Celebrity Cookbook, Cheat!
Liz Taylor's diet lunch, Rock Hudson's hot buttered rum, Boy George's diet breakfast, Ronald Reagan's corned beef, Sophia Loren's first course pizza. . . Does your recipe filing system consist of musty 3-by-5 cards and food-stained newspaper clippings stuck into your crumbling copy of "The Joy of Cooking"? With this first installment of a promised six-volume Celebrity Cookbook series, it's easy to take charge of your recipes.
The software contains 50 celebrity recipes, plus goodies such as diet secrets of the stars, a wine directory, bartender's guide and Perle Mesta's Party Tips. All recipes can be displayed onscreen or printed out. You can resize recipes in terms of the number of servings and print a shopping list for any recipe.
Menu selection can be made with the keyboard, joystick or ST mouse, although the joystick action seems too fast. The Cookbook's publisher is working on the mouse-driven Graphics Operating Environment for the Atari 8-bit. The joystick doesn't work at all in the main menu--a small flaw, but potentially confusing. When using the keyboard, the [ARROW] and [RETURN] keys do most of the work.
The heart of the program is the filer for your own personal recipes--My Favorite Recipes. This is really a small word processor and database, with cut-and-paste and search functions. You can ask for chicken recipes, recipes using anise, or recipes under a heading you define as "I'm tired and it's easy." With a little experimentation, anyone can start filing right away. But don't go too far too soon, print the help file first. It explains the data entry process, defining your fields and the more advanced functions of the filer program.
To me, a recipe filer seems to be one of those applications for which the technology of choice is still pencil, paper and rusty 3x5 file box. Our computer lives close to the kitchen in the dining room, cohabiting with 10,112 toys. But typing in all of our recipes seems like an awful lot of work. And my review copy had a printing bug. My personal recipes printed out fine, but the celebrity recipe printouts repeatedly crashed the computer. I mailed the disks back to the company around the time it moved from Palm Springs to Maryland. At deadline I had received no response.
If you do want your recipes on disk, Celebrity Cookbook is for you. The program is fun, easy and well-conceived and designed. Now if I could only figure out how to attach my blender to the cartridge slot.-- DAVID MERRIHUE
$29.99, 48K disk. U.S.A. Media, 7810 Malcolm Road, Clinton MD 20735. (301) 868-5494.
Cheat! intrigued me immediately. I don't know how many times I've wished I'd had unlimited lives in a video game, or that I could advance past that screen that had confounded me for countless days and countless quarters. Well, although Cheat! won't help you very much in the arcades, at least home players can end some of the torture.
Cheat! is a game utility which makes a working copy of your favorite game, modified to allow unlimited lives. The only drawback of Cheat! is that it will only work for the titles it recognizes. And while the list is more than 100 titles long, there were only a couple of titles I had even heard of (and only one that I had available)-- and I have hundreds of commercial games. Perhaps the other titles were public domain or shareware.
But this aside, I selected Boulder Dash from the list to see how Cheat! worked. And it didn't. I followed the instructions precisely. Cheat! told me it couldn't locate the "Lose Life Routine," or something like that. Then it babbled about sector locations gibberish to a technical novice like me. I can run any program, but I'd be hard pressed to peek into any disk files.
In short, if you're thinking of buying this one, make sure it works with some of your titles, or you'll be stuck with a $25 conversation piece.
While I don't think that any game on the market would drive me to buy Cheat!, I'm sure that some of you have programs you still haven't mastered, or a level or two you still haven't visited. Cheat! might be your only hope-STEVE PANAK
$24.95, 48K disk. Alpha Systems, 1012 Skyland Drive, Macedonia, OH 44506. (216) 467-5665.