But you can get away with a lesser machine though Steve Bonnick from Apple dealers Chromasonic explains a problem: "All CD-Rom drives are pretty slow anyway but when you use them with a very old machine, the speed of the computer itself seriously slows everything down. Video clips are the main casualty - they run like a machine gun, very jerkily."
As a rough and ready guide, if you bought a new and current computer this year, you should be able to add memory, sound capability and a CD-Rom drive and gain a bearable result. So if you have a Macintosh LCIII or a 486 PC you are probably OK to go ahead. But if you have a Macintosh LCII or a 386 PC it would be wise to have a test run with a borrowed external drive. An Acorn Archimedes of the same vintage is more likely to cope, though the lack of software is a bigger problem.
Bob Hart of education consultancy Imagination Technology puts it down to a simple costing exercise, "Look at what you want it to do, what the costs are and compare that with throwing it away and starting again." Yes, the computing business is a black and not very green comedy. Along comes multimedia software demanding more powerful computers and then it's oops, there goes the ozone layer.