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Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Chapter 11. CDs, DVDs, and iTunes

How the Mac Does Disks

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…

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. Most models are not only outstanding MP3 music players but also double as self-powered, extremely compact, bootable hard drives.

CDs, DVDs

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 ...

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