Weather Channel: Everything Weather
Weather Channel: Everything Weather (Bureau of Electronic Publishing) shows promise throughout, but never quite delivers the goods. Most of the disc is well-organized, and the information is presented in an understandable (but not pandering) way that benefits the complex subject matter. But what should be the strongest part of the disc – the videos and imagery – falls flat. Everyone is fascinated by home videos of tornadoes or photos of hurricane damage; they remind us of our precarious relationship with nature. But you have to wonder why some of the imagery on this disc is included. Take the twenty-second video clips of tornadoes – nearly half are too short and/or too grainy to show any movement at all; they might as well be still photos. The lightning videos are nearly as grainy, and the animated explanations of various weather topics have that “we’ve-got-to-fit-all-this-in-in-fifteen-seconds” feel. Fortunately, there are a variety of interesting activities to help explain some of the topics, and a solid glossary which, with plentiful hotlinks, serves as an introductory course in meteorology. The problem with this CD-ROM is that it tries to do too much. If the topic was simply “tornadoes” or “storms,” with room for much more video as well as more comprehensive explanatory material, it would be a first-rate product. In its present form, it’s just an average one. Weather buffs will find enough to like here, but it won’t stop them from tuning in to The Weather Channel.
– March 1996