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11. Re: Evening Tech Bits May 5, 2012, 07:29 Burrito of Peace
At first, after reading that article, I thought much same as most people. My thought was "Wow, you are one technologically idiosyncratic motherfucker". Then I sat back and thought about the last time I had to burn or use an actual disc. I was forced to the last time I used TrueCrypt to encrypt a drive. A process that could easily be done to a USB stick.

I don't install my OS from a disc, I use RIS. Even then, if you can't or don't want to use RIS there are products like Clonezilla which make your installation and initial setup headaches go away. Hell, I don't get my initial installation of Windows from a DVD. I get it as an img file from Microsoft that I mount through Daemon Tools Lite and then copy to a USB stick to install from to create my image. This saves me hundreds of real hours every year. Also, my system is back up and running in less than 20 minutes with drivers and most commonly used apps fully installed.

Even moving data from one machine to another no longer requires anything other than a USB stick as every modern OS has USB support installed right out of the box. Unlike discs, USB sticks don't degrade after a relatively short period of time. Also, I can fit, potentially, 128GB on a single USB stick.

How do we get patches, drivers and software like VLC? We download them from the internet.

If we think about music, how many of us actually buy music on CDs anymore? I can't tell you what the last actual disc I purchased was, it's been years. I download everything musical now as digital goods. I don't even use optical media in my vehicle. I can either plug a storage device directly in to the USB port on the dash or stream via bluetooth from my phone.

The sole holdout is video because the MPAA and studios are clawing tooth and nail to hold on to a dead business model. However, I am reasonably sure that we'll see movies and TV shows become digital goods not too far in the future. Even so, we can get our hands on what we want right now in both legal and ethically questionable ways.

Even long term storage isn't necessarily a problem. Despite the short term spike in hard drive prices, drives were at the point where you could buy 2TB drives for less than a hundred bucks. Good ones, too. It's affordable enough now to setup a home NAS for backup and most mid to high end motherboards support RAID.

As much as we may want to scoff...the author is right. The optical disc is a dying technology. Now whether that justifies Microsoft's decision and whether their announcement is truthful is another discussion.
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