Journal of Information Technology

Document Type



This paper investigates some of the currently available optical disk storage and retrieval systems, image manipulation systems and OCR systems. Future developments are presented and an attempt at outlining a longer term trend is made. The main conclusions of the paper are as follows: 1. Optical disk systems which are currently available are costly and are accompanied by excessive software and hardware capabilities which might be beyond the needs of the straightforward document storage and retrieval application. A tailor-made system to suit a specific application might be the route to follow provided read-only and multiple access operations are required and the optical system has a definite overall performance advantage over-microform. 2. In general, the document handling times of both the scanners and the printers of optical systems present a constraint on their continued rapid operation. 3. For general applications it might be advisable to wait for at least a year or two by which time erasable disk media should be available and some degree of disk standardization will have evolved. Costs however could still be a factor at that time. 4. The office-supplies industry is not expecting optical systems to have an appreciable effect on the ‘paperless office’ before 1990. 5. Image manipulation systems currently available are too generalized, slow and require excessive computer storage. Their range of performance is somewhat limited. Should such a system be required, it would be best to develop application-specific software taking advantage of computer configuration.