The computing hardware world is an area of Information Technology that follows a constant course skywards - faster processors and bigger storage, more compact features - onwards and upwards at a speed that is truly dazzling to all involved.
As with any new technology, early adopters often pay exorbitant prices and get new and buggy technology that does not offer value for money. DVD burners and the discs themselves have followed that path.
DVD's are well known as the dominant format for watching movies at home. In the last couple of years they have also been available to computing buffs for storing 4.7 gigabytes of data (more than 7 times larger than a CD). For most of us, DVDs have been a read-only format - you buy the disks and just read from them.
To burn data to a DVD requires a DVD burner, which first entered the mainstream market a few years ago, costing thousands of dollars. A mish-mash of standards hampered adoption, and blank DVD discs themselves were available for $30 - about the same price as a movie in a store.
Now in 2003, the cost of this technology has plummeted, with obvious benefits being passed onto the consumer. DVD Burners are now available for under $500 and the discs have dropped to as low as $2 in some places - the same price as many blank CDs. This change is a boon for movie buffs and the IT industry alike.
The applications for the new and affordable format are both predictable and innovative.
Of course there are many movie fans taking advantage of the format to back-up their collections (keeping originals pristine and safe and scratching their cheaper copies in regular use), but there are also a whole range of people realizing the benefits of this format for backing up their data systems. Considering many people have email inboxes containing thousands of emails filling more than a couple of gigs, this kind of technology is removing the excuse many back-up slobs have that it is too expensive and inconvenient to use tape drives and tapes (the only way to back up files larger than a CD up to now).
If you want to know more, contact your trusted computer supplier, or check out online stores like Harris Technology ( www.ht.com.au ) to see what kinds of deals you can get.