John Leonard <>
Re: natural history CDs
WM James Davis <>
Thu, 18 Dec 1997 07:16:47 +1000 (EST)
I believe your comments on CDs are spot on. Unfortunately,
naturalists are probably the last group of people to embrace computer
tecnhology and probably use the technology less than other people.
Hence, there isn't a big market for high quality (information content,
etc.) natural history CDs -- above the level of eight year olds. For this
reason I have't bought any CDs on natural history - I still prefer books
with good drawings etc.
However, I predict this will change when faster PCs become more common
with large disk drives/storage- you'll have to upgrade your 486, I am
afraid, to accommodate the large image files and search engines that a
good natural history CD will require. There are three advantages that the
computer/CD technology can potentially offer over books:
1) upgradeability of the material on the CD (difficult for book publishers
to do without republishing the entire book)
2) the ability of the user to add his/her own content into the database
(the digitial writing pen with drawing software would necessary here)
3) the ability of the user to add/integrate their own digital sound and
All three capabilities are possible, but currently require
products from separate companies, etc. Unfortunately, current prices of
hardware make my ideal package very expensive, so for now I'll continue to
enjoy reading my books and discovering nature in the rough.
Dr. Wm. James Davis
The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering
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