Trio on Trial: The Dan Dare Trilogy (Virgin)

As far as I am concerned, there was only ever one comic worth getting. Forget your Dandys, Beanos and 2000ADs, none of them came close to Eagle. The reason for Eagle’s excellence was all due to two characters.
Doomlord was a photo-story of a person who changed into a monster which used to absolutely terrify me. Dan Dare was the star of the show, though, as he went about saving everything that needed saving and generally being heroic. The perfect person, in fact, to star in his own computer game….


Dan Dare

I don’t know what it is about these Classix reviews, but I always seem to be reviewing my favourite ever games. And this is certainly no exception.
Dan Dare starts with you (as DD, surprisingly) in your little space ship speeding over an asteroid. This is no ordinary asteroid though. It has been hollowed out by Dan’s sworn enemy, the evil Mekon (a little green geezer with a disproportionally large head who sits on a hovering platform). Inside, the Mekon has placed an atomic bomb and you can guess which planet he is going to send this deadly contraption on a collision course with. The only hope for the Earth is for Dan to enter the asteroid and detonate its self- destruct system.

The asteroid contains many rooms connected by platforms and lifts. There are 5 keys to collect in order to activate the self-destruct system. Once you find the first, you take it to a special room and a door to another section of the asteroid will slide open. Trying to stop you achieve this task is an army of Treens (the Mekon version of the Stromtrooper – incapable of actually shooting the enemy) and various other gun emplacements.


There is a refreshingly different system of ‘lives’. You have two hours of real time to complete the game and only one life. Each time you run out of energy (after being shot or falling a long distance) you collapse and are taken to a prison cell. This takes up to 10 valuable minutes. Every level has its own cell, except the last, which is located near the entrance to that level. In effect, therefore, you have to complete the whole level each time you fall unconscious. Dan Dare is a huge game.


A map will come in handy, especially when you are low on energy or ammunition and need to find more, but is by no means essential. There is a great sense of exploring dangerous new areas each time you enter a new level and, coupled with the fact that every level has something different about it (eg enemies, obstacles, graphics), you always want to get that bit further every time.


Apart from the non-existent music, there is nothing bad about this game. From the cartoon supplied with the game to the colourful graphics to the addictive gameplay to the asteroid exploding sequence at the end, everything is first rate.

Dan Dare 2

In all my time involved with computers, this was the game I have most looked forward to being released. I couldn’t wait for the follow up to my favourite game Dan Dare and after seeing the screenshots in the magazines, I began dribbling with anticipation. Unfortunately, I don’t remember ever being so disappointed after buying and playing a new game.

That’s not to say its appalling, its just nowhere as good as its predecessor. The reason for this is that the playability is simply not there. The idea for the game is good (you must kill new Super Treens in incubation on board a space ship), the enemy forces are nicely varied, the hovering buggy you fly makes a nice change from the norm, the problems you encounter are challenging and the graphics are well detailed and colourful. It should be a good game but it definitely isn’t.

This has to be one of the most annoying games ever. The collision detection is so bad you can shoot an enemy several times and he still kills you. Your ship responds sluggishly (possibly deliberately) which produces the feeling you have died because of a lack of response to your commands. Worst of all, you can get stuck under an attribute square. This drives you mad when you need to escape down the passage quickly.

If just a little more time had been spent on this game, the problems could have been ironed out and all the good work that was put into the rest of the game would have been realised.

Dan Dare 3

This is a very easy game to review. All the normal things you look for in a game like addictiveness, playability, excitement, involvement, a challenge, decent sound and graphics do not matter. There is one insurmountable drawback with Dan Dare 3 – it’s far too easy.

I completed it on my second go after less than two hours play. And don’t forget that I’m a senior member of the I’m Crap At Games Society. What is the point in spending many hours and hundreds of pounds creating a game so easy that you will only ever play it once or twice? I feel sorry for anyone who spent £10 on this when it came out. That’s £10 for two hours play. No game is that good.

It’s such a shame because it would be quite a good game otherwise. I suppose at today’s car boot sale prices of 50p a game it’s just about worth buying. But it’s still disappointing because you don’t feel you’ve accomplished anything by completing πορνο.

Conclusion

So it’s a bit of an odd trilogy, is Dan Dare. It could so easily have consisted of three classic games, but as it stands there is only one. Hopefully, the Dan Dare film that is about to go into production will bring some fame and fortune for Mr Dare and not be the embarrassment that other recent films of cartoon characters have been.

IT Company’s mission and main tasks

Research and Development

The aim of this project is the research of effective methods, tools and technologies to support the management of any software factory based on modern Software Engineering principles. Here is a list of the main subjects we have studied during the period 1998-2000:
• Software engineering processes to support object oriented software development
• Benchmarking of state-of-the-art software tools supporting the four basic activities of Software Engineering: Requirements definition, Design, Implementation and Testing
• Innovative tools for requirements definition: in particular we have analysed and tested the CIRCE system, a highly innovative tool developed by the University of Pisa, based on Natural Language Processing techniques. Two of our pilot research projects have used CIRCE in order to estimate its efficaciousness in realistic conditions
• State of art and analysis of tools to support activities such as configuration management, bug tracking, automatic document production and stress testing 
Definition of a general model to be employed within a software factory for web based applications.
At the moment we are focusing on the so-called “Light” software development methodologies that promise a smoother development process. In particular the eXtreme Programming methodology is being used for some of our projects, in order to identify advantages and drawbacks. This experimentation has allowed us to carry out a detailed and comparative analysis between eXtreme Programming and other methodologies, in order to identify when it is preferable to use this new methodology instead of traditional ones.

 

Wireless

This project aims at studying and experimenting new technologies able to supply the existing range of offered telecom services through multiple communication channels. Our interest is focused on the integration and convergence of technologies such as SMS, WAP, Sim Application toolkit and speech recognition systems with traditional Internet technologies in order to give access to our services through multiple access points (mobile phones, PC, Web TV, palm PC).
Our activities are related to the following topics:
• Study of development environments for different access devices: Palm computers (Palm OS, Windows CE), GSM telephones (SAT)
• Content management: different access channels require different presentation procedures depending on the used access media. Our objective is to hold a unified representation of the information to be used to work out the best presentation for the selected communication channel. The technology used is XML/XSL
• Security architecture for wireless financial services and their integration with home banking and telephone banking services. We have also studied different methods of employing digital signature in wireless environment in full compliance with the Italian law in force.

Multimedia data

This project focuses on the transmission of multimedia data over videoconferencing systems. Our main purpose is to study and evaluate all the relevant technologies, software applications, international standards and audio/video encoding formats, along with the integration of different tools. The ultimate goal is to design and deploy new videoconferencing services able to work over different network topologies.
This project involves the benchmarking of products and technologies currently available in the marketplace. These activities have led to the design of hybrid videoconferencing systems based on medium-to-low-cost solutions. Together with the study we have designed a demo service in order to run a number of performance tests.
For each system we evaluate:
• Its main features
• The degree of integration with other products
• Different network configuration with varying performance levels
• The integration between LAN and ISDN networks and the resulting services
• How it supports IP Multicast network communications
• The initial resources and time required to start up the enabled services
• Network performance and audio/video quality of available services through analysis tools.

All these activities focus on medium-to-low-cost systems. The demo service has been set up to create videoconference events within Intranets as well as across different networks. For instance, remote endpoints can take part in or simply receive broadcast content from conferences running in the Enterprise Intranet; this can be accomplished using either H323/IP or native H320/ISDN protocols. In order to evaluate this kind of services in a real-world film porno scenario, the demo service runs on the same main Fst network.

Strategies for Teaching Children Responsible Use of Technology

Ensuring our children develop positive values and a sense of ethical and responsible use of technology is our responsibility as adults. Many educators shared their ideas for accomplishing this in their classrooms in a Computer Learning Month 1990 contest. The strategies described below are only a sampling of the many outstanding ideas the Foundation received, and are intended to help teachers begin meeting this important challenge.

Many teachers seized the opportunity to introduce responsible computing into their classrooms with the Computer Learning Month 1990 student storybook competition. Teachers introduced the Foundation’s Code of Responsible Computing, lead class discussions on the different legal and ethical issues addressed in the Code, then directed students to create storybooks on responsible computing. Storybooks included hero/heroines championing positive computer ethics, fables where the moral of the story is to be an ethical computer user, and serious essays on the importance of ethical computing.

Donald Bullock of Knolls Elementary School in Simi Valley, California, was the grand prize winner in the elementary category of the teaching strategies contest with his teaching units based on the Foundation’s Code of Responsible Computing. In each unit, concepts are first introduced, including their definition, relevant legal and historical information (such as the right to privacy as addressed in the Bill of Rights and interpreted by the Supreme Court), and examples relevant to students (such as other students going through their desks, lockers and belongings, taking their belongings or borrowing them without their permission, and copying their school work or answers to problems).

Students then complete thought-provoking worksheets on how they would feel if their rights were violated, what the consequences should be for the violator, whether all people’s rights, personal information and property should be respected and protected, and whether all people’s work and information on computer, in addition to physical property, should be protected. After completing the worksheets, students discuss their answers as a porno mexicano class.

Classification activities are included in two units. In one unit, students classify items and information as public or private (e.g., student’s desk, library book, newspaper). In another unit, students classify actions as requiring or not requiring permission (e.g., borrowing a sibling’s bicycle, reviewing a classmate’s story on a disk, reading a bulletin on a bulletin board). After each activity, the class discusses their rationale for classifying each item the way they did.

Alleta Baltes from Arapahoe School District #38 in Arapahoe, Wyoming, took top honors in the secondary school category of the teaching strategy competition. Her students participate in a mock trial of a case involving unethical use of technology. After a class discussion of relevant concepts (e.g., court procedures and U.S. beliefs in trial by jury and innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt), students assume different roles — lawyers, judge, jury, witnesses, plaintiff, and defendent. Each student then researches the issues and positions of their roles. During the trial, all students practice writing by taking notes. Lawyers prepare and present opening and closing statements. The class debates the case and issues during their social studies class. The mock trial experience allows students to discover and learn about different viewpoints and legal aspects of responsible and irresponsible use of technology.

Additional teaching strategies submitted in the contest include having students research and discuss news stories on computer crime, list pros and cons of pirating software, and discuss which facts they would be comfortable with other organizations having about them and whether this information should be available for sale to others (David Heath, Friends School of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland).

Jeanine DeLay from Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has students develop billboards/posters to communicate ethical messages and standards to other students. She also has students conduct surveys of other students’ attitudes about computer ethics issues and brings in speakers for career day and asks them to address ethical issues in their talks.

Several teachers have students watch War Games, then followup with activities, including student ranking of actions observed in the movie on a continuum of most to least harmful and class discussion of the consequences of computer crimes. Reviewing software license agreements and discussing them as a class helps students understand the law and variations in policies across companies (Margaret Snyder, All Saints Catholic, Pottsville, Pennsylvania).

Class discussions are important in most strategies for teaching children computer ethics, as students have the opportunity to discover and better understand all sides of ethical issues and develop their own values. Other ethical issues teaching strategies addressed include anti-technology issues, such as job displacement, the impact of automation, health issues, using technology as tools of war, and equity issues.

Pleasant County Middle School (Pamela Mitchell, Belmont, West Virginia) issues student licenses after students have been introduced to and demonstrated an understanding of responsible use of technology. Licenses allow students to use the computer lab during class or study halls and are suspended for violations of responsible computing. Only 8 of 1,425 licenses issued have been suspended.

Suzy Bagley of Kaley Elementary School in Orlando, Florida, ties the teaching of computer ethics to the theme of pirates and Captain Hook. Students prepare stories that are to be shared with other students in the class. When they come to class the next day, however, their stories are on the bulletin board with the author named as Captain Hook. This leads to a discussion on how it feels to have someone take credit for your work and the consequences today if Captain Hook stole another’s ideas or work.

Louise Kaan from Dildine Elementary School in Cheyenne, Wyoming, captures students’ attention and increases their understanding of the importance of responsible computing with a short musical with raps and songs. The characters, created by attaching cardboard characters to garbage bags, include “Computerbug” who deletes and adds bugs to software programs; students who want to use diskettes as frisbees and put fingerpaint on the computer screen; “Bender” who bends and snatches disks from the disk drive when the “busy” light is on; “Copycat” who copies everyone’s disks and sends them to all his friends; and “Snatcher” who takes information and ideas as his own from other’s disks and from computers with a modem over phone lines. In each scenario, the computer monitor talks and explains to students why they want to keep these villains away from the computer.

Robbi Ray from Bruce Middle School in Louisville, Kentucky, sets up a database, then has students input their personal information, to be printed out and shared the next day with other students. When the students return to class, the teacher has made changes in each student’s information which leads to a discussion of how it feels to have your information tampered with and the importance of responsible computing.

Computer Learning Foundation Resource Guides

The Computer Learning Foundation serves as a clearinghouse of information for parents and educators by providing numerous low cost resource materials. All resource materials offered by the Computer Learning Foundation have been developed by or reviewed and carefully selected by the Foundation as the best available to help parents and educators use technology effectively with children.

Just click on a category below to see a list of all titles in that category. Then click on a specific title you would like more information about, and you will find more details on that title.  If you are looking for a specific title, you may also type the name in the Title field (or the Item No. in the Catalog # field if you have a copy of Computer Learning — make sure to delete any hyphens in the Item No.) to find it.

Ordering:  You may order online with a credit card.  You can also use this system to prepare an order for mailing it to the Computer Learning Foundation with a check or school purchase order.  Once you locate a title you would like to order, just click on “add” to add it to your shopping cart.  Continue browsing the Foundation’s catalog until you have selected all the items you wish to order.  For each item you order, there is a unit price and a unit shipping charge.  In addition, there is a $3 handling charge per order (not per item).  Once you have completed your shopping, go to checkout and you will see a total for your order.  An email confirmation will automatically be sent to you, so please type your email address carefully.  If you are preparing an order to mail in, just select the items you want to order, type your name and mailing address in check out and then print a copy of the final order on your printer (rather than submitting it electronically), and mail it to the Foundation with a check or school purchase order.  The Foundation accepts purchase orders from U.S. schools for orders over $50.  All others must be prepaid by check or credit card.)

Shipping and Returns:  All orders generally ship within 72 hours of receipt for delivery 5-10 business days later.  Orders in the U.S., Canada and Mexico are shipped by UPS, FedEx ground or U.S. mail.  Any returns must be within 30 days, must be in resalable condition and are subject to a restocking fee of 50 cents per item. Shipping and handling charges are nonrefundable.  Videos and CD-ROMs are non-returnable.
International Orders:  For orders from countries other than Canada and Mexico, the Computer Learning Foundation will send email with the total video porno shipping charges for approvalbefore shipping.