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$49.99 $31.80
21. National Geographic: National
$9.99 list($69.95)
22. Encarta Reference Library 2004
$29.99 $9.89
23. Merriam Webster Medical Desk Dictionary
$26.95 list($54.99)
24. Encyclopedia Britannica 2004 Ultimate
$39.99 $10.49 list($49.99)
25. World Book Encyclopedia 2003 Ultra-Deluxe
$32.99 $24.00 list($49.99)
26. Rand McNally StreetFinder and
$19.99 $18.72 list($29.99)
27. National Geographic Maps: The
$9.99 $8.91
28. Webster's New World Dictionary
$29.99 $23.75
29. Microsoft Encarta Deluxe 2005
$29.99
30. National Geographic Presents:
$14.88 list($59.99)
31. MICROSOFT Encarta 2004 Reference
$74.99 $62.99 list()
32. Microsoft Encarta Reference Library
$9.99
33. Random House Webster's Unabridged
$4.05 list($19.99)
34. The American Sign Language Dictionary
$14.00 list($34.99)
35. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
$19.99 $17.96 list($29.99)
36. Topics Entertainment Presents:
$24.88
37. MOBILE SYSTEMS Oxford English-Spanish
$4.95
38. SELECTSOFT USA Oxford Hachette
$39.99 list($69.95)
39. Encarta Reference Library 2004
$36.99 list($69.99)
40. Encarta Reference Library 2004

21. National Geographic: National Park Maps (5 CD Set)
list price: $49.99
our price: $49.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00032HEX6
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 1837
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22. Encarta Reference Library 2004 DVD
list price: $69.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000096L6Z
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 2132
Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Encarta 2004 versus Britannica 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both.

3-0 out of 5 stars Picture quality could be better
As usual, the DVD version is better than the CD version because you don't have to swap the disks. However, the picture quality of the photos, especially the 360 tour is the worst this year. Maybe Microsoft wanted to pack to much information into one DVD. Only 10 more video clips than last year and most are in poor resolution. With the development of so much technology applications, I would expect their product better each year.
Still, no homework help or research help for any foreign languages. The research organizer is a helpful tool but takes some time to learn how to use it. By joining the "Encarta Club", a free service online, you get to get access to Encarta's content anywhere in the world as long as you can get online, which is a pretty good feature. However, you must be a MSN passport member.

1-0 out of 5 stars Light on Content and Yet Still Biased
If you are looking for great presentation, lite content, and biased history, by all means by this product. I reviewed both Encarta and Britannica and found Britannica to more in depth and less biased in its history. Many of Brittanica's articles are by people Encarta only writes snippets about (i.e., you get their point of view not some political hack.) If you are looking for content and a fairer presentation of history buy Britannica.

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy for the dictionary...
First off, my primary reason for buying this product was the dictionary tool, so my review isn't exactly complete.

I've been using the dictionary and thesaurus tools in Reference Suite 2001 extensively since it's introduction - and it is, bar none, the best on the market. You can launch it with Windows at startup and have it run in the taskbar, because it uses little to no resources, and then it's always on demand in a flash. When the interface is open, your cursor is already where it needs to be and you can begin typing instantly. It's also quite smart, in regards to finding matches to a mistyped or misspelled word. If the program doesn't find a direct match to your input, it will display a list of words which it thinks are close, and 9 times out of time your word will be listed.

The same great attributes do not hold true for the dictionary and thesaurus tools in Reference Library 2004, however. While the interface does look much the same, that's about the only similarity. 2004 is a resource hog, for one. It's also not very intelligent. If you type a word in wrong, or are simply searching for the spelling of a word, you might as well dig out your paperback, because the paperback is going to be quicker to thumb through. Once one hits enter in 2004, if the program doesn't find an exact match, it automatically displays the first word that matches the first series of characters, beginning from left to right, as oppose to a list of words with simililarities. The real killer for me is in how slow it is to use. For instance, when you open or restore the program to the desktop, you have to navigate to the input box each and every time before you can begin typing. Therefore, if you're doing a lot of writing, and need to switch back and forth between programs, such as a word processor, these 2004 tools are a considerable hinrance, as one has to incessantly leave the keyboard to maneuver the mouse.

I bought 2004 thinking it was going to be a simple update, and perhaps even an upgrade, but instead received a semi-useless downgrade...

3-0 out of 5 stars Bintannica is better
Britannica has more information than Encarta. But Britannica has worse interface than Encarta.

If you want better contents, Britannica will be the one. Encarta has very little information on many different subjects. ... Read more


23. Merriam Webster Medical Desk Dictionary
list price: $29.99
our price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000070MQS
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Fogware Publishing
Sales Rank: 1064
Average Customer Review: 3.12 out of 5 stars
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Features

  • Authoritative and accessible guide to medical language; an affordable quick reference
  • 59,000 words and phrases; over 8,000 examples show how words are used in context
  • 42,000 audio pronunciations
  • Health-care terms, abbreviations, names of medications, and biographies of medical pioneers
  • Compact, portable, and fully searchable

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars A very nice product; but doesn't integrate with browsers.
This is undoubtedly the best dictionary & thesaurus available today. The features that impressed me the most are:

1: You don't have to leave the CD in the drive to use the 'pronounciation' feature. You can optionally install the sound files on your hard disk. (Approx. 532 MB)

2: Multiple pronounciations invoked where appropriate.

3: Installs without a glitch and integrates with MS Word.

4: Has a lot of nice features like 'Spelling Help'.

I hope the 12th Edition will integrate with email browsers, not just with MS Word. Also, I would have preferred the thesaurus invoked automatically in an additional pane instead of switching between dictionary and thesaurus.

4-0 out of 5 stars good word pronounciation
I already owned the Microsoft Encarta World English Dictionary when I bought Merriam-Webster because I wanted the software to pronounce every word, and Encarta doesn't.

Merriam-Webster's main good point:
pronouces every single entry, including various forms of each word, such as "beauty", "beautiful" plus you can copy the whole disc into your computer, so you don't have to put in the CD every time you look stuff up. Can't do with Microsoft.

Other than that, it isn't a very good computer dictionary. It looks like somebody just scanned the information into the computer. The dictionary has limited space, that's why stuff is crammed in the there, but the computer should read with more paragraph separations which costs no more memory. There are few examples.

I also don't like the fact that you have to clear each entry before you can look up the next word, which I don't have to do with Microsoft's.

It is a usable dictionary and thesarus, and has plenty of entries. I think it is particular worth it for someone learning English as a foreign language.

5-0 out of 5 stars Voice helps me a lot!
Three is no other dictionary that I can rely on more than Merriam Webster dictionary. This new edition, 11th, got all updated words used for internet and new high tech terms with accurate vocal sound. I saw some other dictionary with sound, but this dictionary got most accurate sound that I can trust. For some words that have two sounds, it pronounces both of them.
I can not work without this dictionary.

2-0 out of 5 stars great for kids
The Amazon Features: recommended this dictionary for age 9 to adult and this should have been a big clue. Generally 9 year olds and adults aren't looking for the same things in a product of this type. This is a cute program but all of it is freely available on the Web.

My two biggest disappointments were the brief simplistic definitions and that it lacks cross-referencing or hyper-linking within a definition, -- yes, you can easily jump to new definitions from words within a given definition, but, for me, this lacks the learning that comes with hyper-linking.

My last comment is that as of January 04, the reviews listed under this Medical Dictionary are reviews for other Merriam-Webster products, but not for the Medical Dictionary. Read closely and notice the reference to a thesaurus that the Medical Dictionary does not have.

3-0 out of 5 stars Easier than grabbing a heavy hardback
The MW Medical Desk Dictionary's best feature is that it's convenient. It offers you the option to install macros that put an icon on your Word or WordPerfect toolbar that will launch the dictionary. Highlight a word in your document, click the icon, and it will look it up. Type the beginning letters of a word in its search feature, and it will attempt to match what you type with a word in its dictionary. Where it fails is when you don't want that word and it's automatically filled the search box with some other word, so you have to delete the letters that don't apply. Sure, it's easier than grabbing a heavy hardback, and better than the outdated dictionary I had, but its automatic look-up ability needs serious work. I also wish it was a spell-checker plugin rather than an add-on dictionary; you can't tell Word (or any other Office application) that it's a dictionary you're adding in because there is no *.dic file for the program to find to add in. Still, for the money, this is a very good program if what you want is a dictionary and not a spellchecker. ... Read more


24. Encyclopedia Britannica 2004 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD
list price: $54.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000092P3Q
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Pearson Software
Sales Rank: 2767
Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value
I recently aquired the 2004 version of the Ultimate Reference Suite and am very pleased (I skipped the 2003 version because of the negative reviews I read).

It is an excellent value with not only high quality content, but a lot of it (covering three age groups) and with many different points of entry and ways to access it.

I also applaud the new interface. While it is simple, it is also effective for that same reason. I like being able to view a lot of content at once, compare it, switch between it and organize it. The 2002 version seemed to be a poor attempt at imitating encarta.

I have had not any problems running the software on my Dell PC (and I have used the software quite a bit, already).

I recommend this product over all previous versions I have seen and over all competative software both for the content and the implementation and say well done to Britannica and Pearson.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow Britannica
I have been using the Britannica products for years and this is definitely the best version that they have produced.

Basics:
- Three complete (age specific) encyclopedias: In addition to the main encyclopedia, this product also includes, a complete Elementary encyclopedia, a complete Student encyclopedia, and ten years of Year Book articles (including recent topic coverage).
- Other (age specific) content: For each of these age groups the product also contains an Atlas feature (much improved than previous incarnations), a series of Timelines, Dictionary and Thesaurus (it appears that two versions of each are included, the primary difference seems to be the exclusion of 'bad words' from the Student and Elementary versions), and online content.
- Searching: The product does a simultaneous search across several content types (articles, images, video/media). Results are viewed by clicking on the content type. A link to on-line content is also included.
- Browsing: The product has additional ways to find content including subject browse (one for each encyclopedia), Yearbook and video browsing, Classic articles, and the standard A-Z method.
- Interface: The interface follows a very no nonsense approach to finding content, although, it has been improved in both appearance and function. It's a single screen system that allows you to see all the controls on part of the screen while opening, viewing and manipulating content in the larger work/article area. You select an age specific 'library' to work with and then search, browse, or open any of the features using simple, intuitive controls. The control area can even be adjusted to show more of less of the options you work with regularly. The work/article area allows you to view articles, media or other features that you choose from any of the libraries. You can have a lot content open at the same time and move the windows around to organize them.
- The articles: Articles are displayed very cleanly with much improved font handling and size controls. The navigation within the article is intuitive making them easy to read. You can find related content (images, tables, graphs, maps, etc.) or even other articles that are related in subject matter (using the index or a new feature that finds related people and places). There are embedded links, a built in dictionary (double click any word), Search term bolding, a new 'find' feature.
- Other features: The product contains a number of other useful features including a separate dictionary/thesaurus, a visual browser, a research organizer.

Improvements:
- Performance: I could not believe the improvements related to installation and start-up time, over all speed, and general stability. The product works fast and reliably. I have had many pieces of content open/active without a severe slow down.
- Articles: There are new ways to find related materials, the display is much improved, a new 'find' feature is available, the navigation is much more intuitive and natural, article text can be copy and pasted into other applications.
- Data: There are more types of content and more of each type of content (at least according to the materials supplied). New content includes classic articles, ten years of yearbook articles, new on-line content, etc. All features seem to be updated to include more content as well as more recent content (timelines include some events from 2003).
- Interface: - The interface has improved dramatically, it is intuitive and responsive. It includes many new features. Examples are mouse wheel support, article summaries that appear on mouse over, images that appear on mouse over, the ability to remember what I was doing in other libraries, etc.
- Video quality: The quality of the video is much better. They are about four times the size and can be scaled to any size you choose. There are also more of them.
- Browse features: There are new browse features in this years product including Classic articles, Yearbook articles, Subject/Topic listings, and a Media browse. It works better and includes time-saving improvements like an Auto-complete feature.
- Searching: All results are now in a single scrollable list, the results are more accurate, spell-checking is improved and happens automatically now, as needed. A search history is maintained, article titles can be auto-completed, and new advanced searching options have been added (for searching just titles, etc.)
- Display: The problems with last years font seems to be fixed, the overall appearance is greatly improved (it's visually appealing), library homepages have been added (includes tips and links to library features)
- Atlas: A new atlas that contains many more maps, country statistics and new features to allow for easy navigation.
- Bolding: You can choose to have all your search terms bolded in articles that you open.
- Pop-up dictionary: You can double click on any word to automatically see the dictionary definition.
- Configuration options: A number of user configuration options can now be permanently set. Includes items like font size, starting library, and term bolding.

Conclusion:
Even if Britannica was not the most reliable and definitive source of reference information on the planet - this is a superior product. It has an excellent design and approach to content access and management. It is genuinely useful and not simply some pretty showpiece that is difficult to navigate and use to any real end. The bottom line is that there is no real alternative on the market.

5-0 out of 5 stars Britannica 2004 versus Encarta 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
¿DVD or CD? Both editions are actually the same. You can copy them in your hard disk.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best encyclopedia for those who want to learn!
It is all around the best available encyclopedia. There are other, but Encarta represents exact Microsoft's incline to put in more buttons and few knowledge. This is not only the best encyclopedia but it is the best Britannica. The quality of materials you get in enormous. The cross-reference are logical and helpful, the article well written and intriguing. It appears to be Java app, so it runs smoothly on any platform. I have it on my lovely two Apple machines and could not be happier. Britannice made the real leap from 2003 release to this one.

3-0 out of 5 stars insightful articles, at times difficult and academic
It has some good articles... but at times it is hard to read, like a textbook written in greek, rather than in plain simple english.

also, while I was looking as Nash Solution in Game Theory, I found that the tables are missing! How could that be!

Then I joined the 90 day online trial, which required a credit card... depending on people to forget about the subscription and earn money from that... what a good and not so moral strategy... interestingly, the online content contains the missing tables... and it costs $25 per year. So it might be better just to subscribe to the online version, and be able to find articles any where you are with an online computer.

also the DVD-ROM version doesn't let you copy the whole article to Word or Notepad with ease. You need to do it screenful by screenful. The online version is just a webpage and allows easy copying to Word or Notepad. ... Read more


25. World Book Encyclopedia 2003 Ultra-Deluxe Edition
list price: $49.99
our price: $39.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006GEPA
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 720
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Ok, but nothing great
First off, I can't even register it because the domain doesn't exist in the first place! second, i can't run the atlas because it says the sound devices were installed incorrectly, now who's fault is that? I didn't install it, it installed automatically! The articles are a little too brief too, and the encyclopedia has a hard time connecting to my cable modem to get on the internet. These are not things i would expect from a professional encyclopedia. If i could do it again i would pay the extra 10$ and get the encarta.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome product that will take your breath away
This is an astounding electronic encyclopedia that is worth every penny. It beats Britannica hand's down in feature parity, movies, images, and content, and since it's not made by that conficted monopoly Microsoft, you're spared a lot of redirection to MS's websites when clicking on links to the Internet. If you're looking for the Macintosh edition, ...it's called the Jaguar edition.... That platform's version is utterly stunning and I'm afraid is even better than the Windows version. Either way, you won't be disappointed with this fast, informative, nicely organized application that the application's code warriors cared enough to make a quality product. Apple the company apparently likes it as well because it's pre-installed on many new computers they sell. Since I have two computers (one Windows and another Mac), I was able to compare the two in feature parity. I guess it is true what they say: Some things just look better on a Mac.

With that said, I have yet to encounter a single bug, program crash, or "missing" DLL, and the company's attention to detail should be rewarded, if not praised. So if you're thinking of ordering something for your kids, a college student, or even yourself, put this software at the top of your list. You won't regret it!

3-0 out of 5 stars World Book okay..
When I first got this program, I noticed that the interface was very easy to use. Many of the articles were too brief, or you had to look harder for certain details than you would in other programs such as Encarta or Britannica. I noticed that the multimedia on World Book is not as abundant as the other programs, but it certainly was good. The pictures, sound, and video were clear and relevant to the articles. I would recommend this program for anybody under 15 or anybody looking for a broad number of topics, but if you need more specific information, I suggest you find another program. ... Read more


26. Rand McNally StreetFinder and TripMaker Deluxe
list price: $49.99
our price: $32.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000DFHOA
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 1399
Average Customer Review: 1.38 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Address-to-address directions on-the-go
  • Over 1 million business listings with address and phone number
  • Real-time GPS support including audio prompts and one-touch rerouting
  • Generate clear directions with highlighted route lines
  • A wealth of new navigation features for GPS

Reviews (8)

1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth even one star!
i bought this program after the salesman told me it was the best one he had. What a joke. The search engine is the worst! When you print out a map, it prints it in a color that doesn't allow you to see the streets. b What good is that. I emailed the company and they said you cannot change the default color of the map in this version. What a screw up that is! I am so disappointed that I uninstalled it and just use mapquest now. I can't belive Rand McNally allowed a program this bad to be released. Someone must have been snoozin'

1-0 out of 5 stars Way out of date, incompetent, incoherent
I have been using streets & trips 2001 for a few years, but found it getting incresingly out of date, with the new construction going on around my locale, so I went out and bought this product. Unbelievably, though I bought it at least three years after microsoft streets & trips, it was even MORE out of date -- and the interface looks more dated. Worst of all, the very street I live on -- which has been here at least 10 years now, probably more -- was shown incorrectly, it is a through street, this program shows it as a dead end!

In short - a way out of date competitors product you can buy on ebay for $3 is better than this piece of ####. It isn't even worth the time spent installing it (I had to swap the same CD in and out at least 5 times -- what's with THAT?), let alone what3ever money you pay. I'm deleting it off my drive & going back to S&T 2001 for now.

1-0 out of 5 stars Waste Of Money
I had been using Microsoft Streets & Trips 2002 and wanted to upgrade to something more current. After hearing that streets & trips 2004 was not an improvement over 2002, I decided to give Steetfinder & Tripmaker a try. What a waste ! I can't believe that Rand Mcnally would allow their name to be put on this thing. terriable interface, can't find streets that are shown on the programs map, map is cartoonish compared to the Microsoft product. In fairness I don't use the gps feature so it could have some redeeming value in that area.

4-0 out of 5 stars I did not see these complaints
While I have not used the GPS, streetfinder works well at locating and mapping the addresses that I need. The real bonus is TripMaker which has allowed us to map out and plan long trips through several states and make reservations along the way. I would not leave home without it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Really Really Bad Product!!!
Can find a lot of places. Can't find my work, school (University of North Florida!). Although GPS capabilities were okay. But what can I do with GPS if it can't find where I want to go!!! ... Read more


27. National Geographic Maps: The Complete Collection
list price: $29.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007E1MN
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 348
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars Does not work with Windows XP
Do not buy if you do not have Windows 95. National Geographic has not updated its software for newer versions of Windows. There is nothing you can do or even get support from National Geographic to fix this problem.

3-0 out of 5 stars Don't get it if you use XP
A word of caution: I upgraded my PC to Win XP and now my National Geographic software is useless. Neither the complete 109-year magazine collection on DVD nor my 8 CD collection of maps will run under XP.
Borderbund won't even discuss it; they foist you off on some third-party entity who says "sorry", but there are no plans to provide a patch or anything.
So go ahead and buy it if you're not planning on upgrading to XP.

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible
It's basically an atlas in PDF form spread out over eight CDs. You'll need glasses after scrolling in and out, trying to find anything. A waste of time and money.

1-0 out of 5 stars Shame on National Geographic!
... I think the software implementation of these maps is terrible. Pathetic is a better description.

In order to use your full computer screen, you'd have to reset your monitor to 480 x 600 pixels. Who has such a low resolution monitor nowdays? This also appears to be the best resolution you can achieve on the maps. If the maps are expanded enough to be readable, they are fuzzy. Pathetic, in my opinion.

... I don't think the 500 "maps" in this package are worth anything--at least not to me. I'd gladly pay 3 times as much for excellent resolution maps. At the current low-resolution implemented on this software release, I wouldn't willingly pay 5 cents. I found no use for the maps at such low resolution. I uninstalled the software.

In short, I feel I got burned. I paid $... for what I consider useless maps and useless software. I did not expect this from National Geographic. [...]

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Maps, Mediocre Software
One can hardly question the value of these maps. This collection claims to include 535 maps, going all the way back to the 19th century, published by National Geographic magazine. In itself, this is a real treasure.

However, the software realization of this treasure is poor. The software is slow and glitchy, prone to crashes and inexplicable error messages. The main window is a relatively tiny 640x480 pixels, although the maps themselves can be zoomed fullscreen. The working interface is clumsy and reminiscent of old "multimedia" software from a Windows 95 machine. The initial workspace is an image of a compass, a book, a videotape. Want to start searching for maps? Well, take a guess, because there are no text labels, no text tool-tips, and no drop down menus. There is a toolbar with tool-tips, but no text labels. I would have preferred a plain-vanilla menu over faux-elegant images that leave me stymied.

The set comes on 8 CD's. While the program will run with any disc in the CD drive, you can expect a lot of disc swapping. Also, it would have been nice to be able to at least start the search engine with no disc in the drive. There is no option for copying the CD data to your hard drive, which would have been a welcome choice for users with large drives.

Maps appear to be scans of the paper product from National Geographic, complete with fold-creases and dog-ears. These are not digital databases that generate maps on the fly, such as can be found in software like Topo USA or Streets and Trips. No, these are simply pictures of the paper maps. Great maps, but in a digital application, a picture of a piece of paper is of limited value. For example, if a place-name is not entered into the index, searches come up blank -- even if the place appears on one or more maps. Likewise, common tools of map software such as distance measuring, or incremental zooming, are missing.

The software allows you five zoom levels for your map. Since the first two levels are little more than thumbnails, really, you are left with three usable zooms. Even the middle zoom is too small to read place-names. Some kind of fractional or incremental zoom tool would have been much nicer; even basic image software allows you to zoom is by single percentage points.

The scan quality could be better. There is noticable pixelization at high resolution -- blocky fuzziness, especially around text areas. However, since there are over 500 high-resolution maps taking up 8 CD's, clearly some data compression had to be used.

The map tools aren't terribly sophisticated; you can zoom, pan, and select regions for copying to the clipboard (copied sections can be pasted into Paint or other image application).

All that said, this 8 disc set delivers a tremendous map value .... I estimate the cost per map at something like a nickel -- an amazing value. The older maps offer unique historical perspectives into changing geopolitics. The maps are excellent quality, and come with a tremendous amount of "extras" on the map backs (which are also viewable) and sidebars.

Clearly the software implementation could have been better. But for this price, I think the set is a steal. ... Read more


28. Webster's New World Dictionary and Thesaurus (Jewel Case)
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008NRUA
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 1433
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag
EDIT: I have found that this works okay for me in Windows XP Pro. Some problems with the point-and-define thing, but I had those in Windows 2000 too.

In the most important ways, this is pretty good. No word processor macros are included but the program can run in the background and respond to a certain key combination, providing dictionary and/or thesaurus info for the word under the mouse pointer. This doesn't work consistenty in my web browsers but it seems to work a little better in my word processors. The interface for the dictionary program is pretty good, the window size is not resizeable but boolean wildcard searches of the dictionary and thesaurus contents are available, which is a nice feature.

The dictionary/thesaurus itself is stored in a somewhat standard Windows helpfile, which might be useful for people in other programs.

The package includes a couple of bonus programs, one is a bunch of sample fill-in-the-blanks letters which someone must have thought would be useful for some strange reason, the other is a "Visual Dictionary." This is a sort of interesting program which matches words to pictures for no apparent reason. It wants to install QuickTime 2.03, a six year old version of QT, which is probably not worth the trouble for most people. Amazon is wise to not make a big deal about these bonuses in the product listing.

This dictionary appears to be a repackage of something sold by Macmillan several years ago. The most recent copyright in the program is 1998 and the README is also dated 1998, on the box the date 2003 is printed. Probably Topics Entertainment bought this title from Macmillan but it's not listed on their website. Don't expect any meaningful support in the event you have problems with the program.

4-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't play well with XP
I originally bought this software when I had Windows ME. It worked really well and I loved it. It's simple to use--click the icon and you are ready to look up words. When I got a new computer which came with Windows XP, my original software would not work. I bought a new version thinking my old version just was not compatible. As it turns out, there is some issue with all versions of the software working with XP. Topics Entertainment is aware of the issue, but unable to resolve it. Topics Entertainment had a relatively friendly and helpful technical support department (though somewhat slow) and they offered to take the software back after the problem failed to be resolved. But that still leaves me without my much-missed dictionary program. If you don't have XP, then I highly recommend this program. If you have XP, find an alternative (which I am searching for presently.)

3-0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag
In the most important ways, this is pretty good. No word processor macros are included but the program can run in the background and respond to a certain key combination, providing dictionary and/or thesaurus info for the word under the mouse pointer. This doesn't work consistenty in my web browsers but it seems to work a little better in my word processors. The interface for the dictionary program is pretty good, the window size is not resizeable but boolean wildcard searches of the dictionary and thesaurus contents are available, which is a nice feature.

The dictionary/thesaurus itself is stored in a somewhat standard Windows helpfile, which might be useful for people in other programs.

The package includes a couple of bonus programs, one is a bunch of sample fill-in-the-blanks letters which someone must have thought would be useful for some strange reason, the other is a "Visual Dictionary." This is a sort of interesting program which matches words to pictures for no apparent reason. It wants to install QuickTime 2.03, a six year old version of QT, which is probably not worth the trouble for most people. Amazon is wise to not make a big deal about these bonuses in the product listing.

This dictionary appears to be a repackage of something sold by Macmillan several years ago. The most recent copyright in the program is 1998 and the README is also dated 1998, on the box the date 2003 is printed. Probably Topics Entertainment bought this title from Macmillan but it's not listed on their website. Don't expect any meaningful support in the event you have problems with the program.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great product!
- Installation is quick and easy
- The disc does not have to be in the CD-Rom to run the program
- Instant access to definition/thesaurus just by clicking the word from any application
- 500,000 definitions, synonyms and antonyms
- Easy to understand definitions
- Inexpensive
- Great bonus CD included (Visual Dictionary & Letter templates) ... Read more


29. Microsoft Encarta Deluxe 2005
list price: $29.99
our price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002CPBUU
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation
Sales Rank: 912
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

30. National Geographic Presents: Forces Of Nature
list price: $29.99
our price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00032HEXQ
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 5813
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

31. MICROSOFT Encarta 2004 Reference Library (Windows)
list price: $59.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000096L6W
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 2853
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • The Homework Center gives students the necessary tools for completig assignments effectively & on time
  • Explore the world through rich multimedia tools - Dynamic Timelines, Interactive World Atlas and Chart Maker tools give students a leg up
  • Thousands of photos and illustrations combine with hundreds of animation clips for a more direct and visual learning experience
  • Collection of 20 videos produced by the Discovery Channel help children discover learning
  • New Visual Browser helps make finding content within Encarta easier than ever

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars ENCARTA 2004 Reference Library: The masterpiece encyclopedia
From 1993, Microsoft Corporation has started the Encarta series.
They don't tell us where did the name come fromand neither do I know. But I DO know that in this new edition it has a brand-new look. What do I mean? The encyclopedia now opens up on the Visual Browser, or VB for short, and is now distributed on two editions: DVD and CD-ROM.That is, a single DVD or a set of four CD-ROMs. There is a 2005 edition out now on the US, but not yet in Latin America. When the Latin American branch of Microsoft announces so, I'll go and buy Encarta 2005 at my closest dealer.
I now want to tell you something that I haven't told you yet:
The CD version has 20 one-hour Discovery Channel videos, while the DVD has 32.
For the CD edtion, the order of the CDs is as follow:
CD 1 of 4: Setup and resources disc
CD 2 of 4: Encarta 2004 Disc 1
CD 3 of 4: Encarta 2004 Disc 2
CD 4 of 4: Encarta 2004 Disc 3

To install the encyclopedia, just insert CD 1 of 4 (the Setup an complements disc) and, when the Setup program begins, click Continue. Accept the EULA (End-User License Agreement), and then choose the components to install. If you are visually impaired, don't worry, you can install the Text to Speech converted which debuted on the 2000 edition. Click Continue and you'll be taken to the "Ready to Install" screen. Just click Install and the process takes place automatically, wtithout further input. When finished installing, click OK at the "Encarta 2004 has been successfully installed" confirmation message. This is the end of the installation process.
Quite simple, huh?
And this is, too, the end of my review.
Thanks, Amazon.com team

P.S.: The Setup program will prompt you, at certain moments, to insert discs 2, 3 and 4 into the drive.

5-0 out of 5 stars Encarta 2004 versus Britannica 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated.Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both. ... Read more


32. Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2005 (DVD-Rom)

our price: $74.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002CPBVE
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation
Sales Rank: 6031
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Multimedia encyclopedia and feature-rich reference tools
  • New Encarta search bar; New online Math Center
  • Kids section; video content from Discovery Channel
  • Visual browser facilitates easier navigation among articles
  • Complete learning resource for students aged 7 and older

33. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary Collection
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002IWZS0
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Multimedia 2000, Inc.
Sales Rank: 1352
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Comprehensive, electronic dictionary of American English
  • Over 315,000 entries; 120,000+ audio pronunciations
  • English, French, or Spanish menus and dialogue boxes
  • Easy-to-use, intuitive interface
  • Provides versatile, family-friendly content

34. The American Sign Language Dictionary
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004R8JP
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Multimedia 2000
Sales Rank: 1024
Average Customer Review: 2.79 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Who says the book is always better? The American Sign Language Dictionary is a terrific example of how much better some things are in multimedia. Author Martin L.A. Sternberg has also published the esteemed but not-as-fun print version of this reference title. We're sticking with the CD.

The software features four modules: a QuickTime video dictionary, fingerspelling, an overview of American Sign Language, and a well-designed self-testing area. The dictionary is both a learning and reference tool for 2,600 words, with intuitive video rewind and replay controls. Search for the specific words you need, or just browse alphabetically. After studying up, take a test to see how you're doing--this is the software's real asset. And for language geeks, the overview gives more grammar information as well as Internet links. This is likely the only module children will probably enjoy less than adults.

Overall, this is an excellent resource for anyone trying to learn or maintain ASL skills, with equal applicability in classrooms and at home. One caveat: like any foreign language, ASL has its own grammar, slang, and even regional dialects that no CD-ROM resource can exhaustively cover, so use the software as a basis for getting out and interacting with the ASL community. --Erik Macki ... Read more

Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good reference, not so sure about a tutor though.
This program works great as a reference, but don't look to it as a Mavis Beacon-esque tutor to teach you Sign Language from the start, or have I just not found that section? The program is a little confusing to navigate. But after about 10 mins of exploring I think I found everything there is to do on the disk.

A lot of people are complaining about software issues with this CD-ROM. In order to see the video and everything properly (I'm running Win98) I had to Uninstall my current Quicktime (5.0 I think) ENTIRELY in Add/Remove Programs and THEN install the program and ITS version of QT (2.0). Then it worked and I was free to re-install 5.0. The two vers. of quicktime are not conflicting and are performing their own duties on their own (2.0 for ASL CD and 5.0 for movie watching, Netscape, etc) without any problems.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect except I have a question?
This software works great, I've never ever had a problem and I think its weird how so many have. The best part I beleive, besides the explainations and the videos, is how it memorizes every sign I look up, so I can then test myself later. This option comes in really handy. The question I have for whoever might be able to answer this is, Does the ability to download new signs every month work? As of right now, I would say that the software is old enough that it does not work, But maybe I am wrong, please let me know. Thanks.. I think someone or some company should come out with a new software just like this one, with more of todays technology, but they must have the option of memorizing every signed looked up for further testing, for I feel that is a really important quality in this product, and I use it over other dictionary softwares I own.

3-0 out of 5 stars American Sign Language on CD Rom
ASL onCD Rom has great videos of each sign which can be repeated as often as you need and at your own pace. The explanations are also written but do not always match the video. In order to see the sign you must type in the word. You are not able to type in a description of a sign and find out what it means. This is an important missing part. The fingerspelling section is good for beginners but not for those who need practice in speed.

1-0 out of 5 stars don't make the mistake I did
I bought this from amazon.com. Once I received it I installed it on my mac powerbook 3400c running os 9. It ran horribly, the quicktime images overan half of the screen window of the program so it was impossible to use on my mac. Because it also has a windows version of itself on the cd I then installed it on my husband's pc. It ran much better on his pc (which upset me even more since it is supposed to be able to run on a mac), however the screen was still very small, the quicktime images choppy and the viewing area incredibly small. After trying to see if I could tweak it on both the pc and mac I have had dismal success with it. Knowing what I know now I would not have bought it. The software that runs this program from the cd is achingly old as well.

1-0 out of 5 stars Is it me or the software...
Might just be me, but I find the software to be "dead" on my computer. I can access the dictionary, but the video does not come up at all. Perhaps my system is too new (Windows 98). I really want to learn to sign, but find this product to be tedious (and out of date??). ... Read more


35. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
list price: $34.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AFX44
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Pearson Software
Sales Rank: 1816
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Vast, comprehensive multimedia reference work
  • Free updates for one year
  • Covers all areas of human knowledge
  • Research organization tools
  • 17,000 images plus audio and video

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Britannica 2004 versus Encarta 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
¿DVD or CD? Both editions are actually the same. You can copy them in your hard disk.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both.

4-0 out of 5 stars Still one of the best sources for information
The title says it all. Encyclopeadia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition features the entire 33 volume books, additonal volumes starting at 1993, Webster's dictionary, theasaurus, articles from the people who made history including notibles like Albert Einstein, world maps and a functional interface that has some problems with the search function and being somewhat sluggish.

The critisism of old information may be true although I profess, I don't spend that much time focusing on one region of the world that changes incredibly quickly. Articles are in-depth and well notated. The language is at times almost poetic and on occasion technically intimidating. The difference between this and the more expensive version may help those of us that want to read about sub-atomic particles without needing to take notes. Yet this attention to detail is why Encyclopeadea Britanica is so world acclaimed. The information on complex subjects is written to the complexity of the subject. Read articles on domesticated house pets and you won't drown in a sea of formulae and densely written text. At it's best Encyclopadea Britannica brings new detail to the subject at hand. Looking over the word "drum" brought about a scholarly response with unexpected richness while at the other end of the spectrum was the Britannica's discussion on Zappa, Frank - typing it in as Frank Zappa gets you nowhere, the strict adherence of proper language important as the flowery prose written about the deceased Composer/Rock Star/Satirist. Zappa would be having a good laugh at the cereberal treatment of his work. Encyclopaedia Britannica takes itself seriously if not laboriously.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Ultimate Reference Suite may make some discussions a bit easier as there are three versions based on school age along with dictionary tools of similar age groupings. You get about 5000 extra multimedia elements which are probably interesting but hardly necessary. The reference suite seems age based in a completeist way.

Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition has the same tools as it's larger, higher priced version. It stays within the adult realm. This is a serious thing to consider as you are expected to have well rounded educational skills in this adult version. Having not used this software before it is hard to say the quality is better or worse than previous editions. The updates are generally dated at 2002 as are the Encarta discussions.

One major difference is getting to additional information. You get a full year's worth of content updates opposed to Encarta's fixed date of October 2004. You also are spared having to open an extra internet account (MSN) which Encarta asks of you. Premium services are available for 60 days with an offer to purchase an extra year of premium services at $25. This is slightly less than half price should you join Britannica's online service for 12 months. Again, with Encarta you must become a MSN user with a flat fee of $4.95 a month for their premium service which is often where the expanded content is.

Therefore, Encyclopaedia Britannica is a better value and doesn't tie you into propriatary services, a real disincentive when you have high speed access and are expected to pay for much of the depth of Encarta's information.

What you need to consider is:
1. how do you best learn? If it is visually then you may find Britannica to be a bit on the boring side. As one that enjoys visuals I can say I don't miss them in the face of so much inforation available within Encyclopaedia Britannica. But in terms of media and a fun quotient Encarta is hard to beat.
2. what education level are you comfortable learning in? Again, Encyclopaedia Britannica doesn't compromise much. There is more substance here but with the expectation you will put effort into checking areas you are unfamiliar with. This is very much a encyclopedia in the real sense of the word. But for the good cross reference tools and links to other sites you are reading a book, not "experiencing" information which is Encarta's strongest point and weakest point at once.
3. should you upgrade? Based on others who seem hell bent to pummel this excellent CD set it seems the answer is no. It may be better to stick with Britannica's web solution instead.

In conclusion, Encarta beats Britannica hands down in terms of interface, performance speed and colorful content. But Britannica's best suit is the addition of a theasauras, dictionary, world map, study tools and content. Britannica also has vastly more detail and articles, it's Year in Review books from 1993 to 2002 along with about the same up to date material as Encarta. In terms of comparing software it isn't fair to compair Encarta Deluxe with Britannica Deluxe, the amount of additional material in Britannica Deluxe compares favorably with Encarta Reference Library where again, Britannica wins in most every catagory of information.

I can't give Britannica five stars due to it's slower operation and less developed interface. Nor could I give it any less than 4 stars based on information and find it astonishing that reviewers here are so rough on this wonderful software. Should you want the best of both worlds I'd suggest both Britannica and Encarta but I would also warn you that Encarta Reference Library is the way to go as it is substantially more developed than Encarta Deluxe.

Of the two Britannica is the superior package, providing comprehensive knowledge is what you are looking for.

2-0 out of 5 stars NOT UPDATED - very outdated!
If you already have an older version of Britannica, do not waste your time and money with this product. It has much better interface than 2002 or 2003 version, but as compared with Encarta 2004 or Concise Britannica (2002) it is completely outdated!

Examples:

- Encarta 2004 and Concise Britannica say that Mobil and Exxon are former names (companies) and that the new company is named Exxon Mobil Corp. (since 1999). But Britannica 2004 (Deluxe) says Mobil and Exxon are still independent companies (the last date mentioned is 1972 for Exxon and 1988 for Mobil).

- Concise Britannica say that Merida, Mexico, had a population of 557,000 in 1990 (Encarta 2004: 705,000 in 2000). But Britannica 2004 (Deluxe) provides only an information for 1980(!) (i.e. 400,142)

- Another example of Britannica's outdatedness is a name of the French town of Chalons-sur-Marne: how is it possible that Britannica is the only major encyclopedia which still hasn't noticed that it was renamed Chalons-en-Champagne years ago (according to Hachette in 1995)?

Etc, etc. ... Read more


36. Topics Entertainment Presents: Ancient Civilizations
list price: $29.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000DIH0X
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 2102
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • A dynamic, interactive exploration of historical sites and cultures
  • 4-disc collection take users on a global journey across vanished cultures
  • Experience Ancient Egypt, Machu Picchu, Pompeii, and more
  • Captivating images from award-winning photographer, Tom Till
  • Includes The Romans, a bonus foldout map from National Geographic

Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Horrible interface & not much depth
I was expecting much more from this I guess. The interface was terrible and different from disk to disk. On the Pompeii narration the guy doing the talking wasn't even talking about what was on the screen..gak! I could have found what was these disks, on the net for free. ... Read more


37. MOBILE SYSTEMS Oxford English-Spanish Pro Dictionary

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00027M6LC
Catlog: CE
Sales Rank: 42891
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Each dictionary article includes a headword, pronunciation and part of speech description
  • Also covers inflected forms, example phrases and sentences
  • Stylish interface offers multiple color schemes
  • New compression algorithms means more data stored in a smaller space, for a more effective portable dictionary

38. SELECTSOFT USA Oxford Hachette French/English Dictionary (Windows)

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007E8BJ
Catlog: Software
Sales Rank: 2874
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • This powerful and concise guide to the French language holds the translation tools you need to learn French
  • The special dictionary contains over 175,000 words and phrases and 270,000 translations-- you have a complete guide to the language
  • Concise and accessible, this special guide to the language and culture will prepare you for your trip abroad!

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Idea!
Oxford University Press makes some of the best dictionaries in the world... and now they are available on CD-Rom!

The Pop-up Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary is the CD-Rom version of the Concise Oxford-Hachette French-English dictionary, with 175,000 words, phrases and definitions. Omitted from the CD-Rom are the sections on French grammar, pronunciation and correspondence, but all of the word entries remain... ready for your hard drive!

This is a fantastic tool for students and translators who write and research on their computers. The program is simple to install and use, and uses up very little memory on your hard drive.

Oxford University Press makes dual-language dictionaries for every major European language, for every country participating in the European Union. The CD-Rom versions (Pop-up) can be purchased in module form... You can buy as few or as many as you like, and they interlock and work together as one drop down menu on your title bar! A terrific idea, especially for those who are frequently corresponding or translating from one language to another!

I first purchased the English dictionary and English thesaurus in this series, and recently added the Oxford-Hachette French-English dictionary. I am so thrilled with these, I plan to buy my college-bound niece the English dictionary and English thesaurus for her computer.

It is relatively easy to find the English dictionary and thesaurus, the French-English, German-English and Spanish-English dictionaries in North America. If you are interested in other European languages, you might have to pay a bit more or import them, but it will be worth the effort!

4-0 out of 5 stars Looks good but I need it for a Mac!!!
I will get it for my son's PC but I can't find a dictionary like this for Mac. You would think someone would make it. I wish it were easier to search CDs in Amazon by operating system or to link a comment to a product ... Read more


39. Encarta Reference Library 2004 DVD - Large Box
list price: $69.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000096L6X
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 5847
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Combines award-winning encyclopedia resources with research and learning tools
  • Comprehensive homework project and research tracking tools
  • Collection of videos from Discovery Channel and a new Visual Browser
  • Update Encarta tool keeps reference materials both timely and accurate
  • A wealth of relevant information on virtually any subject

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Encarta 2004 versus Britannica 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
¿DVD or CD? Both editions are actually the same. You can copy them in your hard disk.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both. ... Read more


40. Encarta Reference Library 2004 (Small Box)
list price: $69.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000096L6Y
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 2258
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable
I've tried both Encarta 2004 and Britannica 2004. As other reviews here pointed out, Britannica is also good, but the interface leaves a lot to be desired and program is very very sluggish. I'm on a 1.6Mhz Pentium 4 Windows XP system, with 1 gigabyte of memory. So I was a bit surprised how slow it was.

I decided to go with Encarta because it's faster, has more multimedia, and I like how Microsoft updates it (and displays a list of what was updated/added). I haven't tried the older versions of Encarta so I cannot compare, but 2004 looks and works fine for me. Some have complained about the Visual Browser "carousel" on the main page of the program. This can easily be disabled in the program options if it annoys you. The Encarta interface is very clean and organized. Colorful detailed buttons on the toolbar make it very easy to access the most common tasks and the search function is very fast. It seems the more you dig into it, the more goodies you'll find. There are great interactivities, games, dynamic atlas, 3D and 2D virtual tours, thousands of quotations, an entire dictionary program, and lots more. If you're used to the Internet Explorer browser, the "Favorites" menu in Encarta is identical and a great way to bookmark and organize your favorite places in this vast program. It's very easy to get "lost" for hours just clicking around.

I haven't looked through an encyclopedia on CD-ROM since the early 90's when CD-ROM technology was just starting to take off. I'm pleased to see how detailed and invaluable they've become. I'd recommend this to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love this product!
I've not seen Encarta before so I have no idea about previous versions. However, this version is very impressive. I'm a computer professional and I can say that very few products have a user interface that 'flows' this well. My primary reason to get this was for my 10-year-old, but I think I'll be using it a lot more than her. The maps, dictionaries, articles, and links to related content on the web are great, but how they are all tied together is what really makes this product shine.

It does take a while to load and you want to install everything on your hard drive (about 2Gig). If you don't load everything to your disk then you'll wear out your arm swapping between the 5 CDs when you look at different articles.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but better Encarta Reference Library
It is better to buy Encarta Reference Library, because it has more text and features (Atlas and so on). I have reviewed it if you want extra information. The system requirements are about the same.

5-0 out of 5 stars Encarta 2004 versus Britannica 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good in a Very Microsoftish Way
Encarta is good. It is very easy to use. It has a web site that a registered user could access. Its world map is far superior than the Encyclopaedia Britannica's. However, its contents are sometimes not that good.

For example, I searched "John Rawls," a prominent moral and political philosopher, today. Its first line reads:

[ Rawls, John (1921-), American moral and political philosopher, whose major work, A Theory of Justice, has had a profound impact on ethics and political theory since its publication in 1971. ]

For God's sake, Rawls died on Nov 22, 2002. It's March 21, 2004 today. And Encarta, which supposedly should be updated weekly, did nothing to correct this mistake. ... Read more


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