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                       REVIEW: WORLD INFO '95 CD-ROM
                            By:  Jason Compton 
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Danny Amor, compiler of the FreshFonts and da capo CD-ROMs, returns with
the help of a couple of friends to create World-Info '95, an HTML-only
creation intended as a cross between an almanac and an atlas, with a bit of
travel guide thrown in.

The interface is easy enough to explain-quite simply, it will look like
whatever graphical web browser you throw at it.  For the purposes of this
review, I used AMosaic 1.4 (not having upgraded to the 2.0 beta as of yet.)
While World-Info '95 is being marketed for "any" computer platform with
graphical web browsing capabilities, the "feel" is that it was aimed at the
Amiga, if for no other reason than it lacks a text-based search utility,
which at the time the CD was being compiled was not available on the Web
browser of the day, AMosaic 1.3.

What you do get is a way to search through the facts Danny and friends have
compiled for you.  You can start all the way at the most general way to
delineate the world (landmasses and oceans), then break it down to
continents (interestingly enough, they percieve North and South America as
one continent for some purposes), and so forth, right down to latitude and
longitude of major world cities.  Along the way, you can pick up such
national data as the usual almanac entries of population, inflation,
birth/death rate, literacy rate, and the like, as well as major pollution
concerns and human rights violations.  Full-color flags are included, and
several countries have a portfolio of several pictures available for
viewing.

Translation of common phrases between popular world languages (although not
the top ten by usage) is included.  I'll be well prepared in Armenia. :)

All of the data is included on the CD-ROM in both English and German, which
in short means that basically half of the 538 megs on the CD are used for
informational purposes, since the German and English data is reproduced,
with pictures, in separate directories.  It is worth noting that the human
rights data seems to be in English exclusively-apparently too huge of a
task for translation.

World-Info is a useful resource, but not something that offers an
earth-shakingly significant quantity of information.  While the
international telephone prefix directory is in some ways useful, and
certainly is not unwelcome, it is a good capsule of the CD as a
whole-interesting, but not stunning.  Data does not delve as deeply as it
could, particularly when it comes to individual cities, reduced to
coordinates and population.  Pictures, while nice to view and readily
organized in a thumbnail system, should have descriptions by those
thumbnails.  After all, the idea of a preview is to entice the viewer to
dig into the full picture, and telling them what the sight will be in full
glorious 256 colors (your capabilities may vary) is a serious help.

The data that has been compiled is certainly worth having access to,
particularly in the realm of human rights.  (Fascinatingly enough, there is
a "no entry" for the US-I presume that is because the reports seem to have
originated here.) 

In fact, that is one of the major negatives to the CD.  Much of the
information has been compiled, but not written, by Amor and the D'Addeo
sisters.  As such, there is an inconsistency in writing style.  I am also
troubled by the total lack (on the copyright page) of recognition for the
various sources that were used to complete the CD.

The team should be applauded for using HTML to create an
open resource for many computer users.  There is an axiom used to describe
many large CD-ROM projects, and it does apply here-"there is something for
everyone."  Few resources like this exist for the Amiga.  But don't rely on
it alone to plan your winter holiday.

Published by-
Stefan Ossowski's Schatztruhe
Veronikastrasse 33
45131 Essen - Germany