Feb 1996 Resources and Recreation

Compiled by Donna Tapellini

Hot Picks

Order in the Court

by: Eileen McCooey

Take the law into your own hands with Kiplinger's Home Legal Advisor. Packed with plain-English information and down-to-earth advice, this disk-based program can give you the capability and confidence to handle basic legal affairs on your own, or to deal with legal professionals more knowledgeably. Prepare 68 types of contracts and documents, including wills, powers of attorney, sublease agreements, bills of sale and prenuptial agreements. You'll find information on 84 topics involving employment issues, finance and credit, estate planning, marriage, real estate, health care and travel. My verdict: It's a winner.

$29.95 (street). Block Financial Corp., 800-813-7940, 816-753-6900.

Radio Days

by: Hailey Lynne McKeefry

You've got hundreds of cable channels but there's nothing on? Get back to the entertainment of yesteryear. Theatre of the Imagination contains six hours of audio with Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre Group. In addition to the original radio broadcasts, you can browse scripts, program notes and a variety of background information. Although the much-beloved War of the Worlds was left out, you can hear classics such as Hamlet and The Shadow. --Hailey Lynne McKeefry

$29.95. The Voyager Co., 800-446-2001, 212-431-5199.

Bombs Away

by: Donna Tapellini

Before he spearheaded the building of the first atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer was on the FBI's list of Communist Party members slated for arrest in the event of a national emergency. You'll learn lots more about the scientist and the bomb in The Day After Trinity. The CD contains the entire award-winning documentary of the same name, as well as commentary by director Jon Else. When you're done watching the 88-minute film, go through the abundant archival material, which includes declassified files about the Manhattan Project, a photo gallery and biographical notes.

$29.95. The Voyager Co., 800-446-2001, 212-431-5199.

Can't Stand the Heat? Remodel the Kitchen

by: Jim Forbes

Kitchen remodeling requires patience, vision and a fat checkbook. 3D Kitchen helps with two of those three. This CD-based application takes up a lot of space and demands all the horsepower your computer can deliver. But it also lets you build your kitchen digitally with a ton of helpful hints, a set of powerful design tools and the ability to calculate the price before shelling out the bucks. Libraries include standard designs for cabinets, islands and other kitchen components. Pop-up menus let you specify enhancements such as decorative doorknobs.

$79.95. Books That Work, 800-242-4546, 415-326-4280.

A Whole 'Nother Earth Catalog

by: Donna Tapellini

It's one thing to hear about environmental disasters like the growing hole in the ozone and the disappearing rain forest. But Earthscapes in Time lets you view the progress of Earth's destruction--and evolution--using satellite map images. Zoom in on the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, the changing face of the Mississippi delta and more. Cartographers, doomsayers and just plain curious folks will find something of interest in the maps, many of which let you compare changes with side-by-side images and close-ups.

$49.95. Now What Software, 800-322-1954, 415-885-1689.

Tourist or Time Traveler?

by: Hailey Lynne McKeefry

Get a feel for today's Jerusalem or explore the 3,000-year history of the great religious center with Jerusalem: An Interactive Pilgrimage to the Holy City.Video, photos and audio clips are combined with maps, animations and biographical notes that let you explore the relics, shrines, landmarks and people of Jerusalem. Click on timelines and maps to switch from the Roman Era to the Crusades, the Islamic periods and Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. The ChronoQuest game gets children involved with a search for a holy relic.

$30. Simon & Schuster Interactive, 800-910-0099, 212-698-7000.

Book Review

You'll Doze on This Road

by: Mike Elgan

The Road Ahead is not worth reading unless you know nothing about the PC industry and have never heard of the information highway. It reads like the books presidential candidates write to make voters feel warm and fuzzy (will Bill run in '96?). Still, Gates does offer a balanced, bland and even banal account of all things digital. Here's my advice: Whenever you get 20 minutes, go to the bookstore and read chapters 8, 10, 11 and 12 for Gates' views on how the info highway will usher in an Adam Smith utopia of free trade, juicy nuggets about his multimillion-dollar geek dream house and a critical view of high-tech "gold-rush"-style investment. The Road Ahead is a classic Microsoft product: a year late and not very good yet. I'm looking forward to version 3.0.

286 pages. $29.95. Viking Penguin, 800-253-6476,

Game of the Month

Bee All You Can Bee

by: Ian Etra

"Evil Corporation Breeds Mutant Killer Bees"--no, it's not a banner headline from your favorite supermarket tabloid. It's the menace you'll face in The Hive, a CD-ROM action game for Windows 95. It's you against Noir Dyne, a corporation that's processing mutant bee honey into biological weapons for sale to the highest bidder. As a Federation agent, you blast your way through a wide range of landscapes, using any mode of transportation you can find, until you infiltrate the dark heart of Noir Dyne's operation, the Hive. Sure, it's an unadulterated shoot-'em-up, but its beautifully rendered cinematic scenes seamlessly transition into stunning action sequences, making The Hive a true "interactive movie."

$49.95. Trimark Interactive, 310-314-2000, fax 310-392-8170.

Snapshots

by: Tom LaSusa


Copyright 1995 CMP Publications Inc.