The Complete Reference Collection: 1998 Edition – Shovelware Showcase

This is a post covering the content included with The Complete Reference Collection: 1998 Edition CD-ROM by The Learning Company (TLC) as part of the Shovelware Showcase series.


The Complete Reference Collection: 1998 Edition is part of the Compton’s Home Library series of reference software. This edition is from 1997 and covers the forthcoming year 1998. There is only one item of software contained on the CD-ROM which retains the same name as the release. The software is a navigator/browser type of application which splits into 10 sections:

  • Encyclopedia
  • World Almanac
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Writer’s Handbook
  • World Atlas
  • Geographical Dictionary
  • Home Medical Guide
  • World History
  • Internet Dictionary


Packaging consists of a standard size CD-ROM jewel case with a solid black tray. A full colour front booklet is included with 9 pages of content. The last page of the booklet advertises other titles The Complete Interactive Cookbook and Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia. The rear inlay is single sided and lists the titles included with this compilation.


The rear inlay has identifiers of CRC2844BB and CRC8BB-BI.

The booklet has an identifier of CRC8BB-FI.

The CD-ROM has an identifier of CRC844BB-CD with a matrix ring of MR0242 CRC2844BB MPO IRL 2X.


The CD-ROM is filled 628 MB out of a possible 700MB.

The featured items of software are:

  • The Complete Reference Collection 1998


Name Publisher Version Tested
The Complete Reference Collection 1998 The Learning Company 1.01I Yes

Images, Audio and Video

The disc contains various multimedia files which help ‘enhance’ the software.

There are 43 AVI files under the directory VIDEO.

There are 178 WAVE files under the directory SOUND of which all are mono.

The directory MONTAGE contains 9 AVI video files.

The directory BTNSND (Button Sound) contains 25 WAVE files of which all are mono.

The directory ANIMATIO contains 9 AVI video files.


The only unusual thing on the CD-ROM is a directory named EREG which contains a bitmap which shows an offer for the ZD Internet Magazine (see gallery below) – through multiple installations on different operating systems I have never had this display during or after installation.


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