Old CD’s: Games, Encyclopedia, Apps.

Reviews About Old Software on CD-ROM from the 1990’s

Ask Isaac Asimov About Space October 27, 2008

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Science & Nature

Ask Isaac Asimov About Space

A slightly more inspired entry in this field is Ask Isaac Asimov About Space (Enteractive), which illustrates some basic celestial phenomena (like meteors, starlight, and eclipses) through articles and interactive exercises. The program is severely limited – only pre-determined questions can be asked, and there’s not a ton of them – but it’s also very interesting. The “virtual lab,” which lets you test information even as you receive it, works effectively. Mr. Asimov and his absolutely terrible sense of humor guide you through simple exercises that involve fooling with the atmosphere and a mass of earth-like planets. Crank up the various gadgets (all featuring the cute brand name “Acme”), sit back and see what happens, and learn something along the way. Resources include additional text about the subjects and biographies of some notable scientists. This is certainly not an exceptional CD-ROM; it will appeal to a very specific audience, it is fairly small, and it suffers somewhat from what are essentially advertisements for Mr. Asimov’s fiction. It does, however, have a thing or two to teach many other space CD-ROMs. Hands-on work is fun; space and CD-ROMs lend themselves to each other, especially if the experience is interactive.

April 1996

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