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spacer all reviews > > > CD Encyclopedia software

1999 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Deluxe

Grolier Interactive

Ages 8 and up

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Breadth
4.0
Depth
4.0
Ease of Use
5.0

1999 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Deluxe Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

The first question that a potential encyclopedia buyer must consider is "Will this product answer my childrenís questions?" 1999 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Deluxe (GME 1999) was moderately successful in our trials, answering one of our three questions in detail, giving an eventual answer to the second, and, unfortunately, lacking any material pertaining to the third.

GME 1999 answered our middle schoolerís question, (What is the difference between mitosis and meiosis), with articles and a short instructional video for each type of cell division.

A complete answer to our high school studentís question (How many federal officials have been impeached in U.S. history and how many were convicted?), although not immediately available, was eventually found. An initial search produced a surprisingly incomplete article on impeachment that did not address our question. A click on the online button, however, took us directly to the associated Encyclopedia Americana article on impeachment, where more specific information, including the number of impeachment proceedings initiated in U.S. history, the number of convictions and the names of those convicted, was found.

A search for the words "liger" and/or "tigon" (for our elementary studentís "What is a liger, and how does it differ from a tigon?") came up empty.

Ease of Install/Use
The deluxe 2 CD program offers two installation options, a minimum install and a complete or optimal install. Installation is surprisingly quick and simple, and the minimum install option works fine for those with hard-drive space considerations. Users can also choose to install Quick Time 3.0 which is required for included multimedia (we quickly learned that earlier versions of Quick Time will not suffice).

Having determined that the encyclopedia under consideration contains the breadth and depth of information required, the potential buyer must decide whether this information is easily accessible. Most parents would like their children to be able to work on research projects independently, or with minimal adult supervision.

GME 1999 features a simple, single-window interface that is quite easy to use. A "Features Bar" spanning the top of the window allows the user to quickly move around within the program. The search tool permits topic or category searches, simple, single-word or phrase searches, and complex searches that allow the user to narrow the search parameters using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to find specific information.

The content region, which encompasses the right portion of the screen, displays each article with a series of tabs across the top that can be clicked to change the display in index-card fashion, from text, to related media, to outline and pictures. Exportation of text to the userís word processing program is easily accomplished with a tool bar command. A copyright notice is automatically added to text that is copied and exported to a word processor.

In addition to the articles themselves, GME 1999 includes 360 degree panoramas, science questions and answers from the New York Times Book of Science Questions and Answers (registration is required for this option), videos, multimedia maps, an atlas, timelines, interactivities, guided tours and a dictionary.

Internet Connectivity
To connect to the Internet, users must first specify their browser's location information. Supporting articles can then be accessed from Grolierís Encyclopedia Americana and New Book of Knowledge. Also available are links to the ĎGrolier Internet Indexí, a collection of thousands of editorially-selected web links, and Grolier Article Updates.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
This complete and easy-to-use encyclopedia works well for students who want basic explanations delivered in a tried and true format.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other CD Encyclopedia software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 3.1 with Microsoft CD Extensions version 2.2 or later; Windows 95 or 98; or NT Workstation operating system version 4.0, 486DX/33 MHz multimedia PC or compatible, 486DX/100MHz for Windows 95, 98 and NT, 10 MB hard drive space, 8 MB RAM, 16 MB for Windows 95, 98 or NT, SVGA, 256-color display, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM, Sound card; wave-table sound card recommended, Apple QuickTime for Windows version 2.1.2 for Windows 3.1; version 3.0 for Windows 95 and NT (both supplied with product).

Mac: MacOs 7.1 or higher, 68030/25 (LCIII) or faster cpu, 10 MB hard drive space, 5MB free RAM, 256-color display, 2X or faster CD-ROM, Apple QuickTime 3.0 (included)

Reviewed on:

  • PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
  • Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD
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