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Wikipedia on your iPod

Damien Barrett

Way back in 1993, I can remember purchasing the entire works of Shakespeare on a CD-ROM to help me in a college course I was taking. I also had the printed works, but the CD-ROM allowed me to do keyword or character searches in a way the printed text didn't. For me, it was a breakthrough in how I was using computers to access content in a different way. The CD-ROM was accessible with hyper-links to other content on the disc which is notable because before the World Wide Web, hyper-links were really only being used in content like this Shakespeare CD-ROM (and in HyperStudio and HyperCard projects). It was my experience with this CD-ROM and gophering into the University of Minnesota's system to study 1990 Census data that opened my eyes to the coming World Wide Web explosion.

My point is that while content doesn't actually change much over the years, the way in which we access it does. And today, I've learned of yet another interesting way we access content. You can now get the Wikipedia on your iPod. [Note: this requires you to install Linux on your iPod].

The Wikipedia is the free, online, open-source encyclopedia. I've been consulting it for years, particularly for entries that likely wouldn't appear in a traditional encyclopedia. Since Wikipedia content is all user-contributed, it tends to be significantly more up-to-date than traditional sources. Some people worry about the accuracy of the Wikipedia's content, but I've never found it to be a problem.

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