Software Review by Peter Robson
Hosted by Peterborough Virtual Community

Peter Robson reviews :

  1. Education Bytes
    Foreign Language tutorials - CD ROMS

  2. Business Bytes
    Health and safety software.

Education Bytes

Learning foreign languages and developing computer skills as young as possible have many obvious advantages - and Anglia Multimedia has cleverly latched onto that idea with its series of interactive CD-ROM language tutorials which are aimed at those aged between seven to 12 years-old. The courses include Introducing German, Introducing French, Introducing Italian and Introducing Spanish, and are also excellent home study aids for Key Stage 3 of the UK National Curriculum.

Yet these courses certainly aren't all just work! There's also a great deal of fun to encourage independent learning through recording and playback facilities for speaking exercises, as well as the fully-interactive animated exploration games Adventure Island, Musical Island, Techno Island and Info Island.


Another UK multimedia house that has practically cornered the market for foreign language courses is The Learning Company, which provides two different series of CD-ROM tutorials. One of which is the world-famous Berlitz Method, that has been very widely used for language instruction by some 31 million people during the past 120 years. Now the Berlitz CD-ROM tutorials bring its well-proven teaching methods into the technological age by covering French, German, Italian and Spanish, with a natural approach that really works.

The Learning Company's other range of courses includes the titles French For Everyone, German For Everyone, Italian For Everyone as well as Spanish For Everyone, all of which internet-linked. Each tutorial also includes 20 video-movies featuring native speakers in real-life everyday situations. There is also an interesting and innovative conversation-branching technology that allows you to interact face-to-face with the on-screen speakers. All of which goes some considerable way to supporting the claim that these courses are among the most interactive language products on the market.


Frankly, it's probably impossible to decide which of the learning systems is the best. Both are highly-recommended - and should certainly start you off learning the language of your choice in double- quick time for your holidays.


Business Bytes

PlanIT Software Limited is an award-winning software development company that must surely be one of the UK's technology success stories.- especially for the way in which its innovative products are developed to make working life so much easier for everybody from corporate directors and small businessmen, to professional people of almost every discipline. Among its latest releases are PlanIT Health & Safety 2 and PlanIT Health & Safety Pro that have been prepared to guide UK businesses to formulate the Health & Safety management programmes necessary for their particular business operations.

By law, any company that employs more than five people must prepare a written statement of its policy towards health and safety, as well as conducting a risk analysis the workplace. PlanIT Health & Safety 2 - an updated version of its original, best-selling programme - provides all the necessary advice and information needed to create a comprehensive, workable, plan without needing to incur the expense of employing health and safety consultants.

PlanIT Health & Safety Pro includes the Control Of Substances Hazardous To Health (COSHH) Assessment Manager. This module enables users to make risk assessments regarding hazardous substances held on company premises, as well as defining and recording the necessary controls that should be in place to minimise the risk of- and to prevent - accidents caused by those materials.

Both software programmes also come with the unique PlanIT References database, listing thousands of very useful contact names and addresses, ranging from area HSE offices and local authority Environmental Health departments, to Members of Parliament, Ombudsmen and Business Links, as well as on-line help and support.


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