I sit at work thinking I have the "most update" whatever to do whatever, tranfer doc to dvd's or cd's. Heaven forbid anyone to provide information as it's sacred. am told DVD's hold more info, slide the dvd in.. oh, turns out my "HARD DRIVE only does CD"--- yes, I would love a class in pc 101... where can I find it.. and now i see drives vs writers.. what's the difference there???? please help
What would you like to know , your post is very confusing , rambling almost. Hard drive only does cd , what is ment by that? Drives vs writers again are you asking a specific question? Are you rerferring to dvd read vs write ?
If you would like to ask specific questions I would be happy to answer them. The information that I have is for whoever wants it and it's free.
1) check your local library for PC classes. Many retirement homes are also excellent places to take PC classes and will often take non-retirees. Also check for after school and adult programs. I know locally we have a catholic high school that has some great entry level computer classes for dirt cheap, so if you are interested and live in the Cincinnati area then PM me and I will get you their information.
2) NOBODY except for die-hard archivists burn files to CD or DVD or Blue Ray anymore. It is much more convienant to buy a $5-20 USB flash drive and copy files to that. There are also things like Microsoft's Sky Drive which is 25GB of free online storage which you could then access through any computer with an internet connection..
3) Here is a break down of different storage mediums and their sizes:
Optical Media: These are on CD style removable platters, very slow, prone to scratches, but will last 1000 years if you leave it in a safe place. Optical media is handy in that it is the only media immune to EMP effects (nuclear warfare and solar flares), so while it is slow and small it is also the most sought after media for archivists as it is least likely to have issues in the event of a catastrophe. The best optical media is write-once only, but there are rewriteable discs available, just don't expect a rewriteable disc to be readable in all PCs as they are difficult to read. As you mentioned, there are readers, and there are burners. Readers will only read media, while burners will read and write media. Just because a drive will read a media does not mean that it will write to it. For example, I have a drive in my PC that will read CD, DVD, and blue ray, but it will only burn/write to CD and DVD. Many CD burners will also read DVD, but not all of them.
CD's hold between 550-800MB of data (750MB typical).
DVDs hold 4.7GB for single layer media, and 9GB for duel layer.
DVD Duel layer doubble sided media (assuming you can find it anymore) will hold ~17GB.
Blue Ray media will hold 25GB per layer, and will go up to 4 layers for a total of 100GB, but most blue ray media is 25 or 50GB
Flash Drives: These are typically much faster than CDs, and can be reused many times, however they are prone to occasional corruption if not taken care of properly, and have a shelf life of ~5 years so it is not a good long term storage medium, but great for everyday use.
USB and Fake USB2: These are the cheap $5 drives that you can get just about anywhere and range in size from 1GB-8GB. They are about the same speed as a CD, but more convienent.
USB2 drives: Range in size from 1-128GB, most drives cost ~$15-30, and will generally saturate the USB2 interface at 25MB/s read, but may have slow write times (~5MB/s)
High end USB2 drives: Cost more, but write just as fast as they read
USB3 drives: Can read ~100+MB/s, though write times are much slower. You will obviously need a brand new PC with a USB3 port to take advantage of the speed of these devices.
Hard Drives and SSDs: Like your HDD that is inside of your PC but they connect via USB2/3, eSATA, or Firewire, and soon to have thunderbolt/lightpeak capability. These are typically about as fast as a good flash drive, but have much larger capacities and more connectivity options.
HDDs Range in size from 80GB-4TB, generally fast enough to max out USB2 and Firewire400, but will typically not max out USB3, firewire800, eSATA, or thunderbolt. HDDs have a long shelf life if left off, and will hold information for 10-100 years if left alone.
SSDs range in size from 60GB-512GB and will max out the throughput on most connections. You also pay through the nose to buy these . SSDs have a short shelf life of only 1-2 years if left unplugged, so be sure to use it regularly for best results.
Typically slower than other modern media due to the limitations of your internet connection, but you can access it anywhere you have internet, and the files are well protected from any kind of corruption or data loss. Some online services (specifically Google) will force you to turn over the copyright of anything that you place on their free servers, while others like Sky Drive have tighter size limitations, but without the privacy issues. They also now allow you to share files and make things available to other people with similar cloud services which makes it an excellent way to share things like music and videos which are otherwise a pain to share without torrent or an FTP server.
You mentioned that this is for a work machine, so check with your boss about your work's data policy before copying work media and bringing it home with you as that is often grounds for quickly finding yourself unemployed.