Monday, 11 July 2016

Compact Disks and Nostalgia

My laptop has aged well. Still works like a charm. No out of the ordinary demands. It’s been almost 4 years. No Botox. Except when it was opened up and its soul was cleansed some 6 months back. It came back refreshed. One fine day, its CD Drive popped open without being asked to. This became frequent in due course of time. It was like a stroke, in laptop terminology, a cry for help. I don’t know. But the day the drive first popped out surprisingly, I realized that those things had become obsolete. No self-respecting laptop wants it. A complete piece of shit, from a modern digital age perspective.

I have never seen a floppy drive in action. I did, however, had the honor of witnessing a Floppy Drive before they bowed down to evolution and were phased out to accommodate the CD drives.

But thanks to my laptop’s CD Drive’s cry for help, I was reminded of those days when CDs were the norm. That scratch-less, shiny rainbow-ish surfaces were alluring. Scratch CD pe nahi, dil pe lagta tha. Teachers too adopted the hipster way of asking us to submit projects digitally, on CDs. One lousy doc file or a PPT amounting to mere KBs submitted on a 700 MB CD. Dafaq? Pirated Himesh Reshammiya songs were sold in CDs for meagre sum. Oh and computer games – wonderful way of fucking one’s life. Classrooms were the exchange spots for computer games, music CDs, movies and whatnot. Encarta’s, Encyclopedia’s digital copies were exchanged in complete visibility of the teacher. Ladke padh likh ke naam roshan karenge, the teacher thought. Max Paynes, GTAs, IGIs exchanged hands hidden conveniently inside random notebooks.

Those delicate sensitive CD surfaces had to be provided additional security. Along came plastic CD cases, capable of accommodating a couple of the bad boys. Upgraded to CD wallets, comfortably holding tens of them bad boys. DVDs were a welcome upgrade in storage capacity. But what blew my mind were the re-writable CDs/DVDs. Those were a revelation straight from the heaven of digital age. And Nero – the magical software to write data onto the drives. What an age to be alive.

In the near future, the bulky, now useless CD drives will be replaced by an additional hard disk or something. They will be phased away for a more compact, more elegant storage medium, flashier than the flash drives. 2.0 USB ports are already making way for the 3.0 USB ports as our CDs lie peacefully, buried in their comfortable graves in some corner back home. Corrupted, forgotten.

Let’s vow not let the memories of Compact Disks fade away.

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