Encyclopedia Software?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Badandy, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. Badandy macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    #1
    Hi everyone. I just got a 12 inch Powerbook about a month ago, and this is my first mac, so I guess I switched. I have loved the experience so far, and Microsoft is going to have to pull off something really amazing in the future to get me to switch back (along with the hardware manufacturers). Anyway, on my old PC Laptop, I had Microsoft Encarta encyclopedia. I copied everything to the harddrive, and it was great because I could look up encyclopedia articles when I wasn't connected to the internet. Is there a way to do this on mac? I looked and I couldn't find an application like this for mac. Help would be greatly appreciated...
     
  2. stridey macrumors 65816

    stridey

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    #2
    There are several commercial encyclopedias available. I believe new Macs still ship with World Book Encyclopedia... I'd check for it in /Applications/World Book 2006 Folder/ (or something like that)
     
  3. Badandy thread starter macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    #3
    Nope, not there. Thanks though. Anyone else have some commecial options?
     
  4. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #4
    Only non-Pro Macs ship with World Book as a bundle

    You can buy it separately though.
     
  5. Badandy thread starter macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    #5
    Is that the most reputable encyclopedia software available?


    EDIT: I looked on their site and some reviews on it and they said it is geared primarily for middle school students and youth. Is there a "grown-up" encyclopedia like Brittanica, Americana, or Encarta?
     
  6. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #6
    I've only got an old version of it. I don't use it particularly often.

    The Apple store sells two version of Britannica 2006 (which I guess is probably the most reliable) - one is £40 and one is £60 - and World Book which is £50
     
  7. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #7
    I hear these people have a good encyclopaedia that will work on your Mac, and at a great price too! :D
     
  8. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #8
    Did you read the part of the OP's post where he said he wanted to use it offline?
     
  9. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #9
    :eek:

    I actually double-checked that being online wasn't a problem. Guess my diagonal reading skills have gone down the drain. :eek:

    Still wikipedia is a great project and I personally can't see why anybody would buy an encyclopaedia (except of course for the off-line thingy).
     
  10. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

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    #10
    It's £35 at Amazon for the Britannica Ultimate Edition.
    I've been looking at this for a while - does anyone have it? Is it worth it?
     
  11. Badandy thread starter macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    #11
    It works, but for real research projects I need something reliable with a reputation for being factually correct, unlike Wikipedia (which I think is very sueful, dont get me wrong).
     
  12. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

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    #12
    Does anyone know if the new "2007 Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite" is a Universal Binary?

    They appear to be using the Universal logo on their packaging, but does this mean it's a full UB and not just tested to work OK under Rosetta?

    Edit: they don't use the Universal logo at all actually. Perhaps because their installation software is still PowerPC? The main app is UB though, but in a weird Java way that shows it as PowerPC initially.

    I can get the full DVD version for a good price and am considering buying it.
     
  13. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

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    #13
    A universal logo means it's a UB. They don't put that on things unless it'll run natively on Intel Macs.
     
  14. Palladium macrumors member

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    #14
    Hi everyone,

    I have just today ordered Britannica Ultimate Reference 2007 so I cannot comment on it as yet. But do not buy the previous version (2006) for an IntelMac as it will not run. I bought it from Amazon at what I thought ws a good price when I got my MacBook in June. It installed but would not complete the initiation so was unusable. I contacted Britannica and got the following:

    "The problem that you are experiencing is due to a change made within the MAC OS in relation to the Intel processor on your system. The updated MAC OS does not support the coding within the Britannica software. The Development Team have already spoken to Apple about this and it has been determined that there is no way to resolve this issue with the current versions of the Britannica software. The Development Team are currently recode the 2007 software. They have also confirmed that they are not going to be able to issue a patch for the older software. This means that at this point in time we are not able to offer any solutions to the problem that you are encountering on that system."

    They suggested I return it or apply for a free upgrade but I gave it to my daughter for her G4 iBook and and have now reordered at a promotional discount. I previously used the 2004 version which opened Windows-type windows (an x in a cicle to close) and was rather sluggish but the content was good.
     
  15. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

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    #15
    Thanks for that, I'd be interested to hear how you get on with the 2007 version.
     
  16. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #16
    You can buy Wikipedia in their offline version. I think all of wikipedia comes to about 1.5 GB text only, and about 7.5 GB including images, so it fits on a dual layer DVD.

    I'm also considering buying Brittanica. I used to use the 1995 (ish) version on my old PC, and I loved it - simple clean interface (used Netscape Mosiac!) - all the articles were written by academic experts, and I could look up their qualifications - I think it was a straight port of the classic book version. Mostly text, with few images, but very information rich, fitted on a single CD.

    Fast forward to 2002, and I tried out the 2002 version. I hated it. Full of fluff and empty content, and flashy gimmicks. some of the text was still the same, but it seemed 'dumbed down'. I felt less educated after using it.

    I still wish I could use that 1995 version.

    What's the 2007 version like? I'm looking for something with rigour, academic solidness and a clean interface.

    At the moment, i'm reduced to Wikipedia, which has a nice clean interface, and at least in the areas I use, it isn't TOO full of mistakes.
     
  17. rspeaker macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Those posting about Wikipedia...

    I do not know what the OP was planning on using an encyclopedia for, but I have had several professors tell my classes that Wikipedia is an unacceptable reference tool. Most agree it usually has good information, but because it can essentially be edited by anyone, without official checks and balances, it can't be deemed a reputable source.

    Just something to consider...
     
  18. penter macrumors 6502a

    penter

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    #18
    I have World Book Encyclopedia 2006, but i do not recommend it.... It works fine if you just want some quick reference, but you might as wekk use wikipedia for that.
    I cannot comment on the Britanica 2007 multimedia encyclopedia, but from what i hear it is the one that sounds most convincing.
     
  19. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

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    #19
    Britannica 2007 UB Confirmed

    Britannica just emailed me this:

    I'm definitely buying it now then. Will make a nice Xmas present ;)
     
  20. Palladium macrumors member

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    #20
    Britannica 2007 software

    The following is a slighly modifed version of an email I sent to drlunanerd who was concerned as to whether or not Britannca2007 was UB or powerPC.

    I have now had a chance to load the Britannica 2007 software and I'm very happy to say it works which the 2006 variety did not. The situation regarding whether or not it is universal binary is still slightly confused. The installation.app is definitely PowerPC and the BDVDURSD07.app which launches the encyclopaedia is apparently also PowerPC as shown on the Get Info window and it is <400KB which seems very small. Clicking on BDVDURSD07.app or on an alias of this launches the encyclopaedia with about one bounce of the icon in the Dock which I believe points to it being UB. Finally, when launched, Activity Monitor shows an application Britannica2007 as being Intel and taking 124MB of real memory and 760 MB of virtual memory.

    It launches and runs very quickly on my MacBook (2.0 GHz, 2GB). I previously ran Britannica 2004 on a 800MHz G4 iBook and it was very sluggish. This gives instantaneous response when selecting a new topic. New topics are tabbed so you can easily switch between topics. In 2004, windows opened in front of windows so it could be hard to find an earlier topic. The windows have a fully OS X look as opposed to the more Windows look of 2004. System requirements are a G5 or Intel processor and OS10.4 so it won't run on any pre2006 iBook or PowerBook (Britannica2006 did run on my old iBook).

    There are a few rough edges. I installed it from my admin account and then opened it in my normal user account which of course has no write privileges to the System or Applications folders. On trying to open the Atlas feature, I got an error message about being unable to write some security data somewhere due to lack of privileges but it then opened the atlas anyway. In one article I noticed multiple (2 and even 3) copies of some but not all of the figures. Hopefully soem software updates will fix these points.

    Anyway it works and so far I am happy.
     
  21. nick004 macrumors regular

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    Oct 21, 2005
    #21
    I use wikipedia for university all the time, all you have to do it follow the reference on the article and cite that reference instead of wikipedia. It is a great place to start out as it provides you with links to other so called 'legitimate sources'.

    There was a study that compared Britannica to Wikipedai on technical article at Wikipedia apparently had less error's.

    Wikipedia can be downloaded I have it on my iPod.
     
  22. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

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    #22
    How do you actually read/search it though when you're offline? It's just a massive XML file isn't it, so don't you need a database app to read it?
     
  23. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

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    #23
    Just been using Britannica 2007.

    On the whole, I'm not impressed. Clunky interface with frequent glitches (seems to be written in Java) and sub-par navigational tools. After being used and then hidden, it uses around 25% CPU time in the background which I think is excessive.

    Amazingly there appears to be no way to download updated content. You can only view updated articles when you're online, which is rubbish. Encarta on the PC and earlier versions of Britannica let you do this.

    Been reading some of the technology content and it's not very in-depth, and is quite out of date. Cross-referencing in such articles isn't too hot either - e.g. no mention of Windows XP or Vista in the Microsoft article, but a very brief mention in Operating Systems. Likewise for Mac OS X and Apple.

    I'm glad I didn't pay full price for this. It's OK as another reference tool, but it's not enjoyable software to use and therefore I think I'll find myself avoiding it if I'm online - easier just to search Wikipedia or indeed Britannica Online.

    Frankly MS Encarta wipes the floor with it in terms of software - that's one MS application I'd buy if they released it for the Mac.
     

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