The World BookEncyclopedia, 1960 edition, was the encyclopedia of my youth; its volumes filled half the available shelf space in the family room. Times have changed, and World Book is now available on space-saving CD-ROM (but not on DVD). The latest version, World Book Mac OS X Edition, fills two CDs with the complete text of the current print edition, as well as media content I never dreamed of as a kid. You can even update the program over the Web.
This edition incorporates Aqua elements seamlessly and takes advantage of OS X's multimedia capabilities, offering images, audio, video, animations, and 360-degree panoramas. World Book is available in a $49 edition for older versions of the OS.
Geared primarily toward middle-school students, the CDs include an atlas, a dictionary, and a basic word processor; homework wizards help kids create timelines, make charts, and write reports. Unfortunately, you can't drag and drop from the chart and timeline tools into the word processor. And although you can use the search tool or click on icons to see Web-based information, links are missing from the articles themselves.
Macworld's Buying Advice
World Book Mac OS X Edition is a solid research reference for young students and a worthy successor to the hardbound version.World Book's World The opening screen puts World Book's tools at your fingertips.