2000 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge it. Use your browser's "BACK" button to return to this review when done.
|Type of Product|
|Grolier's latest encyclopedia, 2000 Multimedia Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition, is an excellent upgrade choice. You now have access to more articles, more media, including more documentary videos, more interactive animations, more sound, more Internet links, and more videos, as well as a new Research Starters feature to help children with their homework and a new Millennium feature that traces 1,000 years of the most important developments in world history. As with the previous version, it is easy for children to use as it comes on only two CDs packed with hundreds of graphics, sound and video features, Internet links, organized presentations, and fact-filled articles. It is loaded with 59,000 articles (37,000 on disc, 22,000 online), 15,000 images, 1,200 maps, 177 videos, a 250,000 word dictionary, 150 Panorama photos, over 16 hours of sound and more. It even has 25% more articles than the printed edition. Plus, you also have access to two other encyclopedias online: The New Book of Knowledge and the Encyclopedia Americana. To keep the material current, Grolier Internet Index offers 26,000 links to World Wide Web sites and the Article Updates provide about 500 revisions each month. Grolier's provides a fast and easy way for the whole family to access current and up-to-date information on the CDs or on-line. You can also read a review of the previous version of the encyclopedia by clicking on this link: 1999 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Price: $59.99. It is available for both the PC and the Macintosh. You can check out Grolier's website for other software titles: http://gi.grolier.com|
The Grolier Encyclopedia has been designed specifically to be used by different family members who have individual informational needs. It incorporates material from three encyclopedias in one software package. It is useful for all levels of encyclopedia users: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. Because it is very intuitive; has a straightforward interface; and includes a variety of search and browse functions, both simple and advanced, it is suitable for all levels of PC users.
The program is easy to install and takes very little space on your hard drive. You have the choice of installing QuickTime for movies, if you do not already have it. There is a short Overview section of features and a very extensive Help section for users who desire more in-depth material.
Interface. The intuitive and easy to use single-window interface is one of the reasons for the popularity of the program. Young children or users unfamiliar with a computer will still feel comfortable. And the changes that have been made to the interface in this new version will not overwhelm children or make the transition from one version to another difficult. There are three main parts to the screen from which all the main features and functions are accessible: the Features Bar (top), the List Pane (left), and the Content Region (right).
Features Bar. The Features Bar includes six tabs for: Articles, Media, Atlas, Timelines, Research Starters, and Interactivities. To give you an overview of how the program works, I will discuss the six tabs and what features are found under each tab.
1. Articles. The encyclopedia contains more than 37,000 articles. 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, to Pictures, to Related Articles. Also, graphical presentations of items such as diagrams, charts, and formulas, and special characters including symbols and accent marks have been placed directly in articles for a more enriching experience. This helps to explain concepts visually for younger users. Browsing the articles is easy. An alphabetical list appears in the List Panel. You can list all Categories or just some. You just click the Categories button and choose from the list of Topics and Sub-Topics. All articles are grouped into 10 topics. When you click on a Topic, its Sub-Topics will be listed in the right side of the dialog box.. You can choose any combination of Topic and/or Sub-Topics.
2. Media. Under the Media tab is where you will find access to all the media items in the encyclopedia. An alphabetical list appears in the List Panel. An icon indicating media type will appear next to each item. You can use the scrollbar to move through the list, or type a word in the fast-type box. As you type, the list will change to reflect your place in it.You can also display media items in sequence, by clicking the Auto Run button. You may browse the entire list, or restrict browsing to certain media types or subjects by clicking the Categories button and selecting from the Media Types and Topics presented.
The Millennium. The Millennium feature showcases developments in the past 1,000 years in world affairs, science and technology, religion and philosophy, literature, visual arts, and music. It includes over 300 new text entries, a 1,200 word survey article on the Millennium, thousands of links to related subjects, 63 new screens showing the most important people and events of the times, and links to Related Timelines, where more information and multimedia are available.
Panoramas. There are more than 50 new panoramic views of major historical sites and scenes to bring history to life. 360 degree Panoramas are navigable photographs which create the sensation of being at the center of a location and looking all the way around. You click and drag on a 360 degree Panorama, moving the cursor left and right to navigate. As the cursor moves, the image will move. You may also zoom in and out of the image. Each panorama image has links to articles and descriptive captions. The encyclopedia has sweeping views of such places as the World War I battlefields, the 1914 World Series and the Panama Canal under construction.
Science Question & Answer. Based on the New York Times Book of Science Questions and Answers, this feature teaches you about science by answering hundreds of questions, many of them drawn from everyday life. (You must register the encyclopedia to be able to use this feature.)
Videos. There are 177 videos, including 9 multiplex videos, in the encyclopedia.
Videos cover a variety of subjects and historical events. Each has links to related articles, and plays against
a backdrop of related information.
Animations. Animations explain complex mechanical and natural processes. In some cases, you must click a button or "hot spot" to move to a different part of an animation, or click the Play button to begin. Animations have captions with background information and links to related articles.
Search Features.The Grolier Encyclopedia
has strong search features.You may conduct Simple and Complex searches on articles and media
items by using Search, a main mode of the encyclopedia. It doesn't take
hours to research a topic, nor do you have to search through layers
layers of screens and it is easy for children to work on research projects
independently or with minimal adult supervision. 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.Wild
Cards are helpful for locating words with a common root, or when you're
not certain how to spell a word. There are two types: "*"
|The 2000 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition, is an excellent buy for any family. The encyclopedia is very easy to use with its straightforward intuitive interface and its wide selection of navigational options. It is comprehensive in its well-integrated article and media content, offering material for the whole family with the two CDs and the additional material on the two encyclopedias online. And it is easy to keep the material current by using the monthly updates. The new Millennium and Research Starters features are excellent aids for children for homework. And since it is widely used in schools, children will already be familiar with it and can dive into research with any down time. A nice feature is The "Resume Last Session" that allows you to resume to the spot you left the day or session before. Also, you can change the font size to make the print bigger on the screen so it is easier for smaller children to read.|
Processor: 486DX/100 or higher
Operating System: Windows 98, 95, or NT 4.0
Hard Disk Space: 10MB (70MB optimal)
Apple Quick Time
Hardware: SVGA, 256-color monitor; 2X CD-ROM drive; Sound card.
Processor: LC475, 68LC040 CPU, 25 MHz or faster
Operating System: MacOS operating system 7.5 or higher
Hardware: 13 in. or larger color monitor; 256 colors; 2X, double speed CD-ROM drive); Sound card.
Graphics: Adobe Photoshop