Encyclopaedia Brittanica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006

Encyclopaedia Brittanica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006
  • Encyclopaedia Brittanica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006
  • Encyclopaedia Brittanica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006
  • Encyclopaedia Brittanica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Comprehensive, well presented

Cons

  • Huge footprint

Bottom Line

Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006 is undeniably of value to school students, but equally for adults looking to further knowledge on a range of subjects – or even to more deeply understand how the world works.

Would you buy this?

The Australian edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006 is an impressive resource. Available as a single DVD or multiple CD set, it's actually three products rolled into one. Primarily, it includes the Encyclopaedia Brittanica (replete with over 75,000 articles), a Student Library with 15,000 articles aimed at school-age children, and Britannica Elementary Library, which is pitched at primary school students and designed to foster an early habit of looking up information.

As expected of such a comprehensive resource, installation demands a fair chunk of hard disk space. The minimum footprint is around 1.1GB, and a complete installation will swallow 4.3GB. The latter is recommended if you can spare the drive space, as it dramatically reduces search times and increases responsiveness over relying on the DVD. Mac and Windows platforms are supported from the box.

The kit also includes the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus, an interactive world atlas that links to articles, images and timelines, and Britannica BrainStormer - a mapping feature that allows you to run through subjects and view all the related topics on screen at once. It works much like a brain map that shows relationships between topics - type in a search query to bring it up on screen, with all related topics appearing as small links around the original subject. From here you can click on other 'nodes' and view all articles and entries related to them. It's a great way to research an unfamiliar topic, as it clearly shows how one subject relates to another.

The application relies on a browser-style interface with links presented in a column on the left of the screen. Tabs along the top of the pages allow you to move quickly between the encyclopaedia itself to the Student and Elementary libraries. The interface is quick and easy to use and is a snap for anyone that's ever used a web browser. It's possible to search by keyword, and articles offer Related Topic boxes on the right hand side of the screen to link to other relevant articles. It speeds browsing for information, as you can start out with generic search terms and use the Related Topic sidebars to drill down into other fields.

Another handy feature is the Timelines. The disc includes detailed timelines plotting significant historical advances in a particular field like architecture, religion or medicine. A chart is presented along the bottom of the screen, showing dates running from left to right. Click on a date to see what happened in a particular field at a certain time, and the visual presentation style makes it easy to understand how human knowledge has evolved.

Articles are well written, and the suite overcomes one of the biggest problems with presenting so much information in the one place - how to illustrate relationships and show "the big picture". The BrainStorm feature is especially useful for this as its interface allows the user to visually make connections between subjects. The disc is undeniably of value to school students, but equally for adults looking to further knowledge on a range of subjects.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?