Ken's Korner
By Ken Fermoyle

Ken's Korner

Watch for CD-RW Price Drops

As Double-Density Models Appear

As I predicted in an earlier article, CD-RW drives are replacing other storage media (floppy diskettes, tape, cartridge drives), with more than 10 million shipped by midyear. Prices as low as $150-160 for 4x3x24 drives appear regularly in ads now, and even lower prices will prevail this fall.

The reason? Double-density drives and disks that offer twice the capacity of today's 630MB products are coming soon.

Cirrus Logic Inc. industry market leader of CD-RW chips, promises to deliver a new double-density encoder/decoder this fall that makes it possible to store 1.3 gigabytes of data on a single CD-RW disc.

This 1.3-gigabyte capacity translates into 60 minutes of real-time video, or 144 minutes of real-time audio. The new drives also will boost read and write speeds to new levels at 48x and 16x, respectively, faster than any drives now on the market.

This means we can look for price drops as vendors clear out inventory of current drives. We might see prices of 4x4x24 drives drop close to $110-125 as vendors clear out inventory to make way for the new higher-capacity drives. That will make them tough competition for removable-cartridge drives with much less storage capacity and far higher costs per unit of storage media.

Bogus E-mail Tax Rumor

Makes the Rounds - Again!

A flurry of messages about a new e-mail tax flooded my Inbox recently, and maybe yours, too. They claim that Bill 602P would require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to collect a 5-cent charge for every e-mail message. Like similar "information:" that cropped up periodically during the past few years, this one is tatally bogus! If you receive such a message with a "Please forward toeveryone you know" request, trash it.

Tipoff that the report was phoney jumped out at me when I saw the title of the purported bill. Neither the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives use a "P" designation in any of their bills. Also. I heard earlier about a bill of the same nature rumored to be pending in the Canadian Parliament. That also was false.

The original message indicated that the e-mail fee would be charged to assist the United States Postal Service (USPS) or the Canadian Post Office with recovery of any losses they may have experienced due to the proliferation of e-mail. The USPS has posted an emphatic denial to the report at: the USPS Web site.

My personal opinion is that these false reports are circulated by the same people who worry about black helicopters in the night and invasions of privacy (which is happening, but banks, insurance companies and other large corporations have far more information about us that any governmental organization).

Copyright © 2000, Ken Fermoyle. For one-time use only; all other rights reserved. Ken can be reached at

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