Apple shocked the world when, in 1998, it introduced the iMac without a floppy disk drive—and proceeded to eliminate the floppy drive from all subsequent Mac models in the following years. Apple argued that the floppy disk was dead: It was too small to serve as a backup disk, and, in the Internet age, it was a redundant method of exchanging files with other computers.
These days, even Windows PC manufacturers have left the floppy drive for dead. Joining it in the great CompUSA in the sky: Zip disks, Jaz disks, SyQuest disks, SuperDisks, Peerless disks…
So what’s springing up to take the floppy’s place? Let us count the disks:
Thanks to the Mac’s FireWire or USB jacks, it’s easier than ever to attach an external hard drive for extra storage. It would be hard to imagine a more convenient second hard drive than, for example, Apple’s iPod. Most models are not only outstanding MP3 music players but also double as self-powered, extremely compact, bootable hard drives.
You wouldn’t get far in today’s computer world without a CD/DVD drive. Most commercial software comes on a CD or DVD—not to mention the music CDs that the Mac can play so expertly.
CD-ROM stands for “compact disc, read-only memory”—in other words, you can’t freely add and delete files from one, as you can from a hard drive.
But your Mac can also record onto blank CDs, of course, and probably blank DVDs too, thanks to a built-in ...