The End Of The CD Era

“With the storage size of hard disk drives (HDD) continuing to rise every year, and cloud storage becoming popular, demand for optical discs has been declining a lot faster than expected, and the company is already seeing almost no profits from the business.”
 
See Taiyo Yuden to end optical disc business
I’m rather nostalgic about CDs. In the 1990s, pre-Flash and with dial-up, they were an essential part of the growth of IT and in particular FLOSS and GNU/Linux. My first installation of Caldera GNU/Linux in 2000 was to/from CDRW. The Internet connection at that school was ~3kbits/s. It took 10 days of nights and weekends just to download the .iso file to burn the CD. Now I could burn a CD every 15 minutes, if I had a burner on Beast. I think there are only two in the house and it’s been years since either one was used to read a CD let alone burn one.

I remember the first CD drive I owned. It was 1X and a “door-crasher” special at a local big box retailer for $70. My young son and I went early but we weren’t first in line. The unruly crowd practically stampeded around us when the doors opened. I leaned back to hold them back and my son ducked under a table for safety. We used that drive for nearly a decade before it died. Later, CDs and drives became much more capable, reliable and cheaper. Then came a copyright tax on CDs… We were punished for using CDs to store/transfer FLOSS with a legal licence as if we were illegally copying Hollywood or the music business’ stuff. Now everyone’s streaming everything on the web. We used to buy CDs by the stack of ~100. I still have envelopes I used to protect them. I still have racks for holding them. I can’t remember the last one I bought. It must have been five years ago or more. Now Flash drives do the job.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to The End Of The CD Era

  1. oiaohm says:

    Wall Street Journal‎ and other major news sites kurkosdr. Really if you are having to ask me for source on 99+ wood chips it shows you are not up with what is going on.

  2. kurkosdr says:

    Part of the problem is the recent breakthrough to make silicon chips using 99 percent+ wood. This will bring usb drive costs down. The fun part is the new chips will also be biodegradable and destroyable by fire

    Source?

  3. oiaohm says:

    Part of the problem is the recent breakthrough to make silicon chips using 99 percent+ wood. This will bring usb drive costs down. The fun part is the new chips will also be biodegradable and destroyable by fire.

  4. kurkosdr wrote, of some CDs, “useful only for fancy coasters”.

    In their prime, I was a teacher of science. Even a coaster made a crude diffraction grating with which we could measure the wavelength of light from sodium vapour lights, LEDs, He-Ne lasers, etc. Of course, real science students could make their own gratings, but if you wanted a bunch cheaply, a few CDs and some shears could provide a bunch in a hurry. They are also useful solution to the ancient problem of levelling a table or desk…

  5. kurkosdr says:

    I still use DVDs when I want to “keep” something. Recordables give me the sense that’s once it’s in there, it will never be lost (at least not all of it), and will never be tempted to delete it to make space.

    I used to buy Taiyo Yudens. The absolute best recordables money could buy (though they weren’t expensive to be frank). When I recorded CDs for my PS1 (back then), all the other CDs were slow to start. Taiyo Yudens booted instantly. Always backed up my photos to Taiyo Yuden DVD-Rs (they never made +R or DLs).

    BTW, if you are still looking for good media, buy Verbatim. They are made in the original MKM (Mitsubishi Karagu) factory. Sony’s are also good, although a bit expensive. Philips moved to a factory in China, so they are average.

    Stay away from TDKs. They outsoutced production of CDs and DVDs to Mozer Baer India (the worst of the worst, useful only for fancy coasters). Back in the golden age of recordable optical discs, they outsourced to Taiyo Yuden (TYG) or made them in the original TTG (TDK) factory. Intenso’s are also bad.

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