Lan-net is distributing software that helps do away with the need for CD towers by emulating the drives themselves. The Paragon CD-ROM Emulator lets users access up to 23 virtual CD-ROM drives simultaneously. CDs are stored on any local or network hard drive as compressed images, and can then be accessed without having to change disks. The software has already found applications in the legal and educational markets. "One dilemma with CD towers is that sooner or later they break down, and the bays are out of service," said Lan-net's Bill Outterside. "The beauty of this is that with the decreased cost of hard-disk drives, this provides very cost-effective storage." The software is available in a Personal version for one-user access to the CD file on the network, or a Network version for access by multiple users. The Personal version retails for $77 while the 10-user network version costs $412, with reduced pricing for the education market.
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