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Media Data Storage Portables Portables (Apple) Hardware

Whither the Portable Optical Drive? 440

Posted by timothy
from the do-you-stream-or-spin dept.
"The MacBook Air and the Ultrabook come without a piece of hardware that's been a mainstay in laptops for a long time — the optical drive," says a piece at CNET. "Maybe because they really aren't that necessary anymore." I would have thought otherwise a few years ago, but traveling in the meantime with a small netbook was certainly handy. Since that machine died, I think I've used the optical drive in its low-end laptop successor a grand total of once, which was to test its wireless compatibility with a Live CD Linux distro.
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Whither the Portable Optical Drive?

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  • Re:Movies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by voidptr (609) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @07:52PM (#38111900) Homepage Journal

    Handbrake it to MP4 before I leave. And more likely than not, copy it over to a tablet that's easier to hold and watch in cattle class than breaking out a full blown laptop.

    Why would I want to waste battery spinning a DVD around?

  • Re:Movies (Score:4, Interesting)

    by brentrad (1013501) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @08:54PM (#38112338)
    I really think that Android needs to support external DVD drives and watching DVD movies. Yes I know downloaded videos are the future, but during this transition time when lots of people have both physical DVDs and downloaded videos, it would definitely help ease the transition.
  • by Deorus (811828) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @08:55PM (#38112342)

    Mac OS X Lion now installs from the Internet [apple.com] into completely blank hard disks (yes, even if the recovery partition is wiped or the original disk replaced), if necessary. No installation media required.

  • by Flytrap (939609) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @09:13PM (#38112456)

    People have such short memories (or are too young to remember).

    When the iMac came out without a floppy disk dive in 1998, exactly the same sentiment was expressed. PC makers gasped, then heckled Apple... But before long they too followed suite and started gradually phasing out floppy disk drives.

    Then too, it was the dreaded focus group that dragged out the eventual demise of the floppy - people like you in focus groups saying "... keep the floppy drive, just in case I need to revert to my trusty sneaker-net". Of course we know what every focus group has to say about Adobe Flash... just about the same thing that they have to say about the CD drive now.

    Steve Jobs loathed focus groups... that kind of makes sense when you are launching something that consumers do not know they need yet, like a new product. But focus group are useful tools, when used properly. The problem I have found (at least in financial services) is that focus groups are use to make the decision, instead of gauging the acceptability of a decision.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Saturday November 19, 2011 @09:30PM (#38112550) Journal

    Yes but TFA is specifically talking about new machines like netbooks. i have to say that I too thought I would need one when i switched to a netbook, even bought an external USB case for the DVD burner that was in my old laptop....and I've never plugged it in past testing that it worked.

    Once I picked up a 16Gb flash drive I've found I don't hardly need DVDs anymore. for my older games there are disc images and Alcohol 52% and for newer there is Steam. Frankly the ONLY ones who haven't joined the new way of doing things is the damned MPAA who won't simply sell you an AVI file, nope you got to have a DVD burner to rip it and transcode it. Is it any wonder TPB is so popular?

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday November 19, 2011 @11:24PM (#38113328) Homepage Journal

    Games these days are being purchased more and more on Steam

    That was the case until AT&T started this 150gb data limit and I get throttled and charged extra if I go over.

    This week I bought Skyrim on disk. It was the first game I bought that way in a long time. Years.

    I wonder how Steam feels about the new data limits being put on by telecoms.

  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Sunday November 20, 2011 @09:26AM (#38115772)

    i can't remember the last time I had a HDD fail i didn't get ample warning...

    I can, since it happened to me not very long ago. The HDD in my last laptop (the MacBook to which I referred in an earlier post) died without warning just a few weeks ago. It was fine one day, then the next it was rattling and banging away, and refusing to let the machine boot.

    Worse, it happened at a time when I had got lazy with my backups, so I lost quite a lot of stuff. A bit embarrassing, really, since I'm big on insisting other people take proper backups, so I've had to eat a generous helping of crow.

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