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CD-ROMs put a world of facts and figures at your fingertips.

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This story appears in the July 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

By now it's clear CD-ROMs are no passing trend-a book titled CD-ROMs in Print 1996 (Gale Research) lists 9,000 different titles. These silver disks are not only the most efficient means to distribute software and multimedia programs, but with 650 megabytes of space, they're also undeniably adept at delivering large amounts of data. That's why we thought we'd take a look at a few of the titles designed to help you do business a little smarter.

CD-ROM drives have also become standard features on desktop computers, like the Packard Bell Platinum Pro we used to test these products. This machine is packed with features, including a six-speed CD-ROM drive, 150 MHz Pentium processor, 24MB RAM and a 2GB hard drive. As you would expect from a machine of this caliber, access time to the CD-ROM drive was impressively fast and data flowed quickly from disk to display. Don't worry, though: You won't need nearly this much horsepower to run the four products reviewed here.

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