This listing of commercial products is to recognize excellence in the marketplace. The products listed here have given outstanding performance in usage at ANSR, Inc. At present, this list is confined to the field of computer-related hardware and software products. The version and year of purchase of the product is given for reference, and also a brief description of how ANSR has used the product.
Overall Excellence in Performance, Features, Documentation, and Reliability
Products in this category serve a widely used purpose with a set of features and an overall reliability that makes the product outstanding in its field.
Intuit: QuickBooks (v.6, ~1998) - Accounting package used for all ANSR's financial bookkeeping during 1996. Truly a pleasure to use. After the nightmare of ANSR's 1995 accounting program (which shall remain nameless, here), this program brought enormous relief and superb performance. Has more features than we need. Its value and our respect for it have held up in the course of several years' use.
Microsoft: Office (v.97, 1997) - This is one case where Microsoft really got their act together. Everything (that's been used) works with near-perfection, and the documentation is outstanding. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have all found application in ANSR's mainstream publication and analysis activities. An overall highly capable package. (Even our main complaint has an "upside": We're glad Microsoft allows the user to disable the "intelligent" features, since, from our viewpoint, they are mostly unsuccessful impediments to productivity.) Office 2000 seems to have carried on the tradition, and we've had excellent document interchange between the two versions.
Outstanding Features or Functions
Products in this category offer unique or especially advantageous features not generally available elsewhere. These products might have certain inadequacies in specific areas. Some products that are missing here may also be of high quality, but disqualified by our inability to differentiate among "foibles" that could be due to a variety of malfunctions, or perhaps simply by our intent to keep this list short.
Intel: Pentium I, II, III, and IV - These CPU's have powered 100% of ANSR's computing over the first 7 years of operations. We joined the Pentium crowd after the division-algorithm bug was fixed, and Intel hasn't faltered since. Many numbers crunched and jobs accomplished at ANSR using numerous Pentia (or Pentiums?).
Microsoft: Windows NT 4 and 2000 (v.4.0, SP3+, ~1997; v. 2000, SP1, 2000) - Used throughout ANSR's operations for business and scientific computing. These are the smoothest and most reliable of the Windows operating systems. Offer multiprocessing capability. Nearly crash-proof in our uses, except when Device Drivers malfunction. NT4 installation is tricky (we haven't installed 2000, in-house, yet). Windows 2000 has performed well over the past year on our Dell Inspiron 7500 laptop and two workstations. Both versions have a few quirks, but are quite usable. We do wish that the Plug-N-Play apparatus in W2000 could handle disappearance and reappearance of an external modem more conveniently (i.e., without complaining and without requiring a restart).
Seagate: Barracuda and Cheetah (1995-2001) - Hard disks of capacity 2 GB to 36 GB with SCSI interface. Five drives in use for one to seven years provide fast, high-capacity storage. Superb reliability. They just spin and read/hold/write our data.
Products in this category are deemed to have unusually good overall performance for their price. The products may (or may not) show somewhat less polish or completeness compared with those in the Overall Excellence category, but definitely merit consideration based on value.
Adobe: Acrobat Reader (vers. 4.05, 1999) - An increasing amount of information available on the web is in Adobe Acrobat format. It's easy to use, easy to download and install, and presents the content of reports quite well. Free, too-- can't beat that for value. Of course, it costs a little more if you want to be an Acrobat content publisher.
This information is Copyright, 2001, ANSR, Inc. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: ANSR, Inc. makes no warranty for suitability of the products listed here for your applications, nor any warranty of product performance on your system. ANSR will accept technical or usage comments on the products listed but reserves the right to use its own judgment and state its own opinions on the products recognized here. ANSR provides no technical support for these products, but, at its sole discretion, may give selected advice, on occasion, if requested. ANSR is not responsible for any damages that might result from your use of any of these products. This information is provided solely as a public service. ANSR, Inc. accepts no fees or other direct benefits in connection with inclusion on this list. Note: We have not excluded companies' products for which ANSR's President might hold stock (in some cases and in part, the stock was purchased due to the excellence of the products).
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