January 2001

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.


Adiboo discover Music, Melody & Rhyme and JumpStart Artist from Knowledge Adventure plus VirusScan 5.15 from McAfee Software

Adiboo discover Music, Melody & Rhyme from Knowledge Adventure

Knowledge Adventure has a new series of educational CDs, with a warm little character called Adiboo guiding you and your kids (ages 4 to 6) through a new world of learning.  Their goal is to stimulate through exploration of science, music and nature and "Reveal Your Natural Talents."  This series has exceptional graphics and sounds offering real life simulations, arcade style educational games and tons of fun educational activities from 2 CDs in each box.

After an easy installation,  you get to meet Adiboo, who is a cute little elf-like character will guide you and your kids through this new world of discovery.  You begin with disc 1, in Adiboo's Playland (this CD is the same in each of the 3 Adiboo titles).  Here, you can explore outside: click on a tree, select a bird house, see the day turn to night, watch seeds grow into flowers and more.  You may also step into Adiboo's play house for more activities including drawing and painting, watching cartoons, music and playing a number of games.  You'll also meet a few of Adiboo's friends including his dog Pup who has one suction cup instead of legs, Robby Tock, the robot gardener, Keecook, the robot cook and Buzzy Gulump who sometimes causes problems.  Use your mouse (which moves a hand) to select the activities, get help and move through the land. At first, this CD reminded me of Broderbund's, Living Books series software, where you click on an object or character and things happen (animation, music and sound effects). For example, if you click on Adiboo, he'll giggle.

Now onto to disc 2, and enter into The Land of Music.  First you join Adiboo and rocket into space to the planet Melodica, and the main menu, were  the cartoon inhabitants sing you a nice song that's a cross between folk and rock and roll.  From here, use the mouse to enter several different areas specializing in music and sounds.   Your goal is to help Adiboo find the missing pieces of the Singamajig Melody Maker broken and scattered by that mischievous Buzzy Gulump.  Visit Tom Tom lake for a short course in rhythm, learn about musical instruments and musical styles at the Bandstand, experiment in the Frosty Sound Cavern with pitch, tone and scales and link pictures with sound at the Note Factory.

My daughter, Becky (she's 6 years old), really enjoyed making music with Adiboo on CD 2, and had fun with the effects and activities on CD 1, which included a breakout-style arcade game found inside the playhouse.   She spend hours having fun with these two CDs, and learning lots of things about music.  One of her favorite activities was recording and playing back her voice in the Note Factory.

Adiboo discover Music, Melody & Rhyme sells for a street price of $19.99 and will run on any multimedia PC, Pentium 133 or faster, with 32  MB RAM running Windows 98/95 and the Power Macintosh (System 7.6.1 or higher), 120 MHz or higher, with 12 MB RAM.   Both computers require a twelve-speed (12x) CD-ROM drive. 

JumpStart Artist from Knowledge Adventure

Okay kids, are you ready for some fun with art?  Well, Knowledge Adventure has one educational CD filled with tons of art activities designed to keep kids, ages 5 to 8, busy for days.  This CD covers drawing, painting, puppets, stamps and even quilting with an emphasis on learning art fundamentals.  Kids will learn about famous artists and their art works, folk art and cultural crafts from around the world.  JumpStart Art offers excellent graphics and sounds, animation, games and some music to enjoy while creating your masterpiece.

After installation, you sign in and then enter the Art Fair and main menu.  Here,  you have access to all the activities, with the help of the JumpStart characters, by clicking on the different colored tents.  Interact with Kisha, Casey, CJ, Edison, Frankie, Hopsalot and Eleanor.  Visit Frankie in the purple tent to make movies by painting some scenes, play art concentration in the red tent, visit the art studio and gallery in the yellow tent, have fun with Hopsalot in the blue, inventions, tent and take an art expedition with CJ and Edison in the green tent.   Also, there's one more area you'll want to visit.  That's the carnival.  Before you can enter, you have to help assemble the rides.  And that's the goal of this CD.  Learn and practice art and earn carnival ride parts.  When you're done, the carnival is your reward.

Becky just loved this CD.  She had a great time with Frankie the dog making movies.  First, you choose one of several movies to work with, and then you design some of the movie scenes.  When you're done creating and coloring, you get to see your finished product at the movie theater.   Becky helped illustrate the Mexican Mystery movie, where a little girl is missing her cat.   It was a 3 minute movie with great animation, some catchy musical tunes and even a short lesson in Spanish (she learned that "gatito" is kitten in Spanish).  Becky also liked the arcade-style game used to teach about folk art at the green tent with CJ and Edison.  Here, you'll help CJ collect materials used in the type of folk art you're learning about.  He'll climb ladders, take an elevator and slide down ropes to get to the needed materials.  At the red tent, Becky enjoyed playing concentration, trying to match art related pictures.  Once a match is made, clues are presented with a question relating to the type of art matched.  After answering, you'll see and hear more details on that topic, which may include photos of  the artwork related to the style.  Three correct answers will get you a piece of a carnival ride.

JumpStart Artist sells for a street price of $19.99 and will run on any multimedia PC, Pentium 166 or faster, with 32  MB RAM running Windows 98/95 and the IMac, G3 (System 8.1 or higher) with 12 MB RAM.   Both computers require an twelve-speed (12x) CD-ROM drive. 

McAfee VirusScan 5.15 from McAfee Software

When I think of a computer virus, it reminds me of the flu I used to catch every year until I got smart and started taking a flu shot, usually available in October (this year I got the shot in late December because of a shortage).   Like the influenza virus, a computer virus (also known as malicious software) can make your life miserable.   Now, with McAfee VirusScan, you won't have to worry about losing data and control of your computer for all aspects of computing (online and off). Unlike the flu shot, which is a prevention for some of the dangerous types of viruses, VirusScan can stop you from getting caught with your data down, and find and destroy those nasty little viruses before they multiply.

VirusScan 5.15 is the latest version of the popular McAfee virus protection program now offering several new features to help keep your computer healthy.  You are susceptible to viruses if you download software on the Internet, share a floppy disk with a friend or even read e-mail attachments. And if you happen to be connected to a network, you can pick up viruses through the network.  The standard features include automatic and continuous scanning through VShield, manual scanning and data updates over the Internet 24 hours a day (to date, over 50,000 known viruses are in their database).  Its e-mail feature scans your Microsoft Exchange or Outlook mailbox folders right on the server, and also scans Lotus cc:Mail mailboxes.   If you're caught with a virus that disables your computer, before or after installing VirusScan, don't worry because it includes an emergency boot disk to get you out of trouble.

New features include Quarantine, the ability to quarantine suspected or infected files for later deletion, and Safe & Sound, which allows automatic backup of your data to protected areas on the hard drive.  However, Safe & Sound does not work with Windows 2000 or Windows NT Workstation because these operating systems do not allow software to scan or make changes to the hard drive.

Standard installation includes VirusScan Central, which integrates the components of VirusScan.  From one single menu you can scan your disks immediately, schedule a scan, quarantine infected or suspicious files and update the virus database.  Once installed, you should scan all internal and external storage devices including floppy diskettes you use, and don't forget your game diskettes and CDs (commercial software can contain viruses, though it's highly unlikely). Always scan any diskettes you take from friends.  If a friend's computer has a virus, it's highly likely that the diskette you borrowed is infected. Also, if you download software from the Internet, it's extremely important to scan those files before they're uncompressed or installed. E-mail attachments can also harbor viruses, and should be scanned as well.

When and if a virus is detected, you'll get a virus found message along with suggested actions, which includes quarantine if you want to deal with it at some other time.   I would suggest you attempt to remove the virus code immediately.  If that doesn't work, you'll have to delete the file and then restore it from your backup diskettes, if possible (you do backup, don't you?).  Unfortunately, I opened an attachment from my Internet provider which had the "I Love You" virus prior to installing VirusScan 5.15.  After scanning my two hard disks, it found 5 other viruses that must have been creating problems in my Windows system causing lock ups and crashes on the Internet. VirusScan fixed the infected files and eliminated the nasty little programs, making my computer healthy and me happy.

McAfee VirusScan 5.15, on CD, has a street price of $21.99 and runs on any multimedia PC, Pentium 133 MHz or faster  with Windows ME/2000/98/95/NT workstation, a double-speed CD-ROM drive and 16 megabytes RAM.

Howard Berenbon

Software Companies Mentioned

Knowledge Adventure, Inc.
19840 Pioneer Avenue
Torrance, CA 90503
Phone: 1-800-545-7677
URL knowledgeadventure.com

McAfee Software, a division of Network Associates, Inc.
3965 Freedom Circle
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone: 972-308-9960
URL mcafee.com