SOFTWARE REVIEW: K-ROGET by Richard Karsmakers
Sometimes, a piece of software is launched that gives you a warm
feeling from within just to have in your collection. Sometimes, a
piece of software is launched that is highly functional and easy
to use. And sometimes a program is launched that combines both:
It gives you the warm feeling from within and also happens to be
versatile, highly functional as well as easy to use. A program
that definately belongs in this last classification is Kuma's new
release for the ST: "K-Roget".
Everybody knows that there are a dozen synonyms for a word like
'liquid'. There's 'fluid', 'juice' and of course several other
words. But there are words that are less easy to come up with a
load of synonyms (let your phantasy work and I suppose you will
be able to come up with some of them yourself!). That's why
someone called Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869) wrote a book called
"The Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and
Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist
in Literary Composition" in 1852. It contained long lists of
words and their associatives, easily classified in catagories,
and was very handy to use.
I actually got my hands on a "Thesaurus of English Words" a
couple of years ago, when I used inappropriate words in the
presence of a lady. She wasn't angry with me or something of the
kind, but gave me this "Thesaurus" so I could next time bring my
sentences in much more refined words (so you should start using
four-lettered words in the presence of your grandmum or someone
just as dignified and who knows what she'll give you - probably a
spiking, but maybe "Thesaurus").
As you could see from words I used in earlier ST NEWS scrolling
messages, I have come to use this book very often. It is a
treasure (the name "Thesaurus" actually is derived from the Greek
word for "Treasure") for those who want to impress others by
using illustrious words. The only disadvantage of the book was
the fact that you still had to look a word up, and that it took
several minutes to find a good synonym that you wanted.
These times are now over. Within a matter of seconds, you can
look up words in the computerized version of "Thesaurus" - "K-
The program comes on three disks, and works with the following ST
- Two double sided disk drives and half/whole megabyte memory
- One double sided disk drive and a whole megabyte of memory
- A harddisk and a half/whole megabyte of memory
I have used it with the 'one double sided drive and one megabyte
of memory' configuration, which is in fact preferable to the
other two (working with a RAMdisk is extremely fast, you know).
The first of the three disks contains an installation program.
This puts "K-Roget" as an accessory on two double-sided disks or
installs it on harddisk. Once this is done (takes about 10
minutes, I think), you are left with two workdisks and the three
master disks (which you should store in a safe place in case you
have a hungry dog walking around or just as a precaution).
Pressing the RESET button with workdisk one in the drive installs
the "K-Roget" desk accesory and, in my case, the 400 Kb RAMdisk
(prompting you to insert the two disks - very crisp'n'clear).
Just realise that you have about 400 Kb less memory for word
processing now (with me, this leaves over 200 Kb for documents
using "1st Word Plus").
First thing I did was looking up the word "beautiful", that I
also used in earlier ST NEWS scrolling messages to describe
Willeke. Ough! Some of the synonyms that "K-Roget" came up with
are very impressive: So Willeke is a pleasant, pleasing,
tintillating, pleasurable, delightful, welcome, gratifying,
satisfying, refreshing, congenial, nice, agreeable, enjoyable,
palatable, delicious, tasty, sweet, perfumed, fragrant, tuneful,
melodious and lovely girl (and this is only one of the seven
references re-written!). You'll soon notice that "K-Word" is just
a help for the writer - in this context, several words (like
tuneful and melodious, that clearly refer to beautiful music
rather than beautiful girls) can be left away, and that's what
the author should always do himself. You can make quite a fool of
yourself my saying that you happen to love a tuneful girl! But
this no disadvantage of "K-Word" whatsoever - it's just the setup
"K-Roget" is fully GEM driven and - as I already mentioned -
works as a desk accesory. Some people might now start being
equivocal (yes, that's a "K-Roget" word for 'to wonder'; how did
you guess?): Two disks? Word Processor disk added to that? And
what about my disk containing my documents? Doesn't that create a
rather messy four disks that I have to use all the time?
But you needn't be alarmed: The second workdisk is stored in the
RAMdisk on system-startup so you needn't use that anymore until
you reboot. The wordprocessor disk is only used when loading the
actual word processing program and is not used after loading
either. So that leaves just two disks: The "K-Roget" workdisk one
that should be in your drive whenever you use "K-Roget" and your
disk containing the documents that should be in your drive
whenever you decide to load/save/delete documents. Alltogether
not really messy, I would think.
No, "K-Roget" really shows other programmers what is meant by
'userfriendlyness' while still being extremely extensive as well!
After activating the actual "K-Roget" desk accessory from a word
processor (or whatever program), a display will appear with a
some sliderbars and buttons.
On the left, a kind of file selector is present in which the word
and all associatives will be displayed once the word you're
looking for is found. Three other sliders to the right are also
present: Reference (to walk through the references in which your
word is found, in case that there are more than one), paragraph
and head (this last one to browse through the words if you want a
concept rather than a word). The word you want found is simply
typed on the edit line and after pressing RETURN or clicking on
the OK box, the program starts searching for it. It will turn out
to come up with the necesary data within a matter of seconds.
Concluding, I think I can safely assume that "K-Roget" is the
only non-entertainment program to which you can actually get
hooked. It performs the tasks that you had to do yourself in a
full-proof and very fast method (it's strange that the
programmer, Ian M. Dilley, has succeeded in keeping it fast, as
about 150,000 words are included in "K-Roget"'s dictionary!), and
is very easy to use indeed. I cannot be without this program
anymore, and I think all people that write a lot (in English, of
course) should not be without this program.
"K-Roget" sells at £49.95 (which seems a bit much when comparing
it with the £5 of the pocket version of "Thesaurus", but which is
really nothing when compared with the work put in it, the rights
that Kuma has to pay to Longman, and the general speed and
userfriendlyness) and can be ordered at:
Kuma Computers Ltd.
12 Horseshoe Park
Berks RG8 7JW
Tel. (England) 07357-4335
If there would be a rate for utility programs, "K-Roget" would
surely deserve a 9.5 or even higher!
Thanks go to Mr. Jon Day of Kuma for sending the program! He has
not only given his own company the possibility for sales
increase, but he has also contributed in a non-insignificant way
in the quality of ST NEWS' English!
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.