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ATPM 4.08
August 1998




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Review: Character Naming Software 2.1

by Mike Shields,


Product Information
Published by: December Fifth Creations
Street Price: $30

As most of you know, I'm a writer. As such, I need to name characters. So, it would seem that this software was created specifically for me. Well, not really.

I'd seen the announcement of this on the EvangeList and thought to myself, "Self, you've got to try this!" So, I gave the fine folks at December Fifth a call, and they sent me a copy. It turns out that, originally, this was simply a baby naming software tool. However, they'd gotten many requests to do last names from guys and gals like me, writing the next greatest American screenplay.

It installed easily enough. The icon has a few too many holes for my taste, so even if your cursor is directly on top of it, double-clicking to launch doesn't always produce the desired result. Annoying, but I got over it.

You're presented with a splash screen, followed by a startup screen. Remember where you go from here, 'cause you have to get back here to exit. A pain. Command-Q, anyone?

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The name database itself has 12,000+ first and last names available for your perusal, grouped by various nationalities, as well as themes. Want an All-American name? Reserved? Continental? These are just some of the themes available, to give your character additional depth.

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Lookup was quick. Definitions of names were shallow, at best. Definitions of last names non-existent. I wanted to look up Horseshack to see if it indeed meant "The Cattle are Dying," but no luck.

So, in conclusion, if you're a writer, and you need character names, this software is for you, by virtue of there being nothing else out there, that I know of. Just don't expect too much.

[apple graphic] Copyright © 1998 Mike Shields, Reviewing in ATPM  is open to anyone. If you're interested, write to us at

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