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17Feb94 UK: STEEL BODY PRODUCES ITS FIRST CD-ROM.

The Steel Construction Institute is producing its first CD-ROM in a project funded by the Department of the Environment and British Steel.The SCI project is part of industry-wide moves towards storage of information on readable compact disks which interface with personal computers.CD-ROM disks can hold over 600 Megabytes of information, which is equivalent to more than 20,000 pages of A4 text or more than 500 standard computer disks. To interface with a standard PC, a separate CD drive is needed, but prices of these have fallen dramatically over the years.The SCI disk has come about after market research showed that 53 per cent of institute members had installed, or were considering, CD-ROM kit.Other large-scale information providers for the industry are also moving on to CD-ROM.At the CICE exhibition next week, Technical Indexes, the abstracting company based in Bracknell, will be showing the CD-ROM versions of its Construction and Civil Engineering Index and Construction Information Service.The CCEI is updated four times a year and has 200,000 full text catalogue pages from around 4,000 manufacturers and suppliers.The CIS is a joint venture with the Royal Institute of British Architects and covers technical information from official sources, government bodies and trade organisations.SCI, Tel: 0344 23345 Technical Indexes, Tel: 0344 426311. CONSTRUCTION NEWS