Digital Lifestyle Hardware: Digital Rules, Analog Drools Technol- ogy Hard Drive Description 174 Hard drives are used to store data that your Mac doesn't need to work with as quickly as the data it stores in RAM, as well as the data you keep on the machine (such as the OS, applications, and documents). Hard drives come in various sizes, with 20 GB being the smallest size in modern Macs. There are also different types of hard drives, from internal ATA drives to external FireWire drives. As with RAM, more hard drive space is better. Since digital lifestyle projects consume large amounts of storage space, you will need to have plenty of hard drive space available. CD-ROM DVD- ROM CD-RW Drive Combo Drive Super- Drive Expanda- bility Compact Disc Read Only Memory drives enable your Mac to read from compact discs, including audio CDs, appli- cation CDs, data CDs, and so on. These drives are useful to display data that has been recorded on them. Digital Versatile Disc Read Only Memory drives enable a Mac to read DVD discs, such as those on which movies are stored or that you create with iDVD. These drives are useful to display digital data. Compact Disc Recordable reWritable drives enable your Mac to read CDs and to record information onto CD-R or CD-RW discs. In addition to displaying data on CD, these drives also enable you to record information on CD. You can burn audio CDs or put your digital lifestyle projects on CD to distribute them. The combo drive includes a CD-RW and DVD-ROM drive. The SuperDrive adds a DVD-R (Digital Versatile Disc Recordable) drive to the combo drive. Putting your digital lifestyle projects on DVD is way cool; the ultimate digital lifestyle Macs include the SuperDrive. This is a general term that refers to the ease with which components can be added to a Mac. The mobile Macs are somewhat limited in that you can't easily add much to their "innards;" the iMac is similar. The Power Mac G4 is very expandable and you can add many types of internal devices to it. However, just because you can't add much internally to some Macs, you can always expand your system by adding external devices. Universal Serial Bus is an input/output technology that is used by many kinds of input devices, including keyboards, mice, cameras, and so on. USB is plenty fast for many tasks and USB devices are inexpensive. All Macs include USB ports to which you can attach USB devices. FireWire is a high-speed input/output technology that you can use to attach devices that move large amounts of data, such as hard drives, digital camcorders, and so on. All Macs also include at least one FireWire port. USB FireWire iBook The iBook is one of the two mobile Mac families. In addition to being excellent "everyday" Macs, iBooks are also pretty good digital lifestyle Macs. The downside to the iBook is that they use the G3 processor, which isn't as fast or as powerful as the G4, and that they currently can't include a SuperDrive. PowerBook The PowerBook is the other mobile Mac family. In addition to being one of the coolest pieces of hardware ever produced, the PowerBook is also powerful. It includes a G4 processor and has all the features you need to take your digital lifestyle on the road. Like the iBook, the PowerBook doesn't currently offer a SuperDrive so you won't be able to create DVDs with it (unless you add an external DVD-R drive). Also, it isn't as fast or expandable as a Power Mac, but it sure is a lot easier to carry around! iMac The iMac has been groundbreaking in many ways, and the newest iMac proves that no one produces cooler hardware than Apple (see Figure 7.1). In addition to being a treat for the eye, the iMac offers everything you need, including a G4 processor, lots of disk space, plenty of RAM, and the option of a SuperDrive. About the only limitation to the iMac is that it isn't as expandable as the Power Mac.