Nowadays, most of us seldom use our optical drives since everything is downloaded. If you'd like to see your optical drive get some love, turn it into an iPod dock with some scissors and an old CD, while still keeping it usable.
This mod is pretty easy; you likely won't need any extra materials since it mainly involves cutting up an old or blank CD and putting that together with the plastic docker that came with your iPod. Small wire cutters are probably the easiest way to go about cutting up the CD, although anything you have lying around should work—though you might go through more than one before you get it right. You won't be doing anything to the drive itself, so you'll still be able to use it on those few occasions that you need to install some software or rip a CD.
After cutting up the CD to fit the docker, you just need to tape the docker on and put your new contraption into the CD tray. Note that you'll need to make sure your computer doesn't close the tray automatically after being open for awhile or when you shut down, as this will make a mess of your dock and iPod cable. Otherwise, though, it should make a nifty little dock for your iPod (certainly much cheaper than the one Apple sells), and give some use to your likely dusty, unused optical drive. Hit the link for the full instructions, and let us know what you think of this mod in the comments.
DVD Drive iPod Dock [Instructables]