By Lewis Ebanks
What an optical drive is
In computing, an optical disc drive (ODD) is a disk drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves within or near the visible light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs.
Why do we need an optical drive?
The main reasons we used to need an optical drive were for installing applications (including games), playing DVD movies, and burning backup discs. Thanks to painfully overenthusiastic DRM, games are much easier to download and install via an online service such as Steam; the same goes for many apps (including the ones we use frequently, including OpenOffice, Reason, and Pro Tools LE).