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View the documentMostly Mac software/gifts

"MEDIA MAGIC: Computers in Art and Science" is a catalog offering books, software, CD ROMs, conference proceedings, neckties, etc., related to fractals, visualization, graphics, animation, VR, chaos, a-life, mathematics, image processing, robotics, technology, cyberculture, ... Media Magic, P.O. Box 598, Nicasio, CA 94946; 800/882-8284 or 415/662-2426. [Bits & Bytes, 11/8/94.]

Over 3,000 CD ROMs are offered by config.sys, Inc. FTP their catalog/review program as from /pub/cdroms on Reviews are also listed by topic on Hardcopy catalogs are $2, and a CD-ROM version with publisher-supplied graphics will soon be available. Their subscription service will ship new CD ROMs in selected categories to you unless you email a request to cancel the shipment. (Gee, waiting three weeks (?) to see if someone _doesn't_ want a shipment is a lot slower than just asking by email if they want it.) A backorder list is maintained for about 5,000 titles total. Joe Rinehart ([email protected]), P.O. Box 27, Kent, OH 44240-0001; 1-800-521-2881 (OH), (216) 296-1633, (216) 297-1332 (Messages, 6pm-8am), (216) 296-4446 (24 hours), or finger [email protected] for other net addresses. [11/15/94.] (I've seen their ads for at least a year. My impression is that their prices are lowest only if you get their 10% educational discount, but they do offer to beat the competition on most titles. Discount ROMs are mostly for DOS, Windows, or MPC, but small companies in the back of MacUser or Macworld might be Mac- specific. For slick catalogs of newer PC/Mac products, try CD-ROM Warehouse, 1-800-237-6623, or get TigerSoftware's CD ROM Buyer's Guide, 1-800-238-4437.)

Shareware of the Month Club (Carlsbad, CA) is offering 50% off if you subscribe now: $29.95/year, with 30-day money-back cancellation privilege. Each month you get 6-10 shareware offerings in your choice of business, games, kids, desktop publishing (e.g., fonts and clip art), Windows, or OS/2, for $8.95 shipping (plus shareware fees). Or you can get a monthly $24.95 CD ROM with 100 programs, 6 film clips, 15 music clips, and 50 new sounds. Advertised in the 11/94 MacUser, p. 217. Ask Mike Richmond, (619) 625-3900, for the special rate. [11/29/94.] (You can download shareware for free (or phone costs), but do you? This service "chooses the best new shareware" and delivers it for easy trial, much as I do with the Communique news.)

BMUG and other shareware services offer Mac disks for $4-$5. The 686-page 1993 BMUG Shareware Catalog describes thousands of files on their 300 disks. (I got it all last year, on several BMUG CD ROMs.) Willard Computer Services offers a 10,000-program CD ROM for $46.99. For their catalog of disks, call 1-800-860-9407, (216) 891-1193 Fax. [MacUser, 11/94, p. 223.] Or try EDUCORP's Shareware 9.0 2-disc CD ROM set for $99.95. 1 GB of System 7 software for $99.95, from 1-800-843- 9497. (The 2-disc set was (is?) $150 if you don't buy a CD ROM drive. $30-$50 subsets are also available, called Work ROOM, Play ROOM, Utility ROOM, etc.) [Ibid, p. 216.]

Other Mac collections are called InfoMac '94 ($24-$50), BBS in a Box XII ($70), Best of Mac Shareware ($40), CD 7 ($40), Mega-ROM ($40), Giga-ROM ($98), Mac Games ($50), MACademic ($40-$80), 7th Wonder ($30), Game Collection ($29), Macnificent 7.1 ($35), Wayzata Shareware (PC/Mac, $35), and CD Fun House 9.0 (DOS/Win/Mac, $25). Several $10 CD-ROM collections for DOS, Windows, and Mac are sold by MEI/Micro Center, 1-800-634-3478 -- including the 600MB, 12,000-file Shareware Breakthrough for Mac disc and the equally large Shareware Breakthrough Programmers Collection for Mac. (Mac font and multimedia CD ROMs from the same supplier are on sale at $6 each! No returns.) Check with me if you need sources, but InfoMac is the only disc I've seen. (It duplicates the info-mac archive on The $13 Garbo CD ROM from Finland's archive is similar, but mostly for PCs. UMichigan's archive doesn't have a CD ROM.)

With 10,000 programs, how do you know what's good? My 7-year-old son Devon likes Asterax, Beebop, BLIT, Critical Mass, Eyeballs, Ninja Boy, Recycle, Toxic Ravine, Wacky Wheel, Deuces Wild, Mac Casino, Space Tag, Star 'Roids, Darkwood, Power Players, Kongbots, RoboWar, Oxyd, Space Junkie, War of Flowers, Lemmings (demo), Oh No! More Lemmings, and X'mas Lemmings. 14-year-old Brandon especially liked RoboWar, and has been learning programming from it. My 12-year-old daughter Kelsey recommends Tetris Max, Jewel box, Diamonds, and SuperTetris (demo) -- all catch-and-integrate games. More info can be found on alt.comp.shareware or the Mac newsgroups devoted to specific games (or game design and game programming in general). Keeping up with the latest shareware is easily a full-time occupation.

Other CD collections cover fonts, sounds, clip art, photos, backgrounds, and QuickTime movies. And recipes. The $30 Cookbook USA has over 1M recipes from 4,000 sources; text only, I presume. Other recipe programs offer 500-5K recipes, maybe 100 pictures, add-your-own recipe capability, nutritional analysis, recipe scaling, shopping lists, etc.

One more category: simulation games. Maxis sells Sim City 2000 ($40), Sim City Classic ($26), Sim Town (ages 8-12, $35), Sim Life ($27), Sim Earth ($29) and the highly praised Sim Ant ($27). The new G-Netix ($35) from ISM lets you create and evolve life more realistically; Surgeon 3: The Brain ($35) lets you take it apart. There's also a $50 Darwin's Dilemma and the CPU-hungry ElFish genetic lab/aquarium screensaver for $35. Maxis has ported Sim Farm ($30) to the Mac, and is introducing a Sim Tower where you can plan and run a 100-story community. Oregon Trail and Amazon Trail are good trek simulations for grade school kids. P.A.W.S. ($50) from Voyager lets you live life as a family dog; Headline Harry ($60) teaches you journalism. With the $45 Civilization game you can evolve cultures, and Balance of Planet ($25) gives you a chance to save this one. The Organization Game ($30) simulates the micro world of office politics and business competition. (For backstabbing practice, track down a copy of Legend of Siboot: Trust and Betrayal.) Business Simulator ($70) is a serious trainer, but Capitalist Pig ($35) sounds more fun. You can get golf simulators, detective mysteries, and you-are-the-hero quests. Several railroad games are available, and there are many sub, ship, and flight simulators offering tactical challenges. Land-based strategy games include Castles II: Siege and Conquest ($35), Pax Imperia ($40), Legions ($30), and TacOps ($41). Such wealth! Life is too short.

Don't have a Mac? Virtual Mac for Open Systems will give you a Macintosh Application Environment (MAE) in an X window. You can run Mac productivity tools and use the Mac interface to run Unix applications. $419 for HP-UNIX or Solaris; $7199 for 20 users. MacConnection, 1-800-800-2222. [10/98.] (But can you read the floppies and CD ROMs?)

Mac source code can be retrieved from Usenet's alt.sources.mac, and exotic sources can often be FTP'd from software/mac/src on Binhexed binaries are on [email protected] and, both busy most of time. Use the mirror sites, such as [Matthias Neeracher ([email protected]), comp.sys.mac.programmer, 11/22/94.] For Mac source on CD ROM, try the 450MB $35 Apprentice CD ROM from Paul Celestin ([email protected]), (800) 835-5514 or (206) 385-3767, (206) 385-3586 Fax, or the $50 Mac Source collection from Pacific Hi-Tech ([email protected]), 1-800-765-8369.

For a list of hundreds of Mac FTP sites, download either readme and info files or the Anarchie program from,,, or [Dan Starling ([email protected]), comp.sys.mac.apps, 11/20/94.]

Want to distribute your own Mac shareware? Send it to [email protected], which will make it available to other FTP sites. Compressed and BinHexed format is recommended. [Ken Anderson (kand[email protected]),, 11/19/94.]

For games reviews -- all platforms -- check out the 140 WWW links on The Games Domain, [Scout Report, 9/9/94. net-hap.] One review source is WWW Gamebytes, [[email protected], c.i.www.providers, 9/9/94. net-hap.]

-- Ken