The bulky reference works that crowd the shelves of defense analysts should, and soon will, give way to products like the CD-ROM version of this annual guide. On a current- generation computer it afforded quick searching by country, ship type, aircraft, photo, line drawing, and other criteria. The information could then be printed. Although there are some drawbacks (line drawings were blurred), by and large this is an easier reference work to handle than the heavy tomes it replaces. Before too long, one hopes, even more sophisticated products (which show movement, for example, or allow a reader-viewer to examine an object from different angles) will appear. This compact disk merely duplicates the content of the book, albeit with the advantage of a computer's ability to search swiftly through large amounts of data. The next generation of products should exploit those areas in which computers can outperform their print competitors. At $495.00, however, this item will remain out of the price range of most potential purchasers other than research institutions.
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