McQuillin rounds up the season's best new releases.
Office XP (Microsoft) Win. Available: T Zone.
The latest suite from Microsoft includes the 2002 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and
Outlook. It incorporates additional formatting and templates, revision control, team
editing and enhanced document recovery. Office XP's best feature: no more Clippy the
Paperclip Assistant! Don't be fooled by the name, this software works on all current
Windows systems, not just Windows XP.
Acrobat 5.0 (Adobe Systems) Win/Mac.
Available: T Zone. JY32,000.
"The best way to share documents online" has gotten better with the latest
release of Acrobat, which includes improved tools for review cycles and comments from
reviewers. Also, getting text out of a PDF file is as easy as clicking "Save
As." Convert any document into a PDF file to share on the Web-retaining all of your
formatting, images and fonts. Acrobat Reader remains free for download at http://www.adobe.com
PS Elements (Adobe Systems) Win/Mac.
Available: T Zone. JY12,700.
Frustrated by limitations in your image editing software, but not quite ready to master
the complexities of Photoshop? PS Elements combines ease-of-use with powerful Photoshop
tools to create the perfect editing software for digital photography enthusiasts.
Atmosphere (Adobe Systems) Win/Mac.
Available: late summer.
The latest in 3D virtual worlds, Atmosphere links the 2D web with 3D virtual realities.
You can choose an avatar and walk around, interacting with other avatars. It's not quite
up to the level of special effects in films, but the technology is advancing. Currently
available for beta testing from Adobe.
Family Tree Maker 8.0 (Broderbund Software)
Win. Available: mail-order. $59.99-$109.99.
For Americans interested in tracing their lineage, Broderbund publishes software for
researching and creating a genealogy. The deluxe version comes with 24 or 35 CDs of
historical records; for even more data, choose the collector's edition with 42 CDs.
Mastercook Complete Suite 6.0 (Sierra Home)
Win. Available: mail-order. $39.95.
Looking for a way to spice up your dinner menus? Mastercook's 6500 recipes will do the
trick. Quickly scale recipes, plan meals and check nutritional information for every
recipe. Plus, you can download an additional 11,000 recipes when you tire of the first
& White (Electronic Arts) Win. Available: T Zone. JY8980.
Be a god. Choose benevolence (white) or malevolence (black), and see where you get in this
role-playing game. Whether good or evil, gods can perform miracles, raise creatures and
gather worshippers to increase their power. The game is packed with interesting features,
including AI creatures and tactile feedback. For a real challenge, go online and play
against other gods to see who is most powerful.
Tropico (Pop Top Software) Win/Mac.
Available: mail-order. $39.99-$44.99.
Ever dream of becoming a Banana Republic dictator? In Tropico, your mission is to
successfully run a Caribbean island while keeping the population happy (or at least under
control) and skimming the treasury for personal gain. This is a game guaranteed to satisfy
your power trip and keep you up late learning how to rule your tropical paradise.
Train Simulator (Microsoft) Win. Available:
If you've been looking wistfully at the Japanese train games, this is your ticket. It
features trains from around the world, including the Odakyu line Romance Car to Hakone.
Windows XP (Microsoft) Available: October
Microsoft isn't planning to ship XP until October 25, but already you'll find Bill Gates'
face on posters around town. The Windows XP "eXPerience" is simpler with better
integrated communications, networking and MP3 support. If you want to run XP on your
computer, be sure you have at least 128Mb of RAM and you're already running Windows 2000
Professional or Windows ME.
MacOS X (Apple Computer) Available:
Released in March 2001, this new Unix-based OS recently won CNET's OS Death Match against
Windows 2000. Totally different from previous Mac OS releases, a new graphical interface
(Aqua) sits atop an extremely powerful BSD Unix base. OS X has superb Japanese font
support and includes new fonts with over 15,000 characters. Say so long to Osaka!