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optical disk
Last modified: Monday, September 20, 2004 

A storage medium from which data is read and to which it is written by lasers. Optical disks can store much more data -- up to 6 gigabytes (6 billion bytes) -- than most portable magnetic media, such as floppies. There are three basic types of optical disks:
  • CD-ROM : Like audio CDs, CD-ROMs come with data already encoded onto them. The data is permanent and can be read any number of times, but CD-ROMs cannot be modified.
  • WORM : Stands for write-once, read -many. With a WORM disk drive, you can write data onto a WORM disk, but only once. After that, the WORM disk behaves just like a CD-ROM.
  • erasable: Optical disks that can be erased and loaded with new data, just like magnetic disks. These are often referred to as EO (erasable optical) disks.
  • These three technologies are not compatible with one another; each requires a different type of disk drive and disk. Even within one category, there are many competing formats, although CD-ROMs are relatively standardized.

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    For pages about optical disk . Also check out the following links!

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    DISK/TREND market research site 
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    related categories



    Peripheral Devices

    related terms

    areal density

    CD-I (Compact Disc-Interactive)


    compact disc


    erasable optical disk


    mass storage



    phase change disk



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