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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York • Page 45
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York • Page 45

Rochester, New York
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PersonalTeciinology Y2K bug has begun to nibble Browser Information you can use Software lemon aid Book solves problems A book called Bad Software: What to Do When Software Fails brings consumer Folks at an adult home in Macedon, Wayne County, showed up for work the other DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE, ROCHESTER, N.Y., SUNDAY, JANUARY 10, 1999 3E Starting them youn Bad rights to the Information Age. The book was written by Cem Software day and soon found their computer frozen solid. Investigation showed the culprit was an early version of the Y2Kbug. Ww to Do WheaSottwH Filk Kaner and David STK I OKU INTERFACE 11 of the MIT Media idge, and aMedia Inc, a Web ds ages 5 to 12. ish, say critics, who damaging to a eveloping brain, innot say strongly that there is not isolutely no benefit are is the potential lormous damage," lane M.

Healy, an itional psycholo-and author of Fail- to Connect: How nputers Affect Our Idren's Minds For iter and Worse. Healy says chil-en's developing rains need time to nake sense out of the world. They need to grasp and eel, to stack blocks, learn concepts will later help )lve math problems. gfff I .1 M.SMITH illustration by KEVTN i 1 1 Photo These programs click with the professionals Hot-selling software is coaxing kids to take their first baby steps into the world of computers. ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER DAWN C.CHMIELEWSKI Many parents eager to give their kids the right start are placing computer mice in their babies' chubby little hands almost before they can hold a spoon.

Brands long associated with children's play including Hasbro, Mattel and Disney are finding ways to plug into the computer craze. Hasbro Interactive's new Tonka Workshop CD-ROM program, for example, comes with a workbench that straps over the keyboard, a carpenter's tool kit with plastic saws, sanders, drills and the like; as the child builds a barn, spaceship or other project following Tonka Joe's onscreen directions, each turn of the screw produces a squeak from the computer, every hammer strike a bang. Pioneering software publishers such as Knowledge Adventure showed toymakers the way to tap the rich vein of parental angst about kids and computers with a whole new category of educational software aimed at preschoolers. Dubbed "lapware," Knowledge Adventure's JumpStart Baby program is the first of a genre intended for babies as young as 9 months to use while sitting on mommy's or daddy's lap. Sales of software for children ages 5 and younger more than doubled from $9.7 million in the first quarter of 1997 to $17.9 million in the first quarter of 1998, according to, PC Data a research company in Reston, Va.

And it's growing faster than any other software category. Most of these products draw heavily on well-loved children's books such as Curious George or The Cat in the Hat, borrow characters from Sesame Street and other TV shows, or build games around familiar toys. CDs that attempt to do more than merely amuse offer the youngest computer users primers on colors, shapes, the alphabet or numbers. "Edutainment" software even attempts to introduce toddlers to a second language or teach. "Technology symbolizes an Recently I noted the fear that Year 2000 computer problems would begin to crop up this month, as software programs that looked ahead a year would first encounter a date ending with "00." If the computer didn't know that "00" meant 2000, trouble could ensue.

That apparently is what happened at the Bickford Home. I hear a similar thing occurred at a local doctor's office, which discovered itself unable to schedule appointments in January 2000. No catastrophes were reported locally or elsewhere. Some take this as evidence the whole Y2K problem has been overblown There seems to be a Y2K backlash under way; the absence of widespread problems and the vows by some major institutions that they've addressed the problem adequately are being taken as signs that Y2K is nothing but hype. I don't think that's the case.

The doomsday scenarios that some articulate almost surely won't come to pass. Instead, the most likely outcome is an accretion of minor mishaps that will combine, a year from now, to make life inconvenient for a while with, of course, a few spectacular crashes thrown in for good measure. But as the experts all point out, no one really knows for sure. That's what should make the coming year so interesting. Searching online.

I ran across the official Hudson Leick Fan Club site. Heidi Leick, as she was once known, is a 1987 Brighton High graduate who's gone on to Hollywood fame and fortune. A bunch of adoring Pels, both of whom have experience in software technical support, quality assurance and software law. The book shows you how to get a refund, fix bugs, find more support and, occasionally, be compensated for things that quit working as a result of faulty software. Should legal action be necessary, the authors also lay out how to apply your rights and pick a lawyer who knows the industry and can keep your fees low.

Bad Software retails for about $30 at online bookstores and at Online planning Sites store your data Some Internet companies are betting this will be the year online customers abandon paper-based or handheld electronic organizers and keep track of their lives on the Web. Companies such as Visto ( and Magically Inc. (, both based in California, run Web sites that feature personal online calendars and phone number managers a user can access from any computer with a browser. By also offering freebies such as e-mail, Magically and Visto hope users will subscribe to premium-pay services that include larger data storage areas and capabilities to synchronize the online information with a computer's personal information manager program, hand-held machines like the Palm Pilot and cell phones.

Such upgrades cost about $10. Signed and sealed Card store on the Web Felicia Lindau of San Francisco wants to be the of greeting Here are five favorite programs for preschoolers, selected by educators and experts in child development surveyed by the Orange County Register. My Make Believe Castle (Logo Computer Systems): The child controls the actions of characters in a castle by placing objects in their path. Drop a shoe in front of Nicky the dragon and he performs a pirouette; peer at him through a magnifying glass and he grows larger, ( dsleethlcsiindex.html) SimTunes (MAXiS): The child begins with a blank canvas to paint. Each colored dot applied to the palette represents a musical note.

Once complete, the creation becomes a song, ( Kid Pix Studio (Broderbund Software): In the new deluxe version, kids paint singing birthday cards, put on digital puppet shows and create movie shorts with sound, animation and special effects, (www.broderbund. com) Thinkin' Things (Edmark): Kids experiment with size, shape, color and music through six activities. ( Blue's ABC Time Activities (Humongous Entertainment): Blue that pup from Nickelodeon TV's Blue's Clues invites kids to explore the world of letters, sounds and words. Six games reinforce prereading skills. ( ntrol and patience.

Software that borrows the quick cuts, flashes of color and loud noises of a typical Nike ad makes kids impatient and distracted, once they're forced to cope with the slower pace of classroom instruction, Healy explains. "We have a generation of children coming on who have been so filled with fast-paced electronic glitz that they cannot connect two logical thoughts." Corinne Rupert, a developmental psychologist who lives in Dana Point, served as educational adviser on the JumpStart Baby program. She's puzzled by its detractors. After all, JumpStart Baby introduces early developmental concepts, such as identifying colors, shapes or objects. Seemingly benign stuff.

"Just as books have been adapted in both form and content to meet the needs of the very young, so can computers," Rupert says. Although some might question the value of buying books for a year-old child after all, they can't read plastic books with foam pages invite babies to plunge them into bubbly bath water and three-dimensional pop-up books whose characters leap from the pages all prepare a child for a lifetime of reading. "I think the same potentially is true of computer software," Rupert says, investment in the future," says Amy S. Bruckman, assistant professor at the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. "People think if their children use this powerful symbol of progress, they'll be powerful in the world." Yet introducing children to technology at such a tender age is the subject of furious debate among educators and child development experts.

Advocates, who see the computer as an essential learning tool, say teaching toddlers to point and click makes as much sense as helping them properly grip a pencil. "In the same way we give kids Crayolas and pencils because one day they'll need to read and write, we also give them computers because they'll learn how to express themselves with computers," says ASK1 Apple opens another door cards with her online Sparks, com store. Simple but impressive, new G3 gives easy access to its innards for upgrades. No password, please I have Win 95 on an Ap-X fiva Computer. When I log on, the password block comes up, and since I can't remember my password, I have to click theX to continue com- 1 1 he Aovi.ited Press to adding internal disk drives, memory and expansion cards that may match the famous Mac ease of use.

The new G3S are stylish, with a case that mocks the dullness of most "Wintel" PCs. They're definitely fast, with processor speeds up to 400 megahertz. They're massively expandable, with room for lots of fast memory, hard disk space and peripheral devices communicating with the computer and each other at high speeds. Prices will range from $1,600 to $3,000 without monitors. Jobs, master showman and Apple's seemingly perpetual interim chief executive officer, also announced the first KNKJHT KIDDF.R SAN FRANCISCO Introducing an innovation in the PC industry: The Door.

Oohs and ahhs wafted from the audience when Steve Jobs, delivering his keynote speech at last week's MacWorld expo, showed off what may have been the most noteworthy feature in Apple Computer Inc's newest computer. Only in the computer business would something so useful and so obvious be revolutionary. The Door opens like a drawbridge from the side of the latest model of the Power Macintosh G3. It exposes the elegantly configured innards, bringing much needed ease Web sites are devoted to her, including the fan club site ( This got us wondering, though, about other Roches-terians with online fan clubs.

So we looked. Musician Chuck Man-gione doesn't have one. Neither do actor Robert Forster, writer Andrea Barrett or billionaire Tom Golisano. But basketballer John Wallace does ( So does Raging Rhinos soccer star Doug Miller (

Actress Lauren Holly, once a Genevan, has a site So does local rocker Lou Gramm's old band, Foreigner Actor Taye Diggs, a School of the Arts alum, has a worshipful site ( ye.htm). Wendy 0. Williams, the late punk-rocker who once called Rochester home, has a tribute page (www. But no Rochesterian, living or dead, seems to have inspired as much cyberspace adoration as the late Louise Brooks.

The erudite silent-film icon lived the last three decades of her life here. She died in 1985 but is worshipped still. Amid a host of online tributes, the most impressive by far is the site created by the San Francisco-based Louise Brooks Society. Though more about her time here could be included, the site still is wonderful, Open wide A G3 with the door to its hard drive open for viewing at MacWorld. offering of MacOS a truly modern operating system that will appear first in G3 "server" models, machines that dish out data, files, applications and more to other computers, (K ingup.Is lx there any HtWCKSCO waylcan get into the system to turn the thing off? It's just one extra step in there that I don't really need.

Stephen via the Internet Getting rid of the password in Windows 95 is pretty easy. Just delete the file that starts with your user name. For example, if your user name is Stephen, the file you want to delete is STEPHEN.PWL. The file is in the WINDOWS subdirectory. Nick, I'd like to know of any possible source of schematic diagrams which might be available to me on computer power supplies.

Re have no idea what's in them. Eventually, I'll win on this one but it may take 100 hours or so when, with the data, I could do it in five. Any help you can think of will be appreciated, believe me. Ed via the Internet Ummm Ed, I don't quite know how to put this politely. Using the AltaVista advanced search engine, I entered "power supply" near schematics and got 267 Web sites.

Many of them actually had schematics on them, free for the download. If you check them out, you'll either find yours or one you like even better. The 99S Consumer Re- Pors magazine, page 63, describes a method to test your telephone line speed to find out how fast your modem can operate. It says there is a terminal-emulation program in Windows 95. How do I find this program? Unsigned via the Internet There definitely is a terminal emulation program in Windows 95.

If you have a typical installation, you'll find it by going to the Start button, then selecting Programs, Accessories and Hy-perterminal. That's what the program's called. But, as I mentioned in this column a while ago, Microsoft didn't write it. It was written by a company called Hilgraeve, and by going to, you can download the free Hyper-Terminal Private Edition (for personal use or business evaluation) or buy the more powerful HyperACCESS online for only $49.95. Either is a good deal, Nick Francesco is systems administrator in the College of Business al Rothestcr Institute of Technology.

His column npixaison Sundays in the Business section. Send questions to Nick Francexeo, Sunday Computer Shep-ard Rochester I 4ti2t) ISt.i. e-niailQandW NiikFcom 1 She offers more than 5,000 cards from hundreds of publishers vs. 300 to 600 for a typical neighborhood card shop. Staff members wearing rubber gloves pluck cards from shelves at a warehouse and mail them to the Web site's customers.

For 75 cents more a card, they sign them (by laser printer or staff scribe) and mail them on the buyer's behalf. Word on warranties Get early fix on repairs Some computer warranties specify you must pay shipping costs to have your machine fixed, which is why it's a good practice to completely familiarize yourself with the warranty before you buy. Assume something's going to go wrong, and find out beforehand what you have to do to get the PC repaired. Your buying decision could be affected by whether you can get it fixed at the store you bought it from, or whether you must send it across the country and wait for it to be repaired, or whether a technician will come to your home. The big picture 'Geographic' video Give your video plug-in a workout at a new National Geographic site that provides a behind-the-scenes view of the adrenaline-pumping adventures of its film crews, including shark bites and exploding glaciers: voices.

Compiled from staff and wire reports. 1 im miiiiwii www.rXmocratamlOmmiilt'.com aiiuii(ie you regarding obituaries, organ and body donations, memorials and notifications. And although you might think it in poor taste, there is the question of money. How do you know if you're receiving the best service from a funeral home? PreNeed deals with competitive shopping and consumer protection issues. It's best to deal with PreNeed Funeral We tend to procrastinate when it comes to planning what will happen when a loved one dies.

Well, now there's something that might help you preplan for your family, and it's to be found on pair shops queried say, "We your computer. PreNeed Funeral Planning (from Power Solutions, www.funeralsoft- these matters now not when you're in the middle of the grieving process. Resources For 'military brats' Military Brats Registry ( Contains more than 14,400 names of former children of military personnel and claims at least one marriage from reunited high school sweethearts. Military Brats Online Reunion notices, reminiscences of base life and lists of military school alumni groups. Overseas Brats Online ( osbosbmain.htm): Extends coverage to the Asian Pacific Rim and beyond.

Newsgroup (alt.culture.military-brats): Helpful for sharing experiences with other former kids who traveled base to base while growing up. (3rr.D- Steve Orr's column appears on Sundays in the Business section. Call him ith yiur thoughts at 2W or it rite hnn at Exchange Rochester, I-ttil-4 p-mail i ll' com dont fix em, we replace them." Earlier, concerning a Packard Bell computer, PB denied any knowledge. And when I finally tracked down the supplier in this country, they also said no dice but would sell me a new one at a very inflated price. My latest one is an ABX supply and I am engaged in the timeonsuming, nerve-wracking task of generating a schematic from measurements on the suspected wiring board.

But it may be a dark victory because there are integrated circuits on the board and I There are many will and estate planning programs, but PreNeed takes the preparation process one step further. With each topic, PreNeed presents all the options. This gives you time to make the proper choices and express family wishes. When done, PreNeed prints out a comprehensive plan, is family funeral planning software for Windows. PreNeed walks you step by step through decisions that might be easier to plan for now than when you're confronted with the loss of a loved one.

Decisions discussed include details regarding the service, interment, cremation and entombment. In addition Infohil The Louise Brooks SocietyWebsiteisat (the URL takes its name from one of her films). Review by Craig Crossman, to these items, PreNeed helps Knight Ridder Newspapers..

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