Apple clears up an important issue: The difference between discs and disks

In an interesting knowledge base article, Apple clears up one of the age old computing confusions. Namely, what is the difference between a disc and a disk?

In an interesting knowledge base article, Apple clears up one of the age old computing confusions. Namely, what is the difference between a disc and a disk? While there is no ground-breaking revelations in the article, I found it to be noteworthy. Often computer terms are mixed up or misused. Using the proper language when diagnosing issues can be the difference between hours of work. How many times have you heard someone say they couldn't connect to "the Google"?

What is a disc?
Discs are optical media such as an audio CD, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM (or RAM), or a DVD-video disc. Discs also include recordable media, such as CD-R and DVD-R. All discs are removable, meaning they eject from your Mac.

What is a disk?
Disks are magnetic media, like your built-in hard disk. Disks also refer to external hard drives and are always rewritable, unless otherwise protected with software. Disks can be partitioned into smaller sections and be given different functions.

So, the next time you are having an issue with a DVD that is not playing, you will be able to tell the Genius at the Apple Store that your d-i-s-c is not playing properly. Or, if your internal hard drive is acting up, you can tell AppleCare that you seem to be having a d-i-s-k problem. Obviously, this is primarily useful when writing about your issues, so when you log on to the Apple Support Discussions forums or the CNET Mac Forums to describe your problems to other Mac users, be sure to use the proper terms!


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About the author

    Joe is a seasoned Mac veteran with years of experience on the platform. He reports on Macs, iPods, iPhones and anything else Apple sells. He even has worked in Apple retail stores. He's also a creative professional who knows how to use a Mac to get the job done.

     

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