Now Up-to-Date & Contact 4.0, by Power On
Posted: 3-November-2001

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: Power On Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Al Douglas Class: UTILITIES

Now Up-to-Date and Now Contact are two inter-related software packages that do the time/date tracking of your appointments, anniversaries, to-do lists, etc (in Now Up-to-Date) and your address list (in Now Contact). These programs take full advantage of your Mac in keeping track of your schedules and calendars and contact list. They were first separate programs, but were 'merged' several years ago when people wanted then to interact. Initially they were developed for individual home users, but now are fully capable of maintaining contacts and scheduling large groups of people from a central server for business purposes.

For home use, it simply keeps track of your friends, relatives, and neighbors; and your social schedule - including separate parents/kids schedules. As you gain experience with the programs, you can separate out different calendars for yourself, your spouse, and kids. You can keep track of all the phone numbers and addresses for each household members, and who they belong to and what was their source (spouse's friend, relatives; kid's school chums; your buddies). Also keep track of holiday cards, or which contacts to download to your Palm or Visor. And what I like best: create a calendar of the whole family so everyone can see what's going on tomorrow, next week, or next spring vacation. But most important, remind you of your spouse's birthday/anniversary!

All of our friends, relatives, and neighbors are in Now Contact. We keep the family calendar in Now Up-to-Date and print out several months for the refrigerator door, much better that scribbling on the pre-printed calendars. I can't imagine running a Mac without it, much like StuffIt or Acrobat Reader.

For business, all the company contacts can be kept on a public server for everyone to access and update individually. The business calendar can be kept up-to-date (making the name of the software quite appropriate), so everyone is on the same schedule.

Now Software, who developed the original programs, sold the software to somebody, who then sold them to Power On Software. Power On has updated the programs for Mac Os 8.7 (v. 3.8) through 9.x (v. 3.9). Version 4.0 will run under Mac OS X in 9.x classic environment. Version 4.1 will be native for Mac OS X (currently in beta).

This latest version, 4.0, of the old stalwart of Now Up-to-Date and Now Contact brings forth modern features to use in a client/server over a TCP/IP network using Open Transport. This version enables it to work on modern Ethernet networks in offices and homes. But there's a price to pay: it will thereafter not work over a AppleTalk network, and you must have a TCP/IP network (can be DHCP, AirPort, etc, and will navigate through firewalls with proper permission). The bottom line is, if you have an AppleTalk network with multiple computers at home, stick to Version 3.9. If you have only a single Mac, or you've gone to DSL, Cable, or Sprint Direct with a multiple computers using a Ethernet router or hub, you can use 4.0.

That said, the new version is thoroughly updated:

  1. You can Grab-'n-Go - which enables you to gather data from virtually any application, including MS Office 2001, and converting the data into notes, tasks, appointments, and others.
  2. Adds four new internet/phone fields for all your extra mobile phones, pagers, etc. and URL addresses.
  3. More custom fields.
  4. Public keywords.
  5. TCP/IP support, including DNS functionality, and supports firewalls and NAT routing (what's NAT routing?)
  6. A new 'AlphaBar' for one-click tab access to contacts in list view (I didn't try this).
  7. New 'QuickFilter' helps filing contacts in list view.
  8. Auto-dialer, if your Mac is hooked up to a phone.
  9. Attach files to contacts: pictures, maps, or other graphics so you can find your way to their office.
  10. Other stuff, including drag-n-drop support for MS Office 2001, Word 98/2001, and mail merge with Word 98.
  11. Last but not least, HotSync with your Palm!! One very important gottacha on installation, Sync and update one last time before installing 4.0 NUTD&C, because the first Sync with 4.0 will OVERWRITE the existing software and files in your Palm.


I installed Up-to-Date and Contact easily, and it automatically converted my old files from 3.9.2 without a hitch. [Older versions have to be updated manually within a new folder.] New colorful windows with new icons for your basic file handling will greet you. But beware: once you convert, all clients/servers on the network must have the same version - which means you'll have to get new 2 or 3 client serial numbers.

In summary, this is the best date and contact piece of software for the Mac. It's a little steep new ($120), but upgrades are cheap ($50). Power On Software, Inc. of New Albany, OH, is to be commended for rescuing an old Mac favorite and running with it.

Pros

  • A versatile and very useful utility for organization
  • Two products are integrated
  • TCP/IP support
  • HotSyncs with Palm OS

Cons

  • Loss of Appletalk support
  • Steep price


Overall Rating

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice