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October 27, 1993

Digital Book System

JAMA. 1993;270(16):1990-1991. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510160112043

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As the information explosion of the 1990s rolls on, compactness and portability have become important in designing systems for storing and accessing data. The Franklin Digital Book System represents a technological marvel, which allows entire books to be stored on a matchbox-sized cartridge (2.25×1.25×0.25 in) and played or viewed on an index-card-sized computer (5×3.25×0.5 in). The unit weighs only 4.6 oz and runs on four CR2032 batteries. Up to 45 megabytes of information, or the equivalent of 10 printed bibles, can be stored on each cartridge. Because of its ability to compress information, the Digital Book System player can hold two such cartridges at the same time, allowing easy access to either book without physically changing the cartridge.

In addition to its compact structure, which literally lets one carry the computer in one's shirt or jacket pocket, the system is designed to allow instant searching, indexing, cross-referencing, and many other