Just got the latest PC Magazine and I note that my
table of CD/DVD acronyms (plagarized from PC World)
is already out of date. :-)
Now we have CD-MRW where the M refers to Mount Ranier.
Although "there have been no specific announcements
of DVD+MRW drives yet, Phillips recently proposed
an addition ...
The Sony DRU-500A apparently ships with Mount Ranier.
(The Mount Ranier format put a Main defect table in
the Lead-in area (area outside the data area) and a
copy of the defect table in the lead-out area.It
also sets aside some space in the data area as
a "replacement area" where date which would have
landed in a bad block is put. The price is somewhat
slower reads/writes and slightly reduced capacity.
The gain is reliability. Non-MRW drives will need
custom software to read MRW data.)
I have started coming recently and I am very happy with the meeting format
I would be very interested in the security-type Linux discussions and demos,
including related product demos and breakin & fixit seminars.
I had a family emergency this past week which kept me away in November.
I already know that a must-attend company Christmas party will keep me from
the December meeting.
I am looking forward to the January meeting,
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This drive (Sony) currently is not 100% supported by the dvdrtools package. The DVD+R and +RW portion works, but not the -R -RW. The authors of dvdrtools have not yet added support or figured out the firmware (specs? what specs?)
The "dash" formats for this drive *may* burn from the non-free dvdrecord-pro package (same author as cdrecord). I saw one report of success.
If you're looking for a DVD recorder for Linux, the Pioneer DVR-XXX line is the best supported (I have a DVR-104 which is the OEM ver of DVR-A04). These are DVD-R/-RW burners, with the -105 model now supporting 4X DVD-R.
For backups you won't care about DVD-R's greater compatability with DVD-Video... but you might care about greater compatability with DVD-ROM readers (you wouldn't want to restore from the burner as the read speed won't match a speedy ROM drive like Pioneer DVD-117).
The other benefit to -R/-RW is media price: the "dash" formats typically cost half what the "plus" formats. I pay 60 cents each for a 100-DVD spindle from Meritline.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert L Krawitz [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Friday, November 22, 2002 9:23 PM
> To: discuss(a)blu.org; wlug(a)mail.wlug.org
> Subject: DVD writer
> I'm thinking of getting a DVD writer. My primary intention is to use
> it for system backups; CD's just don't cut it any more (with about 18
> GB and 11 GB respectively on my two systems). The Sony DRU-500A looks
> like a rather interesting one, supporting a lot of formats. Any
> comments on that vs. any of the others out there? This is for a pure
> Linux system.
> Robert Krawitz
> Tall Clubs International -- http://www.tall.org/ or 1-888-IM-TALL-2
> Member of the League for Programming Freedom -- mail lpf(a)uunet.uu.net
> Project lead for Gimp Print -- http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net
> "Linux doesn't dictate how I work, I dictate how Linux works."
> --Eric Crampton
> Discuss mailing list
Good article in the washington post
By Rob Pegoraro
Sunday, December 1, 2002; Page H07
Over the past few weeks, I've installed Linux on three computers
without breaking into fits of cursing. That's a novel development in
my experience with this open-source operating system.
The version I've been using is Red Hat Linux 8.0, shipped by Raleigh,
N.C.-based Red Hat in late September. This is the first Linux
distribution I've tried that hasn't made me feel as if I'm about to
step on a rake and have its handle swing into my face.
Parts of this are still infuriatingly convoluted, but if you've been
thinking about trying out Linux on part of your hard drive -- or about
dumping Windows entirely -- this is what I'd recommend.
Why would you want to do that?
One, Linux is cheap or free -- your choice. The personal edition of
Red Hat 8 sells for $40 in stores, or you can download three CDs'
worth at no charge (www.redhat.com). Nearly all Linux programs are
also free to use.
Two, Linux is free in another way: "Open source" means anybody can
look at a program's code and tinker with it.
Three, if you are inclined to tinker and try out new programs, Linux
can be an interesting place. It's one of the most customizable
operating systems, and quite a few Linux development projects -- for
example, DVD playback -- seem to be hitting their stride.
Four, while Linux has plenty of bugs and security issues, it is
virus-free compared with Windows.
All these qualities come with trade-offs, the big one being an often
agonizing inscrutability. Red Hat 8 doesn't abolish these shortcomings
but does bring them to a more manageable level.
Its installation is quick and clean. Notwithstanding a clumsy
disk-setup module (either partition your hard drive with another
program or be prepared to wipe it clean), you can blithely go with the
default settings and have a working desktop in less than 45 minutes.
That includes functioning audio and video hardware, something beyond
my reach in earlier Linux experiments. On each of three test PCs -- an
old IBM desktop, a moderately recent IBM ThinkPad T21 and a brand-new
Hewlett-Packard Media Center PC -- Red Hat 8 automatically and
correctly set up the sound and graphics cards.
It then accepted a digital-subscriber-line or office-network
connection with no more configuration than Windows would require, and
with the proper firewall protection enabled by default.
A modem connection, unfortunately but predictably, was out of the
question. Most PCs' internal modems require some fairly complicated,
proprietary Windows software to function, and many manufacturers don't
offer Linux versions of this software or documentation that would let
other programmers handle the job.
Red Hat 8 also couldn't do anything with the USB 2.0 ports on the HP,
although it's supposed to support them.
Red Hat 8's biggest departure from Linux convention is in its look.
The company replaced the usual Linux front end with its own
streamlined "Bluecurve" interface, which looks vaguely like Windows XP
scrubbed of the neon colors. It also swept the system task bar and
menu largely free of redundant or useless extras, although it lacks a
simple way to edit the layout of those menus (say, if you'd like to
consolidate the five or so system-options entries).
Red Hat's software bundle focuses on the basics: the excellent Mozilla
Web browser, the OpenOffice productivity suite (which read all of the
Microsoft Office files I tried), and Evolution, an application
featuring e-mail, an address book and a calendar that feels like a
simplified version of Microsoft Outlook.
What you won't find, however, is multimedia capability beyond a few
image viewers and editors. Red Hat 8 ships without any way to play MP3
files, let alone create them. The company says it's concerned about
the MP3 format's licensing requirements, but those issues haven't
stopped other Linux distributions from including MP3 software. (Red
Hat 8 does support an open-source music format called Ogg Vorbis, but
its CD-ripping program isn't set up by default to use it.)
MP3 software isn't hard to find and install in the "RPM" download
format Red Hat developed, but you have to know where to look.
And that's the thing: Red Hat 8 gets enough of the basics right to let
you go online without injuring yourself (well, provided you don't need
a modem). It could serve somebody well as a basic Web, e-mail and
word-processing desktop. But going beyond the basics requires a
willingness to learn.
For instance, Red Hat 8's included digital-camera program took hours
of tweaking before it would intermittently download pictures from a
Canon S100 digital camera. I still can't get the Pilot-Link program to
work with a Sony Clie handheld, although an upcoming release is
supposed to fix that.
Non-RPM software installs, which require mastering command-line
syntax, are another problem. Sometimes things work out -- copying and
pasting the right commands had the ThinkPad playing back a DVD in
about half an hour -- and at other times you're stymied by missing or
mismatched files. And many add-on programs, unlike Red Hat's core
software, come with clumsy, user-hostile interfaces designed by
programmers for other programmers.
Ultimately, there's no substitute for personal help from a Linux
veteran, whether online or in a local user group.
All this self-inflicted effort might seem like a big waste of time.
Then again, so can cooking, woodworking, collecting baseball cards or
many other things people do to amuse themselves, and without getting a
working PC in the process.
Living with technology, or trying to? E-mail Rob Pegoraro at
Karl Hiramoto <karl(a)hiramoto.org>
Work: 978-425-2090 ext 25
Personal web page: http://karl.hiramoto.org/
Zoop Productions: http://www.zoop.org/
KTEQ Rapid City: http://www.kteq.org/
AOL IM ID = KarlH420 Yahoo_IM = karl_hiramoto
I have more hit points that you can possible imagine.
I was a little disappointed at the turnout from the last WLUG meeting. We had
8 or 9 people show up, and while we did have a good time watching Scott and
Doug get a couple of scanners working under Linux, it would have been alot
more fun with more people in attendance. I believe this was the lowest
attendance we've seen at a WLUG meeting in our 5.5 year history. :-(
We discussed possible reasons for the low attendance at the Boynton over a few
One suggestion was that I should update the WLUG website to show what we have
done at past meetings so people wouldn't think that nothing was accomplished.
I've done that and will endeavor to keep that part of the WLUG website
current (see "Past Meeting Information").
Another thought was that some people will only come to a meeting if the topic
looks interesting to them, and if it is announced well in advance. I must
admit to having been somewhat lax in that area lately.
Therefore, in an attempt to remedy that (at least for this month), I'm putting
out the call now for a speaker and a topic for the Dec. 12th meeting (its
coming up fast!). I sent out a list of potential topics last month, but I
know that there are a zilliion interesting things happening in the Linux
world that could be discussed at a WLUG meeting.
The meeting need not be discussion based, either! Although Kinnicutt Hall
lends itself well to this type of meeting, we do have access to other rooms
People have tossed out ideas such as these:
o build a network for multiplayer Linux games
o build a network to see if WLUG crackers can break into your system (not to
destroy it, but to teach you what to fix to secure your system)
o more live demos!
The group exists to meet your needs, so please, state your needs! I can't
arrange a meeting to your liking if I get no feedback on what you want to see
at future WLUG meetings.
More importantly, I'd like to see more and different people volunteer to do
the presentations or to run a live demo. If you look back at the last year
of WLUG meetings, you'll see the same names many times. While I'm *quite*
happy that these folks continue to volunteer, I'd like to see others jump in
Finally, if anybody has feedback regarding the last meeting and why it lacked
attendees, please bring it up on the list so we can all discuss it. Without
such candid discussions, WLUG cannot improve.
Andy Stewart, Founder
Worcester Linux Users' Group
Worcester, MA USA