SUMMARY: CD-ROM Recording on unix.

From: Morten Krabbe Barfoed (
Date: Wed Jul 13 1994 - 20:03:27 CDT

My original posting:

.Dear sunmanagers.
.I'm looking for software that will help me producing
.my own CD-ROM's, off a SUN SPARC-2 running SunOS-4.1.3.
.Some time ago, looked for some-
.thing similar in this forum, and reading the answers she
.got has been helpfull. Still, things change fast, and new
.experience is likely to exist.
.To sum up my what I've learned so far:
. There's one basic problem in writing to a CD-Recorder
. from a unix-system. It is, that the CD-Recorder expects
. data to come at a steady uninterrupted rate, for the
. whole recording-session. A multi-tasking system like
. unix cannot in any normal operation-mode guarantee a
. steady transfer-rate. To do that, one will probably
. have to switch to single-user mode.
. So basically, some kind of work around this problem is
. required for the unix to CDR-connection.
. Three different approaches may be tried:
. a: Buy a PC. Connect it to the unix-system by net. Buy
. a big disk for the PC (>=1Gbyte), and sw for the
. PC. Transfer data to the PC via the net. Create the
. socalled image-file (the chunk of data that will
. eventually be written to the CD-ROM). Remove the PC's
. connection to the net, and stop any TSR-processes.
. Write to the CD-Recorder.
. b: Do like Young Minds: build a big box, with a big disk
. inside it, to place between the unix-system and the
. CD-Recorder.
. c: Do like RICOH: build a buffer-disk into the CD-Recorder.
. Another problem is that of file-system type. I'll not touch
. upon it here, but it is a smaller problem than the above-one
. for the unix-lovers.
.My questions are:
.1: Are there other smart ways to do it ?
.2: I'd like to hear what experiences people have with the
. above solutions: time to build CDROM's, problems related
. to software-bugs, special things to look out for.
.3: Finally; experiences with the products (both hardware and
. software):
. - Young Minds international.
. - Software from Dataware with the RICOH-recorder.
. - GEAR-software.
. - Pinnacle.
. - others.

.A summary will be posted.

And now the summary:

1: No other smart ways of doing it have been suggested !

2: One answer concerning time-usage: Gordon Lentz (

"We use YMi. No problems with software -- well developed and tested. Latest
version allows mounting the CD-Studio disk (with your premastered image)
as a CD-ROM so you can check out in detail before actually cutting the CD.
One hardware failure (SCSI board in CD-Studio went out -- replaced on 4-day
turnaround). GUI easy to use. Their cd-link and cd-copy programs (included)]
have proved useful in allowing a foreign (e.g. HP) unix machine to easily
reconstruct the original Unix names to an ISO-conformant CD. We also use
them internally. They don't preserve permissions, etc, though -- for that
you need their Portable-File-System option.

Only system (when we got it) that could provide (i) vanilla (completely-con-
formant) ISO-9660, (ii) ISO with RockRidge extensions or (iii) Unix file-systems
on demand in a double-speed writer (there may be more now -- we've had ours >1

Never written a bad CD (Errr - except those whose format we screwed up our-
selves). We make disks with experiment data for colleagues in Europe, Canada,
England, and the National Space Sciences Data Center etc. who use HP, DEC (VMS
and Ultrix) and IBM systems and no one has complained about not being able
to read our (ISO-966 conformant) CDs.

Premaster speed depends on activity on the server (we use a SPARC 4/390 or
a SPARC-1 or 4/330 through the net) and net activity. Largest disk I have
made was 661MB; premaster time about 33 minutes, cutting time about 22 minutes.
Additional copies at the 22-minute speed."

3: Out of 6 answers, 4 concerned Young Minds (and all were content), one concerned
   GEAR and one mentioned that more the SPARC Products CD (document ?) might contain
   some valuable information.

   One has experienced some problems with the GEAR-software: He has a Kodak
   recorder, and GEAR-software on a SPARC10. One problem is an incompatibi-
   lity between a GEAR-driver (gear-sn-driver) and the ethernet-driver (ledma).
   Another is performance. Even in single-usermode, the performance of the
   SPARC10 is reported to be insufficient. I didn't know how to advise
   him, but if you have some advises, mail them to me, I'll forward them.

In general, it seems that Young Minds is by far the most used product, even
though it is very expensive, and that people are satisfied with it. Nobody
has complained about quality.

I was surprised NOT to get any answers concerning the software from Dataware,
or the RICOH-recorder. Furthermore I was sorry to hear about the problems with
the GEAR-software. Can it really be ?? Does it reflect that experiences are
relatively few ??

Thanks to:

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