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Electronic Phone Books are Useful Tools
Canada Phone and Select Phone
Reviewed by Marnie K. Lucas-Zerbe
Time is a precious luxury for many journalists, so tools designed
to make our lives easier are always welcome.
Two such tools are the 1997 editions of Pro-CD's compact disc directories,
Canada Phone (Canadian residential and business phone book
listings) and Select Phone (U.S. listings). These little
jewels are not just electronic phone books that put thousands of
contacts at your fingertips, but potential time saving organizational
tools as well.
New features have been added to allow for creative use of the data.
Select Phone's tool bar includes helpful options such as
Geo Target which enables the user to find listings based
on their distance from a designated point, while Map View
shows exactly where the listings are located. These features are
not included in Canada Phone.
Canada Phone and Select Phone feature intelligent
and practical organizational tools that allow searches to be conducted
utilizing ten different combinations of search criteria fields,
including a standard industrial code (SIC) field for targeting business
searches. Tagging, sorting and various label printing options are
Unfortunately, nothing is fool proof. Although most listings I
checked were accurate, I found incorrect, outdated, and unavailable
listings on more than one occasion. You may have to click on the
new More Info icon to see when the listing was last updated.
Finally, the users' guide, despite its attempt to appear simple
and direct, can leave a reader feeling confused and unclear, since
the tools available, or unavailable, on Canada Phone are
never clearly specified.
On the whole, however, both are useful and inexpensive tools.
Published in Sources,