Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite is a computer version of the well-known and respected Encyclopædia Britannica. It contains lots and lots of information and it is one of the most respected and reputable sources of information that one can consult. It is updated by a staff of 100 full-time editors and thousands of contributors. New versions are released yearly.
The encyclopedia has three different installation modes: typical, complete and custom. The typical mode installs everything but video and audio files, which are the ones that take the most space on your hard drive. You can still access them by inserting the DVD in your Mac. If you want everything available to you right away, you should go with the complete install.
The installation DVD can be used on Windows or Mac OS X, which is absolutely great. That means that you can access this great source of information on two of the three major operating systems.
When you launch Ultimate Reference Suite.app the first time, you can access three different libraries. There is one for kids aged 6-10, another for kids aged 10-14 and one for advanced students and adults. You can ask the application to remember your choice so you don't have to select a library every time you run the app.
There is a search feature that lets you access articles, maps and multimedia content. I was amazed at how great the maps were. They loaded very quickly, they displayed borders and states accurately and you can even open several maps in different tabs to compare them. This tabbed experience is also available for articles.
In short, Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite is a great source of reputable information that is edited by some great minds. It has a lot of content and new editions are released yearly. The content isn't as abundant in most articles as in Wikipedia, but the two can't be compared since anyone can edit a Wikipedia article and the information contained there can't always be trusted.
- Lots of information
- The same DVD works for Mac and Windows
- Good design
- Tabbed browsing