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Blindread   Blindwrite   Database Editor  Demo's Review  Forum

It'll make you blind . . . . .  

. . . rage does that . . . frustration too. 

This is a brief account of testing Blindread / Blindwrite [paired image-file making & writing applications]. The system used for this test is designed to  be an "ideal burning-platform" - i.e. stability comes first, last & all the way between.  

All the CD-devices are SCSI, on the same UW bus as a dedicated UW image-file hard-disk; any OS is on a separate U2W host/bus. The motherboard is a dual [not that this matters in WinME - the OS used in this test], at default PCI-speed & with ample memory, cooling, PSU-wattage, CPU-power etc etc.  

All devices have the latest stable drivers, flash-updates & so on; with the bare minimum of memory-resident utilities & other active threads in a new clean install of W9x.  

The CD-reader used is a Plextor 40TSi [1.11] - the fastest reader you can get:  the burners were a mixed bag of a Philips CDD3600 [2.03] - the standard "RAW"  mechanism on & for which most "RAW" applications were developed; & a Yamaha CRW6416s - a nice solid SAO MMC burner - the kind that just won't allow the low-level uncorrected operations which are the essence of "RAW" 

The new Blindread / Blindwrite pair are intended to extend the "bin/cue" image-file paradigm that the original Blindread used: the .BWT image-files made & used have an extra layer of control, & can discriminate between different kinds of "RAW" data. The idea is that most any reader/burner should be able to work to the limit of their hardware/firmware capabilities;  from the "ideal" of DAO PW subs allowed by most Plextor  devices, recent Sony's, Ricohs, Teacs, & Mitsumis; to the tourist-class SAO COOKED of most any no-name device. In between these two extremes are several different levels of DAO & SAO abilities - basically determined by what sub-channel data can be read & written.  

Most [not all] protection-schemes depend on exploiting coding tucked away as part of this sub-channel data. 

Anyway - back to the test:  

The Plextor 40TSi isn't on the list of recognised devices [there are only about 16 in total, all burners], but ripped through a read of the protected test-disk we were using in about 15 minutes. Neither burner was on this list, & neither could produce anything but a coaster - these are [literally] the first coasters I have made this year. 

I then tried the Yamaha as a reader - this took 1hr 36 minutes to read the same disk, & as before neither burner could write the resulting image-file.  

At this point I decided to use a nice-looking utility that came with the application, & to enter the [known] capabilities of the burners into Blindwrite's database. Happily I saw both the Yamaha 4416s & Philips CDD3610 in the existing database - each of which are functionally similar to my two burners. 

After filling in a couple of fields, I got the error-message: "list index out of bounds -1"  

This piece of opaque rubbish was all I needed after half-a-day making coasters, so I fired up CloneCD, read the image-file in the Plextor at full chat, then wrote a couple of perfect copies - one in each burner - in . . . well, in a lot less time than it took to write this.  

On the positive side; Blindread / Blindwrite seemed absolutely stable & allowed the usual multi-tasking during reads & burns - but then so it damn well should on this machine & so does every other application including the appalling "EasyCD" 

I'm sorry to mention that name of doom; but Blindread / Blindwrite is a great disappointment: Perhaps due to its [laudable] aim of allowing most any burner to make the best use of its capabilities, the application is surprisingly complex to use, with too many opportunities for making wrong choices. 

Above all; the failure to integrate a decent database of the capabilities of most readers/burners into both parts of this application is a serious error - all the more surprising since the Blindread web site has for some time been making & updating a very useful "writers list" of those devices capable in some way of writing "RAW" 

Though one must wish the author of this application well, & hope it may be developed into a serious competitor for CloneCD [& less tied to/by the hardware]; at the moment all it does is make you blind . . . . . 

shoarthing 24/08/2000

As stated in my opening statement "Some of you are going to be disappointed that your writer is not supported but as the new version now supports more writers then some will be very happy indeed"

When I wrote this statement I had no idea that Shoarthing and I were going to produce two very conflicting reviews as we were both writing them at the same time.

You now have a verdict on six drives, perhaps you will contribute in our Forum with your experiences of different drives.  With your help people will have a good idea of what hardware will and won't work.

Demo 24/08/2000

Blindread   Blindwrite   Database Editor  Demo's Review  Forum

Copyright 24th August 2000 Burning Issues - all rights reserved

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