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 PostPost subject: 1995 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Mystery        Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:22 pm 
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Something's weird about my copy of the 1995 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia.

The sealed package consisted only of the disc in a blank case sitting directly atop the manual. I unseal it.

The version number on the disk is "7.0" and it has two interesting notes: "BUNDLED VERSION FOR BUNDLED DISTRIBUTION ONLY, TOGETHER WITH APPROVED HARDWARE" and "Manufactured by HI-VAL under license from Mindscape, Inc." It also appears that this is the first pressing that Hi-Val ever made, because the matrix reads "HV001". Odd, I think.

The manual's front cover has a large notice: "
ATTENTION
THE SOFTWARE TOOLWORKS INC.
LICENSE AGREEMENT

THIS SOFTWARE IS SUPPLIED AS PART OF A HARDWARE/SOFTWARE BUNDLE AND MAY NOT BE DISTRIBUTED SEPARATELY FROM APPROVED HARDWARE. BY OPENING THIS PACKAGE, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE BLUE COLORED [sic] LICENSE AGREEMENT INCLUDED WITH THIS BUNDLE-PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY!"

What "BLUE COLORED LICENSE AGREEMENT"? Except for the front cover, the entire thing is printed in black and white. Inside the manual, a Software Toolworks registration is present. Speaking of the Software Toolworks, where do they come into the equation?

Extremely confused, I insert the disk into my drive for my inspection. It turns out that the version number is actually 7.04, unlike what the disk label read.

My question to you is this: What is this thing, who made it, and why is it distributed like this?

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