Our local IT person came round looking for an external optical drive. Seems the new generation of corporate-standard laptops has finally ditched the internal optical drive, but she only has optical media to install the OS. Of course the only optical drive we could find speaks eSATA, and the new laptop doesn't have that either.

(Now of course with USB Type-C arriving there will be three interfaces to worry about…)

I no longer own a machine with an onboard optical drive. When my sister (who also owns no optical drives) asked me to rip the CD that came with a (paper) book to MP3 for her, I had to dig out an old internal drive from the Pile Of Stuff That Might Be Useful Someday, hook it up with a USB-to-ATA bridge, and download a bunch of programmes to rip and encode the data - because of course I didn't have any of that installed either.

This used to be, not a daily activity, but probably a weekly one on average for me - and I didn't even take note of the last time I did it. I will remember this time because it was such a hassle, but otherwise I might have completely forgotten. One day my kids will find my old CDs and ask me what they are, and be amazed at the clunkiness. Meanwhile I still remember how amazing CDs were compared to tape cassettes. Nobody will remember CDs fondly, though, precisely because they weren't clunky.


Imperfections are what sticks in the memory and stirs emotions. People go to a lot of trouble to make iPhone apps that simulate the imperfections of old cheap or disposable cameras - [Lomography](

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lomography "Lomography")

, [vignetting](


"Vignetting"), and so on.

The slick, digital CD will slip into the past and out of our memories as smoothly as it arrived.