March 1997

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.


Disney's The Lion King Activity Center and Norton AntiVirus Version 2.0

Disney's The Lion King Activity Center

Now, with Disney's The Lion King Activity Center on CD, your kids can revisit the movie and interact with Simba and his friends while developing memory, matching, reasoning and spelling skills with music, sounds and animation (including six movie clips). As with the other Disney activity centers (Aladdin and Toy Story) you'll find lots of story-related activities for hours of fun and learning while in the Pride Lands. Although recommended for ages 5 and up, this CD is enjoyed by my 2-year-old daughter, Becky as well as 5-year-old daughter, Sarah.

While in the Pride Lands you'll find activities in the Jungle, at Rafiki's Tree, in the Shadowlands and at the Magic Pool, with Zazu there to help you navigate. The Jungle offers Timon's Bug Matching Game, Timon and Pumbaa's Spelling Game and a chance to search for Pumbaa's Hidden Animal Friends. At Rafiki's Tree you'll find the Art Center with puzzles, drawing and painting with print functions, plus the African game of Achi.

Now, before I go on to the Shadowlands and the Magic Pool, I have to mention that some of the drawing functions at Rafiki's Tree wouldn't work on my IBM compatible. A call to Disney's toll-free support line verified that certain functions wouldn't work with the Trident 9440 video display card, which is what I have in my computer. A temporary fix was suggested, but a better one would be to install newer video drivers. No problems were found using the CD on a Macintosh.

In the Shadowlands (the elephant graveyard), the activities include playing music on Ed's Zylobones, The Memory Challenge game and playing the A-Maze-ing Escape. Finally, there's the Magic Pool where you can play six video clips from the movie.

The Lion King set an unusually sad mood for a children's story with Simba's father dying. And that mood was again transferred to the CD-ROM activity center. Maybe, as a parent, the movie affected me more than it would a child who may not understand the concepts of death and dying. Regardless, my daughters enjoyed the activity center without even noticing the somber mood of the movie.

The software will run on any 486SX-25 MHz or faster IBM compatible multimedia computer with 4 megabytes of RAM and Apple Macintosh Performa 550 (or better), Quadra or Power Macintosh multimedia computer with 3 megabytes of RAM. The computers require double-speed CD-ROM drives or faster.

The Lion King Activity Center sells for $39.95. For more information contact Disney Interactive at 1-800-900-9234.

Norton AntiVirus Version 2.0 for Windows 95

When I think of a virus, it reminds me of the flu I had last February (1996) after returning from a great stay at Disney World with the kids. It was unusually cold at night, and we were caught at Epcot without coats. That week, we all got head colds, but on our return, I was the only one who caught the flu. I must have caught that bug from someone on the plane, because of recycled air and the fact that I hadn't taken the flu shot (I'll never make that mistake again). The virus lasted a week, with high fever and flu symptoms that knocked out my senses of smell and taste for almost a year (I'm back to normal, thank goodness).

Although a computer virus cannot affect your health directly, it can make your life miserable by destroying computer data causing havoc for you and your business or personal computer applications. Somewhat like the flu shot given to people, the anti-virus program, like Norton AntiVirus, is very important. Unlike the flu shot, which is a prevention for some of the dangerous types of viruses, anti-virus programs can stop you from getting caught with your data down, and even find and destroy those nasty little viruses before they do any damage.

Norton AntiVirus Version 2.0 (for Windows 95) from Symantec, is one of several programs on the market that will keep your computer healthy. You're susceptible to viruses if you download software on the Internet, share a floppy disk with a friend or even read e-mail attachments. Version 2.0 offers several features that make it easy to protect your computer. It automatically scans for viruses (running continuously in the background) and then alerts you so you can eliminate them before any damage results. And Repair Wizard helps you through the steps of cleaning up your computer when a virus is found.

Norton AntiVirus automatically checks system files and boot records at system startup, checks programs at the time you use them, automatically scans your computer once per week, monitors for activity that might be considered a virus in action and checks floppy disks for boot viruses when you use them. You can manually scan specific files, folders or entire drives, schedule virus scans to run at predetermined times, update virus definitions files monthly and adjust the software to match your risk of virus protection. One important feature is the ability to update the virus database from the Internet (there are hundreds of known viruses). Once a month you'll visit Symantec's Web site to download the latest and greatest virus list so you can protect your computer from the newest bugs.

Norton AntiVirus Version 2.0 for Windows 95 retails for $84.95, but I've seen it for $79.95 on the Symantec Web site. For more information call Symantec at 1-800-441-7234.

Companies Mentioned

Disney Interactive
500 S. Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521-8432
Phone: 1-800-900-9234

Symantec Corporation
10201 Torre Ave.
Cupertino, CA 95014
Phone: 1-800-441-7234