IBM World Book Millennium 2000 Multimedia Encyclopedia
Premier Reference Library Edition

"Perfect for the Whole Family"

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The IBM World Book product line includes three CD-ROM editions of its encyclopedia--Standard, Deluxe, and Premier Reference Library. The products range from $39.95 to $89.95. World Book does offer a Macintosh version of their multimedia encyclopedia. See their Web site for more information. The World Book Web site is:

  1. Standard Edition--It is a one CD-ROM that contains every article from The World Book encyclopedia print set plus thousands more, along with a comprehensive collection of integrated multimedia features, including videos, virtual reality tours, cartographically-accurate maps, full-color photographs, illustrations and high-quality audio.
  2. Deluxe Edition--It comes on two CD-ROMs and builds upon the Standard Edition by incorporating more integrated multimedia features and functions, including expanded video, animations, simulations and Homework Wizards, a collection of tools designed to help students create charts, reports and time lines.
  3. Premier Reference Library--It comes on four CD-ROMs and provides users with an all-in-one integrated reference product. The review below is on the Premier Reference Library.

The IBM World Book Millennium 2000 Multimedia Encyclopedia, Premier Reference CoverLibrary Edition, is a wonderful reference tool, which is suitable for students, parents, and teachers who want the most powerful and robust reference. It is an all-in-one reference product that includes the Standard Edition World Book 2000, plus a new Rand McNally Millennium World Atlas; the Merriam-Webster Reference Library (Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus; Intermediate Dictionary; Encyclopedia of Literature; Medical Desk Dictionary; Biographical Dictionary); and three Information Please almanacs (Sports, Entertainment, and General Knowledge). with easy-to-use search features; extensive online functions; It has a collection of integrated multimedia features; Homework Wizard learning and organization tools; and an array of additional research tools. It comes on four CDs.

Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced computer users; suitable for children ages 10 to adult. Articles are written with the probable age of the reader in mind. Younger students or those looking for a simple answer quickly get the information they want--advanced students will find the in-depth information they need.

Authoritative Content

  • All articles from the World Book Encyclopedia print edition, plus over 3,000 articles unique to the electronic database and more than 12,000 online articles);
  • Grade level appropriate articles or curriculum-oriented content;
  • Cartographically accurate maps and detailed illustrations;
  • Unabridged dictionary.

Extensive Multimedia

  • 360-degree panoramas (also called Bubble Views);
  • Extensive Multimedia: 122 videos, 42 animations, & 14 interactive simulations; over 700 audio clips that enable you to listen to sound clips of animal calls, world music, & political speeches;
  • Includes 322 timelines, 1,731 tables, and approximately 1,060 maps.

Millennium Feature

  • Simulated Web sites for each century take you back in history, from 1,000 AD to the present.

Online Extras for Internet Users--One Year Free

  • Thousands of links to related Web sites;
  • Monthly online encyclopedia updates;
  • Access World Book archives to read original year Book articles from more than 80 years;
  • Thousands of articles and special reports not found on the CD-ROM
  • Plus--Free 60-day trial subscription to World Book Online.

Homework Tool Kit

  • Web Page Wizard creates personal, newsletter, or school report Web pages;
  • Quiz Wizard makes flash cards, math quizzes, and true/false quizzes;
  • Chart and Timeline Wizards enhance papers;
  • Report Wizard Helps organize and write research papers;
  • Highlighter and Sticky Notes make research easier.

Rand McNally Millennium World Atlas Deluxe

  • Detailed 3-D maps highlight over 1.6 million places;
  • Over 75 mapping tools provide customized maps and information;
  • Detailed city center street maps for 65 major cities around the world;
  • Global Find offers quick access to vital information;
  • Thematic Maps highlight social, economic, or environmental issues.

Merriam-Webster Reference Library

  • Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus featuring 214,000 definitions and 250,000 synonyms and antonyms;
  • Intermediate Dictionary with 65,000 entries and 1,000 illustrations;
  • Encyclopedia of Literature with 10,000 entries;
  • Medical Desk Dictionary with 53,000 entries;
  • Biographical Dictionary includes over 30,000 concise biographies.

Three Information Please Almanacs

  • Information Please Sports Almanac;
  • Information Please Entertainment Almanac;
  • Information Please General Almanac.

Installation. The program is not difficult to install and you have a variety of installation options depending on how much hard disk space you have.

User Guide. The guide is 60 pages and gives you in-depth explanations of the program's various functions.Main Menu

Interface. The interface is similar to the 1999 version, with small changes. Starting World Book, you will see the Main Menu entry screen, and you use this menu to get to articles, media, the dictionary, or online. (See image to the right for an example.)

  • Search has five options: Topics--search the encyclopedia by topic or Time Framesword; Atlas--use the Atlas to view maps and use the Distance Calculator; Dictionary--look up words; Time Frame--search for time related details, using a year, decade, century, millennium, or era see image to the right); and What's Online--go to Online Updating Service or World Book's Web site.
  • Browse has four options: Surf the Millennium--dip into imaginary news sites from the pastJust Looking millennium; Just Looking--the place to start browsing, like flipping through pages in a book (see image to the right); Media--lets you see all of the media resources; and Monthly Spotlight--each month, this section contains a new article pointing to timely information and highlighting features.
  • Also available are: Update Now--automatically update World Book; Homework Wizards--mini-computer programs that give students step-by-step help with creating reports, essays, charts, timelines, Web pages, and quizzes; and Premier Library--takes you to main menu of Premier Reference Library.

Once inside an article area, you can still easily go from one feature or function to another using the Control Panel, discussed below, that is always available. There is a Menu Bar across the top of the screen with the usual Window choices: File, Edit, Tools, Online, and Help. Below that is a Control Panel that consists of twelve options displayed in two groups. To the left of the screen are major tools and functions: Tool Kit, Search and Dictionary; to the right are navigation controls: Back, Main InterfaceForward, Main Menu/Home, Article, Just Looking, Atlas, Time Frame, What's Online, and Stop. The Menu Bar and Control Panel are always available within World Book, making it easy to find options and move between features and functions. The middle of the screen is where articles appear and to the left is where the search and/or dictionary windows will open. The small search window can be moved and closed if you need more space. The interface is very clean, easy to use and intuitive.

Surf the Millennium. The World Book 2000 does not include Cyber Safari, the multimedia tour of the San Diego Zoo that was in the earlier version, but instead has a new feature called Surf the SurfMillennium, which is as much fun as the Cyber Safari. You can check out what some Web news sites might have been like if the Web had existed throughout this millennium. Each century, from the 1000's to the 1900's, has its own home page that links to other simulated Web sites from that period such as 3-zines, want ads, bookstores, and other types. You can go shopping in the 16th century; enroll in Samurai Warrior School; and check out Mozart's resume.

Homework Wizards. Help wizards assemble text and media into polished reports. There are five wizards:

  1. Report Wizard--provides guidance in all aspects of report writing: selecting a topic; preparing a schedule; doing research and preparing notecards; choosing an approach; writing a thesis Homework Wizardsstatement; sorting notecards; writing an outline; writing the first draft; creating visuals; revising; preparing a bibliography; and preparing the final draft.

  2. Chart Wizard--enables students to quickly and easily create and print a chart or graph or add the chart or graph to a report or presentation. Students can create horizontal bar and vertical bar charts, line graphs, and pie charts.

  3. Timeline Wizard--enables students to quickly and easily create and print a Timeline or add the Timeline to a report or presentation. The Timelines students can create contain events and dates that they specify or events and dates found in a special World Book events database.

  4. Web Page Wizard--enables students to make up to three linked Web pages. They can create a Web page newsletter about a hobby or activity or about their school or community. They can also present a class assignment as one Web page or a series of several, or use or copy them to a diskette to take to school.

  5. Quiz Wizard--enables students to make and take three different types of quizzes to challenge themselves just for the fun of it or to practice for quizzes and tests. They can make true/false and flash card quizzes on any subject, or create mathematics quizzes.

Atlas. There are maps within the World Book as well as in the Rand McNally New Millennium World Atlas. This section applies to the World Book maps. See the Rand McNally Atlas section below for a discussion of their maps. There are a variety of maps in the World Book, and you can Mapsjump to progressively more detailed maps to learn about countries, states, provinces, and cities. There is also an Overlays feature that allows you to view locator maps, thematic maps, and legends. Locator maps are small maps that show you where the region or country you are currently viewing is located within a country or continent. For example, if a map of France were in view, the locator map would be a small map of Europe with France highlighted. Thematic maps convey basic information on such topics as climate, economy, or population distribution. World Book has multiple thematic maps for most continents and major countries of the world. A Legend map is a list of symbols and explanations for the map currently in view. Most thematic maps have legends, as do city maps. Calculator

There is also a great Distance Calculator that you can use to find the distance between two locations. It plots them on both a three-dimensional globe and a flat map, and displays the distance. It can also determine how far it is between a set location and your cursor's location on the map.

Online Features. World Book has up-to-date information on the Web.

Article Updates--Every month, you can download updates of current events to keep up with the latest developments in topics such as world affairs, science and technology, sports and recreation, and health and medicine.

The Month in Brief--Each month, World Book editors prepare a list of special events. OnlineYou can click a specific day to see what major news events, holidays and special events occurred on that day or scroll through the entire month.

Web Sites--World Book Approved Web Sites guide you to thousands of high-quality sites on the World Wide Web.

Back In Time--To see how knowledge has evolved over the century, you can choose and download from thousands of articles in World Book's archives, which date back to 1992.

Special Reports--allows you to download in depth special reports on a variety of subjects including geography, history, technology, humanities, industry, life science, physical science, math, recreation, and social studies.

World Book Web Site--Link to company site with features and products for students, parents, and teachers.

Merriam-Webster Reference Library and Information Please Almanacs. The Reference Reference LibraryLibrary combines dictionary, thesaurus and spelling tools into one easy-to-use Almanacs research aid. It comprises the Merrian-Webster Biographical Dictionary, Collegiate Dictionary, Collegiate Thesaurus, Encyclopedia of Literature, Intermediate Dictionary, and Medical Dictionary. The Information Please Almanacs gives you information on general topics, sports, and entertainment. It is very convenient to have all of this information in one program.

Rand McNally New Millennium World Atlas Deluxe. Perusing this section was so much fun, it Rand McNally Atlaswas almost sinful. If you love maps, you will be delighted as much as I was with this new section.Globe The maps are beautiful and detailed, and there is a wealth of information on areas as well. You can look at the world from a birds-eye view or zoom into a detailed map of a selected city; learn about the geography, culture, natural history, climate, and political history of a location (statistics and geographic stories about areas of interest are also provided); compare maps and information between locations; customize the appearance of your maps; add link to Rand McNally's home page on the Internet to learn more about a particular location.

This is a wonderful encyclopedia that the whole family can enjoy. The material is presented in a clear and direct style, and the interface is easy enough for younger children. The new Surf the Millennium section is pertinent to today's internet-conscious culture. The 360-degree Photo Bubble views are intriguing and very well done. The additional Merrian-Webster Reference Library, Rand McNally New Millennium World Atlas Deluxe, and the Information Please Almanacs make this a must software for anyone, young students, college age students, and parents. And the Homework Wizards are an excellent tool that would make learning fun for students. Keep this encyclopedia in mind for the time when you want that perfect gift. And if you want to get anything done around the house, don't open the Rand McNally World Atlas. You won't want to leave it. Four thumbs up for this one!

Processor: 486DX/100MHz or higher
Operating System: Windows 95/98/NT 4.0
Memory: 16 MB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 43 MB
16-bit color recommended
16-bit sound card
Double-speed CD-ROM Drive

Additional Requirements for World Atlas
68 MB hard disk space
CD-ROM Drive (Quad speed or faster)

For OnlineAccess
Hard Disk Space: 8 MB additional hard disk space
Internet connection

For ViaVoice
To use the World Book Millennium 2000 with ViaVoice option, you must separately purchase IBM's ViaVoice 98 version 5.2 or higher (Home, Office, or Executive). It had been included in the 1999 version of World Book. Higher minimum system requirements will apply to use of ViaVoice.


Graphics: Adobe ImageStyler
Web Page Editor: Macromedia Dreamweaver 3.0
Scanner: Hewlett Packard ScanJet 6250C Professional Series