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trjp
18-01-2013, 04:02 AM
My DVD/RW drive died today - will no longer read or write DVDs, only CDs (and even then it's moody)

Given the cheapness of the things I'm not tempted to spend much time checking it - it's clearly knackered - but before I order a new one I have to choose

Forward, Backward, Replace

Forward would be a BD Reader/DVD Writer (I have no use for a BD Writer - but then I think I have no use for the BD Reader either!!)

Backward would be using the NEC 16x Writer I have in a drawer - only it's IDE!! - I mean that's a step back into the stone-age - finding a space in the case for that FAT cable would be a nightmare :)

Replace is just - well - a 15 replacement

WWRPSD?

Protoman
18-01-2013, 07:14 AM
Honestly I wouldn't bother replacing it at all; do you really store that much stuff on disks? Even OS's don't come on disks anymore.

Harlander
18-01-2013, 07:58 AM
Are you sure about that one, Proto?

I went for a BD read/writer - because, my thoughts were, chances are, eventually I'll need to put 25GB on a disc. Of course, I haven't yet..

Velko
18-01-2013, 08:12 AM
I don't think optical drives are a necessity anymore. I haven't used mine in about two years.

QuantaCat
18-01-2013, 09:06 AM
Are you sure about that one, Proto?

I went for a BD read/writer - because, my thoughts were, chances are, eventually I'll need to put 25GB on a disc. Of course, I haven't yet..

I backup on multiple hard drives. its cheaper and if you do it right, it holds long enough.

Also, I continually work with terabytes of important data to be stored, so its not really like I could rely on BDs.

Jesus_Phish
18-01-2013, 09:59 AM
I use my dvd rw drive on very rare occasions, mostly if my mam or dad want's me to make a copy of a cd for their car radios so they can keep one cd in the house and another in the car, or if I want to install a game I still have on disc and haven't re-bought yet.

I'm at the stage now where my internet connection is good enough to download and install most new games faster than the install disc and dvd drive can do it.

I bought a very cheap one for my newest build just "in case" for about a tenner. I wouldn't spend more than that.

sirgoit
18-01-2013, 10:37 AM
If you rarely use it just buy a cheapy usb DVD burner, saves space in the case and you can plug it into whatever device is needing. I have mine in a cupboard and have used it approx twice in as many years.

Optical is dead.

bad guy
18-01-2013, 10:42 AM
Use your old NEC drive.

Feldspar
18-01-2013, 11:25 AM
Buy a cheap one, I think I payed 12 squid for mine a couple of years ago, it gets occasional use with old game disks or playing DVD films and rare use for ripping music CDs (remember those?). It doesn't take up space otherwise used in my case and doesn't interfere with airflow. If I didn't have it I'm sure I'd need to use it, so its a backup legacy device.

Harlander
18-01-2013, 11:58 AM
I still want to know what format Protoman gets his OSs on.

Do they come on thumbdrives or something?

Boris
18-01-2013, 01:42 PM
Yeah, you can install OSes off thumbdrives.

Sakkura
18-01-2013, 01:47 PM
I still want to know what format Protoman gets his OSs on.

Do they come on thumbdrives or something?
Even Windows can be (legally) downloaded and installed via USB (as long as you have an activation key). It's a much bigger "thing" in the Linux community though, because the users are more tech-savvy on average.

@Topic: To me it's mainly a question of whether you watch movies on your computer. The ones you have on DVD/Bluray (if any).

squirrel
18-01-2013, 02:57 PM
Do computer BD drives and discs really justify their prices? The only use for such drive conceivable to me would be HD movies. The largest screen ideal for me is a 24" 16x9, which is the one I am currently using. Larger than that and you probably wont feel comfortable. The size is too small to put BD movies to their good value.

Unless you want to write movie discs to be read on BD players displaying on your TV.

I bet you can buy a durable external (USB) DVD writer with ease, probably won't cost you more than USD30 for brands like Buffalo.

trjp
18-01-2013, 03:13 PM
For the record, I've bought TWO whole games which came on a disk in the last 12 months - both came with Steam codes so the discs are still in the boxes but I did use them to test the drive :)

I do write the odd DVD backup - I used to do lots of them but with my data on three different 'cloud' systems I tend not to now - I have about 40 blanks left (probably worth about half the cost of a new drive) which tips me towards using them up tho!

I could just use the old desktop - or attach this IDE unit to my external USB interface doodah - but there's a hole in my PC and it's letting-in dust :)

Oh - it's cheaper and easier to keep bootable MEMTEST, Seatools, Easeus Disk Copy, Macrium Recovery discs etc. than it is to keep whole USB drives with those things on them - so I do need to 'fill the hole' in my PC's front panel I reckon :)

I can't be the only person who finds USB drives have a tendency to lose themselves rather too easily? :)

vinraith
18-01-2013, 04:07 PM
Honestly I wouldn't bother replacing it at all; do you really store that much stuff on disks? Even OS's don't come on disks anymore.

People that think like this completely baffle me. There's no better permanent storage medium than optical, beside which I have a ton of legacy software and games in that medium that would simply become inaccessible without an optical drive. Some of my favorite games of all time quite simply aren't available in a purely digital format.

So anyway, I'd say get a BD writer on the grounds that being able to store 25 GB of data on a disc is an intrinsically handy thing, and will continue to be up until someone can make a genuinely long-term stable SSD.

mashakos
18-01-2013, 06:43 PM
Honestly I wouldn't bother replacing it at all; do you really store that much stuff on disks? Even OS's don't come on disks anymore.

If you've just started out buying games in the past 5 years then it makes sense not to get an optical drive, since most of your collection would most likely be from Steam.

For those of us with crates of CDs and DVDs going back to the 90's, it's absolutely ridiculous not to get at least a DVD drive. Might as well move to an iPad in that case!

Internet
18-01-2013, 06:44 PM
People that think like this completely baffle me. There's no better permanent storage medium than optical, beside which I have a ton of legacy software and games in that medium that would simply become inaccessible without an optical drive. Some of my favorite games of all time quite simply aren't available in a purely digital format.

So anyway, I'd say get a BD writer on the grounds that being able to store 25 GB of data on a disc is an intrinsically handy thing, and will continue to be up until someone can make a genuinely long-term stable SSD.

The idea that optical is the best storage is a bold argument to make. Optical is scratch prone and easily effected by environmental conditions. I'd say that a fire-resistant external HD is much better way to save data. When I have some money I plan to get one of these and slowly rip my collection onto it.

Nalano
18-01-2013, 07:01 PM
Everybody knows that the best way to store digital information is to print the code out, bind it in leather, and put it in a dark, climate-controlled environment for future generations to boggle over.

trjp
18-01-2013, 07:08 PM
Is 25Gb the BD limit?

It's ironic - it seems removeable/replaceable storage is always JUST behind your needs (my core system backup is 27Gb atm) - I can remember when it was about 6Gb (4.7Gb on a DVD) and even when I have 900-1Gb meaning CDs were useless ;)

p.s. aren't BD blanks about 5 each (as opposed to 4.7Gb DVDs being pennies)???

Hell I bought some DL DVDs so I could cram OSX onto a machine for testing and they pricey enough at almost 80p ea!

mashakos
18-01-2013, 07:13 PM
Is 25Gb the BD limit?

DLBD's can take up 50GB, but better go for lunch or get a good book to read if you ever want to actually write that much on a disk.

Sakkura
18-01-2013, 08:02 PM
Everybody knows that the best way to store digital information is to print the code out, bind it in leather, and put it in a dark, climate-controlled environment for future generations to boggle over.
Chisel it into the walls inside Chernobyl.

trjp
18-01-2013, 08:12 PM
Well I stuffed the IDE NEC drive in - re-enabled IDE in the BIOS and it's working (tho the cable situation is chronic!)

One firmware upgrade (from 1.00 to 3.27 - quite a leap!!) and it's burning discs at 12x (it says it should do 16x but I'm not too worried)

IDE is the new Sata then...

vinraith
19-01-2013, 01:34 AM
The idea that optical is the best storage is a bold argument to make. Optical is scratch prone and easily effected by environmental conditions. I'd say that a fire-resistant external HD is much better way to save data. When I have some money I plan to get one of these and slowly rip my collection onto it.

I was not aware there was such a thing as a fire-resistant hard drive, that's interesting to know. I certainly make backups to external HD's, but platter drives have comparatively short lifetimes compared to a well-cared-for optical disc, and SSD's have that rewrite issue. While I agree with you concern about environmental effects like heat, I'd still suggest that I can put a disc in a jewel case on a shelf for 5 years and be 100% certain it'll work if I need that data again. I can't make that prediction with the same confidence with a mechanical hard drive.

trjp
19-01-2013, 02:56 AM
I've been using writable optical storage since it cost 500 for a drive and a handful of discs (so mid 90s) as I developed an CD-based multimedia doodah for a client who had lots of cash at the time.

I still have many discs we burned back then - as well as a variety of discs burned in the years since - and I can tell you, with some confidence, that burned optical backups are a risky proposition.

None of the early discs are now readable without much faffing around - in fact I have discs which are only maybe 10 years old and despite being been stored in cool/dry conditions (out of direct light) they're all showing visible signs of decay (yellowing of the plastic and discolouration of the writable layers).

Furthermore, there's the classic issue of some drives simply reading some types of media better than others - meaning something written on one drive (and readable in it) may not be readable on another. You can get around that to some degree by spending hours choosing the right media but it's not ideal by any means.

Put another way - paper is a better medium to store data than CD/DVDs :)

Of course all forms of backup are useless on their own - the key is to have many copies of your data. Multiply optical backups and multiple other forms of backup.

As for fire resistance - I've worked in 2 places which have suffered fires and I can tell you with some confidence that ANYTHING caught in a fire is going to die. The last place I worked had a rated fire-safe with a 'data safe' drawer which claimed it could resist "upto 2 hours of 'intense heat'. What we got out of it was not readable - in fact it wasn't identifiable - the fire was insane tho, the office was a prefabbed structure inside a warehouse and when I was allowed to go in, what I found was was NOTHING of the office - no structure, no furniture or shelving, no paperwork - nothing - just dust. The first safe was 'intact' - it was the only identifiable thing, in fact, but a rep for the company had to come to open it - and then explain why it hadn't worked!

He guesstimated the max heat of the fire had been 3 times it's rated limit - hot enough to make the fire extinguishers we'd had, explode!

Fumarole
19-01-2013, 04:30 AM
If you rarely use it just buy a cheapy usb DVD burner, saves space in the case and you can plug it into whatever device is needing. I have mine in a cupboard and have used it approx twice in as many years.

Optical is dead.That's what I do. My current PC doesn't have an optical drive, but I do have a USB one if I ever need it (not once since building my PC last July).

trjp
19-01-2013, 12:08 PM
I can also boost my hardcore street cred by saying I have a 3.5 floppy in a drawer 'just in case' ;)

Nalano
19-01-2013, 05:37 PM
I can also boost my hardcore street cred by saying I have a 3.5 floppy in a drawer 'just in case' ;)

Had to go get a cheap USB floppy drive after helping a dude figure out and buy a new computer because he had shit from way​ back stored in goddamn dust sleeves.

trjp
19-01-2013, 10:36 PM
I dug out an old laptop (circa 1999/2000ish) and in the case there were floppies marking "System Backup" - in 2000 I could put a SYSTEM backup on a floppy disc - well, 2, in fact...

There's still useful data on that laptop too - ah how time passes, it cost over a grand and has a whopping 768Mb of memory and a huge 12Gb HDD...

vinraith
20-01-2013, 07:14 PM
The more I think about it the more struck I am by what a time consuming (and/or expensive) proposition deciding to move away from optical storage would really be. I can't fathom how anyone (or at least anyone older than their teens) can manage such a thing, nor do I really see the point. If my next rig were to be optical drive free I would need to do all of the following before losing my optical drive:

-rip or repurchase 100+ CD's that I've not gotten around to ripping yet
-repurchase or abandon dozens of games I currently have only on disc, including quite a few -favorites
-permanently lose quite a few of my favorite games, which are only available on disc (see: Rise of Nations)
-purchase external drives appropriate to handle data from a decade's worth of disc backups

That's a lot of cost. What's the benefit, again?

Fumarole
20-01-2013, 08:12 PM
What's the benefit, again?For you, apparently nothing. For others there may be plenty.

I haven't purchased a music CD in about five years, and all the CDs I own were ripped years ago. Even if they weren't, internet radio fills this need. In that regard, I have watched exactly one movie on disc in about a year (a very slow day at work). That includes my home theater system too. Streaming media is so much more convenient for me, whether it is Netflix, AT&T U-Verse or things like HBOGO.

Thanks to sites like GOG most of my favorite older game are available online, and pretty cheaply too. Sure there's a price attached, but for me the few dollars here and there far outweigh hassles like finding patches. At this stage in my life I have more money than free time, and that's only going to become a greater issue with age (until I retire I suppose). Sure some games aren't available, but since I don't play old games that much anyway it's not a big deal for me. Besides, I've found that even with sites like GOG nostalgia is often best left to memory.

Do you actually use the data from disc backups? I have discs with backup data on them that I never touch. I have a NAS with a few hundred gigs of storage and it has lasted me many years with no problems.

Another benefit is space. Less shit in my home that does nothing but collect dust.

I'm not trying to convince you, as I'm pretty sure you wouldn't give up your optical media for anything, but just because it doesn't make sense for you does not mean it doesn't make sense for others.

Also, I'm several decades past being a teenager.

Sakkura
20-01-2013, 09:53 PM
The more I think about it the more struck I am by what a time consuming (and/or expensive) proposition deciding to move away from optical storage would really be. I can't fathom how anyone (or at least anyone older than their teens) can manage such a thing, nor do I really see the point. If my next rig were to be optical drive free I would need to do all of the following before losing my optical drive:

-rip or repurchase 100+ CD's that I've not gotten around to ripping yet
-repurchase or abandon dozens of games I currently have only on disc, including quite a few -favorites
-permanently lose quite a few of my favorite games, which are only available on disc (see: Rise of Nations)
-purchase external drives appropriate to handle data from a decade's worth of disc backups

That's a lot of cost. What's the benefit, again?
I've already ripped all my music CDs so I can use the music on mp3 players. Movies, also ripped for convenience. I do have my old Baldur's Gate and KOTOR discs etc., but most of them won't run under Win 7 anyway, so they really don't matter much.

So there's really nothing I need the optical drive for. I just reused my old one in my new computer since I already had it. All I've used it for is installing Windows, and I could have just as easily done that via USB.

PS: I'm one of those 30-year old whippersnappers though.

vinraith
20-01-2013, 09:58 PM
In that regard, I have watched exactly one movie on disc in about a year (a very slow day at work). That includes my home theater system too. Streaming media is so much more convenient for me, whether it is Netflix, AT&T U-Verse or things like HBOGO.

See, this is the kind of thing that honestly confuses me. Streaming services have a tiny, tiny fraction of what's available on disc. The one is in no way a replacement for the other.



Thanks to sites like GOG most of my favorite older game are available online, and pretty cheaply too. Sure there's a price attached, but for me the few dollars here and there far outweigh hassles like finding patches. At this stage in my life I have more money than free time, and that's only going to become a greater issue with age (until I retire I suppose). Sure some games aren't available, but since I don't play old games that much anyway it's not a big deal for me. Besides, I've found that even with sites like GOG nostalgia is often best left to memory.

And again, sites like GOG are missing scads of games, some of them fairly recent (early to mid 2000's) and not at all "nostalgia purchases."

I'm not trying to get into an argument here. I'm just honestly baffled by the (seemingly common) willingness to simply abandon any media that isn't available digitally, and to rebuy tons of older media that is available digitally.

Sakkura
20-01-2013, 11:26 PM
See, this is the kind of thing that honestly confuses me. Streaming services have a tiny, tiny fraction of what's available on disc. The one is in no way a replacement for the other.
There is lots of streamed content you can't find on physical media either. However, anything on physical media can be ripped, so optical discs really are redundant. Especially with all the artificial limitations they put on content. Especially with regard to mobility and playlists. I can carry dozens of CDs (or DVDs) worth of songs on a tiny little mp3 player, and can easily mix and match the content, rather than having to burn a new CD every time I want some little adjustment.

So in many ways, optical discs are obsolete. And I really don't see what I'm missing out on by not using them anymore. I can buy MoO2 online, I definitely can't go out and buy MoO2 on CD-ROM.

vinraith
21-01-2013, 03:19 AM
It's not an either/or thing Sakkura. It's not as though continuing to use optical discs for media that is only on optical disc somehow prevents me from using streaming, and I'll also note that you can't rip media from a disc if you don't have an optical drive anymore. I'm not saying it's the only thing to use, or even the primary thing to use. I'm just saying I don't understand why anyone would slam the door on it quite yet.

Sakkura
21-01-2013, 03:51 AM
But there is no reason to split your library. I'm not seeing the reason to buy or burn anything on optical discs anymore. And everything I wanted ripped was ripped years ago.

Komsomol
21-01-2013, 01:14 PM
It doesn't make sense to back up data on BDs at all. Small space and high cost when you can get 1TB USB3 drives now for around 30 to 40 quid.