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This CD-ROM has the full electronic contents of as many books as the skilled people of Baen Books could cram into it. The books are in several formats so that you can read them on your PDA if you know what you're doing, and on virtually any word processor even if you don't know what you're doing any better than I do.

If you've got Microsoft Word or Wordpad installed, click RTF format. Other formats will probably work also, but this one I guarantee. (If I can do it, you can do it. Trust me.)

If you know absolutely nothing and don't have Microsoft Word or Wordpad installed, HTML—browser format—will work, unless maybe you're trying to use it on your PDA. If you do want to use your PDA, I can't help you.

But a lot of other people can. If you have any sort of problems with this CD, talk to a buddy who knows what she's doing. Alternatively, you can log on to the Bar at Baen.com, go to the topic CD ROMs, and ask. Many geeks will probably reply. (Myself, I ask my webmaster, who is remarkably patient. A 5th Grade teacher I know has a student in her class providing similar tech support. There is someone for you, at least in this arena.)

The files on this CD are not encrypted. Jim Baen didn't understand the logic of making his books hard for people to read. Neither do I nor Jim's successors understand either, though we seem to be in the minority among publishers and authors.

Read these books. Copy them. Give them to your friends. Dive into them like a porpoise, throw them up in the air and let them fall down on your—no, that was something different.

You're not supposed to sell the files. "Who'd be stupid enough to buy something they could have for free?" you may well ask yourself. If you do sell them, you are a Bad Person and may later exhibit signs of wanting to run for political office; but between you and me, I'm not going to come hunt you down.

As with the text, the pictures ought to come up for any of the standard image-display software options. Apparently this includes Internet Explorer, which your machine almost certainly has even if you don't choose to use it. (Newer versions of Windows have a Picture and FAX Viewer, which is what I'm using now.)

Besides lots and lots of electronic texts, the CD has a rather old time slice of my website which (in the Bibliography section) includes my comments on a considerable number of my books. Browse it at leisure, or visit the live version at david-drake.com. My webmaster and I update it at irregular but fairly frequent intervals.

There's also the background text of a miniature wargaming book which friends of mine in England have put together, along with pictures of some of the model vehicles and figures. For the game rules and the final pictures, go to the Pireme site:


and order the printed book, which is really neat.

There's an eight-minute video recorded at the 40 mm gun station of an AC-130 in action over Afghanistan. It was leaked by faceless people in the Pentagon, but I have reason to believe that the flight crew is OK with it appearing on this disk. It's a first-hand look at high-tech combat from the top of the technological pyramid.

When you've run through everything on this CD, come to the Baen Free Library at http://www.baen.com/library/ and find a slew of other free, downloadable books. Eric Flint, my co-author on a lot of the books herein (and a delight to work with) is Librarian, and additional titles are added frequently.

Have fun!
Dave Drake

PS When you grow tired of this disk come visit WebScriptions.net where there are hundreds more eBooks from your favorite Baen authors