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  Freeware & Shareware
March 2002

Tim Hoke

Tim Hoke is the Sr. Pastor at Faith Presbyterian Church, a long-time member of Alamo PC and an avid computer user who loves to try out new programs, especially shareware and freeware. He gets excited about a good deal.  More than that, he enjoys sharing good deals with others.

Why not send him a note about your favorite shareware or freeware programs.

In keeping with our March bean counter edition of the PC Alamode, I have listed a number of appropriate freeware and shareware programs for your consideration.

An interesting stock screening tool for active traders is SMatrix (one of the TOOLS introduced by OSTL).  It is a simple, small, yet very powerful Intraday Realtime screener. (Updates on a real-time basis during the intraday session.) The application takes full advantage of Intraday Screener @ CBSMarketWatch and your Yahoo! Finance Page as information sources. Yes, the unique feature of SMatrix is that it uses free resources around the net, so you don't have to subscribe to anything like quote services with a monthly cost unlike the other screening tools. SMatrix has an unusual volume detective engine which can be combined with ANY screening criteria of CBS Marketwatch Screener.  You can download a trial version .

Another freebie is Gold Calculator Lite.  It computes Gold, in Kilos, Oz, Dwt, grams, and grains. Saves all calculations to file and will print. Just enter Gold Spot or Market Price and Gold Calculator Lite will do the rest. No system requirements. Small footprint only 180 KB. Uses virtually No system resources. Stand alone .exe application, No setup or install, Uninstaller not required. Itís freeware. There is a big difference between this Freeware version and full version of Gold Calculator. Five star award at File Hungry. Four star award at File Transit.  Download this interesting program.

CalcExpress for Windows 98, ME, Win2000, XP might interest you.  Hereís how it works:  You specify icons in the tray and the mathematical expressions you want to calculate when you click on one of them. CalcExpress creates a simple dialog which asks you for the actual parameters and computes a result. You can assign more than one expression to the tray icon. Then a menu is displayed each time you click on the icon.  You can get it at SoftwareMeister.  It is a nice piece of shareware for $15.

MoneyTime is a financial calculator for loans, investments, amortization schedules, and other calculations involving compound interest. Simply enter the known variables, then click for the solution. MoneyTime can solve for present value, future value, periodic payment or deposit, number of periods and interest rates. MoneyTime can create amortization schedules which may be viewed on screen, printed or saved to a file. It also provides a review screen where different financial what-if scenarios/calculations can be recalled, compared, printed or saved to a file. The software includes a comprehensive user's guide with many examples. This update features minor enhancements to the amortization schedule options.  Try it for free and if you want to keep it, pay $40.  Download 

Another product by the above shareware vendor is My Funds 2.0.  It is a program for keeping track of transactions and balances for checking and savings accounts. Balances provided include Real and Settled, with the real balance reflecting all transactions and the settled balance reflecting only settled transactions. Each transaction, such as check, deposit or withdrawal, has a settled or not settled state indicated by a simple check box. To balance an account with its statement, simply go to the fundís transaction screen and check off each transaction which is settled according to the statement, then compare the settled balance with the statement balance. 

Some features of My Funds 2.0 include:

  • Track multiple accounts. My Funds can track several checking, savings and money market accounts. 
  • Balancing an account with respect to its statement is easy! Just check off each settled transaction and compare the fund's settled balance with the statement balance. 
  • Entering one or more transactions is quick and easy. 
  • Smart transactions, where a transaction such as a deposit is automatically marked as a positive number, while a check or withdrawal is marked as a negative number. This eliminates accidental entries, like a positive number for a withdrawal, which can make balancing an account with its statement a frustrating process. 
  • Print a fund's transactions for a given date range. 
  • Track both the Real balance (balance reflecting all transactions) and Settled balance (balance reflecting only settled transactions). 
  • Funds no longer active can be marked as inactive. An inactive fund's transactions cannot be altered without marking the fund as active. 
  • Useful tools such as a quick view calendar and launching of the Windows calculator are included. 
  • My Fund's Help includes a Getting Started section which has tips on how to create a new fund and have it up-to-date with the latest statement. 

If youíd like to try My Funds 2.0,  get it here .  It, too, is $40 if you decide to register it. 

Do you have a business and need to get a handle on your cash flow?  Try Cashflow Plan: It is useful for preparing detailed monthly cashflow projections for cash planning, business plans, fundraising etc. for 12 months ahead. Includes facilities for rolling forward projections and sensitivity analysis. For larger businesses with sales $2m+. Especially useful for businesses in tight cash positions as it will help management to plan cash requirements and improve control over cashflows and conserve their cash resources. Based on user's assumptions, Cashflow Plan generates fully-integrated projections (P&Ls, cashflows, balance sheets, ratio analyses etc.) on a monthly basis for the year ahead. Running as an Excel template, Cashflow Plan contains 150+ special menu options and buttons, 20+ performance reports, dozens of graphed variables and thousands of formulae. Unique features and facilities include On-line help covering over 130 topics, Word-based manual, Error-trapping and worksheet protection, Quik-Plan for compiling projections within minutes, expandable to almost any level of detail or complexity, extensive ďwhat-ifĒ and sensitivity analysis, handles US/Canadian and UK/International formats. 

Cashflow Plan is aimed at non-financial managers and planning specialists alike. It saves them the substantial effort required to develop their own spreadsheet-based cashflow planners. As a result, more time can be spent planning, refining assumptions, evaluating scenarios, etc.  It is shareware that has versions ranging from $39-$199.  Download.

Do you need to calculate your finances?  Then try Financial Calculator. If you know and appreciate the KISS. concept (Keep It Simple, Stupid!), then you'll probably like this program. It's not a competitor for the heavyweight financial programs, but for the simple financial analysis it performs, it does it fast and well. Get it from KissFC  for seven bucks.

Download a free program that will analyze US, Canadian, UK, German, Australian, and other stocks. Track unlimited real-time quotes and charts. Buy and sell signals are displayed on the charts. Users may change all parameters of TA algorithms.

Now hereís an interesting product. Identify the true costs and profits associated with your products and suppliers. This software is suitable for all resale business operations regardless of size. It allows you to build a complete product/supplier database with cost, profit, and sensitivity analysis for each profile, each supplier and the Total Business. From this you can critically compare suppliers and products to determine true profit contributions. Itís $58, but can be tried for seven days before you pay.  Get it at  BizPepOnline .

Hereís some shareware that might help you count your money.  Money Math is a powerful collection of financial analysis tools in one small package. No need for a different program for each calculation you want to do. Money Math has 19 different dialog boxes that perform over 60 financial calculations. Many of the features of Money Math are listed below: - Make mortgage amortization schedules for your clients. - Calculate home and auto payments before committing to a loan. - Determine the value of a CD when it matures. - Find the yield to maturity and yield to call on bonds. - Estimate the retirement income you will need. - Calculate the unknowns associated with savings and leases. - Know when to re-finance or prepay your mortgage. - Find the Internal Rate of Return for a project investment. Download.

Is anyone concerned about their retirement years?  Well, take a look at Retirement Planner 2001, which is designed to help you plan for a better retirement. It can develop a savings strategy using your 401(k) plan or any other retirement plan, calculate how much you need to save for retirement, understand retirement plans and how they work, understand the time value of money, determine how much income you will need in retirement, and help you determine your options if you aren't saving enough. Retirement Planner accepts credit cards with expiration dates greater than the year 2001; features updated Social Security calculations for accuracy with respect to Maximum Benefit, Average Indexed Monthly Earnings, National Average Earnings, two bendpoints, and the COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment); features reduced inflation factors involved in the Social Security calculation to provide a better estimate; and an enhanced Help file. This update features minor enhancements and bug fixes. Version 2000.1 has updated all calculations to 2002 tax laws put in effect by the Economic Growth & Tax Relief Act of 2001.   Download .

Has your insurance company told you that they need a complete inventory of your household goods?  If so, take a look at Complete Inventory & Contacts Manager 1.3, a comprehensive multi-database system containing 6 different databases: A book database, a CD collection database, a Movie/DVD database, a database for all household goods, another one for all vehicles owned, and a personal contact manager with dialing functionality, e-mail and URL launching. It also has a reporting system for viewing reports based on sorting the parameters of your choice. The reports also display the total cost/price of your goods. It is very useful for keeping an inventory of all belongings in case of an emergency (for insurance reimbursement for example). Or it can be used by small size companies as an inventory tool.   Downloaded

Do you have trouble keeping your checkbook balanced?  Maybe Checkbook can help.  It is an electronic checkbook register. Enter every transaction you make into Checkbook just as you would on your paper version. But instead of pulling out your calculator each month and struggling with the chore of balancing your checkbook, mark off the items in Checkbook that are shown on your monthly statement and Checkbook will calculate it for you. Without the learning curve of a complicated accounting program, you get the job done.  Check out this shareware .

If you invest in the stock market, SpeedTrader PRO might be of help.   It is a Level II Direct Access software designed specifically to operate over the internet. This powerful day trading platform comes complete with fully integrated point and click trading. See any stock anywhere on your screen, click on it, and itís loaded for execution.  Shareware .

Horizon Software offers Horizon Investment Portfolio Analyst, an Investment Portfolio Manager for Windows. It calculates profit, periodic total return, cumulative total return, average annual total return, internal rate of return (IRR), capital gain, buy/sell prices, and other statistics. The program creates many different types of charts and creates 5 different types of basis worksheets for capital gains calculations. It imports/exports data to/from many other applications and is especially useful for investments with variable cash flows, such as mutual funds, 401K plans, annuities, and partnerships, but is also helpful for bank and savings accounts, CD's, stocks, bonds, etc.  Shareware

Have trouble keeping track of where all your money goes every month? Easy Money 3.13 tracks personal income and expenses. You can record line items under an unlimited number of user-defined categories. Categories may be renamed and/or merged together--the data changes with them. You can produce a summary or full reports on all or selected categories within a selected range of months. Features include an onscreen manual, optional pass-code protection, user-defined screen colors, data backup, a reminder utility, and a simple calculator. New version includes bug fixes. Shareware.

Since there has been so much sickness going around the last few months, Iíll list Medical Bills Plus last.  This program is a comprehensive way to keep a record of your family medical costs and ensure that your insurance claims have been paid. The program provides an easy way to record medical visits and costs as they occur, and to calculate and display information that enables you to effectively manage your medical insurance program.  Shareware.

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