The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 48, November 25, 2007, Article 5


Responding to my request last week, Tim Shuck and Roger
deWardt Lane submitted the following reviews of the DVD set
of the Krause Publications 2008 Standard Catalog of World Coins.

Tim L. Shuck of Ames, IA writes: "I purchased the “2008
Standard Catalog of World Coins 3 DVD Set” in August, taking
advantage of a post-ANA convention price special. These are
the first SCWC volumes that I’ve owned.

"There are three DVDs to match the Standard Catalogs, one
each for 1801-1900, 1901-2000, and 2001-Date. Each disk has
a main file, which is the primary catalog text, plus a two-page
how-to file. For reasons not clear to me, the 1801-1900 disc
also has a separate 47-page, 18 MB, “Intro” file, which seems
to contain information similar to that incorporated into the
main file of the other two volumes. All files are in Adobe
pdf format, viewable with Adobe Acrobat or the free Adobe

"The main files are fairly large: 1201 pages (1.84 GB) for
the 1801-1900 volume, 2232 pages (0.97 GB) for the 1901-2000
volume; and 384 pages (0.46 GB) for the 2001-Date volume.
I mention file size because I have an older Mac, and trying
to view files directly from the DVD was unbearably slow so
I copied all files to my computer hard drive for faster
access. File names were slightly inconsistent between discs,
but that was easily modified after I copied them to my computer.

"The original E-Sylum article indicated that the DVD’s
were created from the ‘original page format’, which shows
in the image quality.  The “how-to” files recommend a zoom
of no more than 300%, but text is clear well beyond that
point. I can zoom up to 6400% in Acrobat, and while there
is no practical reason to do so, text was remarkably crisp
even at that level.

"For images, anything from 200% to 400% is acceptable but
pixelation becomes apparent at the higher zooms, more so
on some images than others. A zoom of 125-150% seems to be
a good balance of readability vs. the need to pan or scroll.
Curious to see how these compared to the printed versions,
I looked through the catalogs at a local book store. The
digital image quality does not seem to me to be much different
if at all from that of the printed catalogs, so I don’t think
there is any sacrifice in readability by going to the digital

"Digital viewing options include all the typical Acrobat
functionality: page-by-page flipping, thumbnails, type a
page number and press enter to jump directly to that page,
and searches. All are fairly responsive, but for searches,
particularly for more complex searches, you’ll want a robust
machine capable of quickly scanning through the all of the
information contained in these documents. A large screen is
also a definite plus, allowing you to see more of each page
with minimal scrolling, or to view multiple catalogs at
the same time.

"What I like: Three reference volumes always accessible on
my computer, with the original DVDs as backups. Industry-
standard, highly portable Adobe pdf file format. Excellent
image quality. For those with the full Acrobat version,
extended search capabilities, viewing tools, and cut-and-paste
capabilities (mind the copyright).  Virtually no shelf space
required for reference works that are infrequently used.
Caveats: A fast computer is a must for ‘frustration-free’
searches and viewing. A smaller screen means more scrolling.

"In summary, I like this product even though it’s going
to push me sooner toward the expense of a computer upgrade."

Roger deWardt Lane of Hollywood, Florida writes: "The Krause
Publications 3 DVD Set is fantastic!  A local dealer received
his order four weeks ago and I got the first set.  I took it
home and looked around each disc.  Since I have been using
computers for over forty years, DOS to XP, I next loaded the
files on my Toshiba 17” laptop that was a birthday present
18 months ago.  It has 512K, but plenty of HD space.  I had
Adobe Acrobat 7.0 on the PC, so when the program was ready
to view the PDF files, it used this program.

"I decided to copy the files (one from each of the 3 DVD discs)
to my laptop.  First, I set up a new folder (directory) called
‘A catalog of world coins’, under My Documents. This puts it
at the top.  Each file was copied. Next, I renamed the files;
1801-1900 book, 1901-2000 book and 2001-2008 book.

"To use the on hard drive files with the Acrobat Reader 8.1.1,
I had to make several improvements and changes.  First, since
I only had 512k of ram and the 1801-1900 DVD file is just short
of 2GB, I had to increase my virtual memory to its near limit
at 1,990,000kb.  Before I did this, reading a file was very
slow. Another way to fix this is to buy a new PC or increase
your memory to 2MB or larger. I’m thinking my next PC will
have 4MB of ram.

"One last change and I would be all set.  For speed you need
to know the page number of the country you are looking for.
Each DVD has index pages, just like the books as printed.
The problem is they are like page 8 or page 10 of a larger file.
So, I exported a new PDF file of the two pages each to new
files named; 1801-1900 index, 1901-2000 index and 2001-2008
index and they group in the proper order in my new folder
on my laptop.

"I wrote Dave Harper at the time of what I had to do to use
the info in an orderly way on my laptop.  I recommended a
readmefirst.html with instructions, an auto load or menu in
html and finally – printed instructions on the back of the
DVD holder.

"Anyway, the cons aside, this project is the ‘GREATEST’.
I took my laptop to our club meeting last week and as I got
ready to make two small purchases, I was able to look up
the coins, to confirm what I thought I already knew.  During
the show & tell part of the meeting, I demoed the book on
my PC, which everyone enjoyed.  I hope the wait for the DVD
of their new 1701-1800 edition won't be too long."

To order the 3 DVD set of the 2008 Standard Catalog of World Coins, see:


  Wayne Homren, Editor

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