[Weekend Open Forum] When Apple announced the first iMac in 1998 many were taken aback by the lack of a floppy disk drive. But it soon became obvious that it had been the right decision and shortly thereafter other manufacturers began to follow suit. The archaic technology was replaced by optical discs because they offered a lot more storage capacity at affordable prices.
With the proliferation of broadband connectivity and cheap USB flash drives we seem to be on the verge of another transition. The idea has been a tad slower to catch on but a few laptops have already dropped their optical drives for the sake of portability. With decent do-everything DVD burners going for less than 20 bucks and Blu-ray crossing the $100 threshold, optical discs are obviously going to live on for a while, but the truth is they are not as convenient as they used to be for consuming or transporting data and many of us rarely use them anymore.
Virtually all of my media and software today comes from online sources, and for doing backups I usually resort to an external hard drive or even the cloud. With that in mind we want to ask you: how often do you use your computer's optical drive? For those that use it regularly, what do you primarily need it for? And for those of you who don't, would you say you are ready to drop it altogether? Let us know your thoughts.