Club-Admiralty

v6.2.3 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Is the optical drive heading to the land of the misfit gadgets?

Of course I jest, there is still a ton of entertainment media (movies on DVD, music DVDs, computer games) and software that get distributed by means of an optical disc. However, seeing the new Mac Mini I got to thinking - how often do I use the built-in disc drive on my Mac Mini at Home? How about my Mac Mini at work? How about the Dell that is at work?

Well, at work I almost never use an optical disc unless I am installing something from a disc (once in a blue moon), or if I am attempting to determine if a the content on a disc is salvageable. At one my usage is mainly: backing up (occasional), reading information from backup discs (occasional), viewing films on DVD (frequent-usually higher in the summer than during the school year), and installing a new OS - most software I use tends to be easily downloadable from the internet, like my rapidweaver updates :-)

Hard drives tend to be cheaper these days and take up less space than the equivalent capacity DVD discs (so I can get 3 external HDs for a triplicate backup), and with services like Carbonite (which I don't currently subscribe to) I can do cloud backup. With services like Microsoft's Live Sync, SugarSync, DropBox and Box.net I've got my file transfer covered, and with USB drives, I have a backup to that, just in case the place I go do does not have access to the internet.

Taking stock of my current usage I came to the following conclusion, my next computer is most likely not going to have a built-in optical disc drive. It will most likely be a server configuration Mac Mini (two 500GB hard drives), and I will probably buy an external superdrive for the times I want to backup, view movies and so on.

What do you guys think? For your usage, is an optical drive a "nice to have" or a "must have" ?


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