SUMMARY: CD-R WRITER recommendations?

Date: Wed Apr 03 1996 - 07:53:35 CST

Here is the summary of answers to my question:

> From:
> Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 11:35:44 -0500
> To:
> Subject: CD-R WRITER recommendations?
> We're contemplating buying a CD-R writer, and it looks like the
> most difficult question is software.
> The only recommendation I have so far is from my local hardware
> vendor, who sent me a FAX on something called GEAR for UNIX, by
> Elektroson.
> I would like to author multi-session disks and then actually read
> them, so if anyone knows whether Solaris 2.5 does that successfully,
> that would be nice to know.
> But mostly I would like to hear people's experiences with WRITER
> software, and WRITER hardware/software combinations.


And the answer, in summary, is:

     3 good experiences with Young Minds software
     2 good experiences with GEAR
     1 bad experience with GEAR [details enclosed]
     1 terrible experience with Young Minds [author requested not to be quoted]

     1 response stating that Solaris has no firm plans for multi-session
        driver support, and that Linux already has it.

My thanks to the responders for their reports. I will omit their names from
the acknowledgements because at least one of you wished to remain anonymous.
You know who you are.

Liudvikas Bukys
University of Rochester
Computer Science Department
734 Computer Studies Building
Rochester, NY 14627-0226

tel# 716-275-7747
fax# 716-461-2018



The details:


We have had a CD mastering system from Young Minds that we purchased over a year
ago. We are pretty pleased with it. We can cut CD's that are readable in
most all of our platforms (mostly SUN). Ours does not support multisessions,
but I am resonably sure you can get a system that supports it.


At a previous job I use a Young Minds, Inc. CD writer, and was reasonably
happy with the software (YMI repackages other peoples writer's with their
software and sells the bundle).


As luck would have it I am testing a copy of GEAR on my
Suns as we speak. The product is GEAR Multi Media Version 3.24
and I am testing it on a SPARCstation 10 running Sunos 4.1.3.

We're using GEAR with a Yamaha CDR100 II recorder.

So far the product has not met our needs. Although me to explain
what these needs are.

As part of doing business we generate some *very* large Cadence
databaseses, Cadence being a certain notorious CAEE package. Our
goal is to dump these databases to CD thus freeing disk space.

What we need is a package that lets us dump a files system, or
sub-tree of a file system to CD-R disk. We then need to mount
that CD as you normally would, e.g.

        # mount -rt hsfs /dev/sr0 /cdrom

and thus see it as a normal, although, directory.

Even using the Rock Ridge extension feature provided by GEAR I
have not as yet been able to mount a burned CD-R disk.

Tech support from GEAR has been underwhelming. I find them to
be hard to contact, that is, lots of time on hold.

Once I do connect with a tech support person, they are in
the main courteous and they try to be helpful. I get the impression
their main focus is the PC world. I can also see their eyes
glaze over when I mention that I working in a UNIX environment.

E-mail is generally answered in a timely manner, but that it an
awkward medium at best for getting tech support.

GEAR was purported to us to be able to function as an ordinary
CD-ROM and was also supposed to support multiple-sessions and

When asked directly about these two items however it seems that
multi-sessions really aren't supported because "your UNIX device
drivers were written in the age of dinosaurs." And it turns
out GEAR can't use our Yamaha as an ordinary CD-ROM.

To sum up, I'm glad we're demo-ing this package before plunking
down some big bucks. I highly recommend you do the same.


[One terrible experience with Young Mind's MakeDisc and a Yamaha cd-writer.
Basically: produced corrupted files, and a lot of mailing the unit around.
Followed by a no-flaw good experience using an HP SureStore on a PC under Linux.
I am not quoting the details at the author's request, as he sent it to
me only as a warning about one bad experience, that may or may not be
a representative sample.]


I strongly recommend the product offered by Young Minds, Inc. They've got
a software/hardware solution that is very robust, easy to install, and
provides a long list of options for different platforms and different


I've been cutting disks with the GEAR software without any problems. (Even
when we do the silly bit of burning an image that's nfs mounted across the
network from the machine w/ the burner!). At some point, I'll probably RTFM
so I can take advantage of some of the more complex features, but for burning
straightforward CD-ROM's it's been painless.


I think GEAR is the only thing out there. We use it in house with
a bunch of Yamaha writers.


No version of SunOS handles multi-session CD's, Sun has no firm plans
to implement a multi-session device driver, and I am not aware of
any third-party replacements.

Linux works fine, though. :-)


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