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April 3, 1987

Standardization and CD-ROM-Reply

JAMA. 1987;257(13):1731-1732. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390130049023

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In Reply.—  I thank Dr Trail for his comments and compliment him on his knowledge of CD-ROM. The intent of my article was to provide physicians with an overview of this new technology and to avoid details that might be confusing and uninteresting. The medium of CD-ROM (the disks themselves) is totally standardized and therefore the drives that play the disks are also standardized. This situation stands in sharp contrast to that of other optical technologies, in which there continues to be lack of standardization of the medium. We are well aware of the split between videocassette recorders (Beta vs VHS) and videodisk systems (CED, Laser-Vision, and VHD). Such problems do not exist with CD-ROM, and this is the point.Dr Trail is correct in saying that there are levels of standardization beyond the physical level. Even though CD-ROM is standardized as a computer peripheral, personal-computer operating systems are not