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invictius

Who remembers their furst cd burner/burning cd's?

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For me it was 1999 and blanks (74 minute ones, of course!) were $3.50 each. I met someone in high school and, since he was in the same suburb as me, I thought his setup (and house) would be really bare bones. I got there and it was anything but - geforce, 21" crt, several p2's (300's I think) and hundreds of burnt cd's. He'd charge $5 per cd BYO or $10 for him to supply it. He had a second phone line and just downloaded 24/7 on dialup (I didn't get adsl until late 2000, more on that in a bit). I remember him making a big deal of being able to use tv out on their 80cm tv in the lounge room.

I got my first cd burner later in the year and it was $500. I only had an allowance of 35 a week, but I sold a heap of video cards to raise the money that I got from this guy I knew (who gassed himself in his garage because he got caught selling burnt ps1 games and ripped off a serial killer in jail and saw offing himself as a better alternative I guess).

I remember when 80 minute cd's were a big thing, and significantly more expensive than 74's. I had quite a collection until april 2001, which is when the ex-lawyer I was living with got raided for CP (and 105 road signs that we liberated from around the state):





That was from earlier in the year, I don't have a photo of the newspaper report about the charges stating there were 105 of them.

When everyone found out my cd's had been seized (initially they thought I had some CP dealings but the police ended up just suspecting a copyright breach, people were really scared about being raided for selling cd's back then) eeeeverybody I knew threw out all their cd's in the rubbish.

Surely you guys have some stories about your first cd burning from earlier than me.

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I jumped straight from audio tapes and floppy disks to digital, when it comes to piracy.

At the time my cousin was editor-in-chief of a local gaming magazine which came bundled with one full game and a few demos each month, that was convenient.

To this day I still don't know how to burn a CD.

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Phml said:

To this day I still don't know how to burn a CD.

In newer versions of Windows it's as easy as dragging and dropping files, but it used to be a complete nightmare. Weird proprietary software and a good chance that the disc will simply not work at all, depending on the brand of the disc, the position of the moon in the sky, etc.

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The first time I saw a CD burner in action was at the house of a software pirate, back in 1995. The setup was complicated and expensive -a 486 DX/120 with 12 MB of RAM running Windows 3.11-based software, and a 2x SCSI-attached CD-R unit with a caddy.

Black CD-Rs were about $10-12 at the time in Greece, so it was pretty impressive to see that the guy had literally crates of them. He charged about $20 for a blank CD and something like 50c for each floppy for games, and $1 for each floppy for apps. Except for stuff that came into their own full CD-ROM, everything else was divided in "floppies" (usually .ARJ archives). Still have a couple of those premium CD-Rs O_o

Megalyth said:

In newer versions of Windows it's as easy as dragging and dropping files, but it used to be a complete nightmare. Weird proprietary software and a good chance that the disc will simply not work at all, depending on the brand of the disc, the position of the moon in the sky, etc.


I think that "drag and drop" software does more harm than good, in the case of CD-R. CD-R was not really meant as a "write/erase on demand" medium, like floppies, ZIPs or USB flash drives, and software that hides this fact, like e.g. "packet writing" or drag & drop interfaces just end up confusing newbies even more, or introducing incompatibilities.

Hence, you dp need proper CD-R mastering software in any case, to be able to have full control over CD-R features like sessions, file system, filename restrictions, write speed, etc. Hiding them from the user with trickery could be just as much a nightmare for whoever had to read the disk afterwards, especially for data exchange between different OSes.

I remember there was a pretty dark time (between 1999 and 2004) where CD-Rs had became just as cheap as they are today, yet there was still nothing better than floppies (for most people) as a R/W removable medium: Flash drives and memory cards were still at their infancy and expensive. Enter endless stacks of coaster CD-R burned just to hold a 1 MB or 2 MB file, with the session closed afterwards -_-

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I still have the first CD that I ever burned with my dad's iBook G4 back when I was 8. It was a strange mix, I don't think I had even the slightest concept of flow or harmony back then and just put a few songs I liked onto a CD.

Tracklist:
-Traffic: Glad
-Cake: The Distance
-DJ Shadow: Organ Donor
-Red Hot Chili Peppers: Around The World
-Johnny Cash: Rusty Cage
-Pavement: Starlings In The Slipstream

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I remember back in 2003 when I was 18, and I bought myself a entry-level compaq with the money I saved up from working in a warehouse. It had a cd-burner, and I would get stuff off my friends, limewire, Morpheus, and Kazaa. I would buy packs of blank CDs, and rip my own mix CDs that I would listen to on my portable CD player. I guess that was a more modern equivalent to making mix-cassesste. Nowadays, I don't even bother bringing an ipod with me, because I just use the youtube app on my Galaxy S4.

One thing I miss from that era is making Sharpie marker illustrations on the cover of the blank CDs.

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I burned a lot of CDs in middle school myself with the help of Windows Media Player. It was a very wasteful process since CD Rewritables were much more expensive, so I often made a lot of "Oops" CDs where the tracks were in the wrong order or didn't have all the songs I wanted, etc. But having CD's to listen to on my way to school was a nice thing.

I'm actually pretty surprised, most portable CD Players are still almost $30. I thought I was outdated for using an iPod, and now that everyone listens to music throgh youtube, pandora, grooveshark etc. CD's seem horribly fumbly and outdated. I always forgot to change the CD in my car so I was always stuck listening to the same 12-song album for months until I remembered to grab a new CD before I left the house. Cars are also dangerous territory to keep CDs from scratching.

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Eh, I used them very occasionally for making compilations for people, or for passing on big (for the time) chunks of data, but as a digital alternative to cassettes I much preferred mini-discs to CDRs - a more convenient medium in many ways, especially for transferring from analogue sources, and significantly more robust.

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Does anyone use blurays for data backup? When I had to start rar-ing files that were too large for dvd I ended up getting a blu-ray burner... that + external hard drives for redundancy - costs about double per gb, and from google searches on the subject it seems like joe average 6-pack only ever burns bluray movies. Is optical writable media on the way out?

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invictius said:

Does anyone use blurays for data backup?


I'm still using DVDs -say what you might, on the long term only stuff on CDs and DVDs outlived hard disk crashes, disk corruption, HD interface changes and system migrations.

However, for some reason Blu-ray hasn't become the next DVD-R for the masses -recorders and media are still expensive, and even readers aren't as universal as you'd think.

I don't know if optical as a whole is on the way out, but it surely seems to have hit a slump. Going into higher capacities would require multi-layered disks, or some sort of "UV-ray" disk to achieve higher densities.

What's worse, even solutions like tape backup are currently not competitive in terms of $ per GB with external HDs -then again I don't know how reliable those 2.5" external "backup" HDs are, the failure rate seems to be very high, and SSD storage is at a premium, being more suited for applications where you really need the random access R/W performance, not for storing tons of porn.

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It's funny how in the early 90's cd based games were not copy protected/region locked like panasonic 3do or amiga cd32 because cd burners were immensely expensive

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Making CDs in 1999 meant going to my dad's lab. Why he needed a CD burner in his lab is still a mystery to me. I don't think he ever used it. It took many tries to get a working copy of one of the Red Alert discs so we didn't have to keep lending them to each other just to play multiplayer.

Ever try playing CDs burnt in those days? I found one in my desk a friend gave me in high school. It looked like it had music from some anime or Japanese video games. I popped it in my drive and Winamp decided it was a Slackware 3.4 install disc! Did Slackware 3.4 even come on CDs?

My best friend's family had a lot more disposable income in the late 90s than they do now, so he had a zip drive starting in 1997. He eventually bought me one, but that ended up being just before flash drives became a thing, so it didn't see much use. The nice thing is after I suffered two HDD disasters in 2000 my friend found a pile of my old DOOM stuff on a zip disk recently.

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Waffenak said:

It's funny how in the early 90's cd based games were not copy protected/region locked like panasonic 3do or amiga cd32 because cd burners were immensely expensive


You can actually listen to Half-Life 1's music on a CD Player. I remember doing this with some of the PSX Twisted Metal games too.

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It was the year 2000, had some old ass IDE HP writer in a PII.
Did the whole music cd thing.
Used adaptec easy cd(coaster) creator in the beginning. Used CDR-WIN for yarred disc images.
Thing wrote slow as balls. Think max write speed was 4x.

Maes said:

I'm still using DVDs -say what you might, on the long term only stuff on CDs and DVDs outlived hard disk crashes, disk corruption, HD interface changes and system migrations.

However, for some reason Blu-ray hasn't become the next DVD-R for the masses -recorders and media are still expensive, and even readers aren't as universal as you'd think.

I don't know if optical as a whole is on the way out, but it surely seems to have hit a slump. Going into higher capacities would require multi-layered disks, or some sort of "UV-ray" disk to achieve higher densities.

What's worse, even solutions like tape backup are currently not competitive in terms of $ per GB with external HDs -then again I don't know how reliable those 2.5" external "backup" HDs are, the failure rate seems to be very high, and SSD storage is at a premium, being more suited for applications where you really need the random access R/W performance, not for storing tons of porn.


Optical drives are already dead. They're kept alive by consoles, the few that still buy cds & physical movies.

A 50gb blu-ray that costs $25 and takes forever to copy isn't an ideal backup solution when you can have large capacity drives instead.
Nobody buys SSD's for storage.

If you go mechanical, for files you're going to miss you want a backup and redundant backup. So in total three copies of that file floating around. Ideally the redundant is an off-site in a cloud service or some rented rackspace in a datacenter in case of fire, flood, earthquake, Hell on Earth, etc...
Some people even keep encrypted DVDs or HDD in a bank safety deposit box.

With DVD's you also want to use archival grade blank media for shit you're going to miss. Disc rot will occur on cheaper media. I had some burnt cds from back in the day left in their case in perfect condition and they're no longer readable because of that.

If you're a digital packrat that needs to keep every animu, pr0n, TV show, movie that you will watch only once anyway - dvd's are the cheapest solution but the biggest waste of time.

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I finally got a CD burner in 2002, from a computer shop along the walk from my apartment to the school I was working at that summer. At least a few of my friends already had writable drives for a few years at that point, so I had to either borrow theirs or make do with my Zip Drive.

I'm pretty sure one of the first discs I made on my own drive was the "high quality" music from http://www.doomworld.com/classicdoom/info/music.php :-)

It was only a year later I got a DVD writer. Damn thing cost me $300, and it didn't even do DVD+R discs (only DVD-R) :-P
I think I still have both drives, although the DVD burner was starting to flake out the last few times I tried it.

Aliotroph? said:
Did Slackware 3.4 even come on CDs?

Apparently. From the looks of it, it was mail-order only (no downloadable ISOs).

Waffenak said:
It's funny how in the early 90's cd based games were not copy protected/region locked like panasonic 3do or amiga cd32 because cd burners were immensely expensive

My thought in 1994 or so was "well, they finally solved software piracy. No one's going to be able to afford 650MB of drive space to store the data from the drive so they can copy it." :-P

Who else here originally played Doom II from the disc because they couldn't spare the 20MB of hard drive space?

invictius said:
Is optical writable media on the way out?

Probably. I considered getting a Blu-Ray burner for home movies, but then my parents got a WD TV Live (which is awesome since it plays pretty much everything) and my sister and brother-in-law got an Apple TV (which is less awesome since I have to convert stuff first, but at least the result is compatible with the WD and all my own devices) so I don't really see going to the effort of authoring for optical media anymore.

I still use DVDs for backups, though. They say writable discs can degrade over time, but I've never had a problem with it. Some discs I have are approaching 15 years old with no sign of bit rot (but then I started with good quality media and generally took good care of them)...

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40oz said:

You can actually listen to Half-Life 1's music on a CD Player. I remember doing this with some of the PSX Twisted Metal games too.

Hah! I used to do that with both Quake & Quake 2, plus the other way around with random music CD's (it would seem that Quake would play any audio CD & simply linked track numbers to levels).

The jump from floppies to CD burning was quite exciting for me. I used to use floppies for transferring anything & everything I wanted from one computer to another. The concept that I could suddenly start utilizing 700mb compared to a measly 3.1mb was practically the most exciting thing for me at the time I finally got a computer with a burner (granted, I was all of 13, but that was just the goddamn bees knees for me). I burned CD's left & right for the longest time. I even had a CD-RW disc that I would gleefully write, erase, and re-write as usable mass storage.

Then I got an MP3 player & a flash drive and suddenly the CD's hit a massive slump. Been that way pretty much ever since.

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Having worked in software development, I came in contact with this technology relatively early, ca. 1994/1995. The stuff was horrendously expensive and uncomfortable to use. Of course the best one could get was 1x burning speed...

Since we had to test our hardware's capabilities I had the unbelievable(!) chance to burn an audio CD for myself without paying for it! At the time a blank cost as much as a music CD in the store...

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Ragnor said:

The real question here is, how the fuck does a sign cost $7500

It wasn't a sign, it was five signs, according to that article. If they were all the same as this, custom made from stainless steel and large enough to use as a desk, they could easily cost $1500 each.

Edit: Also "furst", heh.

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Megalyth said:

It wasn't a sign, it was five signs, according to that article. If they were all the same as this, custom made from stainless steel and large enough to use as a desk, they could easily cost $1500 each.

Edit: Also "furst", heh.


They were a good few centimetres thick, and the bolts were non-standard, so we went into a sign shop and told them we had a washing machine that had screws on them similar to "those signs you see around" - and got the bit for a wrench. The funniest thing is someone at the council told them that prior to putting them up that if they didn't put caps on the bolts, that someone would come along and steal them... that person was my dad!

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I had a very early CD writer. It was made by Memorex, needed its own SCSI card and drivers, was very slow and incredibly temperamental. Looking at it the wrong way could completely mess up a write and actually deliberately messing with it during a write (e.g. cancelling) would lock up the whole computer.

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SYS said:

Optical drives are already dead. They're kept alive by consoles, the few that still buy cds & physical movies.


That sounds more like a localized market situation -in my neck of the woods music CDs and DVD movies are still going strong -think about it, what are the alternatives that DO NOT involve net connectivity, a landline, a subscription to a service etc. which might not be always present/convenient?

SYS said:

A 50gb blu-ray that costs $25 and takes forever to copy isn't an ideal backup solution when you can have large capacity drives instead.


They now cost significantly less (more like 20 Euros for a box of 10) but there's the problem of reader proliferation: lots of stuff will read DVD-R, especial in the budget range of DVD/MP4 players, very few will read Bluray.

In any case, even with non-archival grade media, so far I've been able to get at least 5 years out of each of them. Which is waaaay longer than the trouble-free period I've had with any HD, which on average doesn't exceed 2 years (if we exclude HDs built before the "20 GB era", everything build after the Western Digital 20 GB HDs seems to be making a lot of durability-capacity tradeoffs. Or you could say that "lots of cheap storage" comes at the expense of making the drives flimsy/shitty (especially 2.5" ones...).

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Definitely market scenario. You can still buy dvds, cds, but they aren't as common. Trying to rent one is reduced to the occasional automatic kiosk, very few stores. Only one that I can readily think of.

For hard disks it's like the lotto. There are some really shitty batches. All my early 3.5 SATA disks are still going strong. I built my friends computer years back, $50 500gb seagate, it died shortly after windows installed :) Exchanged it, replacement has been great ever since.

2.5 mechanicals can be a finicky beast. Numerous times I thought my WD passport was dead. It turned out to be the USB cable. If they're beyond a certain length, the drive will spin but the computer won't actually read it. I think the newer passports now have an enclosure embedded cable rather than detachable for that reason.

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[silly]I'm sorry, I never had a "Furst cd burner" or "Furst burning cd's". This is the first I've even heard of Furst brand. I checked the internet, and Furst was popular a while ago before going out of business. Shame I never got a chance to see their world famous burning cd's.[/silly]

Somewhere between 2004-2007 I think.

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I don't even have a CD player in my car. I have a friggin' tape deck.

It's not even that old -- 2001. But you know, it works out better for me because I can just put an adapter in and hook it up to my little Sony mp3 player.

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dethtoll said:

I don't even have a CD player in my car. I have a friggin' tape deck.

It's not even that old -- 2001. But you know, it works out better for me because I can just put an adapter in and hook it up to my little Sony mp3 player.

Same. This also deters thieves. I have an amazing sound system in my Honda Civic all hooked up to a Tape Player for that very reason. ;)

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Yeah I've gotten hassled by my mom about the adapter because she thinks someone's going to steal it. I've told her over and over nobody's going to steal shit, they see it and they figure there's nothing worth stealing because IT'S WORTHLESS. I can get one of these things for like, $10 and I still feel ripped off!

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It was 2001 (if my memory hasn't failed me), a quad-speed HP burner in a Pentium MMX233-based tower system, Windows 98SE and a copy of Click'N Burn Pro. Damn burner didn't support buffer under-run protection, so I had to disable the screensaver and twiddle my thumbs while (slowly) burning disks.

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