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                 Review: AmyResource CDs Zero through Two
                             By:  Jason Compton 
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Another series of CD-ROMs has arisen in what has been a difficult task to
master in recent years--how to come up with a general-interest CD-ROM
that's attractive when we have Aminet and Aminet CD-ROMs?

Interactive (di Danelon Luca, of Italy) may have found a good formula.
Compile a bimonthly CD-ROM, grab as much good new stuff as you can find,
make sure everything has an icon and is fairly easy to launch, and top it
all off with a strong set of commercial demos and two or three registered
shareware or commercial "coverdisk" titles that people might actually want
to use.  Oh, yeah, and put Eric Schwartz artwork on your CD sleeve and the
disc itself.

Started in September 1996 with Volume Zero (I'm not quite sure why), the
three entries we were sent reflect their origins and what at the time was a
primarily Italian market focus, but the publisher tells me that he's
looking to expand distribution to more of Europe and North America, and
will be compiling English language versions as well.  As it stands now, the
AmyResource CDs are geared to an Italian user although a number of the
programs on the CDs do have English documentation.  The registered packages
tend to have both English and Italian documentation, although this is not
always the case.  (a couple of programs on CD #0 seemed to be
Italian-only).

Like I said, it's tough to put together a set of CDs that will continually
endear itself to users when they can pick up the really inexpensive Aminet
CDs instead.  But for all the good stuff on Aminet, and the ease of use of
the AmigaGuide interface, it's not necessarily the easiest thing in the
world to navigate and also isn't as pretty as a bunch of classy icons would
be--and that's what AmyResource does.  The only recent general interest CD
series I can look at as having great appeal have been magazine covermount
CD-ROMs (at the very least, CU Amiga and Amiga Format now offer them
monthly) and the more occasional AGA Experience discs, now up to volume 3.
The magazines have the advantage of a readerbase looking for things to do
with their Amiga and magazine tie-ins, as well as the magazine's coverdisk
software (and probably a lot of support material to boot which wouldn't
have fit on a floppy.)  The AGA Experience CDs tend to gear themselves at
being very visual.

AmyResource is a pretty balanced collection, as you would expect something
with its frequency to be.  Of course, I couldn't get full enjoyment out of
everything because of the language barrier, but hitting "install" is
obvious enough in most any language, to set up assigns and so forth.

Volume Zero has a very well thought out collection.  There are demo
versions of Haage and Partner's software library (ArtEffect, StormC,
StormWizard), large parts of Cloanto's library, Cinema4D 3.1, and others.
As well, there are a number of game demos, a whole mess of freely
redistributable software, a collection of mods, and the
commercial/registered versions of ImageStudio 2.3, McFiler, and MUI More.
ImageStudio is the attraction here--for a low-end image processor and
converter, it can't be beat.

Volume One caused me a bit of trouble with the installer for some reason.
The "coverdisk" collection this time is CygnusEd and Amiga E--two very
useful packages, although I think CED is pretty dated.  Still, lots of
people seem to swear by it.

Volume Two -- well, you get the idea here.  Given away are Doopsi and
WebPlug, the HTML editor.

AmyResource is also now using a Web interface (with AWeb and IBrowse demos
provided) to make getting around the CDs easier.

So, keep an eye out for this series when it's released in English.  I'm
told there's likely to be a "best of" CD to introduce the English versions.

Interactive di Danelon Luca
Via Boizano, 2
33010 Feletto Umberto (UD)
+ 0432 575098 voice/fax
danelon@interlansrl.it