Do you still use a PC with a CD/DVD drive?

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  • Do you still use a PC with a CD/DVD drive?

    My wife and her friend are setting up a reunion. The first time they did this almost 20 years ago, I made a mixed CD for them and burned a bunch of copies. I was still dating my wife at the time so major points for me.

    They want to do another giveaway--pictures and music-- but want to do it on the cheap. 1GB USB sticks are about $3 each but I've got a whole bunch of blank CDs and DVDs.

    So if you received a CD or DVD, would you still be able to view the materials on it? More and more PCs aren't coming with drives anymore.

  • #2
    Can you use a free cloud service and just share the files with whoever wants them?


    • atgcpaul
      atgcpaul commented
      Editing a comment
      Some of the material might be copyrighted not that that really matters if I put it on a CD or USB...

      Good idea, though. I'd only have to send out 30 emails with a link rather than burn 30 CDs or copy to 30 USB sticks.

  • #3
    Maybe have both CD and cloud availability. I don't envision a day that I won't had a CD/DVD drive available, but I know of many that don't - and I suspect that they'd be fine with digital files. Can setup a free account with any of several places + have them email you or something to give them access to the folder in the cloud.


    • #4
      I have the ability (external DVD/CD drive) but I rarely use it, maybe once every other year in the past 4 years. For large bits of data, I do as you mentioned 1 gig sticks or larger. It is a pain to lug around a drive and another thing, I hate burning CD/DVD's just for the time it takes. One OK, but half a dozen or more. My time, even in leisure is more valuable that overseeing the burning of discs. I love the advances in technology that do away with cumbersome cords.

      I bought my first laptop with SSD about 5 years ago and it didn't take me a week to come to abhor mechanical drives.
      Last edited by leehljp; 05-03-2017, 03:22 PM.
      Hank Lee

      Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!


      • #5
        I think that would depend on your definition of pc's. I still use it as personal computer, but so many people use it as Windows computer.
        I still use and prefer desktops, due to their upgradability/long life/cost benefit. But many people prefer laptops these days, which are getting smaller and have fewer cd/dvd drives. There are also micro pc's, such as the Intel NUC's, that will fit on the back of a monitor, that have no optical drives. In those cases, the older generations I know, still have or keep a usb optical drive around, for an as needed basis. The Millennials I know, tend not to, as they prefer streaming or online.
        She couldn't tell the difference between the escape pod, and the bathroom. We had to go back for her.........................Twice.


        • #6
          Even though none of the laptops we own have CD/DVD drives, I have an USB external that I can use. I can't remeber the last time I used it though. I I were attending, the CD or USB stick would work best. Living in rural MN, my internet service is pathetic and getting anything from the cloud is a pain.
          An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
          A moral man does it.


          • #7
            The computer I use 99% of the time doesn't have one. I have another desktop one that does that I could get the data off of if necessary.

            I like the idea of having it downloadable somewhere but also having some CDs available for those less technically up-to-date.


            • #8
              My laptop has a drive, my wife's laptop has a drive, I have an external drive and we have two blue ray players on two different TVs that would play a DVD - but probably not a CD. If you want the ultimate in compact memory, the camera flash drives are really small. With an adapter they work fine in a computer with a USB port. That is usually how I move pictures from the camera to the laptop.

              I kind of have a computer with a SSD but it is really a tablet. It has a keyboard but runs Google's OS. It does many of the things a laptop does but not all. It is an inexpensive one but isn't as fast as my laptop with a conventional drive. I wouldn't mind trying a real laptop with SSD but they are a bit pricey for my tastes so far.


              • #9
                I have an external CD/DVD player burner attached to my Imac by USB cable same for back up hard drive both work fine.


                • #10
                  I'm presently stalled on a huge digitizing project and also am concerned with eventual distribution. My late FIL was an avid photographer and I have thousands of 35 mm slides going all the way back to 1943. Pictures of the family, my wife when she was a baby and through the years of growing up, etc. I started this about two years ago and several months ago just stalled on the whole process. To date I've scanned close about 2,600 slides and I'm only about a third of the way through. On top of that I've got several albums of photos and about a dozen seven-inch reels of super-8 film.

                  Storage technology has changed so many times over the decades that it's expensive to keep up. That, plus the fact that software and hardware updates are not backwards compatible makes for some real burden. I have an old Gateway tower which is equipped with the old 6" floppy, 3-1/2" floppy, tape drive, CD, and even the Iomega 100 Mb disks, but no USB. In addition, I have a Dell with older USB, 3-1/2 floppy, and CD. These both have older operating systems, but I have software and databases that simply won't operate on newer Windows systems and I certainly don't want to spend the great amount of hours it would take to redesign the databases and then transfer data for just history's sak; when in another few years I can just dump it all.

                  My current laptop is equipped with a CD writer and of course has USB2 and 3 compatibility; and, I have two Western Digital "Passport Ultra" 1 TB portable drives for backup purposes. The problem of course is remembering to do the backup and once done, exact where in all that file structure is the file that I may want at the moment. I may know that I have the file, but exactly what was I thinking at the time I filed it. (Like having a big garage or house, I know we saved it... but that 'easy place to remember' place back then, is like clueless today!)

                  Regarding my family photo scanning project, it takes a considerable amount of time to scan, often color correct, and then retouch out the scratches, dust, and general debris that 70 years of closet storage does to film. As I advance through the years, the film brands and quality changes, and not necessarily for the better. There's also the editing and jokingly-historic detective work that goes into it too, like when we find images that obviously don't go together., like Atlantic City beach pictures when someone's hair changes in the midst of a beach scene.... oops, that must have been last year's picture of you.

                  And then there's the family politics of the whole thing, there are just some people that I don't ever want to have any of these pictures, so posting to the cloud is a questionable path and because of the quantity, mass distribution to all the family isn't practicable. A lot of the family don't have computers, but I think most have smart phones... so that challenge is there and I really don't quite know how to accomplish that transfer easily.

                  Last edited by cwsmith; 05-07-2017, 06:44 PM. Reason: sentence structure
                  Think it Through Before You Do!


                  • #11
                    What are you using for the slide scanning? My mom passed away last month and we'll be faced with the same task soon.


                    • #12
                      I'm using an Epson V550 flat bed scanner. Software is relatively easy to figure out and it allows for some color and exposure correction. It comes with plastic frames that you can register on the flat bed to handle up to four slides at a time, negatives, or film strips. Remove the templates and slide the lid cover back into place and you can scan photos and documents. I think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 for it, back when I started this project.

                      The V550 also incorporates ICE technology which goes a long way to remove scratches, which is a considerable advantage.

                      At the start of this project, I timed myself and it roughly takes four minutes a slide to scan. That's selecting each slide, dusting each off, placing them into the template and then scanning them (four at a time). While that might be okay, if you are just looking to get everything scanned in, it is a considerable task to put things in order. My poor FIL started to get dementia within a few years of after his retirement and it was during that time that he started to go through all his slides, remounting many that the original cardboard mounts had seperated. He was also at the disadvantage that the only place to do this was on the dining room table, and I don't think my MIL appreciated that very much. So as I'm going through them, I'm find a lot of them are out of order; it's almost like he dumped the original boxes in the middle of the table and then sorted through them. Where sequence numbers are given, they are way off in most cases.

                      Fortunately, I have a Knox Acculite light table that will hold 72 slides at a time. The old rectangular trays that he mostly used way back then, each holds forty, though they are rarely filled to capacity. So I put the boxes in chronological order, and load most of two trays at a time on my light board, then carefully go through them to arrange order. Then I load four at a time to the scanner.

                      The real work comes in reviewing each slide on it's preview scan and adjusting the color and exposure level for each slide. If you don't care about doing this kind of detail, you can just hit the "preview", and if they look passable, hit "scan" and you've got yourself four high resolution (you choose the resolution you want) images within a few minutes. Because of the age of some of these slides, and other variables, it's taking me additional time to do the corrections.

                      After I do a batch of slides (usually the two trays), I then use Corel Paint to closely examine each image and remove any spots or blemishes that the scanner might have missed. On occasion there will be sun flare or damage to the original slide and I retouch those to bring them to as close to the original as I can.... that sometimes takes a half-hour or so. For example, with the 2600 slides that I have scanned so far, I've got well over a thousand hours into it.... to the point that I had to take leave from the project for awhile!

                      There are of course other slide scanners, but this Epson unit appeared to be about the best in my limited research. I wasn't looking to spend big money (which I don't have), nor was I looking for something that just scanned, without any edit or correction capability.

                      If you'd like I can provide more detail or show you some examples of what this process does. (I do have some before and after examples where I just did a straight, quick scan and then went through the process of correction and retouch.)

                      Think it Through Before You Do!


                      • #13
                        Thanks for the info. What kind of resolution do you get on the final scans with this setup?

                        I don't think there's any order to what's at my mom's house. Some might be roughly grouped by vacation or event, but I think any chronological order is long gone. Of course I can adjust that in digital form if I ever figure it out too.


                        • #14
                          The resolution you are seeking will pretty much be determined by what you want to do with the images. For example, printing of high quality would be 300 dpi for the final print size and that's basically publishing quality. But certainly most consumer camera quality over the last several decades probably wouldn't warrant that. My particular need is for display on an HD TV. I figure that is the one media that most relatives will have in common and most modern flat TV sets have a USB input or else they have smart phones with similar resolution. So, I'm scanning my slides in at a custom resolution of 1200 x 1800 dpi. That will not only give a great screen image, but will also produce a high quality 4 x 6 print and a not-so-bad 8 x 10 (cropped).

                          The V550 scanner allows for a lot of adjustment, resolution definition, and cropping of the slide or photo.

                          Here are a few examples, note the first number in the image name is the year it was taken and if the last letter is "o", that's the original. There is a mix of exposure and color correction as well as scratch removal and in at least one example some retouch to correct lens flare. I use Corel PhotoPaint as that's the software that I have and therefore am most used to. However, most any bitmap software will work well. The Corel program used to be Paintshop Pro, which was at one time free; Corel bought that company and though sold separately, I believe, the version that I have came as part of the CorelDraw package; student/home version (non-pro use) was around $100, IIRC.

                          Note that although I picked these in numerical order, for some reason they don't appear in exactly the sequence I selected and there's no way to sort them here that I know of, but you'll find the match in there somewhere. These are all so-called 'snap-shots' and like in the first photos, I have no idea who those guys are. Some are shot in New York City and some in the Adirondacks. Most of these were corrected during the scan process, but sometimes I made some additional effort to clean them up, removing bad scratches or in the case of the lens flare, rebuilding using the "clone" tool.

                          I just noticed that the original file names are not apparent, so let me point out at least a few pictures. The camping photo was taken in the Adirondacks in 1944; Forever Amber was playing on Broadway and that picture was taken in the summer of 1946; the three little girls in 1949, the girl on the right is my wife; the picture with the lens flare was taken in, I believe, the Adirondacks in 1950; the Hudson river at NY is in 1950.

                          After awhile, I stopped shooting before and after.

                          Hope this helps,

                          Last edited by cwsmith; 05-13-2017, 06:55 PM. Reason: Additional info
                          Think it Through Before You Do!


                          • #15
                            There are no optical drives in my house or office. This thread reminds me I need to throw away the drawer full of blank CDs and DVDs that I haven't touched in at least five years.