PC Magazine -- June 27, 1995

The Top 100 CD-ROMs

Quick Spins

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The CD-ROM Market Windows 95 and CD-ROM

Count on Microsoft's new operating system to deliver several important changes to the way your multimedia PC works.

CD-ROM Trends CD-ROM Facts

The following section was compiled from information provided by Dataquest, a market-research firm.

CD-ROM Tips CD-ROM Gear Shovelware

Some publishers insist on churning out mounds of data and heaping it onto CD-ROMs. Despite their great potential, CDs can be sloppily edited and have poor content. Watch your step.

The Best Apps on CD-ROM

With these products you get the convenience of fast, easy installation (no stacks of floppy disks) and the pleasure of useful extras.

Magazines on CD-ROM Open Letter to CD-ROM Developers
  1. Don't automatically install Video for Windows or anything like that without asking us first; you might bring us back to an older version. And do ask about overwriting DLLs/VBXs/EXEs. Show us what's there, show us what you want to do, and let us decide.
  2. Do package your CD-ROMs in jewel boxes or paper equivalent with appropriate labeling on all sides. We already have one of those fancy CD-ROM organizers that stores 200 CD-ROMS, but it needs them in plastic jewel boxes. And don't tell us to add our own jewel boxes, because then we have to label the outside or end up looking at a bunch of clear plastic cases. Also, why not take a tip from the music industry and limit the size of those large CD-ROM boxes (which typically contain one jewel case and a very thin instruction book)? You can condense the manual to the size of liner notes and include it inside the jewel case.
  3. Do reorganize, consolidate, push, pull, tuck--whatever is necessary to keep nearly everything on the CD, not on our hard disks. We're tired of shuffling disk space.
  4. Don't insist on working only with 256-color video drivers, not after we've invested in a graphics accelerator that we run in 16-bit mode. Then we have to change video modes and restart Windows just for your CD.
  5. Do include some way for us to save our place before we exit, so we can start up again later with the same screen and navigational history.
  6. Don't insist on having the CD-ROM drive in the path to run programs from the CD. Your CD isn't always the one in there, and we hate the "Invalid drive in path" errors that pop up when we reboot.
  7. Don't forget to include a sound muzzle. We don't have time to explain to our boss why. . . .
  8. Do support standard functions. For example, for noise control call the sound-board manufacturer's control panel instead of your own.
  9. Do be consistent when offering hot keys. For example, support Alt-Tab as you would with any Windows application.
  10. For those who don't bother to do 1 through 9, do include an accurate uninstall feature.

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Copyright © 1995 Ziff-Davis Publishing Company