CD-ROM drives are expensive, sure, but the software is so interesting and reasonably priced.
In just this past year, The Whole Earth Catalog came out on CD-BOM, as did a large collection of Voyager's Neptune pictures. Mediagenic's the Manhole was etched into this high-capacity media, as was a collection of Microsoft software.
Now, KnowledgeSet has released the Guinness Disc of Records. If you like lists of the oldest, the fastest, the largest, the hairiest, and so on, you'd probably enjoy the easy browsing and exhaustive lists in this package. The disc retails for $99, so it's not too expensive, either. Compare it to software packages in general or to the cost of a software package that holds an equivalent amount of data. Either way you look at it, you come out way ahead.
Does that make CD-ROM drives any more worthwhile for home computer users? Only if a CD-ROM drive is within your budget. It's probably still not something vital to your home computing projects. Keep an eye on new releases, though. As more software comes out on disc, the drives will probably drop in price. And the selection of titles will probably be wonderful.
That old beige Macintosh of yours has been whirring and clicking on your desk for quite a while now, waiting for you to upgrade it or donate it to charity.
Unless you hate color, consider an upgrade. Computer Care has released Mac Rescue, a package that turns Macintosh 128K and 512K enhanced units into Macintosh Pluses. Included in the upgrade is a snap-on daughterboard and an SCSI port.
Better than that, the package gives you 6 SIMM slots so you can upgrade your memory to 1,2,2.5, or 4 megabytes of RAM. The slots are designed so that you can recycle any Surplus SIMMs you have from past upgrades.
Look out System 7.0. the little beige Macintosh is ready for you.
The price of the upgrade depends on whether you have the 12BK ROMs. Without any extras, Mac Rescue retails for $317. If you need the 128K ROMs, you can buy them from Computer Care for $145. Added memory is not included in the price, either. For more information, contact Computer Care at Ford Centre. Suite 1180, 420 North Fifth Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401; (800) 950-2273.
Informix Software has upgraded Wingz, last year's most highly touted graphics-oriented spreadsheet. Wingz 1.1 includes enhanced 3-D graphs, more power in the HyperScript programming language, and a 525-page manual on HyperScript. If you are a registered Wingz 1.0 owner, the upgrade is free. If you haven't registered yet, you can get a free upgrade when you send in your registration card. Contact Informix at 16011 College Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219; (913) 599-7100.
Good Software has acquired NuPaint, a paint program that features high-powered graphics tools. Options include Masking Tape for protecting areas hum stray paint marks, the Razor Blade and the Trowel for trimming stray dots, and the Mixing Bowl, which softens an image. The program retails for $139.95, and you can contact Good Software at 13601 Preston Road. Dallas, Texas 75240. (214)239-8085.
Deluxe Recorder is a good companion to Electronic Arts' Deluxe Music Construction Set. Deluxe Recorder is a home MIDI-recording program, and its recordings can be imported to Deluxe Music Construction Set. You get instant sheet music from the keyboard very easily. Priced competitively, Deluxe Recorder retails for $149. Contact Electronic Arts at 1820 Gateway Drive, San Mateo, California 94404; (415) 571-7171.
—Heidi E. H. Aycock