Old CD’s: Games, Encyclopedia, Apps.

Reviews About Old Software on CD-ROM from the 1990’s

Leonardo da Vinci February 5, 2009

Leonardo da Vinci

From documents noting his birth to Andy Warhol’s rendition of the Mona Lisa in the Credits, Leonardo da Vinci, the fruit of 11 months of research from Corbis, presents a unique portrait of this elusive genius who defined the Renaissance. It’s hard to imagine a better subject for a multimedia biography than da Vinci. His scientific experiments and inventions, engineering endeavors, artistic masterpieces, and written works provide an extraordinarily rich cache from which to construct a portrait. Corbis has done a superb job, weaving an enormous amount of information into an elegant, intelligent, and easily accessible format. The interface – a tree with branches leading to each section – is analogous to Leonardo’s own belief that all knowledge is ultimately interconnected. Six tours – slide show-type presentations – are complemented by six exhibits, which present text, pictures, and occasional video to be browsed at your own pace. In the Gallery section, study all of his surviving artistic works and documents assembled in a “rotunda” masterfully recreated from one of his own sketches. There is also an entire section devoted to the Codex Leicester, (which alone is worth the price of the disc). You can spend hours examining it with the aid of the “Codescope,” a device overlapping the text which not only shows both the Italian transliteration and the English translation of the highlighted section, but also justifies Leonardo’s mirror-writing. In-depth, intelligent, and consistently beautiful to look at, Leonardo da Vinci is that rare CD-ROM that does full justice to its subject matter.

– November 1996, Art

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