Dec 082017
 
Various articles from computer press on putting CD-ROMs on a LAN. A few of these articles are VERY informative. From PC Magazine, PC Week, PC User, Datamation, and a few others. Generally 1990 imprints.
File CDLANART.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
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Various articles from computer press on putting CD-ROMs on a LAN. A few of these articles are VERY informative. From PC Magazine, PC Week, PC User, Datamation, and a few others. Generally 1990 imprints.
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CDNOV.TXT 71568 22386 deflated

Download File CDLANART.ZIP Here

Contents of the CDNOV.TXT file


Entries from: Computer Select, July 1991 CD-ROM
Search Terms: CD-ROM and LAN


Journal: PC Magazine June 25 1991 v10 n12 p52(1)
* Full Text COPYRIGHT Ziff-Davis Publishing Co. 1991.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: CorelDRIVER uses NLMs to make CD-ROM sharing easier. (Software
Review) (Corel Systems Corp. CD-ROM module for NetWare local area
networks) (evaluation)
Author: Parker, Sara.

Summary: Corel Systems Corp's $1,045 CorelDRIVER is a CD-ROM interface kit
for Novell NetWare LANs that includes a SCSI adapter board and a
series of NetWare Loadable Module (NLM) software modules as well
as a local device driver and Microsoft's CD-ROM extensions. The
menu-driven installation program automatically adds a line to the
CONFIG.SYS file on each workstation. Corel overcomes the fact
that CD-ROMs are not mountable drives on NetWare severs by
including a special utility for creating a 'database' of one or
more CD-ROMs. Two other useful utilities included include CDCON,
which assigns access to the CD-ROM server by user or group, and
CDMAP, which is used to connect the server CD-ROM to the client PC
and allows network management of the CD-ROM drives. Network
access to CD-ROMs via CorelDRIVER is four times faster than
accessing the disks on a local machine.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Descriptors..
Company: Corel Systems Corp. (Products).
Product: Corel Systems CorelDriver (Peripheral controller).
Topic: CD-ROM
Device drivers
Evaluation
Peripheral controllers
Network Software
Boards/Cards.

Record#: 10 799 212.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Text:

Normally, sharing a CD-ROM on the network involves attaching the CD-ROM
drives to a dedicated machine and running third-party resource-sharing
software. A DOS redirector provides access to the drives.

CorelDRIVER takes a different approach.

To use CorelDRIVER, you install a SCSI adapter board in the NetWare 386 file
server and load a series of NLMs (NetWare Loadable Modules) on the network.
Locally, you install a device driver and Microsoft's CD-ROM extensions. The
workstation then accesses the CD across the network through its drivers.

On the workstation, the menu-driven installation process automatically adds a
line to your CONFIG. SYS file, adding a device driver. Users map DOS drive
letters directly to the optical volumes or sets of CDROMs (databases).

Corel Systems Corp.'s package includes interface software and drivers for
NetWare 386, a SCSI interface card, a SCSI interface cable, and a user
manual. NLMs for NetWare 386, Version 3.11, are being developed, but
currently only Version 3.10 is supported.

From the network's point of view, CD-ROMs are not mountable drives. Corel
bypasses this limitation by including the CDSRV NLM utility, which allows you
to add one or more CD-ROMs on the file server to create what Corel terms a
database. Multiple CDROMs can be assigned to a database and then mounted or
dismounted as a set. Databases are also created, edited, and deleted through
the CDSRV utility.

Corel also includes two other helpful utilities. CDCON assigns access to the
CD-ROM server by user or by group. CDMAP allows network management of the
CD-ROM drives, and is used to connect the server CD-ROM to the client PC.

CorelDRIVER is fully compatible with most SCSI CDROMs from major
manufacturers, including Pioneer, Sony, NEC, Panasonic, Toshiba, Hitachi,
LMSI, and Texel. We tested the product with a Sony CD-ROM and found
CorelDRIVER to be stable, fast, and easy to implement.

Accessing the CD-ROM on the network was four times as fast as accessing it on
a stand-alone machine even without any buffering turned on in Microsoft's CD
extensions. The speedy performance is primarily because Corel takes
advantage of NetWare's disk caching in the server.

The first query you make must access the CD-ROM disk, so it won't be quite as
fast as subsequent searches. However, subsequent searches will often access
the disk cache instead of the actual disk, speeding up search times.

The speedy performance of the cache commands its price. The cache memory
allotted to each CD-ROM on the file server can be configured from 0 bytes on
up; the default is 512K per drive, which means that hooking up two CD-ROMs
requires a full megabyte of file server memory.

CorelDRIVER poses a solution to the problem of shared CD-ROM devices on the
network. Those with well-endowed file servers will most appreciate its speed
and cost benefits. List Price: CorelDRIVER, 8user interface kit for NetWare
386, $1,045; MCA version, $1,245; 100-user interface kit for NetWare
386,$1,995; MCA version, $2,195. Requires: For file server: 386based PC or
better; 250K RAM; 40MB hard disk; NetWare, Version 3.1. For workstation: 43K
RAM, DOS 3.3 or later. Corel Systems Corp., 1600 Carling Ave., Ottawa,
Ontario K1Z 8R7; 613-728-8200.


***** Computer Select, July 1991 : Doc #7924 *****

Journal: PC Sources May 1991 v2 n5 p129(2)
* Full Text COPYRIGHT Coastal Associates Publishing L.P. 1991.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: CD-ROM: the multiuser advantage. (the use of compact disk,
read-only memory for network storage) (tutorial)
Author: Allinger, Doug.

Summary: The use of compact disk, read-only memory (CD-ROM) is gaining
popularity as a medium of data storage for many companies with
large amounts of data. With this increased usage comes the
possibility that the available CD-ROM drive will be shared on a
local area network (LAN). Many office managers feel the
networking of the drive for access by everyone, with the
accompanying increased productivity, justifies the initial outlay.
The main considerations when choosing the correct network
architecture should be the number of CD-ROM drives to be placed on
the network, the number of users with the need to access them, and
the performance expected. CD-ROM drives can be configured on
either a peer-to-peer network or by using the dedicated server
approach. The hardware and software set up of both types of LANs
is discussed.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Descriptors..
Topic: CD-ROM
Storage Media
File Management
Tutorial
Productivity
Local Area Networks.
Feature: illustration
chart
table.
Caption: Two ways to network CD-ROM. (chart)
In brief. (table)

Record#: 10 641 698.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Text:

CD-ROM: The Multiuser Advantage

Wherever there's a need to store and retrieve vast amounts of data, CD-ROM
(Read-Only Memory) is usurping paper as the medium of choice. Benefits of
using CD-ROM drives over paper files include lower production and shipping
costs, faster turnaround on production, and the ability to share a single
CD-ROM drive on a local area network (LAN).

Despite this last benefit, CD-ROM drives remain most prevalent on standalone,
DOS-based systems. They're often set up as a common office reference
resource--to be used by only one person at a time. While a standalone CD-ROM
system is a better resource than no CD-ROM at all, it's much more convenient
and cost-effective to share that CD-ROM drive and data simultaneously on a
LAN.

LANs make CD-ROM data accessible to each user's system. Successful CD-ROM
networking requires a setup that fits the needs of your existing network. To
create the right setup, you'll need to know how you intend to use the drive
or drives, your network's capabilities, and your expectations for performance
and access. You can do this by starting out with a standalone CD-ROM system,
and monitoring its usage and performance carefully. As far as performance is
concerned, a LAN-based CD-ROM is on a par with a standalone system.

There are two ways to go about sharing CD-ROM drives on a LAN. You can
configure the drive as an MS-DOS storage device on a peer-to-peer LAN, or you
can opt for a specialized CD-ROM server capable of supporting several
simultaneous users and multiple CD-ROM drives. Both approaches can be
efficient in cost and performance; it simply depends upon your LAN
requirements. In either case, if you already have an installed and working
DOS-based LAN that supports sharing CD-ROM drives, the process will be
simple. And even if you're starting a LAN from scratch and CD-ROM is a key
reason for it, the CD-ROM setup will be a small part of the overall project.

Once you install a CD-ROM drive on a LAN workstation, the network treats the
drive just like a floppy or hard drive. DOS, however, needs a software
extension to recognize and work with CD-ROM drives. Microsoft's extension,
for MS-DOS 3.1 and above, is called the Microsoft CD-ROM Extension (MSCDEX).
MSCDEX loads as a device driver from the PC's CONFIG.SYS file during bootup.
Because it provides a standard MS-DOS interface for applications and
different CD-ROM disks and drives, the MSCDEX has accelerated CD-ROM's
overall acceptance.

Since MSCDEX works with MS-DOS, it can provide non-dedicated CD-ROM sharing
on many peer-to-peer MS-DOS-based LANs. Much like conventional hard drives
and printers can be shared by any workstation on a DOS-based peer-to-peer
LAN, CD-ROM drives equipped with MSCDEX can do the same. If you're using a
non-DOS central-server type of LAN, such as Novell NetWare, MSCDEX won't be
able to give you CD-ROM network capabilities.

To provide peer-to-peer CD-ROM sharing on a NetWare LAN, you have to first
provide peer-to-peer communications over the LAN. Some of the DOS-based
LANs, such as D-Link's LANsmart and Compex's Ready Link, work concurrently
with NetWare. This means that workstations can be simultaneously connected
to a NetWare file server while participating in peer-to-peer services
provided by the DOS-based LAN. Thus, users actually load the software to
access both networks--which can significantly affect your available DOS
memory if you're not loading some of that into extended memory. If you're
considering such a solution, evaluate the total RAM requirements involved.

Fresh Technology Group (Gilbert, AZ, 602-497-4200) sells the MAP Assist
software product, a program that utilizes a similar approach. MAP Assist
($249) is a scaled-down NetBIOS LAN that facilitates peer-to-peer resource
sharing among DOS-based NetWare workstations. The MAP Assist control program
loads in the CD-ROM host workstation(s), and occupies between 8K and 31K of
RAM. CD-ROM users on the LAN also need to load a small TSR program on their
systems. This program enables communication between each user's workstation
and the CD-ROM-sharing computers.

RAM requirements for hosts depend on the number of drives shared, as well as
the number of simultaneous users accessing the drives. The 8K minimum allows
one drive and one user; 11K allows two drives and 10 users; 31K allows five
drives and 30 users. It can also be used in a dedicated mode, in which up to
70 users can share as many as nine drives.

Using the DOS-based peer-to-peer approach, a CD-ROM setup costs nothing extra
to implement, barring, of course, the cost of the CD-ROM drive hardware and
software itself. Installation is relatively simple too: You just install the
CD-ROM drive in a workstation and share it as you would any other DOS drive.

The disadvantage of simple peer-to-peer CD-ROM sharing is that DOS-based LANs
do not provide disk-catching support for CD-ROM drives, so performance can be
a problem for the user on the CD-ROM-equipped workstation, as well as for the
other LAN users requesting CD-ROM data. MAP Assist does not provide CD-ROM
disk caching, and it services CD-ROM read requests one at a time from a
queue. Because of CD-ROM's inherent slow access times and transfer rates,
combined with the large amounts of data involved, multiple users accessing
CD-ROM drives at the same time will experience some performance degradation.

A setup in which more than two or three simultaneous users will be sharing
multiple CD-ROM drives requires the power of a dedicated or optimized CD-ROM
server. Like dedicated network file servers, additional hardware within
specialized CD-ROM servers makes them more expensive.

The most significant difference, however, between dedicated CD-ROM servers
and peer-to-peer setups is that CD-ROM servers feature disk-caching software.
That software achieves standalone levels of performance--even when several
users are accessing the server's drives.

CBIS (Norcross, GA, 404-446-1332), the developer of Network-OS, a popular
DOS-based LAN, sells the CD Server, a preconfigured system (based on an 80286
or 80386 CPU, and equipped with a SCSI controller, software, and CD-ROM
drives) that supports up to 21 CD-ROM drives. An 80286-based server starts
at $4,681 and has a single CD-ROM drive.

If you'd like to build your own dedicated CD-ROM server, CBIS offers CD
Connection--the software upon which the CD Server is based. Two versions of
the program accommodate 8 or 100 users, and cost $695 and $1,395
respectively. An unlimited network license is $1,995. CBIS is the only
CD-ROM server product currently available that supports Novell's native IPX
protocol, in addition to NetBIOS.

CBIS's advanced device drivers and disk-caching capabilities are its servers'
principal assets. The company itself specializes in networking CD-ROM
drives, so you're sure to receive knowledgeable technical support when it
comes to networking issues.

If you're uncertain how much use a CD-ROM would get on your network, consider
starting out gradually. No matter what you do, you'll need to use MS-DOS and
MSCDEX software for DOS LANs, or Fresh Technologies' MAP Assist for Novell
NetWare LANs. Also, be sure the drive you purchase has a Small Computer
System Interface (SCSI), so you can use it with more advanced systems, such
as a CD Server, in case you outgrow your non-dedicated system.

IN BRIEF

If your office's CD-ROM drive has become so popular that you're waiting in
line to access it, consider networking one or more CD-ROM drives:

* A LAN efficiently distributes--and justifies--the cost of a CD-ROM drive
and software among several users.

* There are two ways to configure a CD-ROM network. The peer-to-peer
connection, or the dedicated server approach.

* To choose the right configuration, you'll first need to decide how many
drives will be on your network, and how many users will access them.


***** Computer Select, July 1991 : Doc #23539 *****

Journal: PC Week Feb 11 1991 v8 n6 p23(1)
* Full Text COPYRIGHT Ziff-Davis Publishing Co. 1991.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Meridian CD ROM system provides low-cost storage. (Meridian Data
Inc.'s CD Net 100NC storage subsystem) (product announcement)
Author: Sullivan, Kristina B.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Descriptors..
Company: Meridian Data Inc. (Product introduction).
Product: Meridian Data CD Net 100NC (CD-ROM drive) (Product introduction).
Topic: Product Introduction
Storage Media
CD-ROM
Low Cost
Networks.

Record#: 09 403 256.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Text:

By Kristina B. Sullivan

This week's NetWorld 91 Boston will provide the backdrop for Meridian Data
Inc.'s introduction of a new, low-cost CD ROM system targeted at networked
users.

The Scotts Valley, Calif., company plans to introduce CD Net Model 100NC, a
storage subsystem that supports as many as eight CD ROM drives on Novell
NetWare, 3Com 3+Open and other networks, said Joel Rigler, Meridian's product
manager.

Rigler emphasized the aggressive pricing of the CD Net Model 100NC. "This is
really part of a growing trend you are going to see this year -- the cost of
[CD ROM] publications is dropping, and CD ROM is becoming the media of choice
for the distribution of any large amount of data," he said.

Based on a 12MHz 286 processor, the 100NC includes as much as 4M bytes of
cache memory and a network adapter that allows the unit to attach to the LAN
like any other network node, Rigler said.

In a single-drive configuration, the 100NC will be priced at $4,995; in an
eight-drive configuration, it will cost $11,260. The subsystem will be
released March 1.

Industry observers said the model will fill the need for an entry-level CD
ROM networking product.

"This lets people who couldn't step up to higher price tags get involved"
with networking CD ROM, said Steve Goldman, director of sales at Virtual
Microsystems Inc., a San Mateo, Calif., user and reseller of Meridian's
drives.

Meridian Data can be reached at (408) 438-3100.


***** Computer Select, July 1991 : Doc #33917 *****

***** Computer Select, July 1991 : Doc #37692 *****

Journal: Digital Review Nov 26 1990 v7 n46 p6(1)
* Full Text COPYRIGHT Cahners-Ziff Publishing Associates LP 1990.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: VMI server lets VMS, PC users tap CD-ROM databases via PCSA
software. (Virtual Microsystems Inc.'s V-CD Net DECnet-compatible
CD-ROM server) (product announcement)
Author: Grygo, Gene.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Descriptors..
Company: Virtual Microsystems Inc. (Product introduction).
Product: Virtual Microsystems V-CD Net (File server) (Product
introduction).
Topic: CD-ROM
Product Introduction
Micro-Minicomputer Communication
Data Base Servers.

Record#: 09 646 023.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Text:

VMI server lets VMS, PC users tap CD-ROM databases via PCSA software

SAN MATEO, Calif. -- Virtual Microsystems Inc. (VMI) has introduced a
DECnetcompatible CD-ROM server that company officials say allows both VMS and
PC users access to the same CD-ROM database via DEC's PCSA software.

The server, V-CD Net, is a re-engineered version of Meridian Data's CD Net
server for Novell networks, said William Thomasmeyer, VMI's president. An
authorized value-added reseller for Scotts Valley, Calif.-based Meridian, VMI
worked with Meridian for three months to develop the V-CD Net server,
Thomasmeyer said.

"[V-CD Net] resides as a DECnet node and uses the PCSA protocols," he said.

When used with VMI's V-Server/Gateway, V-CD Net will allow simultaneous
access for terminal and PC users, Thomasmeyer said. "We'll bundle the
V-Server/Gateway with the V-CD Net and sell it as a turnkey solution," he
said.

The V-Server/Gateway, which has been available since last year, provides VMS
terminal and workstation access to applications running on PC LANs. It can
be purchased separately, priced at $15,500.

Each CD server can hold as many as 14 CD-ROM drives, Thomasmeyer said.

The server is able to accommodate as many as 20 users at a time because of
the "extra buffering and caching" provided in the second-generation
technology of Meridian's CD Net, said Candace Brown, Meridian network sales
manager. CD Net has been commercially available since 1988.

V-CD Net is VMI's first CD-ROM networking product for the DEC market,
Thomasmeyer said. Many corporate sites are finding CD-ROM technology a very
attractive means of putting a library on line, making the information
available to hundreds of users, he said.

The product has been beta-tested at a university, a pharmaceutical company
and a medical center, and is available now, according to Thomasmeyer. VMI
intends to showcase the product at the Dexpo West trade show in Las Vegas
next month, he said.

Prices for V-CD Net begin at $15,000 and vary depending on the number of
CD-ROMs needed and number of terminal users at each site.

For additional information, Virtual Microsystems Inc. can be contacted at
1825 S. Grant St., Suite 700, San Mateo, CA 94402, (415) 573-9596.


***** Computer Select, July 1991 : Doc #41226 *****

Journal: PC User Nov 7 1990 n145 p29(1)
* Full Text COPYRIGHT EMAP Business & Computer Publications
(England) 1990.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Deserted island discs. (the future of compact disk
read-only-memory discs)
Author: Cole, Louise.

Summary: Few microcomputer users are in a position to take advantage of
CD-ROM's huge data storage potential because of the lack of
CD-drives in today's machines. The demand is currently among
multi-media applications that require large amounts of memory.
Analysts maintain that magneto-optical discs can never compete
with floppy disks in the publishing and distribution of
microcomputer software.The price of a CD-drive is the main
inhibiting factor, although this is expected to drop considerably
by 1992. Consequently, CD-ROM technology is relegated to niche
markets such as desktop publishing, and image and font libraries
offering huge amounts of data resources are particularly
cost-effective for specialists. Some analysts also maintain that
as long as the five and a quarter inch floppy disk is still
available in such abundance, vendors will be reluctant to add yet
another drive to the basic microcomputer.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Descriptors..
Topic: Future of Computing
Future Technologies
CD-ROM
Storage Media
Trends.
Feature: illustration
photograph.

Record#: 09 649 901.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Text:

Deserted island discs

By 1991, Sun Microsystems will produce all of its unbundled software on
CD-ROM. Yet, two weeks ago, Philips and Du Pont decided they could not wait
any longer for high yields from professional CD applications, and pulled out
of disc manufacture. Such contradictory indications offer no guidance as to
how much of CD-ROM's potential will ever be realised for computer users.

The advent of CD-ROM -- a highly resilient, expansive and cheap storage
medium -- was greeted as a solution to the data deluge. However, few PC
users are in a position to take advantage of these qualities, since most
machines lack CD-drives and so far little software has been published on it.

Part of the delay has been caused by the profitable distraction of the
consumer market. Companies like Philips, which still looks to optical discs
as an island of revenue in a sea of losses and cutbacks, has moored its boat
firmly on the leisure beach. CD manufacture for PolyGram, the music company
in which it holds an 80 per cent stake, seemed more attractive than pushing
professional applications.

Even now that Philips has stopped cutting its own CDs, its technical and
marketing resources will still be concentrated on pushing the CD-Interactive
(CD-I) box, which will produce the wizardry of multi-media on any household
television.

In computing itself, the advantages of CD-ROM are, so far, firmly tied to
memory-hungry, multi-media applications. CD-ROM's possible 640Mb storage
offered all the cheap space needed, but had limitations for hypermedia --
that is, the intuitive jumping from graphics to video to text with full audio
explanations which invariably characterises multi-media applications.

There were also a multitude of CD-ROM versions, none of which were really
compatible. CD XA (extended architecture) was the next step, allowing the
user to interleave 16 hours of stereo sound with EVGA graphics. This offered
cheap training, presentations and point-of-sale applications. The major
limitation of the technology is that you cannot write to it. "The balance
for users is therefore between using CDs for the large amounts of reference
data which does not need changing and keeping the mutable stuff on floppy
disks," said Declan Dickens, business development manager for CD-I and XA
authoring at Philips.

But read-write optical technology is not yet a commercial proposition. NeXT
put magneto-optical discs in its workstations, originally neglecting floppy
disks entirely. The magneto-optic medium can be written to thousands of
times. It combines the effects of an electromagnet on the underside of a
disc and a laser on top. At a certain temperature, the material under the
laser will pulse in reaction to the magnet, to either reflect or absorb
light, and this polar reaction captures the bit of information.

"The discs offer 256Mb each, but cost 50 pounds to 90 pounds, and the drive
is 800 pounds," concedes Gregor Bailar, technical director for NeXT Europe.
"They come into their own for users who store massive amounts of data which
may need changing."

But magneto-optical discs will never compete with floppy disks when it comes
to the publishing and distribution of PC software. At $30,000 a box, they do
not represent low production margins for the independent software vendors.
CD-ROMs, however, which are permanently moulded with data, cost less than 1
pound each to produce.

William Vablais, business development specialist at Sun, claims that
producing unbundled software on CD rather than tape is saving the company $15
to 20 per disc. "And there's not only the cost of the tape, but the time it
takes to copy it. With CDs, it takes a week to print thousands of a
consistent quality," he added.

But most PC users' plans for CD software are still inhibited by the price of
a CD-drive, which will drop substantially by 1992, according to Dataquest.
Phil Devin, director of computer storage research at Dataquest, said: "Don't
look for competition with floppy disks for at least three years." Users do
not want to pay for or have to worry about four or five drive slots on their
machines, and neither do the software vendors.

Bailar agreed. "Software vendors will not publish on multiple media for
long. We can't move to 3-1/2-inch floppy disks and something else until we
have got rid of the 5-1/4-inch disk," he said.

He argued that few companies would bother putting system software on CD,
since it is easier to bundle it on the hard disk, where users do not have to
think about it. "The only reason that Sun decided to publish systems
software on CD-ROM is that its market is not price-sensitive to things like
that. And there is a maelstrom of different backup devices in the
workstation market, with CD being cheaper than others. It's easier to
introduce where there are no current standards," said Bailar.

NeXT firmly believes that the floppy disk will fade away within three years.
Dataquest thinks it might take a little longer. But there are certainly
plenty of PC applications which would benefit from not being presented on
floppy disks. "Novell's NetWare is a prime candidate for distribution on
CD-ROM, instead of the dozens of disks it takes at the moment," said Paul
Fletcher, technical adviser to the CD-ROM User Group.

"We need the price of drives to come down and firm commitment from some of
the vendors," he continued. "Microsoft tried with its Programmer's Library,
which has been out for four years but has sold very little." However, as
Fletcher points out, Microsoft had success with its bundle of CD-based office
products for the Macintosh because of Apple's sufficiently high installed
base of CD-drives.

So far for PCs, CD-based software is relegated to niche markets such as
desktop publishing, claims Fletcher. Image and font libraries, which offer
massive resources to specialists, are highly cost-effective on CD. "There is
not a lot for general business users," he noted.

Fletcher added: "But people have to realise they will never find the 1-2-3 of
the CD-ROM world. The nice tidy programs which take one or two disks need
never go on CD. A 640Mb disc is a lot to fill, and people feel cheated if
they pay for something which is half empty even if it is cheaper than the
alternative."


***** Computer Select, July 1991 : Doc #46522 *****

Journal: Datamation Oct 15 1990 v36 n20 p55(2)
* Full Text COPYRIGHT Cahners Publishing Co. 1990.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Now playing: compact disks on LANs.(local area networks) (includes
related article on CD-ROM network access providers)
Author: McCusker, Tom.

Summary: Recent software innovations have enabled CD-ROM drives to operate
on microcomputer-based local area networks. MS-DOS extension
software recently introduced by Microsoft Corp included support
for 32Mbytes of data storage, and further industry developments
enabled multiple users to access a single disk. Other software
made it possible to access several disks by linking multiple
CD-ROM readers. Although CD-ROM drives are considered slower than
Winchester disks in execution time, new techniques, such as using
disk drive buffers for frequently used data, are addressing the
problem. With the introduction of networked CD-ROMs, pricing has
become complicated for data providers. The situation will be
further aggravated as networked-based CD-ROM data becomes
accessible to non-network users.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Descriptors..
Topic: New Technique
Local Area Networks
CD-ROM
Cost Reduction
Shared Files
Data bases.
Feature: illustration
photograph.

Record#: 09 529 503.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Text:

Citicorp Citibank collections diivision in Albuquerque, N.M., will save
$50,000 this year on its phone bill-and up to half a million dollars a year
in the future-because it uses a networked reader of compact disc-read only
memory CD-ROM).

The same optical disc technology also allows software engineers at two
telephone companies to forgo many hours updating documentation from their
digital switch suppliers.

And, in Atlanta, some 900 persons at the federal Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) are sharing six massive databases that reside on CD-ROMs.

A common thread in each of these applications is that the CD-ROM drives
operate on Pc-based local area networks (LANS). Until recently, CDROM drives
weren't networked; they were generally either part of the personal computer
or connected to it with a cable.

Only within the last year have the software extensions and innovations come
together to make CD-ROM data available over local area networks. First,
Microsoft Corp. introduced its MS-DOS extension software two years ago that
incorporated support for more than 32 megabytes of data storage

Then, software was developed to allow a single disc to be accessed by
multiple users. Other software now makes it possible to chain together
multiple CD-ROM readers (and jukebox-style readers) to provide access to
several discs. Some vendors also offer hardware solutions to speed up access
to data on networked CD-ROMS.

The result is a substantial new data resource for LANS. Meridian Data Inc.
of Scotts Valley, Calif., for example, can integrate up to 14 CD-ROM drives,
or 9.3 gigabytes of storage, with its CD Net system, consisting of a reader,
a dedicated PC server and software.

"A couple of years ago, anybody who promised 9.3GB on a Pc would have been
thought to be nuts," says Monica Meyer, Meridian's marketing manager.
Further, additional CD Nets can be placed on one LAN.

Recent releases OFCD Net include multitasking software that lets the CD Net
seek and transfer data on all 14 CD-ROM drives at the same time. An
automatic caching function that creates a data cache on a hard disk can make
access to data faster on a networked CD-ROM than on a single-user version,
Meyer says. Not So Fast

Still, a user can't be in much of a hurry, says Robert Katzive, who follows
the market for Disk/Trend Inc., a Mountain View, Calif., research firm. "The
fastest [CD-ROM drive] has a seek time of 350 milliseconds, as compared to a
Winchester disk rive's seek time of between 12 and 15msecs." Interviews with
users indicate that new software from CD-ROM networking vendors and new
techniques, such as placing the most frequently used data in disk drive
buffers will mitigate this problem. Even now, performance is adequate for
many users, especially given the potential for significant savings in time
and money.

The data that fill optical discs cover a wide range of business interests
from engineering specifications and demographic data to patents, financial
profiles and computer system documentation And the ways businesses are using
these CD-ROMs are as varied as the data in the discs themselves. One of the
most successful CD-ROM installations, fills one of life's more mundane needs:
directory assistance for hone calls.

The Citibank collections division installed a network-based CD-ROM system a
year ago to trim its $100,000-a-year telephone bill for directory assistance.
Collections and marketing people used directory assistance to confirm
customers' numbers and trace customers that had recently moved. The CD-ROM
contains all of the white pages listings in 14 western states served by
Englewood, Colo.-based U.S. West Inc., which last year began offering the
CD-ROM service as a standalone system for $14,000 a year.

Eric Tomlenson, Citibank's production supply manager in Albuquerque,
installed the system on an existing Novell local area network that had 16
workstations. To keep a rein on costs, though, Tomlenson has restricted the
number of users who can access the CD-ROM data to four at a time because he's
being charged on a per-workstation basis by U.S. West. Tomlenson says
Citibank pays $25,000 a year for the service and monthly updates. Software
and hardware costs, a one-time charge, amounted to about $24,000.

"This is about half of the $100,000 we were spending for directory
assistance," Tomlenson points out. "This saving could be multiplied 10 times
if we decide to install similar CD-ROM systems within networks at all 10 of
our collection sites in the U. S. Documentation on CD-ROMs

The technology that allows Citibank to avoid incurring directory assistance
charges is being put to a very different use by United Telephone Co. of
Florida. The Orlando, Fla., telephone utility is using CD-ROMs on their 3Com
network to design new switching applications.

Documentation from switch suppliers AT&T and Northern Telecom Inc., which
used to come in paper form, is provided on line through the network. AT&T
provides monthly updates and Northern Telecom, whose massive 13 giabytes of
documentation data takes up two compact discs, sends updated discs quarterly.

At the Roseville Telephone Co. another local phone company in Roseville,
Calif., near Sacramento, AT&T switching documentation has been available on
line since last january. Although Roseville uses only a single disc for the
AT&T documentation, it has installed a five-drive tower (so named because the
drive slots are arranged vertically) so that, eventually, it can install
other kinds of databases for use companywide, according to David Doyle,
central office equipment engineer, who manages the system.

Another potential use or networked CD-ROMS is to replace external on-line
database services. That's why the Environmental Protection Agency is using
CD Net for their 900 users.

The cost savings are compelling. "In a single-user situation, we were
charged $ 1 00 a request for a database of hazardous chemicals," says Randall
Davis, chief of ADP at the EPA's Atlanta office. "One month, a user had I 00
requests. With the same database now available on a CD-ROM at $3,500 a
month, we've more than paid for the system," says Davis.

Davis says users are scattered through the nine floors at the Atlanta office
on 12 local area networks. The CD Net resides on the backbone network.
Unsettled Cost Structure

As the technology of networked CDRoms has steadily improved, pricing has
become increasingly complicated.

The newness of the networking approach has, as expected, led to widely
varying pricing schemes, especially in usage fees charged by the data
providers. "There are absolutely no standards in the way providers price
their data," complains Tomlenson of Citibank.

This situation will be further aggravated if nonnetwork users gain access to
network-based CD-ROM data, which may soon be possible at Roseville Telephone.
Doyle says users already have remote access to Roseville's LAN over
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) lines, but only at 9,600 baud
rate, which won't efficiently handle large data transfers. However Roseville
is testing communications servers that could enable remote dial-in access to
the network at 10-megabyte-persecond (or I 0 mil lion baud) rates.

That would mean a whole company could have access to databases stored on
CD-ROMS, further complicating the pricing issue. How are data providers
going to charge their customers in what less than a year ago was a simple
one-disc, one-workstation pricing environment? Stay tuned.

CD-ROM Network Access Providers

Four major vendors offer software providing network-based access to compact
disc-read only memory CD-ROM) databases: Artisoft Inc. of Tucson, Ariz.;
CBIS Inc. in Norcross, Ga.; Meridian Data Inc. of Scotts Valley, Calif.; and
Online Computer Systems Inc. of Germantown, Md. Highlights of their
offerings are: * Artisoft Inc. LANtastic is an entry-level proprietary
network operating system. Prices range from $495 to $525, with the lower
priced product aimed at users with networks compatible to the IBM Network
Basic Input/Out System NetBIOS) protocol. Under LANtastic, a computer can
function as both a workstation and a network server at the same time.
Artisoft also offers a version of LANtastic that runs on the company's own
Ethernet cards. Circle No. 320. * CBIS Inc. has just introduced a 255-user
version of its network software called CD Connection, priced at $1,995. The
company finds that most of its customers are beginning to need systems
connecting a very high number of users and so it will no longer offer smaller
systems at lower prices. CD Connection is available for networks running
Novell IPX/SPX and IPX/SPX/NetBIOS emulation protocols. CD Connection
emulates CD Rom extensions so they don't have to be loaded,. thereby saving
memory. The company is about to deliver a generic NetBIOS product, which is
corkpatible with all popular NetBIOS networks such as 3Com, MS-NET and
PC-LAN. CBIS also provides hardware, including a proprietary CD-ROM server.
Circle No. 321. * Meridian Data Inc. bundles hardware and software in its
CD Net product, which is priced at $7,995 for a single drive and 286-based
server and can cost upwards of $20,430 for a 14-drive system. The hardware
configuration includes of the CD-ROM drives and a network board with an Intel
80286 or 80386 microprocessor integrated with its own power supply into the
cabinet of a single tower. CD Net might come with a 40 megabyte hard disk
drive used to cache frequently accessed data. CD Net is intended for very
large numbers of users (as many as 98 users simultaneously), says Fred Meyer,
Meridian's president. For purposes of comparison to the other products on
this list. Meyer thinks the software-only component of CD Net for 200 users
might be in the $1,600 range. Circle No.: 322. * Online Computer Systems
Inc.'s product is called Opti-Net and is priced at $1,495 for a 10-user
license. The software runs on top of networks that support the NetBIOS and
Novell IPX/Spx protocols. Existing network hardware and CD-Rom drives can be
used with Opti-Net. It supports up to nine optical servers on a single
network, and each server can support as many as 64 CD-ROM drives. A unique
feature of Opti-Net, says Bill Ford, founder and president of Online, is that
each CD-ROM or group of CD-ROMS on a server is given a name, whereas other
vendor packages would have the server generate an esoteric redirection
statement. Using Opti-Net's server-monitoring program, users find that it is
easier to reconfigure the cD-Rom server, says Ford, whose products are sold
by a subsidiary, Online Products Corp (Online is ultimately owned by
London-based Reed International PLC, which is parent company that owns
DATAMATION.) Circle No. 323.


***** Computer Select, July 1991 : Doc #52061 *****

Journal: PC Week Sept 24 1990 v7 n38 p131(1)
* Full Text COPYRIGHT Ziff-Davis Publishing Co. 1990.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Vendor profiles: CD ROM players. (Hard disk/CD-ROM mass storage
directory) (buyers guide)
Author: LaPolla, Stephanie.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Descriptors..

Record#: 09 441 097.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Text:

Vendor: Apple Computer Inc..

Product: Apple CD SC.

Ship date: 3/88.

Hardware platforms: Macintosh.

Configuration: external, full-height, stand alone, 1 disk, Apple caddy.

Interface: SCSI, Macintosh support.

Access time: 600 ms.

Audio capabilities: standard.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 550M bytes; N/A.

Price, warranty: $899, 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: CD Technology Inc..

Product: CD Porta-Drive T3201.

Ship date: 8/89.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2, Macintosh.

Configuration: external, half-height, stand alone; vertical mount, 1 disk,
Sony caddy.

Interface: SCSI, Macintosh support.

Access time: 350 ms.

Audio capabilities: standard.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 64K bytes; 50,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $895, 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Chinon America Inc..

Product: CDA-431.

Ship date: 8/90.

Hardware platforms: Macintosh.

Configuration: external, half-height, stand alone, 1 disk.

Interface: SCSI, Macintosh support.

Access time: 350 ms.

Audio capabilities: standard.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 550M bytes; 25,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $795, 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Chinon America Inc..

Product: CDS-431, CDX-431.

Ship date: 1/90, 8/90.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT.

Configuration: internal (CDS), external (CDX) half-height, vertical mount
(CDS), stand alone (CDX), 1 disk.

Interface: SCSI.

Access time: 350 ms.

Audio capabilities: standard.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 550M bytes; 25,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $650 (CDS); $795 (CDX), 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Denon America Inc..

Product: SCSI CD-ROM Drive DRD-253.

Ship date: 4/89.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2, Macintosh.

Configuration: external, half-height, stand alone; fits between monitor and
CPU, 1 disk, Sony caddy.

Interface: SCSI, Macintosh support.

Access time: 400 ms.

Audio capabilities: standard.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 32K bytes; 15,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $1,099, 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Hewlett-Packard Co..

Product: HP CD-ROM Drive Model 50720A.

Ship date: 11/87.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT.

Configuration: internal, half-height, 1 disk, LMS caddy.

Interface: proprietary.

Access time: 500 ms.

Audio capabilities: N/A.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: N/A; 40,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $1,095, 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Meridian Data.

Product: CD Net Model 100T.

Ship date: 3/88.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2, Novell, Ungermann-Bass, 3Com, IBM
PC/LAN, NETBIOS API networks.

Configuration: internal, half-height, stand alone, 14 disks per unit, Sony
caddy.

Interface: SCSI.

Access time: 250 ms.

Audio capabilities: N/A.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 15M bytes; 40,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $7,695, 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Micro Design International Inc. (MDI).

Product: LaserBank 600CD.

Ship date: 6/89.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2, SUN.

Configuration: internal/external, half-height, stand alone; fits between
monitor and CPU; vertical mount, 1 disk, Sony caddy.

Interface: SCSI.

Access time: 350 ms.

Audio capabilities: standard.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 600M bytes; 10,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $995, 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Online Products Corp..

Product: Optical Storage Unit OPC-OSU-202.

Ship date: 1/87.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2.

Configuration: external, half-height, stand alone, 2 or 4 drive
configurations, Sony caddy.

Interface: proprietary, SCSI.

Access time: 500 ms proprietary, 350 ms SCSI.

Audio capabilities: N/A.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 600K bytes each drive; N/A.

Price, warranty: $3,695, 90 day.

-----#-----

Vendor: Pinnacle Micro.

Product: REO-130.

Ship date: 7/90.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2, Macintosh, SUN, DEC.

Configuration: internal/external, half-height, stand alone, 1- 3.5" disk,
Pinnacle caddy.

Interface: SCSI, Macintosh support.

Access time: 28 ms.

Audio capabilities: optional.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 128M bytes; 20,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $2,995, 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Pinnacle Micro.

Product: REO-1300, REO-650.

Ship date: 4/90, 12/89.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2, Macintosh, SUN, DEC, H-P.

Configuration: external (REO-1300), internal/external (REO-650) full-height,
stand alone, 2- 5.25" disks (REO-1300), 1- 5.25" disk (REO-650), Sony caddy.

Interface: SCSI, Macintosh support.

Access time: 65 ms.

Audio capabilities: optional.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 1.3G bytes (REO-1300), 650M bytes (REO-650); 20,000
P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $8,995 (REO-1300), $4,695 (REO-650), 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Pinnacle Micro.

Product: REO-36000, REO-6500.

Ship date: 6/90, 7/90.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2, Macintosh, SUN, DEC, H-P.

Configuration: external, full-height; jukebox, stand alone, 56- 5.25" disks
(REO-36000), 10- 5.25" disks (REO-6500) Sony caddy.

Interface: SCSI, Macintosh support.

Access time: 65 ms.

Audio capabilities: optional.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 36G bytes (REO-36000), 6.5G bytes (REO- 6500); 20,000
P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $49,995 (REO-36000), $9,995 (REO-6500), 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Procom Technology Inc..

Product: MCDRom-650.

Ship date: 5/90.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2, Macintosh.

Configuration: external, half-height, stand alone; vertical mount, 1 disk,
Toshiba caddy.

Interface: SCSI, Macintosh support.

Access time: 350 ms.

Audio capabilities: standard.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 64K bytes; 25,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $895, 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Reference Technology Inc..

Product: Series 500 AT Dual Drive SCSI.

Ship date: 1/90.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2.

Configuration: external, half-height, stand alone, 2 drives; 1 disk each,
Sony caddy.

Interface: SCSI.

Access time: 500 ms.

Audio capabilities: optional.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 64K bytes; 10,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $1,700, 90 day.

-----#-----

Vendor: Reference Technology Inc..

Product: Series 500 AT External, AT External SCSI.

Ship date: 1/89.

Hardware platforms: AT.

Configuration: external, half-height, stand alone; fits between monitor and
CPU, 1 disk, Sony caddy.

Interface: proprietary (AT External); SCSI (AT External SCSI).

Access time: 500 ms.

Audio capabilities: optional.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 64K bytes; 10,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $870 (AT External); $1,130 (AT External SCSI), 90 day.

-----#-----

Vendor: Reference Technology Inc..

Product: Series 500 AT Internal, AT Internal SCSI.

Ship date: 1/89.

Hardware platforms: AT.

Configuration: internal, half-height, vertical mount, 1 disk, Sony caddy.

Interface: proprietary (AT Internal); SCSI (AT Internal SCSI).

Access time: 500 ms.

Audio capabilities: optional.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 64K bytes; 10,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $770 (AT Internal); $910 (AT Internal SCSI), 90 day.

-----#-----

Vendor: Reference Technology Inc..

Product: Series 500 PS/2 External, PS/2 External SCSI.

Ship date: 1/89.

Hardware platforms: PS/2.

Configuration: external, half-height, stand alone; fits between monitor and
CPU, 1 disk, Sony caddy.

Interface: proprietary (PS/2 External); SCSI (PS/2 External SCSI).

Access time: 500 ms.

Audio capabilities: optional.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 64K bytes; 10,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $1,020 (PS/2 External); $1,350 (PS/2 External SCSI), 90 day.

-----#-----

Vendor: Sun Moon Star Group.

Product: CD ROM 286 System 286-12-CD.

Ship date: 8/90.

Hardware platforms: AT.

Configuration: internal, half-height, 1 disk, Hitachi caddy.

Interface: proprietary.

Access time: 550 ms.

Audio capabilities: standard.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 500M bytes; N/A.

Price, warranty: $2,995, 3 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Sun Moon Star Group.

Product: CD ROM External CDR-3600U.

Ship date: 8/90.

Hardware platforms: AT.

Configuration: external, half-height, stand alone; fits between monitor and
CPU, 1 disk, Hitachi caddy.

Interface: proprietary.

Access time: 550 ms.

Audio capabilities: standard.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 553M bytes; N/A.

Price, warranty: $995, 18 month.

-----#-----

Vendor: Toshiba America Information Systems Inc..

Product: XM-3201A1-PCF; XM-3201A1-PS2; XM-3201A1-MAC.

Ship date: 11/88.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2, Macintosh.

Configuration: external, half-height, stand alone; vertical mount, 1 disk,
Sony caddy.

Interface: SCSI, Macintosh support.

Access time: 350 ms (average), 700 ms (maximum).

Audio capabilities: standard.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 64K bytes; 25,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: XM-3201A1-PCF $950; XM-3201A1-PS2 $1,150; XM- 3201A1-MAC
$850, 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Toshiba America Information Systems Inc..

Product: XM-3201B.

Ship date: 11/88.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2, Macintosh, any computer with suitable
host adapter.

Configuration: internal, half-height, vertical mount, 1 disk, Sony caddy.

Interface: SCSI, Macintosh support.

Access time: 350 ms (average), 700 ms (maximum).

Audio capabilities: standard.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 64K bytes; 25,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: $600, 1 year.

-----#-----

Vendor: Toshiba America Information Systems Inc..

Product: XM-5100A-PCF; XM-5100-PS2; XM-5100-MAC.

Ship date: 3/89.

Hardware platforms: PC, XT, AT, PS/2, Macintosh.

Configuration: external, half-height, stand alone; fits between monitor and
CPU, 1 disk, Sony caddy.

Interface: SCSI, Macintosh support.

Access time: 380 ms (average), 560 ms (maximum).

Audio capabilities: standard.

Drive memory; P.O.H.: 64K bytes; 10,000 P.O.H..

Price, warranty: XM-5100A-PCF $800; XM-5100A-PS2 $1,000; XM- 5100A-MAC
$700, 1 year.

-----#-----


***** Computer Select, July 1991 : Doc #52062 *****

Journal: PC Week Sept 24 1990 v7 n38 p132(1)
* Full Text COPYRIGHT Ziff-Davis Publishing Co. 1990.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: CD ROM players bring the data to the people. (CD ROM usage)
(buyers guide)
Author: Claiborne, David.
AttFile: Buyers Guide: 0924ROM.DBF CD-ROM players.
Buyers Guide: 0924ROM.WKS CD-ROM players.

Summary: The Howard County Public Library in Columbia, MD, uses Online
Computer Systems Inc's Optinet system to provide patrons with
instant access to 12 different CD ROMs containing almost 6Gbytes
of information. The disks include Microsoft Corp's Bookshelf,
University Microfilm's Periodical Abstracts and Newspaper
Abstracts, the Ziff-Davis Computer Library, Medical Research
Online, the Physician's Desk Reference, and the Small Business
Consultant. One of the library's biggest hurdles was obtaining
permission from the publishers to provide access to the CD ROMs
via a network; some publishers charge additional fees per
workstation, but the network is limited to seven workstations.
The library also had to upgrade to 80386-based hardware and
Quarterdeck Office Systems' QEMM/386 memory manager to obtain
enough DOS memory to operate the disk search programs.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Descriptors..
Company: On-Line Computer Systems Inc. (products).
Topic: CD-ROM
Storage Capacity
Disk Drives
Reference Books
Local Area Networks
Howard County Public Library.

Record#: 09 441 139.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Text:

CD ROM Players Bring the Data to the People

CD ROMs can provide rapid access to vast amounts of information. Having a
series of CD ROMs is like having a personal library at your disposal. In
fact, libraries, both public and private, are becoming one of the larger CD
ROM users. CD ROMs can offer even small underfunded libraries an economical
way to maintain prodigious amounts of information.

At the Howard County Public Library in Columbia, Md., CD ROMs have been
combined with network technology to provide library patrons with instant
access to 12 different CD ROMs.

The system, which the library calls Info-LAN, consists of seven workstations
operating on the Optinet system from Online Computer Systems Inc. It enables
patrons to search CD ROM databases, review relevant documents, and print or
transfer information to floppy disks.

The Info-LAN system allows each workstation to access any CD ROM on the
network. "Our goal was to develop a network where users could access all
databases from any workstation and several users could access a single
database simultaneously," said Norma Hill assistant director of the Howard
County Library. "We also decided that there should be a variety of databases
to meet the needs of the student, teacher, businessperson and investor."

Info-LAN is designed to be easy to use and rugged enough to be in constant
use 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Each workstation averages 40 users per day. Individual sessions tend to be
about five or six minutes," said Allan Bogage, a library reference
specialist.

The system has 12 CD ROMs on-line, with almost 6G bytes of information. "The
abstract disks from University Microfilm--Periodical Abstracts and Newspaper
Abstracts--are the most popular," said Bogage.

High school and college students often use Grolier's New Electronic
Encyclopedia, Education Resources Information Center, Pearson's College
Database and Peterson's Gradline graduate school information disk, he added.

Private investors use corporate and industry research reports.
General-interest disks include Microsoft Corp.'s Bookshelf and Small Business
Consultant, Medical Research Online (Medline) and the Physician's Desk
Reference. The Ziff-Davis Computer Library is also offered.

Resolving Problems

The library team overcame many obstacles to ensure a reliable, working
system. One hurdle was in obtaining permission from the publishers to
provide access to the various CD ROM products via a network. In some cases,
there was no additional charge. In others, there was an additional fee per
network workstation. Because the network is limited to seven workstations
(six for the public, one for staff), network licensing costs were not
prohibitive. The costs of the current disks range from $400 to $3,865.

Originally, the system used two servers. A Novell server maintained NetBIOS
compatibility and ensured network performance. An Acer 900, a 286-based
workstation with 4M bytes of memory for large disk caches, served as the CD
ROM server, running the Optinet software to control 16 CD ROM players.

Bob Alcorn, another library reference specialist, said, "we later used a beta
version of Optinet with better NetBIOS compatibility to wean ourselves off
the Novell server. With the current version of Optinet, we no longer use the
Novell server."

Another obstacle was memory crunch when operating under DOS with NetBIOS, the
Microsoft CD ROM extensions, the Optinet drivers and Novell NetWare. Only
476K bytes were available in the workstation computers--not enough to operate
some of the disk-search programs.

To alleviate the problem, the original Acer 900 workstations were upgraded to
386-based Acer 1100 machines. Quarter-deck Office Systems' QEMM/386 was used
to move the larger device drivers to high memory, freeing sufficient DOS
memory for the various search programs.

The library's implementation of the system was quick, going from concept to
actual operation in just over six months.

Off-the-shelf equipment was used throughout. Hewlett-Packard ink-jet
printers were selected to produce hard-copy output because of their quiet
operation, necessary in a library.

Future plans for the network include more general-interest disks and remote
access to registered library patrons.



***** Computer Select, July 1991 : Doc #69586 *****

Journal: The Seybold Report on Desktop Publishing Jan 15 1990 v4 n5 p34(2)
* Full Text COPYRIGHT Seybold Publications Inc. 1990.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: CD-ROM software for networks. (Online Computer Systems' CD-ROM
networking software for Novell IPX/SPX and Unix Network File
System networks) (product announcement)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Descriptors..
Company: On-Line Computer Systems Inc. (product introduction).
Product: Opti-Net/NFS (Computer network software) (product introduction).
Topic: Network Management Software
CD-ROM
Software Packages
Connectivity
Disk Drives
Product Introduction.

Record#: 08 064 428.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Text:

CD-ROM software for networks Online Computer Systems has announced new
versions of its CD-ROM networking software for IPX/SPX (Novell) and NFS (the
Unix Network File System) networks. The software lets any station on the
network access the data on one or more CD-ROM drives.

The Novell version supports NetBios, but does not require it; by
communicating directly with the NetWare IPX/SPX layers it can save 25-35K of
workstation memory. The price is $795 for 1-8 users and $1,495 for 9-100
users.

Opti-Net/NFS runs on the network file server and makes the CD-ROM appear as
an NFS file system. It can be accessed from Sun, HP and DEC workstations,
among others. The price is $1,495.


***** Computer Select, July 1991 : Doc #70480 *****

Journal: The Seybold Report on Publishing Systems July 19 1989 v18 n19-20
p62(2)
* Full Text COPYRIGHT Seybold Publications Inc. 1989.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Electronic library systems. (American Newspaper Publishers
Association conference) (product announcement)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Descriptors..
Company: DataTimes (manufactures)
Infosel (manufactures)
Software Consulting Service (manufactures)
Stauffer Media Systems (manufactures)
VuText (manufactures).
Topic: American Newspaper Publishers Association
Conferences
Newspapers
Electronic Publishing
New Product
Information Storage and Retrieval
Software Packages
Integrated Systems.

Record#: 07 537 078.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Text:

We looked at most of the electronic library systems on display. Although
there weren't any brand-new ones, there were some changes to existing
products and support for new hardware.

For example, DataTimes introduced Vaxstation 3000 and 3300 versions of its
Flash system, in addition to some other enhancements and news of features to
be added in August. Infosel probably had more changes than any other vendor,
including the addition of graphics to its database, network support, OCR
software from Kurzweil and a Mac version. Software Consulting Services and
VuText made incremental changes to their systems, while Stauffer added a Mac
version and a new network. We didn't have a chance to spend time with System
Integrators' LASR system, but we will catch up on it at the next opportunity.

DataTimes offers Vaxstation systems

DataTimes introduced Vaxstation 3000 and 3300 versions of its Flash newspaper
library system, which uses Basis software for text retrieval. (DataTimes
licenses and supports Basis under an agreement with Information Dimensions
Inc.)

Basis is a free-text searching, code-driven system that can be interfaced to
major front-end systems. Indexing is automatic with manual enhancements on
demand, with 22 indexing options. Any field in the newspaper header can be
searched and indexed, with words to be excluded (pronouns, conjunctions,
articles, prepositions, etc.) included on a stop list.

Although the current Basis software has no prioritizing, the next version,
due for release in August, will allow stories to be listed according to the
number of occurrences of a given search criterion in a particular article.

A newspaper can specify searches through fields in its headers, either
individually or in groups. The searches can be driven from either menus or
commands. Search aids include Boolean logic, truncated root words, and affix
searching. Proximity searching, string searching and wildcard searches are
available, as is the ability to scroll through stories displaying context
only where search terms occur. Search criteria can also be saved for further
use.

Purging of stories is either automatic or manual, depending on a newspaper's
requirements. Currently there is no synonym searching, although plurals and
possessive occurrences of a word are identified. Stories can be cut and
pasted as straight ASCII text into the editorial front end, and storage of
the library is either on the workstation itself or on an online CD-Rom.

Thc company also provides news information and business databases to
subscribers worldwide.

Infosel handies photos, LAN and Mac

The Mexican firm Infosel demonstrated a greatly upgraded version of its
Infodex story archiver and search engine. This system, developed for the
highly computerized El Norte newspaper of Monterey, Mexico, is an impressive,
relatively inexpensive (under $5,000 to get started) news clipping database
that can be adapted to other archiving and retrieval purposes as well.

The center of the system is a keyword indexing system that can speedily
process any text story entered. This indexing may be operated manually or
set to automatically process text files, whether they were captured from wire
services, a word processor or an OCR scanner. The basic system is solid,
impressively fast, and runs on off-the-shelf PC hardware. The search engine
comes in both English and Spanish versions. It supports 1.2GB optical discs,
with each '3 86 PC able to support 66 of these drives, for a total storage of
80 GB per PC.

Infosel has enhanced die product by offering some impressive extended
features. It announced Infodex Photography, a database management system for
high-resolution digitized photographs, either monochrome or color, negative
or positive. Keywords can be assigned to the images, which are stored either
on the system's hard disk or on an optical disc. Graphics are input using a
common scanner, although at ANPA the Imapro one was used. Remote operators
can search the graphics database via modem. The system wiU convert TIFF
files to fax format and transfer them to a remote device.

Currently the database supports both TIFF and Targa formats. The company has
developed its own compression algorithms for storing pictorial data, claiming
20:1 compression for TIFF files and 15:1 compression for Targa files.

The system is thesaurus-driven and will index four different sons ofdata.
Graphic images can be assigned keywords and the system supports a
user-definable dictionary with extensive synonym and notation capabilities,
so images can carry a short abstract to which the system refers during
searches. Each image can be given as many as 40 keywords as well as the
abstract.

Another new feature is support for a local area network, in this case any
NetBios-compatible LAN (Novell, 3Com or IBM). For the local network, it
stores data on a 1.2-GB optical disc. Remote dial-up services were also
being shown, and we dialed into the main database in Monterey.

Infosel demonstrated a new intelligent OCR interface that was developed in
conjunction with Kurzweil. Serving as a means of text input to the database,
it uses artificial intelligence to recognize type styles and sizes. It was
shown configured with a Canon scanner but any similar device could be used.

The OCR software stores scanned data as ASCII or TIFF image files. The
software recognizes styles and sizes to 48 points and is available in various
languages, including French, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, Italian, German and
English. We tested the svstem on a standard newspaper clipping and it
performed reasonably well.

Another extension to the Infosel product range is Infosel Mac, which allows
the user to access the PC-based database using the Mac through a common
interface.

Infosel was also demonstrating administrative and billing software for those
who might want to create their own payper-play, information services.

Infosel announced that an OS/2 version of its product is expected toward the
end of the year.

SCS enhances Personal Librarian

Personal Librarian is Software Consulting Services' information retrieval
system. This is a full-text automatic indexing library system, unique in
that it has relevance ranking. The system will list retrieved articles
according to the frequency of words based on weighted averages. How well
each story meets the search criteria is illustrated on a bar chart.

The system now features a form search for ctsomplex queries and offers a
filter program between the front end and the library using the header
information. Documents can be tied together using Hypertext links under
Windows or through coding on the DOS version. There is a user-definable stop
list, but no synonym searching.

The system also features an expand function, which will retrieve words that
have been statistically relevant to the requested search words or subjects.
Boolean operators and truncated searches are supported, as are proximity,
wildcard and range searching.

The Personal Librarian runs on AT-class machines, '386 PCs and Vaxes.
Databases are stored on the hard disk or on CD-ROM.

Stauffer supports Mac, new network

The Stauffer Gold library system, supporting PCs and Macs, was shown with
faster copying of data to 200-MB optical discs, remote access, a new logging
feature and a new network. The Mac version supports scanners, fax modems,
color monitors and large screens. It can be networked using LocalTalk or
PhoneNet and can be interfaced to most front ends. The user running the Mac
version with MultiFinder can cut and paste between the library system and the
editorial system.

Both the Mac and PC versions include full text indexing and searching, with a
selective vocabulary for quick search, searching with Boolean operators,
proximity and wildcard searching. An additional feature is category
definition, which lets the user group stories.

At ANPA, Stauffer was also scanning stories using Omnipage software as a
means of input and indexing.

Also available was the Stauffer newspaper business software running on the
AT&T Unix system.

VuText shows editing subsystem

Owned by Knight- Ridder, VuText supplies the SAVE electronic library system
consisting of hill-text retrieval software and hardware with one of three
environments: AT&T Unix, DEC VMS or '3 86 Unix.

The system interfaces to the newspaper front ends and intercepts the
typesetter queue so that library staff can pick and choose the stories they
include in the morgue. The newspaper can define its user interface; VuText
handles all navigational aspects of the system.

Indexing is manual or automatic and uses a stop list that is also
user-definable.

Searches can be in natural language, using Boolean operators, wildcards and
proximity, searches and now can be fisted for historical reference. There is
also a thesaurus with userdefinable synonym listings. Search sets can be
combined using the historical search listings.

A new feature in New Orleans was an editing subsystem that allows the user to
choose the stories from the list of those meeting the search criteria,
without having to modify the search.

Other additions shown at ANPA were access to the dictionary using word stems
and automatic updating of the databases by date, for information management
at die database level. There is also a remote feature for accessing other
services and newspapers' databases.

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