Guest Column: News and adventure

Guest Column: News and adventure

By Richard Heller

Two weeks ago, I reported on the DVD copying software from 3-2-1 Studios. As expected, seven major motion picture studios have filed a counter suit to stop the sale and distribution of the products. Patricia Benson, an

attorney for the studios stated that “It’s like someone selling a digital crowbar.” She obviously has never been in a hardware store to see crowbars being sold.

Elcomsoft, the Russian company that had one of its programmers arrested after he gave a talk at a conference in Las Vegas in July 2001, has been found not guilty of criminal charges for breaking a U.S. copyright law. The company had been charged after Adobe Systems filed a complaint that they had produced a program that would crack the software locks Adobe had placed on electronic books. The program is legal in Russia and was designed to be used by those who had legally acquired the books.

The trial in Norway against Jon Johansen, the 19-year-old who cracked the copy protection used on DVDs, has ended. Johansen was only 15 when he developed DeCSS, a program that would enable him to play his legally purchased DVDs under the LINUX operating system. If found guilty, he may get up to two years in jail, although there is no law against what he did in Norway.

Back many moons ago, there was a computer game named “Colossal Cave.” This was a text-only adventure game that was written for the DEC computer by two college students, Crowther and Don Woods. The game was rewritten for other computer systems and can still be found floating around on the Web.

Today, most people don’t want to play games that require them to read. Most of the games are shoot-em-ups that are based on a couple of different game “engines” that just have different graphics and sound. If you are looking for something different, you should check out “Syberia” from The Adventure Company.

In this adventure you play a New York attorney named Kate Walker. Your assignment is to go to a small alpine village in France to buyout an old toy factory. But when you get there you, uncover a secret that starts you

journeying across land and time.

This is a 3-D graphic adventure that has astounding artwork and a good story line. It is not a slide show; the characters walk and run and talk. The voice acting is good and synchronized with the graphics. There are many puzzles to solve, but they are not too difficult. If you are a Rockford business looking for high-speed Internet access, then you may want to check out Rock River Internet. They offer a wireless Internet service that will give you T1 (256kbps) at a favorable price. This is an alternative if you are in an area that is not serviced by other high-speed providers or you have many users. Whereas some providers charge by the number of users, Rock River charges based on useage.

Richard Heller is an independent computer specialist who specializes in repairs, installation, upgrades, technical support, Internet sharing, data recovery and diagnostics. If you have any computer or service-related questions, please send them to The Rock River Times or e-mail

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