How do I live without a cd rom?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Ciao, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. Ciao macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2014
    Hi all,
    I am looking forward to purchase a Macbook air but however, as we all know it comes without a cd rom and my dad wouldnt want to waste the money on an external cd rom. I am still currently in my high school years and may be required to use cds for some practice exam papers etc or some programs that contains some useful information.

    I am aware that there is remote disk thing available for the macs since i have an old vista computer that has a cd. but i am also aware that there are some restrictions on using this technique, so i am wondering if i am able to read the files.

    Thank you ;)
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    External optical drive (other then Apple's) is quite inexpensive. If an optical drive is a requirement and an external drive is not viable, then a MBA is not the best product to fill your needs. Perhaps a non retina MBP which still has the optical drive.
  3. Ciao thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2014
    Do you have a recommendation on a cheap external CD drive?
  4. Meister, Jan 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014

    Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
  5. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2007
    New England
    If you have another computer at home that has a CD Drive, you could share it out providing it's some how connected to a in home network, I did this when my 2008 MBP was running and I picked up a new MBP. Also how often do you need to access an optical drive would be the question also?

    The suggestion from maflynn is a great one also. ;)
  6. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    I think you'll be surprised how little you'll need it. But an option from Amazon for under $20 is the way to go.
  7. csaamer macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2014
    dont worry


    I have mba's now since they came out and i haven't missed the drive in the last years once. in the beginning it was a bit different but you get used to it and you will also appreciate the concept. you need to adapt but it has only advantages. you will learn to live completely without paper, i download all the manuals and through away the whole junk that is supplied with all the gadgets you get, most of them nowadays don't supply any manuals or software, you just download all from them the manufacture site, this way you also have the newest version. movies i only buy online, music the same. but in all fairness i have to say that i ripped all my cds before the change. but even that is now not necessary anymore, i have spottily and access to all my music and all the new one as well. in total i needed a cd rom only 5 times in the first year (but that was 2008 with the first mba i purchased) because some of my old software only came as a cd but nowadays this is history. now i don't have a cd rom anymore, nor a laptop or a imac, not even a tv. :). only mba, ipad and a nas. thats it. oh, and a scanner for the paper stuff i still get ( i through away also the mail i get.) slims down your live massively.
  8. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    This doesnt really help the OP. He stated that he needs the optical for school.
    I havent used a optical drive in about a decade but I do run into these problems at work.
    My boss uses 3'5 floppy discs ....
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    When I got my 2011 MBA I was also concerned about this and purchased the Apple external drive. Two years later, I hadn't even used it once. My friend from Europe now has the 2011 machine and I gave her the external drive along with it.

    I now have a 2013 MBA and don't have a DVD drive for it. But, wouldn't you know it, I just started ripping my huge DVD collection and now I wish I still had that external drive. :D My friend was just visiting and I was surprised to see that she brought the external drive all the way from Europe, so I guess she considers it important (she is a director and needs to watch performance videos).

    For me, I am still OK because my 2008 MBP has a DVD drive and I've just set up a station with it to rip DVD's. Much slower than using the new computer, but it works fine and leaves my MBA free for other things. I then transfer the files to my iTunes library on the MBA.

    Depending on your needs, you might do something similar. Put the DVD or CD in your old Windows computer, then copy its contents to a USB flash disk which you can insert in the MBA.
  10. thebrobrah macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2013
    i havent used my dvd drive in years...copy the contents of the cd onto a usb key perhaps from the school computer

    i cant recommend buying either an external dvd drive or any laptop with dvd drive...

    dead technology
  11. Antares macrumors 68000


    I bought a cheap CD/DVD burner from Amazon for my iMac, which has no optical drive. I still need a way to rip new CD's and burn DVD' well as for older software. Hard Drive Storage is expesive and limited. So, I burn my downloaded movies to DVD once I've watched them. I'd need like 14TB of hard drive space to store everything. We're not quite there, just yet...unless you want to spend thousands of dollars for external storage. Optical is still cheaper for things that you don't need to ccess frequently.

    OP, just buy a cheap external drive off Amazon like others suggested and I did, last year.
  12. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I suppose it depends on what you need. I have a Seagate Thunderbolt dock that uses their desktop backup plus drives. Also has a pass-through port that I plug my external monitor into.

    The dock cost me $140 iirc and 4TB Backup Plus drives are $170:$pcmcat186100050005&cp=1&lp=8

    So four of those would give you 16TB of storage and would cost about $800, including the dock. You could buy 4 extra drives for redunancy and it still wouldn't cost "thousands" (plural). ;) It would sure be a lot faster to access your archived movies on a Thunderbolt disk. :D
  13. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    How do I live without a floppy drive?

    Oh that's right a DVD / CD drive is just $20, how will I live???
  14. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012

    Not sure what kind of restriction ur referring to, for one I know you won't be able to BOOT from it but it doesn't sound like what you will be doing.

    I have a CD on my PC box too that so far makes do.
  15. Antares macrumors 68000


    True. In fact I bought a 4TB one like that a few weeks ago. But that's a heck of a lot of separate drives eating power. I'd actually like a nice big single media NAS in some RAID config. I've seen some nice 12 bay ones that make me drool. The initial expense is what kills me. A $25 spindle of DVD's, every few months, is easier to swallow than a huge NAS or a bunch of external drives all at once. I have a bunch of external drives, right now, and they're a pain to manage because I clone everything for backup backup purposes.

    Eventually, I hope to not need to burn DVD's. But until I can afford a big NAS....
  16. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Tell your dad you need the external DVD drive. It's not a waste if you actually need it ;)

    Anyways don't buy the Apple one. You can get any USB DVD drive.
  17. s15119 macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2010
  18. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Well, I bought one to go with an MBA, just in case I was traveling and wanted to watch a DVD... so far I haven't needed the drive except to install a couple of programs that I have from DVD. I don't expect to use it much now; bought it more just to be safe and not find I need it and have to run around trying to find one in a weird location or time.
  19. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I meant to order one with my iMac back in 2012, but forgot. 2014 and I still haven't got round to it. Guess I didn't need one after all.
  20. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    The OP needs a drive. Period. Your opinion may be valid for you or me, but not in this case.

    Regularly copying stuff to a USB key on a borrowed computer at school is an absurd solution compared to a $20 drive at home. I can hardly imagine the teacher appreciating this waste of his or her own time.
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Unlike some, I read all of your post, including the fact that you may be required to use CDs in spite of the fact that some may consider them useless or dead technology.

    As for your question about the limitations of using Remote Disc:

    DVD or CD sharing: Using Remote Disc

    As long as your uses are not listed above, using Remote Disc should work well for you. Be sure to read the linked article for details.
  22. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    If your teacher claims you need a CD, look him/her blankly in the eye and say "a what?" Then use your USB stick or the teacher's website like every school from 1st grade up through college does in 2014. (many are starting to use Google Docs, anyway)
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, not every school uses the same technology. Many don't have the budget and are operating on older hardware and software. It's not reasonable to assume that everyone is using current technology.
  24. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Amen to that.

    If schools are so advanced, everything are on eBooks right, no more 50 LB backpack right? NOT!
  25. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2010
    Encino, CA
    If price is an issue, you could buy a refurbished macbook pro that has a CD drive for $850-999. You would have to search daily to see if there are any in that price range.

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