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Hewlett-Packard Rolls Out SureStore CD-Writer 4020i

Hewlett-Packard Company announced its new 5.25-inch, half-height (HH) SureStore CD-Writer 4020i CD-Recorder and software bundle ($1,249).

Unedited press release follows:


HP SureStore CD-Writer 4020i Bundles Easy-to-use Software and High-performance Drive; Street Price of $1099 is Expected

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 11, 1995 — Hewlett-Packard Company today announced a low-cost bundled CD-Recordable (CD-R) solution that lets the typical PC user write data to CDs.

The HP SureStore CD-Writer 4020i is a CD reader/recorder system that includes an easy-to-configure drive plus a variety of software applications to support CD recording. HP is the first company to advance CD-R technology — both in price and quality — to a level that makes CD recording a practical reality. The increased reliability and functionality of software helps eliminate the difficulty previously associated with recording data to CDs. Its affordable price brings CD recording within reach of the vast majority of businesses using PCs in DOS and Windows environments.

The HP SureStore CD-Writer 4020i includes everything needed for installation and custom CD recording. The compact drive, a 4x CD reader and 2x CD recorder, installs in a PC’s half-height 5.25-inch bay. It lets users record up to 650MB of data or 74 minutes of audio on a single CD-R disc. It also reads standard digital and audio CDs. The package includes two blank HP SureStore CD-R discs, a SCSI-2 Bus Mastering interface card, plus cables and manuals. Bundled software allows users to perform a number of CD recording and retrieval tasks. The software suite includes the following:

* Easy-CD, an extension of the Windows file manager for easy file transfer to CD;

* Alchemy Personal, which lets users create and search custom databases (includes a run-time search engine for use on any PC with a CD-ROM drive);

* Magic Lantern, for photo CD viewing; and

* Easy-CD audio, which lets users prepare custom audio discs.

HP’s SureStore brand media, packaged with the drive and available separately, has a 100-year life, making it ideal for permanent record storage and archiving. SureStore media recorded on the CD-Writer can be read by IBM PC and Macintosh computers equipped with CD-ROM drives and appropriate software.

“The introduction of the HP SureStore CD-Writer 4020i is a significant milestone in the development of CD-R,” said John Boose, general manager of HP’s Colorado Memory Systems Division, part of the Information Storage Group. “There are more than 25 million CD readers installed, making CDs practically a universal media. This product allows businesses to tap the potential of this universal media in the creation and distribution of information.”

In the past, recording to CD was not only expensive, it meant dealing with a number of technical considerations that made the process difficult and prone to destroying the media. The design of this new drive, coupled with a powerful suite of easy-to-use software, brings CD recording to the desktop where it’s needed by today’s PC users.

With this drive, CDs have become a practical, low-cost media for a number of information storage, retrieval and distribution applications. These include the following:

* records retention and archiving;

* large-file transfer, previously the domain of expensive removable media;

* preparation and distribution of multimedia presentations and custom databases. These applications previously suffered from high publication costs when recording to CDs, limited capacity when using 3-1/2-inch floppies and a limited installed base when using removable hard disks; and

* preparation of custom audio and video CDs for personal enjoyment, which previously was impractical for the average PC user.

For media compatibility with the large installed base of CD readers, the HP SureStore CD-Writer 4020i conforms to all current industry standards for recording and reading data on CDs. These include Red Book/Digital Audio, Yellow Book/CD-ROM, Green Book/CD-Interactive, Orange Book/CD-MO and CD-WO, Orange Book/CD-R, White Book/Video CD, and ISO 9060 Logical File Formats.

U.S. Price and Availability
The HP SureStore CD-Writer 4020i is $1,249 and is expected to sell for about $1,099. The HP-brand CD-R media is $16 (each) and is expected to sell for about $12. Both are expected to be available in October. Dealer prices may vary.

HP entered the information storage business 24 years ago when it began manufacturing and selling hard-disk drives. Today, HP’s Information Storage Group has grown to more than $1.5 billion in revenue (FY 1994) with a complete line of information-storage products for computers and computer networks. HP information-storage options include disk drives and disk arrays, magneto-optical drives and jukeboxes, digital-audio-tape drives and libraries, and quarter-inch-cartridge tape drives. Products are sold through a variety of distribution channels under the Colorado and SureStore brand names as well as to OEM customers.

Hewlett-Packard Company is a leading global manufacturer of computing, communications and measurement products and services recognized for excellence in quality and support. HP has 99,900 employees and had revenue of $25 billion in its 1994 fiscal year.