Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 23:57:24 -0500 (EST)

Hi Lucy.  I apologize for not getting back with you sooner.  We've had the
most incredible windstorm that put down power lines and trees everywhere.  We
were without power for days, and even had to cancel school Monday and
Tuesday.  Anyway, I hope I can answer some of your questions from your 1/4/96

1)  There are two Lego Dacta systems.  The one called Control *Lab* Starter
Pack Set is the one that is more expensive ($625)  because it includes more
parts (527) and additional sensors (a touch, temperature, 1 extra angle),  3
extra lamps and two extra motors.  The Control *System* Starter Pack at $499
(up at 1/97 from $475 last year) includes 220 pieces plus some sensors and a
motor, etc.  Both include the interface box and software.  We built our
rovers from the less expensive one, but as I have mentioned in previous
emails, we did have to buy extra tires, gears, axles, motor etc. etc.
 However, the more expensive one, with the exception of 2 extra motors, does
not, I believe, have the extra tires, etc. that you would need for the rovers
-- just more variety parts.

2)  I believe the MS-DOS system would be used for Windows, -  your Windows
system is DOS driven.  It would probably just have a different installation
process for you than you might be used to.  We ran our LEGO DACTA from Mac to
begin with, but when we got into Red Rover,  we needed to be on Windows (at
least until they perfect their Mac version).  What this means to you is that
you will need to buy a PC adapter cable for your interface box (available at
any computer store).

3)  As far as rotating amongst 3 classes with one set, you might want to make
a public plea for donations of lego parts which you could use to build
rovers.  Then, if you could get enough money for 2 motors per rover
($14/each), 4 tires per rover, extra gears, connector cables etc., then you
could build more than one rover.  One class might be responsible for the Mars
terrain alone.

4)  Don't worry about the figuring out part.  Take it one step at a time and
it will come together (and there are people to help).

5)  When you order your Rover software for your Mars site, you will
automatically become a member of the Planetary Society.   The reason I was
mentioning needing to be a member of the Planetary Society as an Earth site
was because if you do not become at least an Earth site, there will be no way
in the future to access the Mars site addresses.

6)  The fun part about going ahead with a Mars site this year is that you
would build a Marscape, a rover (or 2 or more) and be able to "be driven" by
any participating Red Rover member.  That part alone is worth it.  If you
were not a Mars site, however, you would have the fun of driving other rovers
around the country as an Earth site

I hope this answers your questions.  Please let me know if you have more.
 Hope your presentation went well!

Theresa Hall
Paradise Canyon Elementary