Reader Catherine Cleary of Milwaukee wonders why a retiree with no interest in games or other multimedia would want a CD-ROM. In a word: software. CD-ROMs are replacing floppies for software distribution. The move to CDS is cheaper for producers and helps consumers. Programs are much more easily installed from a single CD than a pile of floppies, and the defect rate is much lower. By next year, the overwhelming majority of programs will be distributed on CD, with floppies available only as a special-order option. And the CD component cost for computers is minimal. You can buy a CD-ROM upgrade kit for under $200, but buying a new machine without the drive will save only $125--if you can find a CD-less computer.
BY STEPHEN H. WILDSTROM
Updated June 14, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1996, Bloomberg L.P.