The Complete National Geographic

An example of some text, acceptable
If you’re thinking of buying a copy of the Complete National Geographic but are weary of having to run it under wine, despair no more. It’s written in Adobe Air and runs acceptably well. I used wine to install it so I could get at the air package inside, but it turns out NGM is nice and provided us with a handy download for the viewer. I couldn’t get it to run without unpacking it, something about an API version mismatch (originally I repacked it with the correct settings but that’s overkill). You can just unzip it in its own directory and run it with something like: /opt/AIR-SDK/bin/adl -nodebug /opt/AIR-apps/CNGViewer/META-INF/AIR/application.xml /opt/AIR-apps/CNGViewer &> /dev/null. Note that as with most Adobe technologies on Linux it’s needlessly CPU intensive, it pegs my CPU at 100% regardless of what frequency it’s set at.
An example of a picture, lots of jpeg artifacts

As for the content itself, it’s fun; I specially like how many of the more interesting articles are organized into reading lists. My main complaint is that they used jpeg to compress the images and did so at really high compression leading to lots of artifacts. Looking at a page that has a black background can be painful. Which is a bit of a shame as one of the greatest things about NGM is the high quality of the photographs and printing. The viewer also has way too many needless animations and there’s sadly no way to disable them. So I wouldn’t mind knowing the file formats involved, an app for the n900 or more importantly a viewer that just does its job and gets out of the way would be great.

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