The Complete Interactive Guide to Multimedia Computers
7351 Washington Avenue South Edina, MN 55439-2407
Currently, eight percent of computers have CD-ROM capacities, and that number is expected to triple in 1995. With all the new software out there and the growing interest in multimedia systems, it is easy to get overwhelmed. BASICS & BEYOND - The Complete Interactive Guide to Multimedia Computers - is the essential and consummate program for computer users interested in multimedia systems.
BASICS & BEYOND is a cooperative effort between RTA Laser Data Ltd; Moscow, Russia (CIS); and Optical Systems, Ltd, Athens, Greece. Together they have developed a database that answers any questions you may have about PC basics, hardware systems, storage devices, CD-ROMs, programming languages, and much more.
Navigation through the program is easy with picture hot buttons and on-screen menus. Search-and-retrieval functions include keyword, hypertext, and topic index searching. And it's fun! High-quality audio, images, animation, and video sequences guide you through the myriad of information.
Users can select the level with which they are most comfortable - basic, advanced, or expert. Begin at basic, and this program will easily evolve you to an expert level. I am amazed at the comprehensive quantity of information. Retailing at $29.95, secrets of the mysterious world of multimedia systems are available to everyone.
- Laurie Lawson-
A Berkeley Systems CD-ROM for Windows 95/3.1 and Macintosh
I am so addicted to this game that I reluctantly stopped playing to write this review. I will give you a hint. Jack is not a person; it is part of one of my favorite phrases. You'll figure it out the minute you start playing.
YOU DON'T KNOW JACK is a quiz game with over 800 question and 20 hours of non-repetitive verbal abuse by a sarcastic host. Driven by pulsating original music, hi-tech sound effects, and flashing graphics, one to three players select categories ("Sayings That Have Annoyed America," "Greek Mythology at the Mall," and "Scientific Experiments & Bad Karma" are just a few of the irreverent options). If you answer right, you score cash; if you're wrong, you reap abuse. Questions come in the forms of Gibberish rhymes, Fiber Optic Field Trips, Jack Attacks, and multiple choices. The pace is fast because, if you hesitate, the host ridicules you. Is this fun or what?
For an introductory price of only $30, you too can become addicted and abused. YOU DON'T KNOW JACK is a wild and wicked competition that delights in proving you don't know jack. It's a blast!
- Laurie Lawson-
From the gamemasters who brought you "Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time" comes another fun and slightly wacky game. ARCADE AMERICA is a 7th Level venture with an unlikely hero. Joey grunts, mumbles, and bumbles his way across America in search of his pals (who happen to be monsters), always wearing his pants slightly below the acceptable level and scarfing down junk food. The games stops on ten hot spots on the U.S. map starting with Alcatraz and ending up in New York City. At each junction one of the monsters can be rescued amidst villains, obstacles, and secret rooms. In the gameplaying, belly bounces and sponge cake become your allies. The action is timed, and there are increasingly difficult levels of play based on your performance. And the reward is a rollicking concert at Woodstock.
ARCADE AMERICA is enhanced by a terrific music score that includes 11 themes, four songs, lots of action- sensitive music cues, and the occasional grunt and groan. The animation has more than 10,000 cels creating lively and dynamic characters.
You will need an IBM or compatible 486, 33 MHz., 8 MB of RAM, 256-color display or better in order to fully enjoy ARCADE AMERICA. Other entries from 7th Level are "Monty Python's Flying Circus Desktop Pythonizer," "TuneLand starring Howie Mandel," and the new "Battle Beast," promoted as the best fight game ever.
- Laurie Lawson
One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052
I am dying to tell you about this new guy I just met. He's quickly becoming my best friend. He helps me write letters and create unique stationery; we organize all my finances and pay my bills by check; my household is in tip-top shape thanks to him; for entertainment we play games; and he even lets me redecorate his house whenever I feel like it! My too-good-to-be-true friend is named Bob, MICROSOFT BOB.
There is no way you are not going to be impressed after you have used this software. The thing that makes it so exceptional is called a "Social Interface." Instead of manuals and help files, the user interacts with "personal guides," aka "Friends of Bob" (I have become quite fond of the most adorable dog ever to show up on the PC). The guides are in every program and provide help and information whenever you need it. Everything you need is on screen. All you have to do is load the program and get started.
Eight integrated programs operate amidst a "Home" environment (you can decorate the rooms, change the outside scenery, and add rooms). Letter Writer is linked to Address Book and E-Mail. Checkbook allows electronic bill paying, creates reports to track expenses, and even puts reminders on the Calendar (Calendar is integrated with several of the other programs). Household Manager has over 300 pages of inventory and maintenance information from experts, and Financial Guide, with over 100 pages of expert financial information, is a great organizer for all your monetary information. GeoSafari is a geography-based quiz game. A ninth add-on program, Microsoft Great Greetings, allows you to create unique greeting cards and invitations.
System requirements for MICROSOFT BOB are Windows 3.1 or higher, a 486 processor, 8 MB of memory, a super VGA 256-color monitor, and a mouse. A modem is required for E-Mail and Checkbook's on-line payment features. A sound card and speakers further enhance the program's operation. MICROSOFT BOB should be on the market soon and will retail for approximately $99. The add-on Greetings program will retail for $19.95. Trust me, you are going to fall in love with BOB!
- Laurie Lawson-
From Wayzata Technology, Inc.
The new software from Wayzata Technology, THE GUINNESS ENCYCLOPEDIA, practically does the thinking for you. You have access to a wide variety of subjects, such as "The Nature of the Universe," "The Human Organism," "Religion and Philosophy," "The Countries of the World," and many more; and searching the topics actually becomes a learning experience. Arranged by themes, details expand into related material giving a comprehensive understanding of the information.
The two CD-ROM's that are both MAC and Windows compatible are full of facts, illustrations, animations, photographs, movies, and audios (you can learn how to pronounce common phrases in 30 different languages). The subject matters jump to life, and the graphics make learning fun.
A great feature of this software is how easily it can be converted to hard copy - you can print out text, maps, and photos with the touch of a button. Installation is simple, and navigation is logical and easy. THE GUINNESS ENCYCLOPEDIA boasts the lowest price of any major encyclopedia. Check out your local software store or call the number above for more details.
- Laurie Lawson-
Although it makes perfect sense when I do it, I spend endless wasted minutes looking through files trying to remember under what name I saved a specific document. Now, thanks to Software Publishing Corporation, this futile exercise could be a thing of the past.
ONFILE is a new software designed to help Windows users organize their files in a logical and easy-to-use manner. The user gets to determine how they would like their files categorized - project name, file type, date, or any way they prefer - based on a book concept. You create the book and determine the names of the chapters and what files you would like in them. And you can use up to 100 characters to name your files.
Chapters are divided by tabs, which can be color-coded for further delineation, and you can add summary descriptions to remind yourself what is in a specific file. Tables of content and alphabetical indexes further assist you, and you can place a Thumbnail, a small image of the actual document, next to each file. Post-It Style Notes let you leave a reminder to yourself or a note to someone else on the file, and Bookmarks allow you to quickly access pages that contain your most frequently used files.
ONFILE also features AutoBook which searches your current files and creates a starter book and AutoUpdate to quickly add new files. File Viewer is an easy way to look at all your files without having to open or install an associated application in their computer; this feature supports more than 50 of the most common file formats. This is user-friendly software. A Tool Bar with Tool Tips, icons with yellow description boxes, and a status bar are available at all stages. If you are unsure of what to do next, click the right mouse button, and a menu will appear.
In order to run ONFILE you will need a 386 or higher IBM-PC or compatible, 4 MB of RAM, 4 MB of hard disk space, VGA or higher display, mouse, DOS 5.0 or higher and Windows 3.1. This and $49 (suggested retail price) could put an end to your organization problems. What a bargain!
- Laurie Lawson-
655 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022
At a press conference in New York City on March 21st a new online business intelligence service was announced, and its name is PROFOUND. Unlike most online services, this Windows-based program is designed to get you offline (get in, get your information, and get out quickly), according to PROFOUND CEO Dan Wagner.
New "InfoSort" technology helps users obtain information desired in a quick and easy manner. Millions of documents can be scanned in seconds, and a detailed table of contents is developed to pinpoint the exact location of each report. And, because PROFOUND is bundled with Adobe Acrobat software, documents are presented in Portable Document Format (this means they retain their original format including pictures and graphs).v3.01-32S020G07N
- Laurie Lawson
SOFTKEY International Inc. announced the release of five new software products. Ranked as one of the top independent North American consumer software companies, they have brought to the market such popular series as "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar," "PFS: WindowWorks," and "American Heritage Talking Dictionary." Now they are adding the following to their illustrious line:
Mosby's Medical Encyclopedia - Perfect for today's health-conscious consumer, this medical reference program has nearly 20,000 entries and 1,200 illustrations. You can learn about all the major body systems with a full-color Atlas of Human Anatomy. There are 4,000 audio pronunciations of key medical terms, as well an animations and videos. Also included are a pediatrics appendix, a comprehensive nutrition appendix, a listing of health organizations, and a prescription and over-the-counter drug appendix. This CD- ROM is available for Windows, and the anticipated street price is $49.95.
BodyWorks 4.0 - This is the latest version of SoftKey's popular "BodyWorks" software, named to PC Magazine's Top 10 Educational CD-ROM lists in 1992, 1993, and 1994. A self-guided three-dimensional journey allows the user to explore the inner workings of the body and its systems. Click on the body part to learn where they are located, what function they serve, and where you can find additional information. There are 25 Virtual Reality models, 45 movies, 4 original music scores, and 300,000 words of expert text. This CD- ROM for Windows has an anticipated street price of $49.95.
The Muppet Calendar - A Muppet A Day will probably keep you in a very good mood. Now you can create calendars in a variety of formats - daily, weekly, monthly, yearly (you can even create pages for Day Runner or Day Timer organizers) - and each one can sport one or all of your favorite Muppets. There are over 230 photos and clip-art images - the largest assortment anywhere. As a bonus, The Muppet Screen-Saver and Slide-Show comes bundled with the software. Choosing from 12 different special effects, full-screen photos will flash on the screen when your computer is idle. With an anticipated street price of $29.95, this CD-ROM for Windows program is a must for users of all ages.
Key Design Center 3-D - Never before has it been so easy to build your dream house, plan office space, or draft potential retail space. Using a professionally-designed structure or creating your own, you can select from over 450 3-D objects for home or office. Designing inside and out, there are 150 textures for fabric, brick, wallpaper, wood, and carpet, as well as 400 2-D objects like doors and windows. You can even add pigs and cows to your farm! And after you have finished, you can walk through your creation and view it from any angle in 3-D. Change your mind as many times as you like; it won't cost a cent. With a street price of $29.95, this CD-ROM for Windows will be available in a Macintosh version soon.
TIME Almanac - Imagine having at your fingertips every TIME article from January 2, 1989 through January 2, 1995, plus more than 2,500 articles covering major events from the 1920's through the 1980's. There are also two anniversary timelines highlighting the end of World War II and 1970 and a slide show depicting immigration in America. The 1995 edition has been updated to include current events such as the 104th Congress, the Republican's Contract with America, and a review of presidential elections from McKinley to Clinton. And best of all, you don't have to worry about where you are going to store all those magazines. Available in CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh, the anticipated street price is $49.95.
- Laurie Lawson-
A Microsoft Home's Interactive Multimedia CD-ROM
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6399
SCHOLASTIC'S THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS EXPLORES THE HUMAN BODY was inspired by the award- winning book series of the same name. This CD-ROM software has been designed for children 6-10 years old and delightfully combines entertainment and education.
The adventure begins in the classroom of Ms. Frizzle, the science teacher. Here children can click on her students or objects in the room. Volcanoes explode, hot air balloons float across the ceiling, ants march, and the students speak. From here the walking shoes or the magic bus takes you on your journey. The magic bus, accidentally swallowed by Arnold, explores 12 locations in his body while trying to find its way out.
Children are taught science concepts, such as how the nervous system works; conduct experiments like reassembling the skeleton that has fallen apart; play games, such as "pinball" in the heart; and listen to multimedia reports that include jokes and facts. And it can all be done at the child's pace with on-screen help from Liz the Lizard throughout the trip.
In order to participate you will need a multimedia PC, 4 MB of RAM, SVGA display capable of 256 colors, double-speed CD-ROM drive with an 8-bit MIDI-capable sound card; headphones or speakers, and a mouse. Microsoft Windows, 3.1 or higher, and DOS, 5.0 or higher, are required. The Windows version is currently available, and plans for an Apple Macintosh version are scheduled for 1995. The suggested retail price is $49.95 (academic price $44.95).
- Laurie Lawson-
SIRIUS PUBLISHING INCORPORATED
1-800-247-0307 or (602) 951-3288
Sirius Publishing has come up with a great way to begin, or enhance, your collection of CD-ROMs. In a five-foot long package ten diverse CD-ROMs have been packaged at a retail price of $39.95. And what a collection; there is sure to be something of interest for everyone in your family.
"Beyond Planet Earth" explores outer space with a panel of space experts, including Buzz Aldrin, and some of the best graphics we have ever come across. "National Parks of America" brings you back to earth to wander through 230 of America's natural wonders. "Microsoft Multimedia Mozart" not only plays the music of this genius but also illuminates his life, his instruments, and even has a game. "1994 Sports Illustrated Almanac" gives you a full year of sports, complete with action-packed video clips.
It's you against one the craziest and most evil cab drivers ever to get behind a wheel in "Hell Cab," and "Who Shot Johnny Rock?" is an exciting mystery set in the 1930's just waiting to be solved. Go up against aliens from Mars in "Corridor 7: Alien Invasion," and for tamer entertainment children will delight in "Sing-A-Long Kids V2" featuring the Phoenix Boys Choir.
"PhotoMorph & Conversion Artist" lets you fully display your creative talents, and "PrintMaster Gold" offers you all the tools of a personal publishing house with plenty of fonts, graphics, and special effects. This should keep you busy until Sirius releases its next ten-pack.
- Laurie Lawson-
1850 Union Street, Suite 1281
San Francisco, CA 94123-9866
On December 5th in New York City Magellan Systems introduced THE TRAVELER, its first travel and tourism multimedia CD-ROM. THE TRAVELER features 62 multimedia presentations including hotels, airlines, tour companies, cruise lines, resorts, and tourism boards.
Now, instead of reading about Australia, consumers can view beautiful location shots while listening to music. Or click on The Poles and watch a video of penguins against a background of majestic snow-covered mountains. The software has over 100 destinations spread across the globe, complete with maps, itineraries, background information, sporting and adventure activities, and a plethora of visual and audio sensations.
THE TRAVELER is compatible to both IBM and Macintosh systems, and the program is extremely fast with quick screen writes. There are plans for updates and a link to a major on-line service in 1995.
Navigation through the presentations is easy and entertaining. THE TRAVELER makes planning your vacation almost as much fun as the vacation itself! And what's more, you can get it free by calling the toll-free number above. There is a $4.50 handling and shipping fee.
- Laurie Lawson-
Verbose Educational Software That Makes You Smart
From The Princeton Review
2315 Broadway, Third Floor
New York, NY 10024
(800) 955-3700, ext. 3335
The Princeton Review has long been renowned for its courses that help prepare students in taking the dreaded SAT's. Now they have come up with software that will make you smart. Their "Smart Series" includes Physics Smart, Chem Smart, Bio Smart, and WORD SMART.
WORD SMART is unique in the sense that not only does it prepare you for test taking, but it can also be used by anyone interested in increasing their vocabulary. Businessfolks, public speakers, writers, and prosaic people alike can take advantage of the detailed diagrams and animations that help you learn and remember new words. Also included are four different kinds of quizzes that you can design, tips and techniques, a personal word list and notebook that you create, flashcards, detailed explanations of dictionary usage and terms, and assistance in creating your individual game plan. You can click on any word, and The Princeton Review in its distinctive irreverent manner will provide humorous and lively examples to help you retain the information.
Available in both Macintosh and Windows platforms, the software retails for approximately $30. For information about The Princeton Review's software, courses, books, or tests in general, call (800) 2-REVIEW.
- Laurie Lawson-
Coming January 1995 is software that could change your mind
for the rest of your life. Billed as "the only software in
the world to help you realize the power of your mind," me2
is a self-improvement tool that can be used by anyone with access
to a computer. me2, which stands for Mental Energy Squared
(someone deserves a bonus just for thinking up such a clever
name), is the brainchild of John T. Furey, President of
Humanagement, Inc., and was developed in conjunction with
psychologists and leading software designers. Users answer a
series of 32 multiple choice questions covering a wide range of
subjects and scenarios. The answers are processed by the software
in order to produce a Personal Success Profile. This Profile can
be used to discover the user's drive to succeed, to communicate
more effectively, and to create a more fulfilling and less
stressful life. The software comes with instructions, a 40-minute
audio tape, and a guide book. The interactive program also offers
insight for establishing relationships and improving
communications and understanding, as well as a Job Success
Profile that can assist in determining the perfect job match.
Furey terms the software "evolutionary" because of its
compatibility with existing formats, such as businesses, human
resources management, counselors, and educators. The me2 program
will be available on the Macintosh, DOS, and Windows platforms.
There will also be a CD-ROM version with audio that can be played
on both a CD player and a computer. A special feature which
allows you to purchase additional Personal Success Profiles (the
program comes with three) on line will also be available.
- Laurie Lawson-
MARKETING ON THE INTERNET, SECOND EDITION By JILL & MATTHEW ELLSWORTH and ELECTRONIC MARKETING by MARGO KOMENAR Two New Wiley Publications As words like "The Net," "The Web," and "SuperHighway" become part of our everyday language, more and more individuals and businesses are realizing the potential marketing tool available to them. Two new publications from Wiley focus on the marketing aspect of this new power. MARKETING ON THE INTERNET, SECOND EDITION, speaks to those who may not have yet ventured onto the Net or those using it on a limited basis. Jill and Michael Ellsworth have published several books geared toward businesses that leads them step-by-step into the sometimes baffling world of computer technology. As with their other books, their approach is easy to comprehend and comprehensive. They begin by fully explaining the Web and its potential and continue on by informing you of what is already out there. From there they give you tips, techniques, and methods for promoting your own business, creating your own Web Page, and measuring your success. There are also resources galore, such as cyber-advertising agencies, web services, and sites that support online advertising. ELECTRONIC MARKETING by Margo Komenar begins with the premise that the first form of electronic marketing was the 800 number and traces its undeniable success in the business world. From there Komenar tells you how to define your audience, identify what will create a positive response, and how to use electronic marketing to reach your goals. Concepts, such as interactive advertising, fax-on-demand, SmartCards, and interactive kiosks are fully explained. Tips from successful electronic marketers, such as AT&T, 1-800-FLOWERS, Bloomberg Financial Markets, and VISA International are included. Anyone desiring prosperous businesses in the future will find these books to be valuable resources. Marketing On The Internet, Second Edition ISBN: 0471165042 Publish Date: 12/27/96 Price: $29.95 Electronic Marketing ISBN: 0471155535 Publish Date: 12/27/96 Price: $29.95 -Laurie Lawson- ©1997 ELJ,Inc.