What is computer output to laser disk?
The computer output to the laser diskette (COLD) was used to collect, store, and retrieve large amounts of data such as credit records, accounting reports, shipping documents, inventory levels, customer invoices, and general business records.
COLD allows these records to be stored on multiple optical disks in a compressed but easily accessible format. It was intended to replace the paper creations of these documents. The system consists of software and hardware.
The COLD management software enables documents to be sent to the system in a manner similar to printing. It is then organized for easy access, compressed, and stored.
The hardware consists of optical disk drives mounted on a unit called a jukebox. COLD systems enable documents to be archived automatically at a specific point in time. It can also index documents in many different ways and distribute the indexes periodically. Newer technologies have made COLD systems, particularly solid-state data storage systems (SSDS), obsolete. This term is also known as Enterprise Report Management (ERM).
COLD systems are easier to work with than bulky paper records. COLD system vendors advertise that millions of pages of paper can be stored on a single 5¼ "optical disc.
Mason Grigsby is known as the father of COLD and advocated a name change in 2002. He claimed that it is no longer relevant as laser disc technology has been replaced by other forms of optical media and is just one form of document storage. Now the system is called Enterprise Report Management (ERM).
Computer output to laser disk was a new and better way to store electronic business documents. It made more sense as computer technology developed. Paper media is bulky, heavy, and more expensive. Large amounts of data can be easily stored and accessed with optical disks.