From the Young Minds documentation we learn that the CD-ROM standard, ISO 9660 requires that file names be restricted in several ways. Basically, 1. have no lower case and 2. fewer than 8 or 11 chars. Makedisk maps our file names into ISO 9660 compliant names. Then after the user mounts his disk, the user needs to run a program `cd_link' (supplied by YM as C source) that appears to build (on the user's hard disk) a shadow tree with our names and symbolic links to the ISO 9660 named files on the CD-ROM.
We understand that manufacturers are planning CD-ROM drivers that should make CD-ROM useable on our target range of work stations without requiring the use of cd_link. That will allow a user to do many things before a shadow tree is necessary.
A disadvantage of publication on UNIX machines is that superuser status is now needed to use the mount command. Thus an amateur cannot pop a disk in and out as simply as on a Macintosh. It is rumored that experts are working on this problem, but we can expect it to take some time before a solution is worked out for the many vendors we would like our software to work on.
I recently received a free CD called ``Software Store'' which contains demonstrations of a wide range of software for sale. I looked forward to putting trying it on my desktop workstation. A little booklet comes with the disk. Unfortunately the first four pages of this booklet are devoted to ``super user'' commands required to be run before we can see anything. I was first annoyed by learning that I needed to modify the ``/usr'' partition of my computer. To do so safely presumes the makers of ``Software Store'' have done everything correctly and that I can follow their instructions correctly. When I read further that I would need to modify ``/usr'' not only on my workstation but also on the file-serving computer that serves our entire group, then I postponed everything.
We recently purchased CD-ROM drives for workstations for about four hundred dollars each, so although the drives are not yet in widespread use, we expect them to be so soon.