If ever you wondered if optical media (CDs and DVDs) is dead and gone this brief interaction from last night should make the point with utter clarity.
A bit of background before the “blow by blow”
Elana is not a techie. She’s not anti-technology either. As she often puts it, “I think this stuff is amazing and I appreciate what it can do but that is where it ends for me. I just can’t get excited about it the way you do.”
But when it comes to the 11″ MacBook air she has been using for the past year and a half she is more than a bit enthusiastic. She came to the air when we were in Aruba in December of 2010. She had not brought a laptop and she used my entry-level first gen. 11″ each day. She loved it and said she wanted one. I gave her mine. A year and a half later she still gushes about it when asked… “I love my air!!”, “Best computer I have ever owned!” “No, quit asking me if I want something new. I love my air and am totally happy with it.” In fact, it was not until last week that I was able to convince her that a 3G-enabled iPad 2 would make a lot of sense for her to carry. (I’ll be shopping for one soon.)
So to recap- Elana’s only laptop since December 2010 is a MacBook air. She uses it and a BlackBerry and finally acquiesced and said I could pick up an iPad 2 for her.
That is the setup. This is the “proof of death”.
Yesterday we came home, got the mail and found our tax returns were already filed and the paperwork sent back. This year our accountant sent a CD of the actual return rather than a printed copy. Elana took the return, went to her computer and, a few seconds later asked, “D, where is the slot for the CD?” I replied that there is none but that, buried somewhere on my desk, there was an external drive she could plug into it. “Oh, I didn’t realize.” She found it, plugged it in, put in the CD, dragged the return to her desktop and handed the drive back to me. “Thanks, I don’t see needing this for another year and a half.”
My point her is not to make fun of Elana not realizing the MBA lacks a disk drive- far from it. My point is that this interchange made clear that in almost a year and a half Elana, a non-techie, non-early adopter had not tried to use a CD with her air because in that entire period she had no need to use a CD for any reason. Yes, the need to pop a CD into her laptop had not come up a single time before this. That is why she asked the question.
If you ever needed proof that optical media is dead to much of the mainstream there it is. (Now if I could only convince her to dump her BlackBerry she would really come into line with 2012!)