The Buddy System

If you're thinking about buying a second computer for your home or office, you have an alternative to consider, the Buddy B-200 from Vega Technologies Inc. It borrows from the mainframe concept of a central computer running multiple "dumb" terminals.

Today's Pentium-class computers have enough horsepower to support a second user and, according to Vega, the newer models are fast enough to support up to five users on one PC. That's because most common office applications require very little processing power.

The kit consists of an interface card, a cable and a palm-sized interface box that take advantage of the multitasking ability of Windows 95 and 98. You have to supply a monitor, keyboard and mouse to plug into the Buddy box.

That done, two people can run the same or different applications at the same time. Most peripherals, such as the printer and the CD-ROM drive, can be shared as well. And two users can get on the Internet using one modem, one phone line and one Internet service provider.

-- Craig Crossman, Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service

Buddy B-200

by Vega Technologies

1-888-654-5415 or 1-510-654-5650

www.buddy.com

www.vegatechnologies.com

$149

File Transfers Made Easy

File-transfer protocol (FTP) software allowing two computer networks to share files over high-speed communications lines once was the key to the Internet; then came the graphical Web browser and with it the World Wide Web itself. Now growing numbers of intermediate-level computer fans are rediscovering the substantial powers that FTP can pack.

CuteFTP displays a window divided into dual panes with the directories for your home computer on the left and the directories for whichever FTP site you log on to on the right. Moving files from either one to the other is as simple as selecting the file and clicking an arrow showing the direction desired.

For Internet subscribers with personal Web sites, CuteFTP automatically synchronizes Web content on the server with the files on your own machine.

-- James Coates, Chicago Tribune

CuteFTP

by Globalscape Inc.

1-800-290-5054

www.globalscape.com

$40

For Windows 3.1, 95 or 98