Need Proof Optical Media is Dead? Look at My Wife.

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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!)

 

About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him.

2 Comments on "Need Proof Optical Media is Dead? Look at My Wife."

  1. but why force the poor woman into using an iPad? The MBA clearly suits her fine 😉
    You’re right though, the only time I “needed” a DVD-player with my MBA was when I foolishly decided to install Windows. Haven’t come round to that though….. 

  2. I haven’t needed an optical drive for years now myself. My new laptop for work has a
    Bluray and I have used it only to watch one of the two Blurays I have. Then I ripped one of those too. You don’t even need it for a Windows install either. Just use a thumb drive and the Windows 7 USB tool.

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