by March 31, 1998 0 comments

Today, the CD-ROM drive is a necessity
rather than an avoidable luxury. The ever increasing
number of installable software and CD-titles coming only
on CD-ROMs, takes the luxury of treating this drive as an
optional device out of the hands of home users. Whereas
to have or not to have a CD-ROM drive is still a question
faced by corporate decision-makers.

At the workplace, the
option of not having a CD-ROM drive on every machine
still exists, thanks to the ability to share a CD-ROM
drive across machines on a network. Also, CD-servers can
be setup on the network to make CD-ROM drives centrally
available. Remember here that we are talking only of the
CD-ROM drive, and not of sound cards, which are normally
bundled with a CD-ROM drive to form a multimedia kit. At
approximately four thousand rupees a CD-ROM drive, if you
are buying a hundred machines the cost of CD-ROM drives
alone will be four lakh rupees (about seven percent of
the total cost of the systems)! Under such circumstances,
it might be a better idea to go for smaller number of
systems with CD-ROM drives and make them shareable across
workgroups, or to have CD-servers.

In the beginning we
mentioned that the home user (read standalone machine)
does not have a choice on whether to go in for a CD-ROM
drive or not. Well, we were not exactly correct. The home
user has a choice between a CD-ROM and a DVD-ROM drive.
DVD-ROMs offer much higher capacities than CD-ROMs (up to
17 GB as against up to 748 MB of CD-ROMs). Also, DVD-ROMs
come with MPEG playback support, like Creative PC-DVD
Encore Dxr2 and Diamond maximum DVD kit which offer
MPEG-1and MPEG-2 playback, Dolby Digital audio playback
if you have amplifier or receiver with Dolby support, and
TV output.

The negative side is that there are no fixed
standards for DVD as of now. Competing vendors are trying
to push their respective stances as the standard.
Meanwhile, there have also been announcements about
DVD-ROMs, DVD-RAM, and DVD-ReWritables. This lack of
common standard and simultaneous push in various
directions has been the reason for DVD-ROM not becoming
as popular as CD-ROM. But either way, DVD is the great
white hope of future for storage devices.

The CD-ROM drive meanwhile
has come a long way to the current speed of 32x. But the
biggest barrier for CD-ROM has been its capacity. 700+ MB
at one time was considered a luxury, but today, many
software come in packs of six or even more CD-ROMs.
CorelDRAW, for example, ships with four CD-ROMs since its
version 7.

Either a CD-ROM or a
DVD-ROM is a must have for your network or home PC. You
have the choice of either waiting for the DVD-ROM scene
to get clearer and meanwhile going in for a CD-ROM drive,
or to opt for a DVD-ROM drive right away.

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.