THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO PC LEISURE

®@ Adding digital effects to the movies: how and why

@ Lucasarts games: the class of 97 revealed

ON-LINE BANKING THE NEW DU COMES HOME , \. potter ey Robert De Niro hiro 0), All in the best possible taste? his i e WV game ‘9’ \ ax Seek and destroy a Virus killers head-to-head

YOUR NEXT gunn OR

HOW 70...

Sit down... get comfortable

The untimely death of Adam Randall’s father leads him to a remote and seemingly desolate country home near the Cornish village of Helston. A vast portal through time and space and the epicentre of the battle between dark and light fought through the millennia.

Classic 5/5 “..Utterly compelling” “A modern gaming classic” 92%

© Journey as Adam Randall into a vast and immersive first person three-dimensional world. :

© Arm yourself and battle with demonic spirits cast from the souls of men. ‘at © Resolve the Enigma of the Soul Stone and ensure the defence of good against evil.

Containing over 20 motion captured demons, a vast and intricate three dimensional world, 12

different weapons to arm yourself with and over two hours of absorbing video footage, you will be re the captivated by Realms’ dark domain and the belief that the machinations of an age old French ]

sorcerer and his demonic alter ego can really plunge the world into a new age of darkness

S fAn@

The New You

Stop blaming your PC for your bleary eyes and bad posture. It’s like a bad workman accusing his Powerdrill of insolence. Your PC can in fact help you | get fitter, faster and fabber. We take you on a tour of self-improvement Internet sites and CD-ROMs.

Robert De Niro and ‘9’

Special report on the debut game from Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Interactive. Everyone’s favourite method actor is acting this time in a behind-the-scenes role in 9, the game that takes you to the Last Resort. Will it rage like a bull?

| The Lovers’ Guide

i The best-selling series of videos gets the multimedia treatment. Is The Lovers’ Guide CD-ROM a compelling and tasteful introduction to you and

# your partner’s bodies, or just a cheap, tacky porn disc?

Your next monitor

Why are you still making do with the monitor that came with your PC? You need a bigger, clearer, better picture. We round-up six of the best new models. Can you afford to move up to a 17-inch screen? Read our buyer’s guide and find out.

Get on the Net!

Move on-line with our three-way assault on the Internet! On page 113 Microsoft's Explorer 3 and Netscape Navigator 3 fight It out, on page 114 we review the latest new external modems and turn to page 122 for a guide to creating your own homepage.

TOMB RAIDER

This is Lara Croft - she stars inTomb Raider, the new title from Core Design and the winner of our Game of the Month award.

Find out why we think

cas is reinventingghe Star, Wars Movs with the

= ¥ MJ

help of computers: [ep mabtive eigth-phye feature = this adventure is better

lets you into the set of the films, the new games than single-player

and even indulges i aispot pea vourself. Quake in our . . three-page

Remaking the classics 83 review.

Cine-philes guide to the remakes 84

Render your own A-Wing 86

The new LucasArts games Free Stars Wars stuff on the Web

imas 1996 * 3

BLAM

MACHINEHEAD

Visit ‘The, osebResort in this massiveidemo. Try the debut game from Robert De Niro,

Pick your numbers | Diseoverthe cuore with this complete ‘uthy, Wert

a- ss

The Great Game Guides: Steven Picasso

banking comes Debate: Shock Syndicate Wars Spielberg’s on CD-ROM 70 home at last or schlock? and Z Director’s One of this century's i i. i ‘1 . most influential artists J Never shake in fear of Are you disgusted by the This month we bringyou Chair

gets a multimedia make over. Find out what his pictures were really about (and how many women he sent to the

the complete strategy guide to the Bitmaps Brothers’ Z and also the first half of our Syndicate Wars walkthrough.

your bank manager state of computer games inibell . again. Just flame him advertising? Is it rascist, : instead, courtesy of sexist or just plain Microsoft's new deal with nonsense? Two ad men

Barclays bank. argue the point.

The latest title from Dreamworks Interactive sees you directing the likes of Jennifer Anniston. Too good to be true?

Seek and How to... "How to... How to. Destroy: Virus Putafriendly Design your Build better Give a digital killers tested face on Win95 homepage Quake levels Xmas card

Viruses are spreading! Like a whining dog Isn't it time your name Last month you got the

bricks and mortar. Now

Why settle for glitter and glue when you can create

Tue Works Explorer Fractal Design Expression Mini Office Publisher 110 Netscape 3.0 113 Norton AntiVirus 11 PhotoDeluxe 110 Virucide Plus 4.0 1 World Construction Set 2.0 105 MODEMS 116

Hayes Optima 288

Lasal Safire 288

Motorola Premier

Multitech ZDX

Pace Microlin

USR Sportster 33.6 MONITORS, 116

Aashima Precision Viewer

Lyama Vision Master

Panasonic 4G

Panasonic Mystique

Taxan Ergovision

113 109

You need to protect your PC and we've got just the tools to do it. Two

locked out at night, your PC just wants to be part of the family. Give it a

was up there in lights? Follow our step-by-step guide to creating your

for the masterclass nine tricks for creating better

your own multimedia Xmas greetings? Pop it

top anti-virus packages go head-to-head.

REGULARS

© Welcome Read the PC Review manifesto.

7? Interview Meet Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft.

® News Bill Gates takes a U-turn.

18 Freebies and next month Free stuff, and details on your new year resolutions.

26 Letters You write. We reply.

4 + Christmas 1996 * PC REVIEW

smile with our guide to Windows 95 themes.

homepage and six tips for making it even better.

30 Competition Win a wireless keyboard.

3S Player 16 new games reviewed, including Command & Conquer: Red Alert.

72 Budget games Champ Manager 2 discounted.

7 Play to Win The latest hints and tips.

Subscribe Get free stuff... and magazines.

levels and customising your players’ skins.

on a floppy and await the plaudits..

©3 Multimedia

Six new releases, including Richard Dawkin’s disc The Evolution of Life and Chronicle of the 20th Century.

108 The Works

19 new products reviewed including the amazing and God-like World Construction Set.

127 Helpline Your questions answered.

138 The Internet Revenge Manual Don’t get mad, get on-line.

The Magic of Disney Alo. WW Your Computer,

Share in the wild, interactive adventures of Buzz, Woody and the rest of the gang in

the ground breaking Toy Story Animated Storybook from Disney Interactive. With 15 story screens, 5 activities and more than 250 on screen ‘clickables’ you'll be transported to an amazing 3-D world for hours of fun. And when you get back don’t forget to check out the whole range of fantastic Disney Interactive titles available from your local stockist.

Mac and PC compatible.

Visit the Toy Story site at ww». disney.co.ve/toy stor 4

Developed by Pixar Animation Studios. Published by Disney Interactive. ©Disney ©Pixar All Rights Reserved.

Choose Mel

T: first Star Wars movie came out in May 1977. | went to see it five times. Now, as we race

Tee Christmas 1996 | find myself making a living writing about the same film. | love this job.

Our massive feature doesn’t just look into the re-releases of the original movies. On top of covering Lucasfilm’s love affair with computer generated 3D graphics, we reveal the new LucasArt's games, visit the best Star Wars Web sites and show how to render your own Star Wars-style images.

We indulge in a bit of naval gazing on page 28, with this month's Great Debate. PC REVIEW has

picked up criticism for running tasteless adverts, so we've invited two ad men to put the case for and against shock tactics. We're taking a stand against advertising we regard as improper (Yes, it is costing us money!) Hope you enjoy the issue and your holiday celebrations. See you next month with our 10 New Year Resolutions. James Binns, editor jbinns@futurenet.co.uk

YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO PC LEISURE Welcome to the UK’s most discerning PC magazine. Every month PC Review brings you... really thinks of technology and enroll at the new Starfleet Academy.

NEWS The PC industry is an exciting one, and we'll bring you that buzz every

This month we investigate the future of home banking, take a dip with David month. As well as the latest on games, multimedia and productivity, we keep News editor

Bellamy and his World of the Reef, find out what the Great British Public

you bang up-to-date with the ever-changing PC hardware scene. If a new Owain soundcard or processor is causing excitement, you’ll hear it here first. We're Bennallack

5 A banks at not scared of new technology - the kit you’ll buy next year, explained today. home.

PLAYER

Game of the month Tomb Raider earns itself an outrageously high mark on % page 35. Elsewhere, Virgin has a hot month, with the long-awaited follow up

to Command and Conquer, Red Alert and the surprise smash Toonstruck.

We offer entertaining, detailed and stimulating games reviews that give

you a feel for the games you want to buy. Our reviewers are experienced Games editor,

gameplayers who write with passion and authority. Also look out for Mark behind-the-scenes reports from the hottest games studios as well as tips ear and in-depth solutions for hit games. estat MULTIMEDIA Our big review this month is Grolier’s Picasso. We simply shake our heads - in wonder. The Lovers’ Guide also gets our pulses racing, so to finally calm ~ down, we collapse in Steven Spielberg’s Director’s Chair.

There’s more to entertainment than games, and that’s where our multimedia section comes in. We pick out the very best of the latest Multimedia CD-ROM releases and review them on the basis of how compelling their host Garrick content is - we’re not just impressed by fancy graphics, we’re looking for Webster in real substance. Our multimedia reviews are the toughest in the business. Pal THE WORKS As well as our double group test reviews of the newest modems and monitors, we check out Net browsers and the outstanding World Construction Set 2.0. Find out how to create your own planets on page 105.

The Works is where you come for the more serious side of computing. But we see no reason why dabbling with creativity software and producing technical your own graphics or music shouldn't be fun. The Works is also where editor Mat you'll find our utility software, in-depth buyers guides, hardware projects Broomfield and answers to our readers’ problems. resides ver

The PG Review charter

AUTHORITY: All the team HONESTY: We never allow calls upon extensive corporate interests to experience in their fields. ‘obscure the truth.

€D Review

The finest cover disc you'll find on any PC mag - the slickest, most reliable front end, and the best exclusive game demos, productivity apps and multimedia software. Plus this month we feature three complete commercial products.

VARIETY: Each month we select a mix of hardware and software.

DETAIL: We always check the facts - we never take a ‘company's word for it!

VALUE: You are spending your own money ~ so price is always an issue.

QUALITY: We seek out the best and turn down dozens of products offered to us.

. Our coveted Essential accolade is ] only given to the very best products - the things you can’t live without.

6 + Christmas 1996 * PC REVIEW

Editor: James Binns Deputy editor: Garrick Webster Production editor: Jo Parker Art editor: Simon Barnes News editor: Owain Bennallack CD-ROM editor: Graham Barlow Technical editor: Mat Broomfield Games editor: Mark Ramshaw Futurenet site editor: David Sikk Art Assistant: Maria Wilson Contributors: Chris Harper (Star Wars guru), Dario Casali, Mark Millmore, Chris Buxton, Peter Lee, Mark Leigh, Alex Cox, Paul Dias, Mike Lepine, James Thomas, Cam Winstanley, Dan Griffiths, David Robinson Advertising manager: Susannah Mansfield Senior ad manager: Duncan Ferguson Business dev director: Richard Bogie Key accounts manager: Judy Bailey Group advertising manager: Simon Moss Marketing manager: Gill Stevenson Marketing (mail order): Simon Howarth Marketing (subs): Simon Steele Publicity & PR: Liz Ramsay & Jenny Press @ 0171 331 3920 Promotions manager: Tamara Ward For all Licensing Enquiries regarding PC Review, please contact Mark Williams @B 0171 331 3920 Fax: 0171 447 3499 e-mail: mwilliams@pne.co.uk. Distribution and circulation UK and overseas newsstand by Future Publishing Ltd = 01225 442244 Photography: Rob Scott, Rick Buettner, Simon Dodd Photo library: Pictor, Telegraph, Katz, Image Bank Production co-ordinator: Manuela Green. Production technicians: Jon Moore, Jason Titley, Simon Windsor, Chris Stocker, Liz Cheney, Mark Gover Ad designers: Sarah Moody, Liz Tuck Group production manager: Richard Gingell Colour origination: Phoenix Repro, Bath Printed in the UK by E. T. Heron Circulation director: Sue Hartley Interactive product manager: Ben Rodd Assistant publisher: John Bickley Publisher: David Roberts Publishing director: Jane Ingham Managing director: Greg Ingham Chairman: Nick Alexander

No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from our publisher. We assume all letters sent by e-mail, fax or post - are for publication unless otherwise stated, and we reserve the right to edit contributions.

All contributions to PC Review are submitted and published on the basis of full assignment of copyright, unless otherwise agreed in advance and in writing. All CD-ROM demos and reader submissions are supplied to us on the assumption that they can be incorporated into a future cover-mounted CD-ROM unless expressly stated to the contrary. We cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or misprints. PC Review recognises all copyrights in this issue. Where possible we have acknowledged the copyright. Please contact us if we have failed to credit copyright.

© Future Publishing Ltd 1996 PC Review, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath, BA1 2BW @ 01225 442244 fax: 01225 732275 e-mail: pcreview@futurenet.co.uk

An audience with...

INTERVIEW

LARVA ClROLFEU

She carries guns. She explores tombs. And

eet Lara Croft. Walking, talking, living doll and star of our devastating game of the

month Tomb Raider. We tracked her down to her home in Surrey, between expeditions.

Have video games been dominated for too long by muscle-bound Arnie lookalikes?

I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer that because | don’t play them. My mansion in England has been without electricity for some years now. | had been stranded in the Gobi Desert and didn’t return in time to pay my bill —| don’t miss it at all.

I see. How about the exploring profession then? Far too many Indiana Jones lookalikes?

There are plenty of mugs sniffing

hat and cool pair of chinos doesn’t guarantee them all fortune and glory.

| find most of them dead in catacombs, often missing a head or hand - | think they all try to hold on to their fedoras for too long. Overdressing like this is a common failing —| find shorts and a leotard more than adequate enough. Though a whip does go a long way in my book.

Niceluns,.

Who is it, then, that you respect the most?

All the ancient ones who respected themselves enough to design such harsh tombs in which to be buried and who gave me my task in life. Nobody goes to trouble like that anymore.

Tell us about your childhood?

My childhood was really very normal; | lived with my parents and our servants in Surrey. At 11,

| went to boarding school in Scotland and discovered rock-climbing soloing many mountain routes there during netball practice. | also joined the shooting club but was instantly banned for showing “too keen an interest”.

Is your lifestyle funded by your family heirloom or the artefacts you acquire?

| put the family heirloom into storage long ago it’s really not a very interesting collection of antiques. My local pawn shop usually gives me

ious Etc.

good returns for the artefacts | collect, but recently Penguin approached me about publishing some of my travel writings with books like Slaying Bigfoot and A Tyrannosaurus is Jawing at my Head.

Who first approached you for the role? | hardly consider my life as a role.

Tomb Raider has been compared to Mario 64 on Nintendo’s new console, the N64. Have you ever met a short, fat Italian called Mario?

No, | haven't. We're not compatible, as he’s in Nintendo which is a shame, as | enjoy small, fast moving targets.

What's it like being a role model?

| can’t say I’ve thought about it much - else would | still mutilate furry animals and raid ancient, sacred tombs? Well, probably. It’s really not a problem for me. Julia Roberts once moaned that she could no longer dance naked in the street or something, but as yet | don’t feel my actions need be constrained in any way. Raiding tombs is actually a very

she’s gorgeous.

anonymous activity - there’s only the dead watching your every move.

Were you asked to do anything in the game you feel uncomfortable with?

Dying is always an uncomfortable experience, it takes a lot out of you. Although being scalped by little bats is quite humiliating as well.

Is it true you were asked to pose naked for a Loaded centrefold?

Yes, but they really meant it - no guns, not even my pistols. So | refused.

Weren't you enticed with the prospect of appearing alongside such talents as Joanne Guest?

I've never discovered what it is that she’s done to develop such fame. Whatever feat she has achieved, | certainly admire her ability to cash in on the publicity. I'm not sure why she always takes her clothes off, though her vital statistics are a bit diminutive for it. Surely she can’t be doing her true talent any justice?

What's the next project for you?

I've been considering redecorating my house for quite some time. Maybe it’s about time | did that.

Those lovely people at Core have agreed to give away 10 copies of their top new game Tomb Raider (reviewed on page 35) To enter the prize draw, send a postcard, stating your system spec, before 15 January 1997, to: Tomb compo, PC Review, Future Publishing, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath, BA1 2DL.

PC REVIEW « Christmas 1996 * 7

THE NEWS|

hoo! with St

si

PLAYER IN BRIEF

Pajitnov defects to MS

In an effort to bolster its cred, Microsoft's Games Group has just hired Alexey Pajitnov. The Soviet- born software designer is best known for Tetris, which has sold over 40 million copies. He has struggled to achieve the same success with subsequent games.

Xtra Zest Following the massive success of Z, the Bitmap Brothers have released Z-Xtra, a Z expansion CD. ZXtra features Z Net, which enables up to four networked eq players to do battle, aZ demo and a Windows themed screensaver.

Muddy Internet

Meridian 59 is shaping up to be the definitive 3D MUD. The Net- based game, where you can roam around fighting thousands of other players from around the world, is run by 3DO. Check out http:// www.3do.com for more details.

Saucy

Cranberry Source’s QAD was in our offices recently, and it still boasts more on-screen enemies than any other 3D shoot-’em-up. The Defender-ish game where you and your PC battle it out to tempt hostages into rescue pods, will be available in the shops next Spring.

Go Granny Go Armed and Delirious, > the new game from MAD Engine, stars a Granny. The tough-as-old-boots OAP races through five \\ planets and 14 worlds in a bid to re-unite her family. The game promises humour and captivating puzzles, according to its makers, but has a sur- prising lack of false teeth jokes.

8 + Christmas 1996 * PC REVIEW

ON LINE BANKING C

\ /—] icrosoft has joined with \ j Barclays bank to provide the UK's first integrated home

banking solution. Barclays PC Bank customers will be able to manage all their finances from within Microsoft's Money 97, the latest version of the home accounts package. The move is critical for both companies, neither of which has yet satisfied its ambitions in the home finance market.

Barclays was a late runner in the race to establish a home banking service. While its pilot on-line bank has been running since Spring, many rivals have been offering full schemes for months. Yet none has integrat- ed its banking service with a software product. By tying its service in with Microsoft Money 97, Barclays

has the potential to effectively swamp the home market, especially as Money 97 will probably be bundled with most all new PCs from next year. Money 97 currently costs £29.99.

Hands-on cash control

Why does the deal make PC home banking more attractive? Simply because of the hands-on control you can now have over your money. You can download transaction details into Money, graphically display your account history, pay your bills and get

your up-to-date Barclays account balance. You can even transfer money between different accounts and set up standing orders, all from within Money 97. Every copy of Money 97 will come with information on the full range of Barclays accounts. In the US, similar packages have been available for years and home banking is thus more widespread.

“This is the first association of its kind between Microsoft and a UK bank,” said Richard Reay-Smith, director at the Personal Sector at Barclays. “It underlines Barclays’

commitment to providing services that add value for its customers.” With the main banks struggling to differentiate themselves, the deal is amajor

First look at Myst 2: Riven

OME

The long awaited sequel to GI | Myst, the game that drove the CD-ROM revolution, is being

readied for a summer release.

Interplay’s new 3D blaster boasts the original James T. Kirk

“Riven is being created with the I Pe Wr. its new Star Trek title, Starfleet Academy, same attitude that drove Myst; Interplay won't be re-writing cinematic history. To create the most immersive avoid clashing with Trekkie lore, all the action is set ina

experience possible,” said Rand Starship simulator rather than a real ship. Under the Miller, president of the game's caring eye of the Starfleet Academy, you'll take on over developer, Cyan. More soon. aoe a Rls 30 varieties of alien craft to earn your officer's wings. Advising you will be Captain Kirk, Chekov and Sulu. All three are to be played by the original actors.

The tense, thoughtful combat of Star Trek is to be represented by lovingly recreated 3D starships. “We had to argue that the Starfleet officers must learn their

Rusty Buchert has combat skills from somewhere,” producer Rusty

also worked on Buchert told PC REVIEW recently. Within the virtual Descent, Descent2 <tarship you're able to tackle craft you might not

coup for Barclays. The Midland Bank was recently forced to shelve its own similar scheme until at least next year.

Quicken quashing quashed Of course, Microsoft has long been interested in the personal finance market. Two years ago, the US Justice Department prevented its purchase of Intuit, creators of the popular home accounts package Quicken. Although Barclays hasn't ruled out a deals involving Quicken, or any other software company for that matter, Intuit must be depressed by the new announcement. Since creating the market virtually overnight, Quicken has managed to avoid the clutches of Microsoft, but it has yet to be formally linked with a bank.

As yet there is no confirmed service fee for signing up to the Barclays PC Bank initiative, but there will almost certainly be some form of ongoing charge. “We are asking people how much they would be prepared to pay,” said a Barclays spokesman.

“On-line banking has been a much talked about phenomenon,” stresses Steve Beswick, Finance Sector sales manager at Microsoft. “With this announcement, it’s now a real option.” (OB)

2 et ence: normally encounter in, say, the USS Enterprise. The simulator also enables you to replay classic episodes, such as the Kobayashi Maru scenario from the Star Trek II movie.

Many 3D space sims see you fighting hordes of puny aliens. In contrast, most missions in Starfleet Academy will feature but a few strong spacecraft. jout riski g road rage | “If you go head-on against a Supercruiser it’s like, goodbye!” said Rusty. ‘Tesco, in league with “Instead, you might try sniping him from underneath whilst your wingmen occupy him from above.” Life outside the simulator can be just as explosive as the photon torpedoes within. Campus politics and rash talk can decide the fate of the entire cadet corp. With William Shatner reprising his role as Captain Kirk for perhaps the last time, you'll be assured a definitive counsel.

Beating the likes of Wing Commander 3 and Privateer will be as tricky as a Klingon with a sore head, but the passionate development team promises great things. We'll know for sure when Star Trek: Starfleet Academy boldly goes into the stores early next year.

INTERNET SUPERSTO! eh Rat 7 Ka:

—<_ - = 1997 is the international Year of the Reef and PC REVIEW will b occasion next month by reviewing Ransom Multimedia’s World of featuring our favourite reef-loving botanist, Dr David Bellamy.

PC REVIEW « Christmas 1996 + 9

The Music File

It should fit into a stocking very easily, but the Music File claims to be stuffed full of information on British rock and pop since

the 1950s. At £14, it’s a database cum reference guide, the disc lists 65,000

artists, 190,000 recordings and a colossal

900,000 tracks. It also has a built-in facility for cataloguing your own record collection. Call File Productions.

Wide World of Animals Winner The Wide World of Animals CD-ROM,

recommended with a mark of eight back

in April's PC REVIEW, has won the coveted Wildscreen 96 Multimedia

Award. Wildscreen is a showcase for film

and video productions on the natural world. The disc is sold in by EA.

Ordnance Survey goes CD

The cartographic company Ordnance Survey has teamed up with Attica to bring you the Interactive Atlas of Great

Britain. Naturally, OS maps covering the whole country are included. Among the

45,000 places appearing, 200 are complimented with special multimedia extras like photos and video. Watch for

our special review of atlases next month.

Barbie Designer

Enduring fans of Barbie dolls can now design outfits for their toys using Mattel Media's Barbie Fashion Designer™ Having chosen patterns and styles for skirts, shirts, trousers and jackets, you can see Barbie parade them about, in 3D, on the catwalk. Call GEM for more.

Movies, Movies, Movies Catering to lovers of crime stories, dramas, science fiction, westerns and more, the Corel All Movie Guide 2 has

arrived, offering film buffs an alternative to

Microsoft's Cinemania. A grand total of 100,360 films are listed, each with a

review and cast listing. Major flicks have

photos too, and 174,000 industry pros are profiled. It costs £19.99.

10 * Christmas 1996 » PC REVIEW

Does Acorn’s NewsPAD signal the death of print?

EXTRA! EXTRA!

Newspapers killed: Acorn questioned

na lucrative move for the kitty litter industry, Acorn

Technologies has unveiled the NewsPAD a prototype of tomorrow’s newspapers. The Cambridge-based firm’s portable multimedia viewer may make newsagents an endangered species. “We will change the lives of many hundreds of thousands of people and make an impact on millions of others,” predicts Acorn’s Tim Caspell.

Video and sound accompany traditional newspaper content on the A4-sized NewsPAD. A large, high- resolution SVGA matrix LCD panel displays the day’s news, which can be specially tailored to your personal tastes. With an optional built-in microphone and video camera, the NewsPAD blurs the lines between publishers and readers.

The key advantage of the NewsPAD as compared to today’s Web publishing is that it is portable. It seems possible that the two technologies will merge with the NewsPAD becoming a general interactive content browser. In any event, while Acorn’s NewsPAD is still years away, the days of newspaper must finally be numbered. Tim Caspell: “Such devices will affect the entire time-dependent print media.”

Ride the rocket tonight

“The bottom line with action games,” according to Sean Callahan, game designer at Rocket Science, “is that they have to be fast, fun and hopefully something gamers haven't seen before.” Rocket Science then, can be certain that it’s onto something original with Rocket Jockey, its upcoming future-sport title.

Gameplay is centred on gladiatorial battles in which competitors blaze about an arena on rocket- powered cycles, something like the jetspeeders in Return of the Jedi. Shooting along at high speed, players can only negotiate turns by shooting cables into poles that are strategically located around the arena. Fail to turn and you'll find out just how hard a wall can be. The cables, meanwhile, can cunningly be used to clothes- line competitors, tearing them from their vehicles by the throat. Usually with a jolt.

Within Rocket Jockey there are three sorts rocket riding action including high speed racing through a deadly obstacle course, the polo-style Rocket Ball, and Rocket War, where you take on the other jockies in an every-man-for-himself scrap. And hey, PC REVIEW will very soon be riding the rocket in San Francisco to bring you a preview feature packed full of details on all of Rocket Science’s new games including Rocket Jockey, Space Bar and much, much more.

Original combat-sport action for the gamer of tomorrow in Rocket Jockey.

Blinding new look for AOL

merica On-Line has released an

updated version of its user interface. According to the service provider, four million Windows 3.1 users already have AOL3.0, and the Windows 95 version is now available.

AOL's latest on-line flavour comes in a fetching shade of orange, but aesthetics aside, the company is keen to highlight the new interface’s speedy new multimedia features. “No more blue bar,” is the slogan. Pages within AOL, now referred to as ‘channels’, include an interactive UK weather map and a sports news service, which is currently being revamped by former Future

Publishing starboy, Martin Axford. AOL will also be putting more resources into its UK news and finance pages as well.

A key addition to the AOL Postbox, where users look for their

This screaming orange represents both AOL’s new interface and the promise of faster downloads.

email, is the PreferredMail option which screens out pest and junk mailings. You can actually bounce messages from posters you don't want to hear from back to them with an addendum telling them that you've blocked emails coming from their address.

Finally, AOL has a range of built- in measures to, for instance, limit children’s use of the service and and eliminate bad language from its chat forums. The company has been strident in protecting its users from the pornographic excesses of cyber- space. Only vetted newsgroups are available through AOL.

r

his month, Intel celebrates

the 25th anniversary of the

microprocessor. It was in

1971 that Intel’s 4004 ‘microcomputer’ hit the market, the first in a series of fully compatible processors leading right up to today’s Pentium Pro.

Founded in 1968, the mega- corporation’s original challenge was simply to make semiconductor memory practical. But by the mid- 1970s, Intel’s involvement in the blossoming calculator market led to it developing the world’s first general purpose logic chip for the Japanese manufacturer Busicom. Intel engineer Ted Hoff, who invented the chip, was one of the few people to grasp its potential.

YOUR PC’S PAST

Designing a micro-processor, 1970s style. The team had to wash their hair every day, since a single piece of dandruff could scupper the chip forever.

Amicroproccessor from above looks remarkably like a painting by Klee.

“| told marketing, if you can’t get any other concessions, get the right to sell it to other people,” Ted Hoff told PC REVIEW. “Thank goodness, they did.”

It's easy to laugh now, but when an Intel engineer proposed the first

Selflessly, Ted Hoff invented the PC rather than some fetching spectacles.

home PC no-one saw any market for it. Intel chairman Gordon Moore said, “The idea was that we could outfit an 8080 processor with a keyboard and a monitor and sell it in the home market. | asked ‘What's it good for?’ And the only answer was that a housewife could keep her recipes on it. We never gave it another thought.”

Today Intel is the world’s largest chip maker, and also a leading manufacturer of PC, networking and communications products. The company’s latest innovation, the multimedia MMX technology, will revolutionise graphics and sound capabilities of the PC. The first MMX equipped Pentiums will go on sale from next month.

Starting next month, PC REVIEW will be exploring the history of the home PC. From the abacus to Windows 95, we'll discover where your PC came from and where it's going. The series will culminate with a peek inside Intel's billion dollar fabrication plant in Ireland an exposé not to be missed! The excitement, the failures, the upstarts and the false starts, we plan to cover it all in our saunter down memory lane. Now, if we can just remember where we put our diary...

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Alien Invasion

Cc onquest Earth, from Birmingham-based

software house Data Design, promises the most intelligent computer enemy yet. The real-time strategy game, which centres on an alien invasion of Earth, also boasts 3D rendered units, 65,000 colours on screen and the potential to let you directly take

control of units on the battlefield.

“We met a couple of lads who were working on neural networks at college,” said producer Eeman Barr. “They wrote some initial routines for us and we were so happy with the results we gave them both

full-time jobs.”

A neural network is a program with the capacity to learn from past mistakes. If you're playing in an arcade style, the computer responds in kind.

Playa

New strategy game features neural network Al

strategic game and it can adapt to your new policies and come up with strategies of its own.

“In C&C, the enemy repeatedly allows its men to be killed in the same fashion,” Barr explained “It can’t learn that a small unit shouldn’t walk past a heavily armoured tank. Our Al looks at the relative strengths and weaknesses, and might choose to take evasive action.”

Data Design might even store the lessons the Al learns, so it gets cleverer between sessions. This may be problematic though. “A neural network can actually become too good,” says Barr. “So you might never be able to beat it.”

If this sounds like fighting talk to you, look out for Conquest Earth, which is released in March.

PC REVIEW « Christmas 1996 » 11

THE Works IN BRIEF

Four Prints

Sierra has just released Print Artist 4.0. It comes with 10,000 clip-art graphics, over 1000 JPEGs, more than 1400 new layouts and 300 fonts. New features include pre-designed yearly calendars and transparent bitmaps. We'll bring you a full review next month.

Talk is Cheaper

If you're looking for cheap voice recognition software, talk to Talking Technologies. Its VoicePad Pro costs only £93, though the software only works with Windows WordPad, 3.11 or 95. You choose 17,000 priority words from a list of 200,000, and in return you're promised impressive, real- time speech recognition. You'll also need a SoundBlaster card and 16Mb of RAM.

New Corel

Corel has just brought out the latest version of its flagship product, Core/Draw. The biggest change for version 7 is its radically redesigned interface. Other new features include new tools such as the natural pen, improved Internet support and more text handling facilities.

CorelDraw version ‘emerges from its shell with a radical new interface.

Emotions on CD

If you're looking for pictures of people, check out the Photodisc’s new Everyday People disc. With 100 pictures of real people from around the world, the CD hopes to portray the complete range of human emotions.

New Modem

Dataflex has just introduced the VoiceSurfer, a new 33.6 kbps modem. The modem employs Host Signal Processing technology, which uses the processor to carry out the digital signal processing and thus reduce the number of chips on-board. This should ensure that the price, when it is announced, is very competitive.

Personal organiser for Net users Starfish Software has announced a new personal organiser designed specifically for Internet users. It enables you to, for instance, electronically schedule your mail-outs via email.

12 ¢ Christmas 1996 » PC REVIEW

FUTURE SHOCKE

M ore than half the population expects to own a home computer by the year 2000. Yet 80 per cent of people who have heard of the Internet and not yet used it have no idea how to get on-line. That’s the disturbing message issued by Motorola, which recently commissioned a report on British attitudes towards new technology. It suggests Britain is splitting into two new classes, divided according to their