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Technology / AI and automation


Microsoft Corp, Redmond, Washington, has announced its first major product using Compact Disk Read-Only Memory technology for delivery in June. The Microsoft Bookshelf, for IBM Personals and compatibles, is a library of 10 reference works and tools for writing on one 5.25 optical disk costing $250. The titles on the disk include the American Heritage Dictionary, Roget’s II: Electronic Thesaurus, the 1987 World Almanac and Book of Facts, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, The Chicago Manual of Style, Houghton Mifflin Spelling Verifier and Corrector, Forms and Letters, US ZIP Code Directory, Houghton Mifflin Usage Alert, and Business Information Sources. As a memory-resident program, Microsoft Bookshelf runs in conjunction with 14 common word processors including – of course – Microsoft Word. Software is included to make it as easy as possible to find the exact fact required. The program handles context-sensitive searches and users can also browse through a reference work, and an on-line training package is included. Users can also copy passages into their text, but after each such paste, a copyright citation automatically appears within the document. Microsoft promises to update Bookshelf on a regular basis to keep time-sensitive information current. Microsoft has agreed to work together with Amdek Corp to establish a retail market for optical drives and disks, and Amdek will include Bookshelf with its new Laserdrive 1. It needs a machine with 640Kb memory – 512Kb if the machine has a hard disk, MS-DOS 3.1 or 3.2, two double-sided floppies or one and a Winchester, and a Compact Disk drive with the Microsoft MS-DOS CD ROM Extensions. For use in isolation from other programs, it needs 256Kb memory and one double sided floppy disk drive.

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