A new laser diode driver from National Semiconductor is being touted as the "industry's fastest, lowest noise laser diode driver for optical disk drives." The LMH6533 features 0.5 nsec switching rates with 16x write and 8x rewrite speeds. It also reportedly achieves noise levels of 0.5 nA/(square root of Hz). To learn more, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/3855-524.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.