Encyclopaedia Brittanica 2009 Ultimate Edition
Is there a place for an electronic, DVD-based version of Encyclopaedia Britannica in the post-Wikipedia world? We tested Encyclopaedia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Edition to find out.
- Relatively comprehensive
- Wikipedia has more depth to most of its entries
The 2009 Ultimate DVD Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is relatively comprehensive but it faces an unequal struggle against the free monolith of Wikipedia, which ultimately has more depth to most of its entries. But the 4GB installation of Encyclopaedia Britannica 2009 beats the 180GB of English Wikipedia (if you should download the latest archive), so for reasons of size and safety, the Britannica still has its place.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
‘Knowledge is power' is a popular aphorism, attributed to Roger Bacon over 400 years ago. The Encyclopaedia Britannica isn't quite that old - it's generally reckoned to have been first published in 1768 - but it's still respected as a great font of knowledge, even in this online age.
The latest electronic edition, available on one DVD, is billed as Encyclopaedia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Edition. While it may be the biggest version yet, claiming over 74,000 article entries, it will still have trouble keeping up with that popular internet oracle Wikipedia. In its English language repository alone, Wikipedia can boast 2.7 million article entries.
To counter this kind of competition, the Encyclopaedia Britannica promotes features that will appeal to certain users, namely its safety for children (no need to send your kids out on the net), and its accuracy and credibility. Unlike Wikipedia's sometimes partisan entries, susceptible to vandalism by jokers and people with axes to grind, the Encyclopaedia Britannica 2009 has articles written by professional historians and experts, with facts checked by Brittanica editorial staff.
New features in Encyclopaedia Britannica 2009 include Britannica Biographies with over 2000 entries, plus another 2000 Great Minds entries; Historical Timelines which shows a linear flow of history; a new interactive A-Z QuickSearch; and Britannica Book of the Year articles.
When you start up Encyclopaedia Britannica 2009 - a cross-platform package for Windows or Mac - it asks what type of content you'd like to see - Elementary for children 6-10, Intermediate for 10-14 year olds, or adult. The main interface resembles a web browser coded for frames, with a left-hand sidebar listing entries alphabetically, and Home and forward/backward arrows above. Also at top are buttons to start separate functions such as Dictionaries, Atlas, Timelines, BrainStormer.
The latter function is a practical realisation of a mind-mapping app, with entries already coded in place. Start with Britannica KnowledgeBase, and you can follow spidered lines to, for example, science and mathematics, quantum electrodynamics, before landing at Nobel prize winner Aleksandr Prokhorov, where you can read his entry.
The core search function requires some care and second-guessing. We looked up writer Philip K Dick, and were shown only an entry on Philip I of Spain. As we started to type in Dick, though, the entry was then listed. And the US-centric nature of the formerly British encyclopedia is also all-too obvious. Look up ‘colour' in the built-in dictionary, and you're simply informed that this is the Brit spelling for ‘color'.
Multimedia clips, typically low-res film and audio clips, are included for some entries, but their quality is disappointing. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2009 is also somewhat buggy, with messy text entries in places and we were unable to complete fields in the built-in registration page, necessary to download updates.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 2 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 5 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- Jackery Titan S 20100 review: An affordable battery that packs a punch
- Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD review: Everything you want in a battery pack
- Samsung Fast Charge Portable Battery Pack 5100 review: Slim, portable, and full of energy
- RAVPower 20100 review: USB-C and QC 3.0 together
- Aukey 30000 PowerBank with Power Delivery review: A respectable upgrade
PCW Evaluation Team
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
- Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- GAMOSPHERE: Your August Roundup of Gaming News
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTProgram Director - TelecommunicationsOther
- FTSOE EngineerOther
- CCSolutions Architect - CANBERRA BASEDSA
- CCTechnical Architect - Oracle Identity and Access ManagementACT
- CCSenior .Net DeveloperNSW
- FTDocument Project Coordinator, TelcoNSW
- CCSenior Developer - C#, .NETVIC
- FTSenior Wintel Systems EngineerOther
- FTSOC Analyst - Permanent Opportunity!!Other
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- FTInside Sales SMSF SolutionsOther
- FTData Analyst/DeveloperNSW
- CCJava DeveloperVIC
- TPSystems Engineer (Wintel)QLD
- FTPerformance Test LeadOther
- TPTest AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Systems Engineer - Virtualisation and StorageVIC
- FT.Net Middleware DeveloperACT
- FTSoftware EngineerOther
- FTProject CoordinatorNSW
- FTNetwork ArchitectSA
- TPGraduate DeveloperNSW
- FTFull Stack Java DeveloperOther
- TPAgile Project ManagerQLD
- TPWindows Systems Administrator (Security)QLD