PTS style Tipitaka CD-ROM ...$150

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at
Thu May 16 10:29:27 UTC 1996

On Wed, 15 May 1996 at wrote:

> Is there some reason we should be considering spending alot of money for
> materials we already have?  (I have not used the data extensively yet, but I
> have not noticed any problems, save the sometimes unweildy file size).

Absolutely none!  I think the people publishing CDROM versions for money
have failed dramatically to evaluate the publishing situation correctly.
With a free version of the text available, the CDROM versions can compete
on only two grounds, as far as I can see

1/ A CDROM may be more convenient than having to make space on a hard  disk;
2/ Added value in the form of support software for the display of fonts,
   grammatical analysis of Pali, lemmatization, indexing, links to
   images of MSS, illustrations, multimedia presentation of the social and
   religious background to text production, etc. etc.

Proposition 1/ is hard to argue, since people will in any case probably
want to copy the data from CDROM to disk in order to benefit from the
higher data access speeds of hard disk technology.  But this aside, there
is no commercial validity in putting CDROM in head-on competition with
hard disk on the grounds of storage efficiency or economy.  The
per-megabyte cost of disk storage is now lower than CDROM, especially if
one takes into account such technology as Iomega's Zip drives, for example
(ca. 15 pence per megabyte or less).

Neither of the CDROM vendors seems to have made a serious effort towards
proposition 2/, which is a pity since the opportunity here for
intellectual creativitiy and service to scholarship is so very great.

These publishers need to wake up!

Dominik Wujastyk

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