Software review - Zen
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 14 May 96 16:47:57 -0700
Subject: Software review - Zen
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alan Garren)
Requires: MS-DOS, 128k RAM, Monochrome or better
"Make me one with everything." Millions of people find Zen meditation to
be a relaxing means toward self improvement. Why, then, as we move into
the twenty-first century, do we still use old, outdated means of meditation?
Zen, a new program from Leisure Moron, allows you to meditate through aid
of your computer. This program is very easy to install. A simple one disk
installation takes no longer than 30 seconds, and the user is then ready to
begin his meditation.
The main menu has two simple options: Meditate, and Exit. The exit feature
works extremely well, placing you straight back to the DOS prompt. It can
be accessed via the keyboard or mouse, and works equally well through both.
Nonsensizine ran a test, exiting Zen under twenty different conditions.
Every time, this well behaved program dropped the user back to the OS with
The Meditate option works equally as well. As soon as you choose Meditate,
the screen clears. The computer runs a series of NOOPs in an endless loop.
The result is absolutely nothing, the prime objective of Zen meditation.
Zen works remarkably well on slower computers, accomplishing just as much
on an 8088 as is accomplished on a Pentium processor in the same amount of
Zen will also work on laptops, however, this is not suggested for serious
meditation, as eventually the batteries will run out, and the computer will
Zen will run under DOS or Windows. Zen is also completely DesqView aware,
perfect when you want to do word processing or number crunching while you
However, Zen has its drawbacks. It lacks a save feature. This is highly
annoying after hours of meditation. Often you will need to stop meditating
to eat or sleep, and the sad fact is you cannot continue where you left off;
you must start over.
Zen also has poor documentation. The 135 page user manual turns out to be
one page stating: "Put in the disk and run it," followed by 134 blank pages.
However, Zen compensates for this with an excellent user support line. Call
the toll free number, and you will be connected with an infinitely looping
tape recording of silence.
Leisure Moron has announced that it will release a new version of Zen.
Among the improvements will be a screen saver and VGA support. Also to
compensate for the lousy silence generated by the PC speaker, SoundBlaster
support will be added, for wonderful eleven channel silence, in stereo no
While Zen meditation is not for everyone, Zen could be the perfect solution
for the computer user who wants to be one with everything.
© 1996 Peter Langston