Getting to some of the commands required obscure escape code sequences (vi lovers won't mind getting used to it), although the package contains plenty of useful on-line help and a tutorial that proved invaluable.

I experimented only with the word processor and the database portions of SmartWare. I found the database highly useful and effective: it was easy to use, powerful, printed PostScript, had all the needed database features, and was fast. A real winner. The word processor, however, I found to be convoluted and confusing. I could find no easy way to change indentation or justification, and changing fonts and character styles was also painful. No matter how hard I tried, I was not able to get a decent-looking document.

My biggest concern was the Backspace key. Being a veteran of the backspace/delete issue, I have devoured the backspace HOWTO, and configured my home system to use the Home, End, Pageup, Pagedown, Insert and Delete keys correctly everywhere, including X. Yet try as I might, I was not able to get the Backspace key to send a backspace. I could get it to delete, I could get it to space forward, I could even get other keys (such as “X” or tab) to backspace, but for the life of me I could not make backspace backspace! I changed termcap entries, stty configurations, shell binding (tcsh and bash), X setups ... nothing worked. This made changing text in both the database and the word processor a nightmare, requiring me to arrow all over the place and use ctrl-H instead of a single key (binding ctrl-H to backspace caused the key to do nothing at all.) Maybe others will have better luck getting backspace to work.

In general, I think that Angoss did a good job with SmartWare. With a little glitch-fixing for the Linux version, and some improvement to the word processor to make it easier, it would be an invaluable addition to the Linux business workstation.''

—-B. James Phillippe