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Patrick Moore's Guide to the Universe

Patrick Moore's Guide to the Universe

CDROM - Fast Trak Software Publishing

As this is effectively a book you would expect the layout to be fairly straightforward but instead of the usual chapter/subject headings we are presented with celestial spheres named after letters of the Greek alphabet. Why? I don't mind unusual interfaces if it makes things easier but where's the sense in just confusing people? But it doesn't end there. I'm not an expert in astronomy but I'm not a layman either, yet much of what I was presented with looked like it came from a degree course. The quizzes in the package are atrociously bad. A typical example is "Name The Constellation" where a picture of the night sky is slowly revealed. Bearing in mind how much money they want you to pay for this (and how much you spent on a decent graphics card & processor) do you think it's okay to cobble together something from a still photo and bits of card to cover it up with? Blue Peter would laugh at this! Furthermore, when the last bits of card are removed and I could see the whole picture I STILL couldn't make out the constellation. No labels pointing out where it was, no little highlights to clue me in, and we are talking about Orion; a constellation I could find with a bucket on my head.

I'm sorry. I really wanted to like this because I love Patrick Moore so, but it's a stinker. There's nothing in it I like. NOTHING! The video clips are very poor quality and of almost random content and the whole image side looks like it's been done from public domain leftovers. The audio consists of 1950s sound effects and Patrick reading aloud the block of text in front of you. I've come to the conclusion that this whole package was put together as cheaply as possible. There's even a 3D picture that you can't view unless you have your OWN 3D glasses! They won't even stump up for two coloured sweet wrappers and a bit of cardboard.

It's programs like this that make me thank the stars I can still read books.

2/10  DS

Soldiers of Love:

CDs one and two, written, directed and produced by Mark J Thompson.

First two in a series being produced by MJTV by Mark J Thompson, featuring lots of UK actors from progs such as Blakes 7 and Dr Who and points in between.
This is an interesting sort of a thing, a sort of radio/tv/cd series of SF sort of Carry On effort, with lots of sf tv actors often using some silly voices - Mark Keating for example being allowed over-free usage of his crusty colonel voice, which he has always liked but which should never be allowed out. Nice singing though. There are also some rather odd Trillian-type bad american squeeky voices.
There purports to be a story but the bad carry-on innuendos about 'probes up uranus' and 'have you a saveloy?' overshadowed any attempt to follow what on earth (or off it) was supposed to be going on.
(I just heard the line - said to Michael Keating - 'You're Vila') and fancy calling any character played by the amazing Jacqueline Pearce Madame Deephole?
You get the idea.
If you want to collect anything to do with Blakes 7 and/or like this sort of thing you might want to obtain this. Otherwise not.


DS Darren Sanderson
WG Wendy Graham


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