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by Rick Smith (October 1994)

Seminars during the recent Midwest Accounting and Business Management Show, at the Rosemont Convention Center, covered topics critical to your future such as health care, investments, retirement planning (from William A. Mercer) and taxes. The computer related seminars covered topics such as BPR (Business Process Re-engineering), computer technology and computer software "shoot outs" between different accounting packages and income tax preparation software. An excellent mix of seminars.

Bart Simpson is on the loose with his spray paint can! Homer Simpson is eating donuts and candy bars. Mr. Burns is glaring and telling you to "Get to work". Are these scenes from an upcoming Simpsons episode? NO! They're from the new interactive screen saver by Berkeley Systems of Berkeley, California. With this product, available for the PC and Macintosh, you can see and hear Bart run around on your screen any time you want. You don't have to wait for the Sunday night show! The program also can teach you how to actually draw each member of the Simpson family and a Simpsons trivia test rounds out this wonderful screen saver. Most importantly, this product carries the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval. (your assurance of a fine quality product).

If your interest in a Simpson is more of an O.J. variety, Turner Home Entertainment and CNN of Atlanta, Georgia, has released a unique interactive CD-ROM titled The People v. O.J. Simpson: An Interactive Companion to the O.J. Simpson trial, on September 14th. In conjunction with the CompuServe Information Service, this CD-ROM provides an exhaustive account of all currently known facts and background about the case.

Executive Vice President of Turner Home Entertainment, Stuart Snyder feels the CD-ROM, which contains more than an hour of video content, is "designed to be the ultimate companion to anyone viewing the upcoming trial" and it allows the user to examine the current evidence from different viewpoints. Available for the MPC and Macintosh platform.

Software Marketing Corporation, of Phoenix, Arizona, in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution, with contributions from 24 of the world's great museums, recently released Dinosaur Museum. It presents life-like dioramas and exhibit skeletons, along with detailed information about different dinosaurs of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. It also includes a game which helps reinforce knowledge learned in other sections of the program.

CH Products of Vista, California, has released an excellent high performance joystick, FlightStick Pro for Mac users that attaches to the Macintosh ADB port found on Mac SE or later models. The software requires System 6.0.7 or higher. It is similar to the FlightStick Pro for the PC.

Merit Software of Dallas, Texas has released Psychotron, an interactive video movie which you, a covert CIA agent, search for clues and try to get details from informants in order to solve the case. During your mission, you investigate a plane crash, encounter a reporter and try to get more information out of her than she gets out of you. This CD-ROM is filled with challenging situations such as trying to "pump" (obtain) information from three ruthless Nardini family soldiers (mobsters), Vinny Cerato, Jimmy "The Pick" Caparelli and Phil "The Butcher" Dimico during an actual stud poker game which you must use to get information and not necessarily "win".

Profile Development Corporation of West Chicago, Illinois, recently released Desktop VIEWZ, a inexpensive CD-ROM which combines wall paper, graphics file format converter and photo manipulation along with some royalty free video and audio clips.

The Business Week Guide to Multimedia Presentations by R. L. Lindstrom (Osborne McGraw-Hill) provides information about multimedia technology and includes tips and techniques about designing and producing effective interactive multimedia presentations. This book also includes a CD-ROM which comes loaded with working versions of software from Adobe, Fractal, Lotus and Macromedia which you can "test drive" five times. To get the software unlocked, simply call an 800 number, provide a valid credit card number and get the software completely unlocked for uninterrupted use.

Interactive Video Enterprises, Inc. (IVE), a US WEST Company recently announced US Avenue, an interactive video service which provides users with the ability to browse, select and purchase merchandise and services from a broad mix of well-known businesses such as Ford Motor Company, FTD, Hallmark, JCPenney and Nordstrom. This service will eventually showcase brand-name merchandise and services from leading retailers, catalogers, manufacturers, local merchants and professional skilled services companies.

The technical test is scheduled for fourth quarter 1994, in Omaha, Nebraska, with a marketing trial in early 1995. US Avenue will also be available on Time Warner Entertainment's Full Service Network trial in Orlando, Florida as well as Wometco and Georgia Cable Systems in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently US WEST is using a Digital Equipment Corporation videoserver with Scientific-Atlanta set-top boxes with licensed software technology from 3DO in Omaha. This service is projected to be in 10,000 households by the end of 1995.

Oh, before I forget, be sure to set your dial for Cybermania, the first ever Interactive Gamer's Award Show! It will be on at 8:05PM, November 5th, 1994 on TBS. You can see this years best cartridge games, CD-ROM games, hand held games and interactive music and it will also have ONLINE voting. Have fun!

Copyright 1994 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

   
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