Matza balls and basketballs

For more than a decade, Electronic Arts has issued a new version of its basketball-playing game, NBA Live, every year.

nba disk 88 (photo credit: )
nba disk 88
(photo credit: )
The Davka Transliterated Haggadah, a CD-ROM in Hebrew and Aramaic and transliterated into Latin letters by Davka Corporation ( Can be purchased from Davka's Web site or is distributed in by Alan Rosenbaum, Dekel Software, (02) 991-2718 or, for PCs with Windows 98 and up and Macs with OS X, for ages six through adult, $30 or shekel equivalent. Rating: ****1⁄2 NBA LIVE 07, a DVD-ROM in English by EA, distributed by Hed Artzi Multimedia, requires Windows XP and a 1.3 Ghz PC or better, for all ages, NIS 219. Rating: *** 1/2 The Pessah Seder is one of the most observed rituals in the Jewish world, but many who participate don't know Hebrew. In that case, you should read the text in the language you understand, but many people also want to sing the songs and read the text in Hebrew along with the other guests and not feel left out. English-speaking Jews - and non-Jews - attending a Seder may want to read certain parts of the Haggada in the original Hebrew and Aramaic, to get the flavor of how it sounds, and later to go over the text in English to fully understand the meaning. This is where transliteration comes in. The transliterated text provides them with an opportunity to read the text as it sounds, even if their Hebrew is weak or nonexistent. Davka, which also produced and sells a Hebrew/English Haggada, has issued a transliteration with such people in mind. All one needs to run it is an RTF-supporting word processor (which includes most of them; Davka's DavkaWriter 4, 5 or 6 word processor; or Mac's Mellel II. The Haggada appears as a text file without any illustrations or other graphics, which is unfortunate. However, the fact that it is presented as text does give all users the opportunity to add their own commentaries, recollections, questions and answers - which many families, synagogues, youth groups and community centers here and abroad do to personalize their Haggada. The text appears in a one- or two-column version (this in a PDF format), with the Hebrew text on the right side and the transliterated text on the left side. The program would have received the full five stars if it had been accompanied by suitable illustrations, which could have been printed out with the text to provide all celebrants with a personalized, eye-catching booklet. FOR MORE than a decade, Electronic Arts has issued a new version of its basketball-playing game, NBA Live, every year. The new one has always offered customers their money's worth with better and more-realistic graphics and new features - until this year. The new game isn't very much different than 2006, as it uses the same graphic engine, which is looking dated, and has few worthwhile new features. It also has not eliminated glitches and bugs that annoyed gamers last year. For example, one player's arm passes through the body of another player in a glitch called "clipping." Perhaps the lack of novelty is due to the fact that EA's NBA Live has no competition, unlike FIFA soccer games. One of the few "new things" in the new basketball program is the appearance of a different player on the outside of the package - Tracy McGrady of the Houston Rockets. Another is Total Freestyle Control, which gives users more control over basketball players than before. As last year, you can choose among a variety of modes, including quick play, season, dynasty, playoffs, all-star weekend, freestyle challenge, one-on-one, practice and slam-dunk school. The dynasty mode turns you into a team's general manager with plenty of technical tasks to perform, but I doubt whether the vast majority of people who buy the disk want to manage a team - they prefer to play the game. The dunk contest can be fun, but it is not logical, as some very tall players are able to dunk the ball from above into the net and others are inexplicably unable to do so. Superstar players, a feature expanded in 2007, highlights really outstanding basketballers. Please note that if you have no gamepad but only a keyboard, it's pretty much a waste to buy this disk. And if you have the NBA Live 06 version, there are not enough reasons to buy the latest one; it is good, but not good or innovative enough.