It should be routine by now, but it remains slightly astonishing: one slight CD, weighing just ounces, contains eight and a half years of original news materials from the daily edition of the Jerusalem Post. (Information accompanying the CD indicates that it includes the newspaper's text between 1990 and June 1997; but a closer look reveals that it actually starts on January 2, 1989). The result is an immensely useful compilation of Post stories covering not just Israel, but the whole of the Middle East and much Jewish history and culture.

As with other CDs, the utility lies in easy access to vast amounts of information; but the fascination lies in the search function, which allows the user to enter any number of key words and pull up exactly those articles that make mention of those words. Hundreds of entries appear whether he be reading up on Maimonides, Moshe Arens, or Mu‘ammar al-Qadhdhafi, on Baghdad, Berlin, or Boston. Researchers wanting to brush up on George Bush's notorious "one lonely little guy" statement need only type in those words and seven references pop up. A reliable day-by-day account of the peace process is no less easily produced. Favorite writers for the newspaper turn up instantaneously. Research has never been this easy; standards should rise accordingly.