CD-ROM: Ready-for-Prime-Time Technology

By Powers, Jack | Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management, August 1989 | Go to article overview

CD-ROM: Ready-for-Prime-Time Technology

Powers, Jack, Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

CD-ROM: Ready-for-prime-time technology

As consumers and businesses demand more information, publishers in every field are scrambling to find ways to produce more effective, more efficient, more competitive pages.

Part of the solution is to conserve print with its own tools: tighter editorial, better graphic design, more pictures and charts, more process color and more highly targeted publication themes. But better ink-on-paper is only one response. Electronic alternatives to print are beginning to give publishers a whole new range of opportunities to combine conventional publishing applications with computers, telephones, television and animation. Many of these alternatives are still just toys--interesting topics for cocktail conversations and government grants. But they're not necessarily stable, affordable or profitable tools for mainstream, industrial-strength publishing.

CD-ROM (Compact Disk, Read Only Memory) technology, however, is emerging from development labs and into the real publishing world as a powerful alternative to traditionally produced magazines. Driven by declining costs, developing standards and an infrastructure already paid for by a mass market consumer application (the music industry's compact disk), the technology is moving within reach of at least a select audience of magazine readers. For those readers, CD-ROM represents a dynamic, interactive electronic option gathering, manipulating and digesting information.

And the technology runs both sides of the street for publishers. The same technology that may represent the future of publishing for some can, for any publisher, enhance and streamline editorial and production processes. Libraries of up-to-date research materials are already available for editors to use to draw information to insert directly int text, such as famous quotes, or to manipulate data in virtually unlimited data configurations. The huge capacity for data inherent in CD-ROMs allows them to carry hundreds of color photographs on a single disk, in digital form, ready for importation into a desktop publishing or color pre-press system.

Beyond text and graphics

Communicating graphically is the key to effective publishing, and effective CD-ROMs are the ones that offer a complete package of text, illustration and design. But with the CD-ROM's great storage capacity and the power of the computer, publishers now using the technology are moving beyond two-dimensional text and graphics in the most forward-looking products.

With roots in music and audio digitization, CD-ROMs can incorporate sound into a publication package. The French-English Visual Dictionary CD-ROM, for example, displays text in both languages, contains pictures that illustrate the vocabulary, and also plays recorded individuals pronouncing the dictionary entries.

Because the CD-ROM is played through a computer, the data could also be used in other PC applications. Microsoft's Bookshelf, for example, links a dictionary, thesaurus, almanac and Zip Code directory directly into word processing programs. One keystroke will retrieve a line from Bartlett's Familiar Quotations and inject it into the middle of a text file. Similarly, some economic databases provide financial information in spreadsheet format so that readers can import the numbers into their analysis spreadsheets without rekeying the data.

The graphics power of the display computers can also be used to enhance illustrations. The Grolier U.S. History demonstration CD-ROM, for example, contains animated maps of the migration westward, illustrating the settlement of the American West by the changing maps of boundaries and borders over 50 years.

Other devices can be linked to the computer that contains a CD-ROM. Stanford University's Electric Cadaver, for example, displays animated schematics of the body on the computer screen and links to a video disk player with color pictures of cross-referenced medical detail. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

CD-ROM: Ready-for-Prime-Time Technology


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.