Old CD’s: Games, Encyclopedia, Apps.

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

Fun With Electronics April 18, 2009

Science & Nature

Fun With Electronics

Fun With Electronics (Philips Interactive Media ages 8 & up) brings back that old sixth-grade standby, the “do it yourself” electronics kit. Remember the crystal radio you tried to make when you were a kid – the one that only worked for about a minute before the connections got tangled? Now you can make it again, only this time with the help of a CD-ROM. You can build everything from a burglar alarm to a stop light and, yes, the CD-ROM really does add to the educational potential of the kit. In addition to replacing written instructions with 3D animated video examples (just click on “next” once you’ve completed each step), the program also offers animated explanations of each of the components, a “Behind the Scenes” section in which various electronic devices (like an electric guitar) are explained, and explanations of how and why each experiment works. Too bad all this information is provided by animated characters with voices so grating you’ll want to build a model electric chair and execute them. Another irritant: the packaging resorts to the same kind of hyperbole you remember from when you were a kid. “Includes more than 100 electronic components! the works!” the box trumpets. Sure it does, if you include the little bits of wire and the 50 spring connectors. Subtract those, and you’ve got 21 actual electronic doo-dads. And “the works” apparently doesn’t include a battery, which you’ll need to buy. The more things change?

– April 1996

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