CD-ROM review: Planet Earth News Multimedia, pounds 39.99

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Indy Lifestyle Online
The introduction to this CD-Rom about environmental awareness was so thoroughly depressing that my wife and I nearly topped ourselves before continuing. However, we persisted, and found hundreds of clippings of environmentally related articles culled from the pages of the Times, together with hard information about other significant events.

This offers a good glimpse of what a CD-Rom ought to be about - vast amounts of information coherently organised and well-presented so that the naive "reader" can get to the stuff that they find interesting, but with the opportunity to browse for the unexpected along the way.

There is no title music, which made me think my computer's sound driver had crashed (again), then a pleasant English voice began the narration of an introductory section illustrated with classy pictures.

The compilers of Planet Earth clearly took a lot of advice and got help from Greenpeace, so the message is fairly unremitting and, perhaps, not completely balanced. Otherwise, this is a highly professional and useful CD-Rom.

Maris Multimedia (0171 488 1566); News Multimedia (0171 782 3982).