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/// News from Fred Fish!

I am considering a possible radical change to the way the current
library works, and would like to bounce it off the user community to gauge
the interest level, gather suggestions, etc.
For the last couple of years, I have been regularly asked why I don't
distribute the library directly on CD-ROM, rather than floppy disks. I'm
starting to think that this may be the right time to consider switching from
a floppy based distribution to a CD-ROM based distribution.
First of all, the price of CD-ROM drives have dropped dramatically over the
last couple of years, and the cost of producing CD-ROM disks has dropped as
well, to the point where it might actually be cheaper to do a monthly CD-ROM
than to maintain the current floppy distributions of 10 disks every 3 to 4
The current cost of a floppy based subscription averages about $40/month.
Depending upon quantity, the cost to subscribers for a CD-ROM distribution on
a monthly basis could be in the $20-$30 range, with vastly increased limits
on the amount of new material that could be distributed each month.  With
CD-ROM distributions I could easily include material that I now have to
routinely reject because of size considerations.  The material could be
organized in a more natural manner, along subject lines, like separate
directories for demos, games, utilities, animations, etc. There would also be
no need to pack any of the material, it could be distributed "ready to run"
regardless of size (assuming no 300Mb animations of course).
The way I envision a CD-ROM distribution channel working is that each monthly
CD-ROM release would contain some fraction of older material that has
appeared on a previous monthly CD-ROM, along with the current months new
material. As space is needed for new material, the older material would be
deleted, on a first in - first out basis. Thus there would be a significant
overlap in the contents of each successive disk, with the amount of overlap
depending upon the quantity of new material appearing on each CD-ROM.
Subscribers could elect to receive a new CD-ROM every month, every two
months, every three months, etc, according to their needs, and probably not
miss any material as long as the interval doesn't extend past 5-6 months,
assuming up to 100Mb of new material every month.
It would help me a lot to decide how feasible a CD-ROM distribution might be
if people interested in receiving the library directly on CD-ROM could fill
out the following short questionaire and either email it or send a hardcopy
back to:
           Internet email to:
           or hardcopy to:     Fred Fish
                               1835 E. Belmont Drive
                               Tempe, AZ  85284 USA
Please feel free to repost this message to other electronic services. Thanks.
CD-ROM  Distribution  Questionaire
(1) I would be interested in receiving the library directly on CD-ROM:
    (1) [ ] Yes
    (1) [ ] No
    (1) [ ] Check here if you are a subscriber for the floppy distribution.
(2) I would have to purchase a CD-ROM drive to be able to make use of
    a CD-ROM distribution:
    (2) [ ] Yes
    (2) [ ] No
(3) I would subscribe to a CD-ROM based distribution only if the price
    per CD-ROM disk was (check all that apply):
    (3) [ ] $20 or less
    (3) [ ] $30 or less
    (3) [ ] $40 or less
    (3) [ ] $50 or less
(4) I would be most interested in receiving a new CD-ROM disk every:
    (4) [ ] month           (each new CD-ROM disk as released)
    (4) [ ] 2 months        (every other CD-ROM disk)
    (4) [ ] 3 months        (every third CD-ROM disk)
    (4) [ ] 4 months or longer
    (4) [ ] on demand       (I'll order each one when I want it)
(5) I would like to be placed on a direct email or hardcopy mailing list
    for further future information (fill out either or both addresses
    below, as desired):
    email address:
    [*StarShip* News Note:  Simply add to your GE Mail
     address to get your Internet mail address.]
    hardcopy address:   Joe Blow
                        Nowhere, USA
(6) Other comments, suggestions, etc: