May 1998

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.


AAA Map'n' Go 4.0 from DeLorme and Ultimate Speed Reader from Davidson

AAA Map'n' Go 4.0 from DeLorme

We're heading for summer again, and it's time to plan those summer trips. If you're at all considering driving to your vacation destination then you should consider AAA Map'n' Go 4.0 from DeLorme. It's an AAA motor trip office on a CD that lets you map your road trip, including any and all stops (food, entertainment and lodgings) along the way, and even better than any AAA travel professional. And if you plan a few months ahead, as we do, you can map several different routes and then decide which one you'll take. No need to belong to AAA, just run the software and find the best way to go. Several new features have been added since version 3.0 including voice navigation using a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver for connection to a laptop computer, a budget planner and travel activities for kids. You can also add digital photos to your map and create a slide show.

Once in the main menu you'll see a dashboard with the options available. Click on Plan A Trip to start your journey through North America. Enter your starting location (city and state), then your finish location (city and state), and with one click of the mouse it will automatically plan the fastest route to your destination listing the distance and time of travel. You can even select places along your route for your stops with over 68,000 lodgings, restaurants, campgrounds, museums, parks, fairs and family events available in the database. Pricing for hotels and restaurants are included. If you'd like a more scenic tour instead of the most direct route you can select that option. Along with your route maps, you can printout selected detailed maps for side trips on the way to your final destination.

A very neat feature of AAA Map'n'Go is their GPS connection. The GPS device is a radio receiver that picks up location data from orbiting satellites. When connected to your laptop computer, it gives your exact location as you drive toward your destination. Version 4.0 adds a voice to this feature. Of course, your laptop must have a sound card to take advantage of GPS Voice Navigation, which will provide speed, heading and alerts along your route. If your computer is fairly new and it has a CD-ROM, it will also be equipped with a sound card, so all you need is a car power adapter and the GPS receiver.

AAA Map'n'Go 4.0 has a street price of $39 and will run on any IBM compatible 486DX or better multimedia computer with Windows and a CD-ROM drive. This is a great product whether you plan your trip at home and print out your maps, or you have a laptop equipped with a GPS receiver. You can't get more information for your road trips from any other source then what's in this CD. For information on DeLorme products (including their GPS receiver) call 1-800-227-1656.

Ultimate Speed Reader from Davidson

Have you ever found yourself information overloaded with more reading than you had time to do in a day? Well, if you don't have time to keep up with all the latest news or even read those new computer equipment manuals, you may want to consider a speed reading course. Most will guarantee that you'll double your reading speed and increase comprehension. One course to consider is Ultimate Speed Reader by Davidson. It gives you everything you need on a CD to speed up your reading. Instead of reading word by word as we have been taught, you'll be trained to read and understand phrase by phrase, the best way to read for speed and comprehension. Davidson & Associates, well known for their educational software titles, has a money back guarantee if you're not completely satisfied with their product.

You start your speed reading training by entering your name and then on to your reading assessment test that checks your reading speed and comprehension. The average adult will read 250 to 300 words a minute with about 50% comprehension. After you've read the passage and answered the questions, you'll get your score. Next, on to the warm-ups which test your vision and memory of letters and words displayed. Other training activities include eye movement, newspaper reading, paced reading, and timed reading. Your progress is tracked and you can check how you're doing at any time. You can also import text for your exercises from books or magazines.

For best results Davidson recommends using Ultimate Speed Reader 30 minutes a session, at least two or three times a week, but no more than once a day. The CD has a street price of $30 and is for anyone who'd like to at least double their reading speed with improved comprehension. It works on IBM and compatibles with Windows and the Apple Macintosh multimedia computers. Both systems require a double-speed CD-ROM drive.

For more information, contact Davidson & Associates at 1-800-545-7677.

Howard Berenbon