My Dad wants a cheap low end CD burner to store pictures. I know very little about CD burners (being on dialup, its a non issue, you know?), so I thought I'd ask what would be good.
Basically, the best option for me is to walk into the local radio shack / computer dealer (I don't know how he runs both businesses separately...) and buy the cheapest one there. However, I worry about Arch Linux support, can anybody tell me if there are any burners I should avoid?
well as long as it is a brand that you have heard of and has decent speeds then you should have no troubles with it working in any linux (well except for maybe mandrake because they are infamous for breaking support for devices that ARE supported (damn patching)).
cdr/w's are pretty much the same. if you are paying more for a drive then theoretically you should get more life out of it because it generally means that the laser and such would be of better quality (ie take a look at some of the dvd burners you have you cheap no names that cost under 150 or so then you have name brands such as sony that might have the same specs speed and capability wise but cost 50 or more dollars more.. this is because Sony uses very high quality parts compared to the generic brand who's goal is to build lots of devices cheaply and make money more on volume than on name.)
I am not your friend
I have 2 liteon, one DVD+RW and a normal reader, and both work fine (the reader was extra cheap, so it makes some noice, but both work fine on arch).
And where were all the sportsmen who always pulled you though?
They're all resting down in Cornwall
writing up their memoirs for a paper-back edition
of the Boy Scout Manual.
Plextors and Lite-Ons are highly regarded, but I don't really know about the brands to avoid. Most of the discussions/rating sites I've looked at focus on the drive's capabilities with audio, not so much with data disks. My Dell Dimension came with an NEC CD/RW drive and it has worked fine. I don't think there are very many companies that actually manufacture their own CD/RW drives ... most of them are rebranded. I'm not sure that even Sony actually manufactures them. My Sony laptop is getting pretty long in the tooth now, but I was surprised after I bought it to discover that its specially-customized CD/RW drive was actually manufactured by Toshiba.
What you really want to watch out for is the CD-R blanks -- buying really cheap off-brand blanks is probably the fastest route to data loss. Having said that, "brand name" is almost meaningless with regard to blank media because they are all rebranded. There are only a handful of plants worldwide. What the experts seem to agree are the highest quality discs are manufactured by Taiyo-Yuden in Japan. In the U.S., you can find their discs under the FujiFilm label, generally available at Comp USA and sometimes Best Buy. But FujiFilm also sells blanks with very similar packaging made in Taiwan, so you really have to read the labels. Watch for blanks "made in Japan" under any brand and pay extra for them over those manufactured in Taiwan or Mexico.
"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." - S. Jackson
Burner-wise, there really aren't any brands to avoid. I've had a no-name writer for a few years now, and it works just as well as the Sony in my other box. Just look for software that comes with it. The only really cheap ones are bundled with unrelated software or nothing at all.
If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience.
- John Cage
I don't think the software matters; how many come with Linux software?
Thanks for all the advice, sounds like I'll be safe with a cheapo, and won't have to return it.