Britannica CD-ROMs and DVDs contain the full text of the 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica itself, along with additional articles, a world atlas, a Merriam-Webster dictionary, and recent editions of the Britannica yearbook. “Deluxe” editions feature multimedia enhancements like historical timelines, “visual tours,” video, audio and animations.
Improvements to this year’s sets include the KnowledgeNavigator, a graphical browser that has been developed to encourage creative brainstorming, finding topics to research, and exploring relationships between different articles and topics, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica. The editors have also selected 44 topics from different areas of knowledge and created visual presentations for them — topics range from rock music to aviation, human anatomy to cathedrals.
New editions of the electronic Encyclopaedia Britannica for this year include two Macintosh-compatible variants:
Standard Edition CD-ROM
— a Macintosh/Windows hybrid that includes all information on one disc. It lacks “many multimedia enhancements,” according to the company, making it suitable for laptop travelers or others who are looking for info quickly. It carries a suggested retail price of US$39.95.
This version works on Mac OS X exclusively, and requires a G3 or better operating at 266MHz or faster; 128MB physical RAM; 120MB available HD space; CD-ROM; 800-600 resolution display with support for millions of colors; printer and Internet access recommended.
Expanded Edition DVD, which ships in separate versions for Windows and Mac OS. This version contains “more multimedia than any of the other CD-ROM editions,” according to the publisher. Suggested retail price is $69.95.
The DVD will operate on Mac OS 8.6 or higher, including Mac OS X; requires a G3/266MHz or faster processor; 128MB physical RAM; 140MB hard drive space; DVD-ROM drive; 800×600 resolution with support for thousands of colors (millions for Mac OS X users); printer and Internet access recommended.
The new releases should be available immediately from Best Buy, CompUSA, Staples, Office Depot, Micro Center, Fry’s Electronics and WalMart. You can also order online from the