Simpler E Mail That Evokes Bygone Offices

Remember the intercom, that one-time staple of the office? It plays a role in innumerable old movies, helping secretaries warn their bosses of unexpected visitors or important phone calls. It also came in mighty handy for eavesdropping. There's something endearingly quaint about such a simple device in this era of multimedia computers and cellular phones, but the need for instant communications within offices remains.

That's why San Francisco-based Moses Computers Inc. has come out with MosesCalls!, a screen-to-screen intercom software package. Simpler and easier to use than standard electronic-mail systems, it helps to instantly move short text messages among IBM-compatible PCs connected to Novell or Artisoft networks. The program pops into view with the push of a button on the sender's keyboard. Recipients can tap a function key to send back a predesignated message, such as "Put him on hold," or type in their own words. Messages can be stored for later perusal, too. The software can be licensed at $50 for use by two people, $200 for 25 people, and $300 for an unlimited number.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.