Wedding and event videos fall squarely in this category. No bride will be okay with spending $1,500 for a Vimeo link.
And a bride can't use a USB drive (which hold much more than a DVD and can be copies far easier)? If the requirement is that they must have a DVD, a Pro can get a USB/Firewire/TB one.
I comprehensively covered this earlier in the thread, but it's not just the drive - it's that video format support isn't exactly a guarantee, and that USB flash drives are signficantly more expensive than a single DVD (and most 32GB flash drives are, at best, at cost parity with a single Blu-Ray disc). Yes, external burners are basically the answer here, but the problem here is that the newer Mac Pro units seem to have quite the laundry list of requirements of external hardware as opposed to even the previous design.
Just because we don't burn mix CDs anymore or use them for backup devices doesn't mean that the optical drive is dead. It's a niche, but it's not dead.
I never said that there was absolutely ZERO need to use discs. I said most people don't use them these days including pros. So why include it? I saw MBs with printer ports more than a decade after you could buy a printer than needed that port. Also lots of them have PS/2 connectors still.
For Pros that do need a burner tend to use more professional ones than you can get in a computer. Dedicated duplicators are more common with pros than a computer burner.
In context, MB = MacBook? I'm not sure, but I'd argue this point regardless. I worked at Staples in 2002, and that is when printers tended to be hybrid, having both parallel and USB ports. So, let's assume that 2002 was the last year that retail printers used parallel ports, and 2003 was the year of USB exclusivity on the printer. Your 'decade after' mark means that Macbooks should have had parallel ports in 2012, but my research indicates that no Macbook (i.e Intel-based Mac) has ever had a parallel port; even my HP dv9000 series laptop from 2006 was all USB. As for dedicated duplicators, they're great, but they still need an initial burn somewhere. While I know that there are models out there will allow one or more drives to be used directly from the PC, many pros I know did the initial burn from the computer, and then a one-to-many duplication on a standalone unit. I'm not saying that that's the only way to do it, but I am saying that there's still a good reason to have just the bay available.
...and Apple was rather widely panned for doing so at the time. This was in large part due to the dearth of an alternative storage medium being included - you were either getting files around with a 56K modem, a USB ZIP drive, a USB Floppy drive, or VERY expensive 16MB flash drives that, in many cases, had slower write speeds than actual floppy disks. Floppies were passe, no doubt, but Apple should have been putting CD-RW drives in the iMac long before they actually did.
I don't know when you were around computers but Apple removed the floppy with the first iMac. And it had a CD-ROM as most other computers. It was years before CD-RWs much less blank discs were affordable. USB sticks were then becoming the standard for replacing floppies. Maybe on PC they lagged behind for years as it took PC manufacturers a while to embrace USB.
I was most certainly around during that time, and like I said - many people who bought the early iMacs were unhappy with that design decision. CD-RW drives were expensive around the very-first-gen models, but PCs started shipping with them as standard fare around that time, making the price of external drives go down pretty quickly. Blank CDs were $2-$4 each, but 4MB flash drives and CompactFlash cards were $40-$60 each; it was a long time before cost-per-megabyte of USB flash drives were favorable to optical media at the 650MB mark.
You also need storage space. HD video, art assets, high resolution multitrack audio projects, and CAD drawings aren't exactly compact forms of data, y'know.
And what stops you from using an expandable RAID network drive from a Mac Pro? Nothing. The problem with using the computer as the storage space is that you will constantly run out of physical space quickly.. And it does not lend itself for collaboration well.
That problem isn't nearly as much of a consideration when a trio of 4TB hard disks can be used as a RAID5 internally. Yes, archiving will need to be done in some form on a somewhat regular basis, but not on a per-project schedule. You're right that it doesn't lend itself to collaboration well, but collaboration isn't always an endgame, either. Moreover, technologies that are involved in sharing files that quickly between multiple computers get extremely expensive, extremely quickly, and don't scale down well to single-computer situations - even a Synology box costs a few hundred dollars, and you'll need to use one of those Thunderbolt ports for an ethernet adapter to handle the iSCSI traffic. External hard drives are a bit better of a bargain in those cases, but I'll be honest that I have no idea as to how well Apple supports RAID5 on a set of USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt disks.
That's a rather broad brush to paint with, especially since disk I/O over the LAN starts hitting a ceiling pretty quick. This would be easier to swallow if there were a PCI Express slot to add a 10GigE/Fiber/Infiniband card, but they did away with that, too.
That's why you don't run the files from the network. You bring them to your machine and use the PCIe SSDs as your workspace which is many times faster. Then you check them back into the network. Just like code. As for PCIe slot, Thunderbolt encompasses PCIe and USB and video.
Earlier, you were suggesting exactly that. Moreover, code gets big, but video gets bigger, faster. I'm sure that many coding projects end up being tens of gigabytes' worth of code and assets, but most of the things I see on Github are not.
That number is so small that there's an insignificant market for storage devices that can connect to them, right?
I assume by this statement you missed the point completely. I never said that no Pro ever needs storage. I said that for Pros (like a Pixar animator), they don't archive their work files on their personal workstations. They check out a file, bring onto their machines, then check it back in when they are done.
Pixar, and companies that have more than a handful of Macs and Mac users, will have some sort of EMC/3Par/NetApp/Equalogic system in place, simply because the number of jointly shared assets, and the space they require, will easily hit the internal disk ceiling you're talking about. I'm not talking about that kind of scenario, I'm talking about the kind of scenario where 8-12TB of available storage is a practical amount to have. Across Apple's product line, external drives seem to be becoming an ever more necessary add-on purchase, while the number of ports into which to plug them is dwindling.
And it makes more sense for Apple to make them an online-only product rather than waste shelf space on them in the store, right?
I also never said that online was the only option. That is your lack of understanding. I said "network" meaning corporate or local network. Many companies invest in things like RAID servers. And individuals can buy smaller versions of these.
The original statement made was: "the need to have personal drives only comes from a small percentage of pros". My rebuttal was that if higher amounts of storage weren't that big of a deal to the Apple market, then Apple wouldn't have several square feet of shelf space dedicated to external storage devices, and Promise and friends wouldn't be selling Thunderbolt RAID arrays for a thousand bucks a pop. 256GB of storage is plenty for the Apple users who spend most of their time on Facebook and iTunes and iPhoto, but those are not the users to whom the Mac Pro is marketed. Those for whom the Mac Pro is marketed, should not, in my opinion, be relegated to having to spend several hundred dollars on external storage solutions when PCs at 1/5th the price pack a terabyte as standard equipment with room to grow.