Editors' reviewEven if you're having trouble coming up with ideas for a birthday present, you might think twice before opting for The Birthday Chronicle. This promising, but deeply flawed program, takes a name and a birth date and mocks up a newspaper page from that year, including a picture of the U.S. president, an article about consumer prices, and reports on the World Series and the Academy Awards. The Birthday Chronicle can handle birthdays all the way back to the year 1900; but except for the main headline, the stories are the same from year to year--only the details change. The demo prints a watermark diagonally across the page. You can print the newspaper or, in theory, send a PDF copy electronically. But beware: the PDF-creation feature failed to work on our Windows 2000 test systems. The awkward interface is another problem. And at $50, The Birthday Chronicle costs too much. If the bugs were fixed, the interface improved, the demo restrictions loosened, and more news templates added, The Birthday Chronicle might justify its price. As it is, you'd be better off buying your birthday boy or girl an old copy of Life Magazine.
The Birthday Chronicle produces a personalized mini-newspaper front page, including graphics, that will be treasured for years. No special paper is required. The printout includes a greeting, by name, from the then-President of the United States, plus newspaper headlines and stories from the recipient's year of birth. Combining nostalgia and history, people celebrating their birthdays can look back at the world as it was on the day they were born. Version 8.1 features Internet Activation.