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ABACUS/TheBasics

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Type of program: Math Educational
Supported platforms: Win3.1/Win95/98
Company Name: ABATEC Educational Software
Authors e-mail address: Eugen@BeatTheCalculator.com
Version: 3.0
Cost: $19
Installed size: 2-8MB

Download/Homepage

This program is an educational program, designed to help you learn to do math in your head. It's flexibility allows it to be used by kids in school, or adults looking to hone their skills. As it notes, since calculators have become so popular, most people, [me included] have trouble with 2+2. It supports English, German, and Dutch.

If you want to check on your progress after using it, it has a history function that will tell you what you did; this is useful for teachers and parents with little hackers that have learned how to bring up the work page with one keystroke and play a game the rest of the time. This can be played in single mode or multi mode. Single mode offers extensive recording and reports; multi mode offers direct competition between 2-4 players.

Registering the game removes the 30 day limit, and provides a complete Tips n Trick section, the unrigestered version only provides 3 Tips N Tricks just to give you a idea of how it works.

You can set the stopwatch from 5 minutes to 1 hour, and once you do that the game will begin. They give you an answer, you give the numbers that will fit. you can also set the answer range from 0-3000, or from -3000 to 3000. You can set up to 4 levels, with beginner, some experience, advanced, and champion. Then you can change it from addition to subtraction, to multiplication to division, or any combination of the above, including enabling all of them. The 3rd level wants 3 numbers that equal the answer, and the 4th level wants 4 numbers that equal the answer.

You can pick these numbers from a grid, the numbers you pick can be either horizontal, diagonal or vertical, but as you get into the higher levels you can't change in mid answer, they all have to be horizontal or whatever. To insure that when you hit the second number the rest of the numbers [2-3] heading in the direction you were going will light up, and there is no undo.
So if that isn't the way you meant to go, tough, it counts as a wrong answer.

This game is great, but let me tell you one thing, if you plan to get it for the kids cause YOU don't need any math brush-up, then stay away from it completely. It will show you just how long ago school really was! But if you have kids of any age, I recommend this program highly, it's easy to buy a kid a calculator, but it's not easy to teach them, [without a chair and a whip] what to do if they haven't got one or their batteries die, and they should know.

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Reviewed by Stormy Strock


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