For starters, ABHOT CD-ROM contains the full text of Professor Hawking?s book, narrated by the professor himself. As you can expect from a multimedia CD-ROM, the CD is chock full of extras, including music, photos, and dozens of animations and video clips to help clarify the esoteric subject matter. In an accessible manner, the CD-ROM traces the history of cosmological thought from Aristotle to Einstein and explains Hawking's ideas about the birth of the universe, the structure of black holes, and the nature of time. Some video clips ? such as the one starring 2 actors as Marilyn Monroe (!) and Albert Einstein ? are out of place and over-the-top, but the majority of them are very well done.
In summary, ABHOT ranks among one of the best reference CD-ROMs ever made, and one that makes a difficult subject matter more accessible to non-physicists. As one reviewer said, "...[just] as Hawking's book reconfigures time itself out of the linear understanding we have of it, the ROM morphs the content of the book into an intuitive, organic environment. This is as close as you can come to spending a weekend or two picking one of the greatest brains of our (or anyone else's) time, meanwhile neatly avoiding any danger of a pop quiz." Two thumbs up, and a worthy entrant into our Hall of Belated Fame.