Category Archives: Windows 3.1

Simpsons Cartoon Studio

Create your own Simpsons episode

The games introduction and user interface, characters can be added from the main Simpsons roster. First the cartoon background is selected which are taken from the show. Props, characters and special effects are later added which can include music or speech quotes.

Whilst the program is easy to learn and pick up, the challenge is trying to get all the animations to line up with each other, since each character animations are set in pre-defined sequenced like a walking, jumping and running being separate set animations. If you wish to chain multiple animations together, care must be taken to ensure this is seamless since its possible for animations sequences to be placed freely in the frame, the previous animations might end on a different position to when the new frame starts resulting in jerky appearance. Custom animations cannot be made, you are limited to what the game has shipped with and for the additional Simpsons characters there are a limited amount.

The only real good use of the game is to make screenshots, getting good animation is a pain to do.

Changing the background image of the frame from the predefined section

Marge gets fed up with Krusty showing violent cartoons and takes matters into her own hands

Homer and Ned decide to have a race at the power plant

Principal Skinner, concerned with Bart’s grade tries to talk to Homer and Marge

Microsoft Windows

Installing the game which uses a 16bit installer which means it won’t install under a 64bit operating system, but will work finer if you manually copy the files over. Something crashed towards the end with a device read error. This didn’t seem to impact the game in any way as it still ran just fine.

Mac OS

There was also a Mac OS release which runs on the classic Mac OS

GSP Instant Typing Tutor

Typing Tutor was software that assisted on how to type effectively on a modern keyboard via touch typing, similar to Mavis Beacon. This is a 16bit Windows application and was intended to be run on both Windows 3.11 and 95, but will work on 98 up to the 32bit versions of Windows Vista. It was commonly bunded with OEM systems as part of other software. For me this came preinstalled on a Time Desktop PC (UK based OEM that sold cheaply built PCs) along with HomeWise and MoneyMatters.

Install

The start screen, each user can have their own profile where they can enter their name and specify their own password. The program can then keep the users score and keeps track of their lessons independently without affecting the other users grade.

User Interface

You are introduced to the keyboard layout and the primary keys (ASDF and JKL;) and are then asked to type a few simple works to get you started. Gradually as you move onto a higher level, the words to type become more longer and complex. At first you are prompted to enter a single letter, which will then move onto three letter words.

Whilst you are typing, the software calculates the WPM (Words per minute) and your accuracy (dependant on any mistyped keys). If you frequently mistype or make mistakes, the program will inform you and will give you simple words or letters to help you refocus. The application can be configured to beep to give the user audio feedback as to their progress, and will sound a tone if they make a mistake or when they start a new chapter. This uses the PC beeper rather than the soundcard.

There are different exercises that get progressively difficult as you complete them. When you have completed all the courses, you are offered the option to complete an exam, of which you are awarded with a certificate that you can then print out.

Games

There are two games that are centred around typing

The first game require you to unblock water pipes by typing in words to help the frog escape, that has fallen down the well. Several different levels are available with more longer words being provided on the harder difficulty.

Second one is a bit more mundane, you have to type out the aliens details into the system, completing as many records as you can before time runs out.