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                  Review: Online Library CD-ROM Volume 1
                            By:  Jason Compton 
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Danny Amor has gotten pretty good at whipping CD-ROMs out.  He's been
behind da capo, World Info, the upcoming da capo 2 and co-compiled the
Workbench Add On CD.  Inbetween, he put together the Online Library CD-ROM.

Entirely based in HTML, OL is similar in concept to World Info, which
similarly only required an HTML browser to operate.  The CD is broken up
into a number of different categories, ranging from humor to science to
Star Trek, with news, political documents, and hundreds of Project
Gutenberg books in various languages thrown in.

Online Library is multilingual, supporting the four "standard Amiga
languages" for navigation (English, French, German, Italian) with the
occasional text in a different language.  The bulk of the texts are
English, but some books (The Divine Comedy, for example) are only in their
native language.

Some may be drawn to the drinks recipe list.  While I'm no legendary
drinker, it's nice to know that I can check on the drink Dale Larson
promises to get into me the next time we see each other.

The HTML is sound without being flashy--any browser should have no trouble
dealing with the output as it's all very straightforward.  It would have
been nice to have a browser on the CD itself ready to go, but these are
relatively easy to come by.

Amiga Report fans may be pleased to note that there is a licensed
collection of AR on the disc, from the first issue through AR 3.05, with an
inexplicable gap to 3.13 (the last issue included on the disc.)

Just about any CD is going to be an eclectic collection of information, but
Online Library seems to revel in it.  Never before did I think I would see
five translations of the Bible in the same place as a collection of RFCs.
Nor did I anticipate that Amiga Report would rate the same category as The
Federalist Papers or the articles of Fredrick Douglass.

There are a few animations and MIDI files tossed somewhat randomly on the
disc, as there is no direct way to access them through the Web browser.
Configuring CDs for this sort of thing is difficult, but not impossible.

Will you enjoy using Online Library?  I think the best way to answer that
question is this:  How much do you enjoy reading Amiga Report, relative to
printed publications?  If you find it a hassle to read things on a computer
screen, you'll still be happier with hard copy (although buying just the
19th century classics on the CD will get pretty expensive.)  On the other
hand, if you don't mind a bit, Online Library will be second nature to
use.

Approximately US$30.

Published by Amiga Library Services
610 N. Alma School Rd. Suite 18
Chandler, AZ  85224-3687
USA
602-491-0442 voice
602-491-0048 fax
info@amigalib.com