Old CD’s: Games, Encyclopedia, Apps.

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

For All Mankind February 21, 2009

Aviation & Space

For All Mankind

The Voyager Co. has ported Al Reinert’s award-winning movie about the space program, For All Mankind, onto CD-ROM. One might ask why. Seventy-nine minutes of film is far more pleasant to watch on a videocassette than on a disc; the CD-ROM would have been successful only if it included some dazzling extra interactive material, which it doesn’t. You can watch the movie in one of two ways: tiny, with high resolution, or full-screen, in which case it’s a grainy, blurry mess. If you choose tiny, you get a text reproduction of the film’s audio track in the borders, with every stammer and repetition from the soundtrack painstakingly represented. The movie itself is full of stops and starts and long pauses, no matter what size you watch it in. The most admirable feature is the sound, which is 16-bit Dolby Surround – impressive even on basic headphones. The disc also includes a Glossary, a collection of the hotspots that pop up during the film (there are thirteen) called Excursions, an interview with the filmmaker, and a collection of short multimedia essays called The Missions. A sample Excursion is three pages about JFK, or a two-minute animated simulation of a moon voyage. A sample Mission is a few pages about the mission and a short bio of each astronaut, including a couple of photos. There’s nowhere near enough to justify this being a CD-ROM. To give the film everything it deserves, try to catch it on your VCR.

– January 1996

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