need a CD type device of some kind. CD devices are known as OPTICAL
SPEED: This is measured by the rate the
device reads (or writes) data compared to real time. Typically, the
faster the read speed, the smoother the operation of the drive. In
writing operations a slower drive can test your patience. Speed is
expressed by using the "X" sign. A "24X" CD-ROM for instance, or a
"16X" DVD drive.
CD-ROM: These are read-only drives, the
basic unit. Don't waste your money on anything slower than
Optical drives come in internal and external
CD-RW: These can read and write to CD-RW or CD-R media,
and really come in handy for things like data back up. Compared to
floppy disk or even ZIP disk a CD-Recordable provides a monstrous amount
of instant back up. Floppy = 1.44 MB. ZIP 100 = 100 MB.
CD-R = at least 650 MB. THAT IS A LOT OF FLOPPIES! Remember,
that you can only write to a CD-R disc once. For rewriting data you
will need a CD-RW, or CD-Rewritable. The speed of these drives is
expressed by three speeds combined. Example "24X12X32X" means that
this CD-RW drive writes data at 24 times real time, re-writes at 12 times,
and reads at 32 times. If you wanted to use this drive to copy a 60
minute CD it would take about three minutes or so.
These are great for movies! Many DVD movies come with features that
can only be viewed with a PC DVD drive.
ultimate in removable storage, DVD-R disc come in sizes from 4 to 18
GB! You can also make your own DVD movies with the correct software
and hardware. Check these out carefully before choosing
yours. There are several different types out there right now.