From the June 1999 issue of Startups

Forget the crumpled map. National Geographic Trip Planner Deluxe enables you to plan your next business trip with the help of thousands of photos, slide shows and videos from National Geographic. Besides mapping out the most convenient route between two points, the program also enables you to pinpoint lodging and eateries along the way based on your budget constraints. Plus, if the trip is on the client, you may want to try one of the program's dozens of recommended scenic drives. Other bonuses: 70,000-plus points of interest and 20,000-plus ratings of hotels and restaurants.
A road warrior's best friend.

National Geographic Trip Planner Deluxe

Street Price: $30

Requires: An IBM-compatible 486 pc or higher, Windows 95 or higher, 16MB RAM, 35MB hard-drive space, CD-ROM

Mindscape

Novato, California

(800) 716-8506

http://www.mindscape.com


Joe Dysart (joedysart@aol.com), a software analyst and Internet business consultant, has written for more than 40 publications, including The New York Times.

No Brainer

For those who think hard-drive configuration is only slightly easier than brain surgery on mosquitoes, help has arrived. DriveUP! 98 Version 1.5 boasts it can set up any size hard-drive in three minutes or less--and it delivers. Perfect for those who want to move their data to a new hard drive or simply add a hard drive for extra storage, DriveUP! protects all your data during the process. Plus, there's nothing to screw up: You literally click "start," and the program runs itself. Sweet dreams.

DriveUP! 98 Version 1.5

Street Price: $25

Requires: An IBM-compatible 486 pc or higher, Windows 3.x or DOS, 16MB RAM, 5MB hard-drive space, CD-ROM

FWB Software

Redwood City, California

(650) 482-4800

http://www.fwb.com

Key Punching

With your own business, you're not only your own boss, but also your own secretary--so even if you made it through college using the hunt-and-peck method of typing, now's the time to learn the real deal. Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 9 is the world's bestselling typing program for a reason: It customizes itself to every person it teaches. Lessons begin only after the program diagnoses your personal typing strengths, weaknesses and skill level, and determines whether you're a kid, teen or adult. Onscreen hands demonstrate correct form for every keystroke. Eight games help you build your typing speed, accuracy and rhythm. There's even a 25-minute video on ergonomic tips for developing safer and more comfortable keyboard habits.

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 9

Street Price: $50

Requires: An IBM-compatible 486 pc or higher, Windows 3.1 or higher, 16MB RAM,

40MB hard-drive space, CD-ROM

Mindscape

Novato, California

(800) 716-8503

http://www.mindscape.com

Bring 'Em On

An essential tool for any business Web presence, this program will ensure word of your entree onto the Net gets around in a hurry. Web Site Traffic Builder automatically registers your site with a list of more than 400 Internet search engines that's continually updated via the Web. The program also automatically puts your business in the appropriate category for each search engine. Plus, you can check your site's position on the Net's eight most popular search engines. Don't leave your home page without it.

Web Site Traffic Builder

Street Price: $50

Requires: an IBM compatible 486 pc or higher, Windows 95 or higher, 4MB RAM, 5MB hard-drive space, CD-ROM, Internet connection

Intelliquis

Draper, Utah

(801) 553-1127

http://www.intelliquis.com

¿Habla Español?

Would understanding Spanish help you market to customers better, manage employees more effectively or do business overseas more easily? If so, you'll want to turn to a company that's a veteran at foreign language lessons. Berlitz Spanish offers continual interactive feedback as it teaches you the language via hundreds of dialogues and exercises. Besides giving you the basics, the program's speech recognition module monitors your accent and lets you know when you're truly talking like a native. Worth the price of admission even if you're only looking to charm a single client in his or her own language.

Berlitz Spanish

Street Price: $50

Requires: An IBM-compatible 486 pc or higher, Windows 3.1 or higher, MS-DOS or PC-DOS 5.0 or higher, 16MB RAM, 36MB hard-drive space, CD-ROM

The Learning Company

Cambridge, Massachusetts

(800) 716-8503

http://www.learningco.com

Days Of Our Lives

If you shun standard-issue day planners, then Calendar Creator 6.0 Deluxe may be your answer. Quite simply, the program can print virtually any customized calendar you can dream up on your PC. The software also harnesses the power of your PC to design day, week, month and multimonth views; lets you customize pop-up alarms so you never miss an appointment; and gives you instant access to phone numbers, addresses and e-mails for every appointment contact. And if you're on the road, Calendar Creator synchronizes data in a snap with Palm Pilot, Palm III and personal information management programs such as Lotus Organizer and Microsoft Outlook.

Calendar Creator 6.0 Deluxe

Street Price: $50

Requires: An IBM-compatible 486 pc or higher, Windows 95 or higher, 8MB RAM, 40MB hard-drive space, CD-ROM

Broderbund

Novato, California

(800) 716-8503

http://www.broderbund.com