This is Not about the Beatles Invasion, but rather about the Bargains that are available in computer parts these glorious days.
Technology for home use that would have seemed ridiculus a few years ago. As Dylan told us, in the Sixties, and is STILL telling us today (thanks to the PBS Special by Martin Scorsese) the Times, they are a-changing.
I began my computer life with a Cassette Recorder as a storage device. I even subscribed to a monthly cassette magazine called Chromasette for the TRS Coco (Color Computer). The cassette recorder came with the Color Computer, but you could buy one from your local Radio Shack store for about $60 bucks. Incidently, it was the recorder of choice for UFO hunters. You could buy one at your local Radio Shack store of which there were about 9,000 at that time. Because you could run it on batteries it was considered "portable" and could be taken out into the field where the invaders roamed. It appeared in a few X-Files too, because they paid attention to trivial details like that.
I just recently updated my storage device to a DVD -R dual-layer Burner. It cost me about $60 bucks from my local Best Buy store. The DVD burner replaced my TDK burn-proof 121032 CD burner which I've had for about 4 1/2 years now and cost me around $250.00 at the time, because it was state-of-the-art.
This kind of stuff is normal for computer parts. Get use to it.
My first 5 gig Hard Drive cost $205.00 from the Pomona Computer Swap. The only place to go in those days to get a bargain on computer parts. Now you can get a 250 gigabite Hard Drive for about, yup, $60 bucks, from Fry's E;lectronics a computer superstore (think: like Home Depot for Electronics).
If fact, my last four OS's (Operating Systems) cost about $60.00 each. I've bought one of those just about every other year to stay on the EDGE of the Linux revolution. The last one I bought about 3 years ago came on 5 CD's. It was for SuSE 9.1 Pro and came with the 32 and 64 bit version. Talk about cutting edge, MS Windows won't be releasing a 64 bit version of Windows until some time in 2006, maybe.
The newest versions (I'm using SUSE 9.3 now) can be had for the price of a British magazine called Linux Format (about $15.00 stateside). Each monthly issue comes with a 4 Gigabyte DVD, containing the latest in Open Source software.
Because of the work of Klaus Knopper (of Knoppix fame), a rescue disk project has become the backbone of "LIVE" CD's and recently, LIVE DVD's. This allows you to Test-Drive a Linux Distribution without installing it to the Hard Drive. These can be as bare-bones as fitting on a BC (business card) CD or as maxed-out as the NEW DVD versions which come with thousands of Open-Source programs (some of which I'll talk about here)
By the way, the reason I went to a Dual-Layered DVD burner is because I heard the New Open-Suse Linux Distro (Distribution), was coming on Dual-Layer DVD Media. Yeah, it holds twice as much as a regular DVD (about 9 Gigabites).
Computer technology, I think this is all just Too Fabulous.