by Don Rittner -- firstname.lastname@example.org
(c) 1992 MUG News Service
Having just returned from the CD-ROM Expo, I want to share a valuable find with you. Everyone knows there are thousands of files strewn around the Internet. Trying to find them all could take a lifetime, but Pacific HiTech, Inc., a new company begun by a couple of computer science students from the University of Utah, and Walnut Creek CD-ROM have produced some goodies that will help ease the search. They have taken entire collections of several Internet archives, pressed them onto inexpensive CD-ROMs, and are offering them for sale. Four CD-ROMs of immediate interest are summarized here.
Info-Mac CD-ROM -- Although Walnut Creek markets this $39.95 disc, Pacific HiTech actually produced (and sells) it. Pacific HiTech downloaded the programs on this disc in August of 1992 from the Info-Mac archive on the Internet site <sumex-aim.stanford.edu>. The quarterly (Info-Mac is a moving target) disc contains 112 MB of software in HFS format, following the sumex directory structure. The disc includes thousands of freeware and shareware applications, desk accessories, games, virus-detection programs, and commercial demos. It is also packed with graphics, sounds, and HyperCard stacks, and everything is ready to run. No defunking here!
For those seeking archives of electronic discussion groups and publications, you'll find TidBITS, Info-Mac Digest, and digests from comp.sys.mac.programmer for all of 1992 (so far) on the disc. Pacific HiTech initially intended to place the entire Info-Mac archive on the CD. However, they had to leave off some files due to copyright restrictions and the logistics of getting permission from all contributors. In the end, they managed to include roughly 75% of Info-Mac's files, although a number of files have turned over since then due to the size of the currently (and soon to be replaced) 200 MB hard drive on sumex.
CICA Microsoft Windows CD-ROM -- This $24.95 CD-ROM contains the entire collection from Indiana University's Center for Innovative Computing Applications (CICA) - more than 140 MB of Windows goodies, including utilities, shells, games, and lots more. The entire disc is configured for OPUS, RBBS, and PCBOARD bulletin boards, similar to the Mac's BBS in a Box, so sysops can have a ready-made file library with little effort. Many demos of commercial programs, drivers for a large number of printers and monitors, icons and graphics, source code listings and programming tools for C, C++, ToolBook, Turbo Pascal and Visual Basic, round out the collection. This disc was made in July 1992.
Garbo MS-DOS/Mac CD-ROM -- This $24.95 disc contains more than 250 MB of DOS software and 125 MB of Mac software from the Garbo archive at the University of Vaasa, Finland. The majority of the many programs from Europe and America are in English.
For DOS users, the disc includes lots of animation, archive utilities, BBS programs, business programs, science programs, and education software, with special areas for astronomy, linguistics, and educational games. Also included are programming tools, tutorials and tech docs, and anti-virus software. On the Mac side, there are lots of graphics, fonts, commercial demos, HyperCard stacks, and programming tools and documentation. This disc was made in May 1992.
Simtel20 MS-DOS CD-ROM -- Over 9,000 files (640 MB) of DOS programs from the Simtel20 archive are on this $24.95 disc. Many of the programs include source code and there is a great deal of technical documentation, utilities, and programming tools for APL, assembly, BASIC, C, and more. The disc includes several complete BBS programs and utilities, and like the Windows disc, it already has index files for RBBS, PCBOARD and OPUS so sysops can use it right away. This disc was made in September 1992.
Shareware note -- Many of the programs on these CD-ROMs are freeware or shareware, and may have restrictions and obligations regarding their use, and the producers duly note the user's obligations to pay a fee when requested. Any author of a program on one of these CD-ROMs is entitled to a free disc.
Since most of the CD-ROMs have ready-to-use indexes for popular BBS programs they make a great collection for bulletin board operators who want to offer Internet material without the high cost of a direct Internet link or email gateway.
The prices for these CD-ROM collections are extremely reasonable. All the discs are on ISO-9660 format and as such should work on all platforms. If you wish to order via email (be aware that email is not absolutely private), you can do so by sending Pacific HiTech your name, address, phone number, and VISA/MasterCard number and expiration date.
Contact the company at:
Pacific HiTech, Inc.
4760 Highland Drive, Suite 204
Salt Lake City, Utah 84124
800/765-8369 (orders only, please)
Walnut Creek CD-ROM
1547 Palos Verdes Mall, Suite 260
Walnut Creek, CA 94598