Reader Rabbit Learn to Read Phonics (Preschool & Kindergarten)
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- READER RABBIT READ W PHONICS PRE/KINDER
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From letters and sounds, to words, and spelling, and on to reading comprehension.
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The software was designed to run on Windows 95 - XP or Mac OS 8.6 - 9.2. It has a copyright of 2002 and Amazon has carried it since 2001. It hasn't been updated for Windows Vista or Windows 7. It does seem to run correctly under Windows 7, but has a few graphical issues. The colors don't render correctly and revert to using a 256-color palate, with the occasional wrong color (i.e. black instead of tan, etc.). When it runs, it switches to its own graphics mode and goes full-screen (which is nice to keep children from accidentally clicking outside of the program).
One of the things I really didn't like is that it requires the CD to be inserted in the drive all the time in order to run. CD's and little kids don't mix very well. Fortunately, I figured out how to get it to run without the CD (read below).
What I do like about the software is that it has an entertaining story line (and cartoon) that grabs the attention of little children, and it's very educational. It is very well structured, despite being outdated. My 3-year-old son was able to quickly figure out how to navigate the menus and pop in and out of activities. The software seems to be entirely mouse-driven, but they do make it somewhat easy with a huge pointer (although the clickable regions should be a bit bigger).
This includes two CD's: "Reader Rabbit Learn to Read with Phonics" and "Reader Rabbit Dreamship Tales"
How to get it to run without the CD in the Drive:
1. Create a folder on the hard drive to contain the entire contents of each CD (e.g. "C:\CD Images\Reader Rabbit Learn to Read" and "C:\CD Images\Reader Rabbit Dreamship")
2. Copy the contents of each CD into its respective folder on the hard drive
3. Run "Play.exe" from the copies of the CD's on the hard drive to install the programs
The installation tells the program where the installation was run from (i.e. the location of the CD). Since the steps above have it run from a folder on the hard drive, the program thinks that's where the CD's are located and runs properly.
This is a nice software set for the low price. I wish it was updated for newer operating systems. If you're running Windows Vista, Windows 7, or one of the newer Mac OS', you might want to consider other apps first.
Although if you intend this to be a teaching tool you do need to play it with your child, since I found my daughter was just clicking though some lessons and not really trying to complete the objectives. Some parts of the game are very repetitive, and those were normally where she was clicking just to advance the story.
I reinstalled Windows XP on an old computer from 2002 (1.2GHz, 256MB ram, 1MB video, 40GB HD, 16x CD) and this plays fine, although at times a little slow and some hesitation when loading between puzzles. I would recommend a bit faster setup, more RAM and discrete graphics would help a lot, but this should work fine on almost any computer from 2004 onwards.
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