Mark Chackerian, an undergraduate student here for the summer, did most of the day to day work preparing my book for the Young Minds Makedisk software. We were delighted that our first batch was useable. We kept one disk at Stanford and sent the other two around to friends and alumni at Chevron, IBM, Mobil, and Unocal who had varying degrees of success.
Theoretically, CD-ROM is slower than a hard disk, but by all reports, that does not seem to be detracting significantly from the appeal of the application.
As expected, installation is a significant problem. With perhaps one exception, the effort of installing was rewarded by satisfactory reading of the book with figures included. In many cases the figure pushbuttons didn't work. This partly represented difficulties people had during installation and partly represented some errors I had made with Mark. Two major headaches during installation have to do with X: does a complete X environment exist on the target machine? and can the fonts be found? This latter question particularly arises if the viewing machine is not the machine with the CD-ROM drive.
Outstanding results were obtained on IBM RS-6000, DEC-3100, and Sun workstations--except those Suns with GX accelerated graphics. Steve Cole modified our local software to avoid the postscript setlinewidth command; now we expect our CD to run on all Sun-4 models.