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The old-time Saturday morning when you went down to the record store to listen to all the latest releases could soon make a comeback – this time with software. A key problem faced by software retailers is the limitation on the number of different titles he can afford to stock, or for which he has space, but Software Generation Inc, a Costa Mesa, California has harnessed the enormous capacity of the Compact Disk Read-Only Memory to come up with a solution. Called Hands On, the system is similar to the old listening booths in record stores, allowing would-be customers to go in and try out programs – the key difference being that the system copies the chosen program from the optical disk onto floppy in 40 seconds – and also produces limited demonstration versions that can be taken home for more comprehensive trial. According to the Wall Street Journal, 150 publishers have agreed to put some 1,600 titles on the system, and ComputerLand is offering Hands On to all of its US franchisees.

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CBR Staff Writer

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