D2 300566 CD Burner
get it here for under $100
WOW! You need this for digital photography. I burn CDs every shooting day as backups, and you should be too. This super-fast, aluminum-cased external burner burns full CDs in just a couple of minutes. It's much faster than the 24x burner built into my (or your) laptop. It's among the best under-$100 items I've ever bought.
I hate waiting around, since my time costs me $3 a minute. I spent $300 to get the fastest 16x burner I could back in 2001 and I had no problem justifying paying top dollar.
Today these are almost free. This single-purpose CD burner/reader/player is super cheap and faster than what you're using in your new computer since it only does CDs and does them extremely well. It doesn't also burn DVDs or anything else which slows down multi-purpose burners. Yes, it also burns rewritable (erasable) CDs and reads CDs faster than your built-in multipurpose burner.
I avoid using DVDs for backup since their native error correction is more prone to errors than CDs.
It's a very high quality, professional machine in a gorgeous metal case. I'm impressed that it cost less than $100 in September 2004. Heck, I pay more for things that look like this purely as works of art.
52x write, 52x read (32x write for rewritable CDs)
6.3 x 1.7 x 10.6" (17.3 x 4.4 x 26.8 cm)
3.3 lbs. (1.5kg)
Requires AC power
Mac and PC, software included
Fast, fast, fast. The limiting factor is that at any higher speeds the plastic CDs would simply explode. At 52x they are spinning at about 35,000 RPM!!
Some people complain about the noise. The burner is silent; the noise is from the CD spinning at 35,000 RPM which stirs up a bit of wind. The whoosh you hear is the CD, and that's why you bought the burner in the first place: speed. Amazingly I hear no vibration or buzzing.
I just plugged it into my Mac and it worked right away. It comes with Toast software which loaded right up. It also comes with software for PC.
All Macs made in the past several years have Firewire (IEEE 1394 or iLink) ports on them. If you're stuck on a PC you may have to go get a Firewire card since many PCs have still not caught up with technology. Firewire cards are inexpensive if you need to add one.
Buy one like I did. In your car you can get an inexpensive 12V to 120V AC inverter to run this. (You can get one here for $30 or find them at any Radio Shack or truck stop.) Anyplace you have AC power just plug it into whatever machine you're using and save yourself a lot of time.