THE ATARI ST DESKTOP, with its file folder and trash can icons, is a good metaphor for a real desktop. Timeworks' Partner ST takes that metaphor even farther by giving your desktop an electronic rolodex, memopad, calculator, alarm clock and appointment calendar--in short, just about every office tool you'd keep within reach except paperclips.
Partner ST is a desk accessory--which means that it loads into memory when you turn on your ST and pops onto the screen anytime you click Partner ST on the Desk menu. It can be run either from the desktop or from inside any GEM-based program. It has an intuitive interface. Experienced computer users probably won't even need documentation to get Partner ST up and running. Even computing novices won't need too much time learning to use these utilities.
Partner has seven different features, which adds up to a lot of memory--so much, in fact, that some larger programs will not run on a 520ST with Partner ST installed. In addition, at least 7K of extra memory must be reserved if you want to use the memopad. Fortunately, you can deactivate some of Partner's features and free the extra memory. If you really want to save memory, there is a mini-version of Partner ST which has four features permanently deactivated.
Partner ST comes on two disks and includes Escape, a desk accessory similar to the arcade game Breakout, and a 60,000-word thesaurus, which is so easy to use that the manual devotes more space to the game.
The calculator itself has enough features to be a solid standalone desk accessory. You can either click on the number keys with the mouse or use the ST's numeric keypad. It offers Reverse Polish notation, trigonometric functions and 10 memory locations, and it allows data entry in radians or degrees. You can perform mathematical and logical operations on hexadecimal or binary numbers. A "tape button" sends output to the printer, turning your ST into a convenient adding machine.