[conspire] Help- DVD HW for writing, & Emprex $60 16x Dual +-R/+-RW Double Layer @ Frys

Ross Bernheim rossbernheim at speakeasy.net
Sat Apr 30 07:18:18 PDT 2005

On Apr 30, 2005, at 1:43 AM, Hereon wrote:

> Is the Emprex drive on sale at Frys suitable for Linux uses?
> I want to use a DVD for backup storage - both of my data files, and for
> videos (mpg, or DVD encoding) of length up to GBs.
> I don't currently care much about playing video DVDs, but I guess I'd
> like to ensure that whatever DVD HW I get has that ability.
> (Should I also be looking for the ability of the DVD HW to back up DVDs
> I purchase?)
> Frys has the Emprex $60 16x Dual +-R/+-RW Double Layer on sale this
> weekend.
> (Note this brand isn't listed on the HW compatibility list below.)
> Is that known to be appropriate or not? (for linux, of course.)
> This will be to take data off my Sony Vaio laptop, which has a firewire
> IEEE1394 port, and USB 1.

Since you won't be booting from the DVD some things get a bit simpler.
The support for external drives usually is loaded well into the boot
process so that it is difficult to get a machine to boot from an 
drive without a lot of jumping through hoops as it were.

The IEEE1394 or firewire is an excellent way to go for hooking an
external DVD or hard drive to a linux box. The negative is that it is
generally a bit more expensive than USB 2.0. If you do video, firewire
has the advantage of higher sustained transfer speed and the ability
to prioritize the video so that you don't get dropped frames.

Firewire enclosures are mostly firewire/USB 2.0 these days as adding
the USB 2.0 interface is a minimal cost. Look for the Oxford 911 chip 
the firewire interface as this is the gold standard.

> I'm thinking I might like to get an external box w/ power supply, which
> can hold both a DVD write capable unit, with two drive spaces, so later
> on I can add a n*100 GB hard disk.

I have not seen external firewire cases that hold two drives commonly. 
most firewire external cases usually have two connectors so that you can
daisy-chain multiple drives. Also available are PCI cards that come with
multiple firewire connectors and there are external firewire hubs 
as well. For convenience I have a firewire hub hooked to my Mac with two
external firewire hard drives hooked to it as well as a DV bridge and my
iPod. The other firewire interface on my Mac is hooked to an audio to
firewire interface.

Most linux distros will need some tweaking to handle an external drive
though this is getting easier with the support being more common with
the newer kernels. The drives are usually treated as a SCSI drive using
a layer to make the transistion so that the excellent support for SCSI 
be used.

> What kind of electrical interface will the DVD drive have?
> What kind of electrical interfaces should I have in the external box 
> for
> the DVD & HD?

Most DVD drives will have an ide interface and the external drive box
will have a bridge that converts the ide to firewire or USB.


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