Bits & Bytes
NEW CD-ROMs DRIVE THE PRICE OF DATA STORAGE DOWN
Singers aren't the only ones who want to record their own compact disks (CDs). Any business with lots of data stored on hundreds of floppy disks may want to cram it all onto a space-saving CD. But most haven't because they would have to pay $1,000 or more to have a CD maker press a master disk. Now, Philips Consumer Electronics and Sony Corp. have each come up with cost-effective devices for transferring huge amounts of text and images onto blank CD-ROM disks.
Sony's CD Write Once, priced under $12,000, and Philips' CDD 521, priced at $6,000, can attach to Apple Macintoshes and IBM PC compatibles. Each is an optical drive that can record in standard data formats, so the CDs can be used on any CD-ROM drive. What's more, both recorders spin the disks at twice the normal speed, halving the recording time required by earlier products, which had cost $30,000 to $60,000. Philips' machine can also add new information to previously recorded disks. Musicians may also be interested: With special software, both new units can record audio disks for music CD players.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG