O'Reilly logo

Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition by David Pogue

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 10. CDs, DVDs, and iTunes

How the Mac Does Disks

Apple shocked the world when, in 1997, 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 argues that the floppy disk is dead: It’s too small to serve as a backup disk, and, in this day of the Internet, it’s a redundant method of exchanging files with other computers.

These days, even Windows PC manufacturers seem to agree the floppy drive is gradually vanishing as standard equipment. So, for that matter, is the Zip disk, the SuperDisk (a high-capacity floppy), and Iomega Peerless drives (a hard drive cartridge system).

Disks Today

So what’s springing up to take the floppy’s place? Let us count the disks:

Hard drives and the iPod

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, which is not only an outstanding MP3 music player but also doubles as a self-powered, extremely compact, bootable hard drive.

CDs

You wouldn’t get far in today’s computer world without a CD-ROM drive. Most commercial software comes on CD—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 ever write (save files) onto them.

Yet most Mac models today don’t just play CDs; they can also record them, thanks to a ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required