The 1998 World Book Encyclopedia with ViaVoice Technology is an enjoyable informational experience. The wealth of knowledge from the world famous encyclopedia on two interactive CD-ROMs integrated with the easy access of voice commands makes the software the easiest I've ever seen.
The installation is somewhat buggy, but it works fine for people who aren't too picky about how software uses their computers; it proceeds and succeeds fine if the user accepts all the defaults, including directory location, Quicktime location, etc. It requires Quicktime, and will install it automatically if you do not already own it or if you installed it into a custom location.
The information of the encyclopedia is easy to access, with the small exception of swapping CD's when your search happens to be on the second CD. Simple voice commands ease the process of culling information.
World Book 1998 Deluxe Speech Edition was tested on a Pentium-200 with 64MB of RAM. The minimum requirement is a Pentium-166 or Pentium-150MMX, according to the packaging. The Pentium-200 was rather sluggish, so patience is a necessary virtue when using this software.
As a whole, I would say World Book 1998 is a wise buy for students who need to do research regularly, from grade school to college, or for anyone who is interested in learning all the information they can.
Available from IBM
Microsoft Windows 95
Pentium 150 MHz with MMX or Pentium 166 without MMX, or faster
32 MB RAM
95 MB available hard disk space
2X CD-ROM drive or faster
SVGA 256 colors or higher
Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 or 100% compatible sound card