I'm looking for a book on different types of discs- cd's cd-rs cd-rw dvd's dvd-rs dvd-rws and what each is best for. can you help please
I can answer a few of your questions here: CD and DVD are simply abbreviations for different types of discs: Compact Discs, and Digital Versatile Discs (some say Digital Video Discs) respectively. These are both formats where lasers are used to store infromation on a reflective disc so your computer, stereo, or video player can read it. It depends on what type of data is stored as to what machine will read your disc.
The CDs and DVDs you buy at the store to play on your stereo or video player already have information pressed onto them - the audio or the video you want to see or hear. CDs hold less information (being older technology) so are better for audio formats and DVDs are usually used for video. But both can also hold computer data.
CD-R and DVD-R are formats where the R stands for recordable. They start out as blank so users can use their computer to write data onto them. Once you write (or 'burn') your data to the disc then the CD-Rs and DVD-Rs are set, and you can't change anything on them.
CD-RW and DVD-RW are the sort of the same thing, but in this case the RW stands for rewritable. On these discs you can erase your old data and rewrite new data to them. Otherwise they work much like the R discs.
Later computers usually have DVD drives in them. Many come with drives able to burn a DVD or CD, but not all. In general any drive than can play a DVD will have no trouble with a CD. However, CD drives cannot play DVDs since DVDs are newer technology.
Here are a couple of books that go in more detail, linked to our catalog:
CD-R/DVD : disc recording demystified / by Lee Purcell,
and an older book on CDs specifically:
Hewlett-Packard official recordable CD handbook / by Mark L. Chambers.
Thanks for your question!