some people seem to claim that Office 2004 can only be installed 3 times, after which user would have to do a clean re-install of the system. This is completely not true. Student and Teacher, Standard and Professional versions of Office 2004 do not have any special write protection and do not count how many times you install the program on your computer. However, license agreement for Standard and Pro versions states that you can only use one copy of software on one (1) desktop and one (1) laptop computer connected to the same network. Program does indeed check computers connected to the same network for opened Office 2004. If any Office 2004 program is opened on a desktop computer that is connected to the local network, it will refuse to launch until program on other computer is closed.
This is a security measure that doesn't affect regular consumers at all most of the time. The only reason for this is to make sure that small and even big businesses do not use one copy of a program on many computers. There is nothing new here either. Many companies have been utilizing similar security features for quite some time.
Student and Teacher edition which retails for a low price has ALL the features of Standard edition and can even be installed on three (3) computers at the same time.
The down side to it is that Student & Teacher edition cannot be upgraded in the future. But again, is not a big deal since upgrade for Standard version still costs more than full S&T edition. And of course, one must be a student or a teacher to purchase it.

I would recommend upgrading to the Office 2004 for many reasons. Not only you get a more stable programs now but also many new features like advanced Power Point timers, advanced printing themes and previews, audio note taking, a better option grouping and support for long file names, and many more. Most operations now also work faster and smoother.

Just like any new program, of course, Office 2004 will have a fair share of bugs, but they will be taken care of in a timely manner.

My Recommendation: Professional edition is a great buy for those who want to get Virtual PC 7.0 (included), as a VPC7 will retail for over half the price of the Office 2004.

If you are not sure about Office 2004 and would like to take it for a test drive, go to and download a "test drive" version. Try it out for yourself.

Hope this helps.

1-0 out of 5 stars Entourage is flawed
If you use a Palm Tungsten T or E, and other PDA's, the Entourage conduit is not compatible and will not allow you to sych your handheld with Entourage. This is a serious flaw if you use Entourage as your primary address, emal, calendar and to do list application. Microsoft is completely aware of this and offers no excuse. They simply state that the Entourage conduit will not work and they have no solution for it.

In Office X the Entourage conduit worked flawlessly.

2-0 out of 5 stars Mixed Review
The Project Manager is a nice feature, but 2004 is full of bugs and problems. Some examples: when trying to save in Word, you have to use the "Column Browser" which lists your top tier folders and destinations, and recent folders, but you can't access subfolders. Very annoying. Entourage rules that worked in Office X don't work, and when I redo, they still don't work other than manually. Send and Receive schedule works occasionally, no pattern to its failure I can see. Mail view listings in outbox show sender (me!) not recepient. Really, some of the problems are just plain careless or thoughtless, and online support worthless at this stage. I would wait until problems fixed.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not really that stable
The very first time I used, Word would repeatedly crash when trying to switch language from the TOOLS menu. Powerpoint still lacksuster compared to Keynote. ... Read more

39. Rosetta Stone Chinese Level 1 & 2 Personal Edition
list price: $329.00
our price: $292.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000077DCZ
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Fairfield Language Technologies
Sales Rank: 2588
Average Customer Review: 3.17 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

Learn a new language with the award-winning method used by the U.S. State Department to train diplomats. Proven effective by NASA astronauts, Peace Corps volunteers, and millions of students worldwide, the Rosetta Stone Language Library teaches new languages faster and easier than ever before.

We all learn our childhood language by associating new words and phrases with the world around us. The Rosetta Stone method replicates this process by presenting vivid, real-life images to convey the meaning of each new phrase. Instead of translating, memorizing, and studying rules of grammar, you actually learn to think in the new language. Vocabulary and grammar are integrated systematically, leading to everyday proficiency.

This comprehensive program provides up to 550 hours of mastery instruction in listening comprehension, reading, writing, and speaking. Systematic structure teaches vocabulary and grammar naturally, without lists or drills. Previews, exercises, and tests accompany every lesson, and there are automated tutorials throughout the program. Graphical speech recognition displays your voiceprint and compares it with the native speaker to help improve your pronunciation. (Ages 6 and older) ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good program for memorizing and reviewing
Every program has some advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses, so I have found this program most useful for associating words with ideas - after all it does contain 8000 pictures. The complete beginner in Chinese may initially make good progress, but then get stuck because the program doesn't contain any grammatical explanations.

I have found Pimsleur Chinese better for developing conversational proficiency. Ultimate Mandarin Chinese book and CDs would provide great addition to new learning because that course fills in the gap which deals with some essential grammar that takes out confusion. A little bit of understanding can greatly accelerate one's progress with Chinese.

Rosetta Stone Chinese has only "pinyin", so if you wish to learn how to read and write Chinese, you'll have to get some other book.

I do think that Rosetta Stone programs could be greatly improved with at least some basic grammatical explanations. For Chinese, it would also be nice, if the Chinese characters were provided. Nevertheless, in spite of all the missing elements that would be very helpful, I have still found this program very helpful for learning Chinese.

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent intro to spoken language, not useful for reading
This is a useful program for getting a basic sense of the sound of the Chinese language. It's based on the immersion model of foreign language learning, which means lots of repetition, visual cues, and no English translations. (You're supposed to make the association between sounds and pictures intuitively.) This makes sense in principle, as it's a bit like the way children learn a first language.

But if you're interested in learning to read Chinese or understand how the characters work, this won't get you very far, in part because the program doesn't include a Chinese-English dictionary. For this, you might be better off with a good Chinese language textbook and a Chinese text reader / dictionary software package like Clavis Sinica.

If you want a lesson-based program, though, with tutorials, tests, drills, and lots of pictures, this might be worth trying out, at least in the demo version.

4-0 out of 5 stars Works well for me
I use this program in conjunction with a native Chinese tutor. I've been using it for several months. I started with the online version before committing to buying the standalone version.

In contrast to some other reviewers I find this program to be very good. Some of the points raised by other reviewers are valid, but their importance is blown out of proportion.

The program allows you to practice listening, reading, typing, and speaking. In "tutorial" mode a variety of exercises are used to help train your memory. Things that you get wrong are covered again later in the tutorial as many times as you need to get them right.

The lessons are broken down into units. Each unit covers a small number of concepts. The first few units are a bit tough - but this is only because every single word you hear is new. In later units you already know what most of the sentence means and so learning the new words gets easier.

The software teaches you concepts rather than the word themselves. The meaning of individual words comes from seeing and hearing the words used in different situations. This is an important point to realise as it means you don't have to waste time trying to find every word you come across in a dictionary. An example of this is in the first lesson - you're taught the sentence for "one dog". You don't know at that point that the word "one" is in the sentence, and so you don't actually realise what word is used for "dog" either. The precise meaning of the sentence, and so the learning of the words for "one" and "dog" come once you've progressed a bit further.

This learning approach isn't what everyone is after. If you want to learn lists of words then this program won't suit you.

The pronunciation of words is important in Chinese. Every word is pronounced using one of four tones - the same sound pronounced in a different tone is actually a different word in Chinese. This becomes apparent fairly quickly as there are words taught that show this. For example, the word for "horse" and the word for asking a question are both "ma" but with different pronunciations. Having a picture with no horse in it but associated with the sound "ma" should help you realise what's going on. There are many other examples too. The "speaking" component is also very good for practicing tones - visual feedback is given to show whether words have been pronounced correctly.

In isolation some of the pictures used are initially hard to decipher. However, if you use the "preview" mode before starting a new exercise you'll get to see what the exercise is about and this then makes most of the picture meanings obvious.

Having a Chinese-English dictionary is a good idea - inevitably you will want to check the precise meanings of some things. You can get a free software one from Euro Asian Software.

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor instruction
I am very disappointed in the Rosetta Stone software for Chinese. The principle is to show you pictures, hear a native speaker say what is trying to be portrayed in the picture, do this multiple times, and eventually you'll learn the language. That is, if I keep showing you a picture of an apple and every time I do I say pinguo, you're eventually going to realize that a pinguo is an apple. Seems pretty straight forward, doesn't it?

The problem is that a number of the pictures cannot be easily deciphered. There are a few pictures that I have no clue whatsoever as to what I am supposed to be identifying. For instance, if I show you a picture of an apple sitting on a plate with a candle besides it and say pinguo, what is the pinguo? The apple? Plate? Candle? There are several times I thought an object was called one thing and then, several units later, I realized I had misinterpreted the pictures. How frustrating! And it's not that bad in the beginning but the further you get into the program, and the longer the sentences, the worse it gets.

Also, the grammatical structure of the sentences is not covered. There is NO instruction on the Chinese language and in fact, there is NO English at all, accept in the instructions on how to use the software. I quickly realized I needed to buy a Chinese dictionary, which was a tremendous help. Even still, it's nearly impossible to decipher long Chinese sentences without some instruction on it. I found the majority of my time was spent trying to find what each word in the sentence meant. This program needs to have an English option that tells me what each word means. Then I can shut it off and try to engrain it in my head. I should not have to spend 50% of my time with my head stuck in a Chinese dictionary in order to understand what this program is trying to teach me.

After completing the first disk of the Rosetta Stone, (level one) I have given up on it. I have since then switched to the Pimsleur program. This program is MUCH better than the Rosetta Stone method. It's a CD so there is not visual, which is one thing that was nice with the Rosetta Stone software, but you have an instructor telling you about the grammar and how the word order goes. Additionally, and this is VERY important in speaking Chinese, I spent 5 months going through the first disk of the Rosetta Stone program and did not know HOW important the actual sound of the words meant. Sure, I could hear the different inflections and rising and falling tones in the words, but I just thought that was a Chinese accent. When I switched to the Pimsleur method, the very first lesson spent a great deal of time discussing how important the rising and falling tones made to the meaning of a word. And you are reminded of this fact through out the program. Needless to say, I was a little upset with the Rosetta Stone. Nearly half-a-year of studying under the Rosetta Stone program and I never knew how important the tones were.

The Rosetta Stone needs to make changes to their program. It is flawed in theory. If good grammar and speaking ability came from only looking and hearing at pictures, and not instruction, kids wouldn't have English classes for 12 years of their life. Rosetta Stone does not provide an instructor to tell you why the word order is the way it is, what a 'measure' word is, that the tones are important and not just a Chinese accent, etcetera. I do not recommend this software. I have found the Pimsleur method much more effective and I was able to speak in simple conversations shortly after I began. I'm not saying Pimsleur's the best because I do not know. But I do know it's better than the Rosetta Stone method.

3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent approach, but needs adaptation for Chinese
I will say up front that I have not used this entire CD. I have only done the first lesson from the program, which I downloaded for free from the web site.

The learning style presented in the Rosetta Stone series really is as good as they say it is. I like the direct presentation of the Chinese and the concept, without English text explaining the grammar, usage, and so on. I also like the amount of repetition that is built into the exercises. Somehow that approach seems to place the language deeper into your brain, if that makes sense. The "game" like style is also fun.

While I was working with it, my one year old son was learning English, and it was quite clear to me that the Rosetta Stone style really is just like a child's first language acquisition. In fact, I felt that working with the program helped me to understand and help my child with his English learning process.

Although I like this learning style, I think it would be an improvement if there were an accompanying guide showing the meanings in English, Chinese characters, and pinyin. A guide would also come in handy if you wanted to work separately with a tutor. Then you could show the tutor a list of phrases and sentances you know so they could practice them with you. For what you pay for this software, it would be nice.

I do have one major complaint about the program - it is not adapted to Chinese. From looking at the free downloads of each language of Rosetta Stone, it is clear that exactly the same concepts are taught in the same order in each language. For example, The first four phrases you learn are "a girl", "a boy", "a cat", and "a dog", whether you are learning English or Swahili. The program is not adapted to the languages individually.

The concept behind the program is that only one new word or phrase is introduced at a time, and the accompanying illustration makes the meaning clear, so your mind can make the association. The problem is that in Chinese the sentance structure can be very different than the Romance languages, causing confusion. For example, in part six of lesson one, you see a picture of a man on a horse accompanied by the sentance "yi ge qi zai ma shang de nan ren". Up till that point you have learned the phrases "A Man," and "A Horse". In the English Rosetta Stone program, the phrase accompanying this picture is "A man on a horse." So clearly, the intention is that you learn the new word "on". But, in the Chinese program the sentance is, literally translated, "A riding located horse top man." So the student is presented with three new words, "riding", "located", and "top," with no clues to figure them out.

I get the impression that they developed the template of this program to work well for the romance languages, and then just decided to make extra money by having translators translate the sentancesinto umpteen languages, regardless of whether the template works in those other languages.

I think it would be a mistake for a beginner to try to learn Chinese using only this program - it would be very slow and frustrating. But the program would be very helpful used in conjunction with a class or tutor. I have not seen any similar programs out there that are better designed for Chinese, so it could be that Rosetta Stone is still your best bet if you like the interactive, total-immersion learning style. ... Read more

40. Microsoft Project Professional 2003
list price: $999.00
our price: $869.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000BZ54N
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 3315
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  • Microsoft's desktop enterprise project management program
  • Used with Project Server 2003 and Project Web Access
  • Offers all the tools found in Project Standard
  • Provides powerful enterprise project management capabilities when used with Project Server
  • Use for portfolio management, modeling, resource management, and project collaboration

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