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View the documentArt and multimedia

If you're into newsletter publishing -- or have kids -- Zedcor (Tucson) is offering 30K B&W clip-art images for $57.45 (incl. shipping) plus $3.50 tax in AZ. 400+ categories: home, school, church, holidays, food, travel, sports, computers, etc. Three CD ROMs for Mac/Windows/DOS, plus a 539 pp. catalog of thumbnails, a Mac/Windows database of image descriptors and thumbnails, an image viewer for the 25 image formats, and 36 TrueType display fonts. Call 1-800-482-4567, 1-800-482-4511 Fax, by 12/31/94. 60-day money-back guarantee. For $15 they'll throw in their excellent DeskPaint utility for simple image manipulation and editing. [Ad mailing MV22, 10/15/94.] (These are old-fashioned images -- over half from the Dover clip-art collections -- without the graphic impact of modern artwork and often difficult to scale up or down. Great for hobby/school/charity work, though. For newer stuff -- EPS (PostScript), color, European art, eye-catching fonts, etc. -- get the catalog from Graphics Express (nee Tiger Software), 1-800-335-4054.)

A friend of mine -- "the reclusive DragonLord and his Evil Dwarfs" -- has produced a multi-indexed CD-ROM travel guide to Nara, Japan. It takes 3-5 hours to explore the 1,200 640x480 color pictures and 300 mixed sound recordings, plus another hour if you do the language lessons. (Future products will be limited to about two hours, to better fit the educational market for Japanese culture lessons.) Images are a bit grainy, but it's a fun tour -- a little slow, but faster than spending two days in Nara. Kazuko, the young lady narrating the tour, adds considerable visual interest to the scenes -- I was surprised at the effectiveness of the technique, for what are basically "home movie" slides. The music is especially well done, from koto music to the rousing Evil Dwarfs' March. (The transition can seem a bit odd.) Production costs were in the neighborhood of $200K over the course of a year. A 4MB Mac or Windows MPC machine is required, 8MB and a double-speed ROM reader recommended. $79.95 from DragonLord Software, 204 N. El Camino Real Bldg., E-123, Encinitas, CA 92024; 1-800-353-9753 x6000 or (619) 793- 3888, (619) 942-4238 Fax. [10/28/94.] (The MacroMind Director engine unfortunately caused annoying bugs in ROM version 1.0. One learns a lot from such a project. The DragonLord's expertise is available for consulting/employment arrangements.)

Simon & Schuster Interactive has just published "Star Trek: The Next Generation Interactive Technical Manual" on a $40 CD ROM. Apple's new QuickTime VR lets you walk through the USS Enterprise at your own discretion, sitting in Captain Picard's seat or walking around Engineering. Or you can follow a tour guided by Commander Riker, with text and other notes at appropriate places. QuickTime VR allows 360-degree horizontal and vertical pan and motion. Certain objects can be "grabbed" with the mouse and rotated in 3D, including a tricorder with active displays. A PowerPC helps, but the ROM will work well with an 8MB Quadra 610. 212/698-7000, 212/698-7555 Fax. [Richard C.S. "Doc" Kinne ( Bill Park, 11/1/94.] (Museums patrons could pick up sculptures and artifacts -- exciting technology, but somehow a bit dull. The real estate and construction industries are eager to show you some houses, which seems more interesting.)

MIT's Media Lab groups, projects, and courses are listed on [WEBster, 10/25/94.]

Daniel Green's virtual reality web page is It includes a pointer to VR News, [, 10/19/94.]

-- Ken

Television is the first truly democratic culture -- the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what the people do want. -- Clive Barnes. [Bits & Bytes, 1/22/94.]