The Corvette Anthology 1999 CD-ROM

A review by TOM BENFORD
(re-printed from Vette Magazine, March 1999)

If you read my review of the premiere edition of the Corvette Anthology CD-ROM in the July 1998 issue of Vette, you’ll recall that I found it to be a most worthwhile, value-packed resource of information on Corvettes. I thought Hi-Tech Software, who publishes the CD-ROM, did a really good job that apparently left little room for improvement. Well, I’m here to tell you that Hi-Tech Software took a great product and made it even better in numerous ways that make the Corvette Anthology 1999 much more than just an update of the original.
 

The packaging has a new look, the interface enhanced and loads of new material make the Corvette Anthology 1999 a head-and-shoulders improvement over the first edition.
 

Unlike the original version, which ran under both Windows 3.X and Windows 95, the Corvette Anthology 1999 has been designed specifically for Windows 95/98 to take advantage of the enhanced capabilities these operating environments have to offer. The user interface has much of the same look and feel of the 1998 version, but numerous new buttons and features have been added. As with its predecessor, everything works with a mouse using point-and-click operations, but enhanced keyboard and mouse navigation techniques have also been incorporated into this new version. A handy navigational feature is the ability to step backwards by year by simply depressing the CTRL key.
 

Additional buttons on the point-and-click interface invoke new features such as movies, advertisements, front/side/rear emblems, clip art and much, much more.

Seven multimedia movies have been included in the 1999 edition, and these provide a nostalgic and whimsical look at Corvette TV commercials over the years as well as a pictorial history of the various Mako Shark show cars.
 


The seven movies are accessed by clicking on the movie button on the interface and then selecting which clip you’d like to see. Standard Windows Media Player icons are used for control.


The photo gallery for each year of Corvette has also been greatly expanded, with the 1999 edition of the Corvette Anthology providing a photo archive of more than 600 pictures in all. Additionally, all of the photographs have been re-scanned and are larger with higher resolution for better viewing; you can print them out, too!
 


Front, side and rear emblems as well as the scripts for each year are provided to make identifying and verifying a model’s correct insignias a snap.


Another new feature is the Corvette Identification Guide, which will help you identify the various years of the Corvette, and what distinguishes them from each other. Like other portions of the 1999 Anthology, it can be printed out and taken along with you for reference at Corvette shows and events.

And the Specialty Cars Section has some new material as well, including Prototypes and Race Cars, Gisser Automotive Concepts, Lingenfelter Cars, the Callaway C12 and new and improved Callaway and ZR-1 photos.

 


The Specialty Cars Section contains lots of nifty photos including a 17-photo assortment of Prototypes and Race Cars including this great shot of the Mako Shark II, one of my personal favorites.


Other subtle but nonetheless worthwhile improvements in the Corvette Anthology 1999 include improved text windows that feature photos and graphics in many of them and the ability to show or hide the file names of the Corvette photos. Of course, the 1999 Corvette is covered in depth with all the photos, statistics and details available as of this disc’s publication.

Additional sound effects have been added by popular request, as well as a Corvette Timeline authored by Ken Polsson that provides a chronology of events in the history of the Corvette. A reprint from the Corvette Quarterly Special Collector’s Edition, 1997, features photographs and narratives paying homage to the men who many feel are the ten most important people responsible for the Corvette. Now, bearing in mind that this is scanned material from a printed publication, I have two criticisms of this section: 1) I found the narrative portions very difficult to read for several of the individuals; 2) Larry Shinoda is conspicuous by his absence. While these other individuals undoubtedly contributed in greater or lesser amounts in the history of the Corvette, Shinoda should be right up at the top of the list with Harley Earl, Zora, Ed Cole and Bill Mitchell but, alas, he isn’t included. In the Corvette Anthology 2000 edition, I trust Hi-Tech Software will include material on Shinoda to make this section truly complete.
 


Clip art is available for every model year, and it is invoked by simply clicking on the Clip Art button on the menu bar. As with other sections of the program, the clip art can be printed out.
 

Two new sections are also included on the 1999 disc. Original Corvette advertisements that were placed by Chevrolet are included for each year except 1976 and 1996, since no ads were placed those two years. And there’s another great new section that showcases various officially-licensed Corvette related products that are available including: Corvette calendars, Corvette collector knives, plates and die cast models from the Franklin Mint, Corvette metal signs, a Corvette pinball machine and Corvette postage stamps.

But if all this isn’t enough for you, how about a new and improved Slide Show feature that now permits you to select photos, clip art or emblems and scripts for the presentation? The time intervals have also been expanded and additional navigation buttons have been added to the Slide Show as well.

All of this is impressive, indeed, and would more than justify the retail price of $29.95, so when I tell you about this final new feature, consider it a bonus: the Corvette Anthology Screen Saver. This nifty new feature can cycle through the entire Corvette Anthology 600-plus photo collection, or you can selectively choose which Corvette photos to display.

There’s lots more material on this CD-ROM, and the best way to experience it all is to get a copy of the Corvette Anthology for yourself. The CD-ROM retails for $29.95 plus $4.00 shipping and handling (NJ residents add $1.80 sales tax). Send your check, money order of credit card info (VISA/MC/AMEX) to Hi-Tech Software, 2 Cooks Farm Road, Montville, NJ 07045. You can also place your orders by phone or fax at (973) 402-9710 and you can contact Hi-Tech via the Web at www.htsoftware.com or e-mail to harry@htsoftware.com.

As with the original version, the Corvette Anthology 1999 is an entertaining and invaluable reference tool that will provide you with hours and hours of information, amusement and diversion – it make a terrific gift for a friend or for yourself, for that matter.

Last update: 06/22/2016

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Last updated: 06/22/2016

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