Life without Windows or OS X

GNU/Linux is quite possibly the most important free software achievement since the original Space War, or, more recently, Emacs. It has developed into an operating system for business, education, and personal productivity. GNU/Linux is no longer only for UNIX wizards who sit for hours in front of a glowing console. Are you thinking about switching to Linux and want to learn how to use it? Have you been using GNU/Linux for some time and want to learn even more? This is the place for you.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Mount Rainier: EasyWrite

One of the common criticisms heard from those considering a change to Linux is that support for the newest and greatest devices is often lacking. In some cases, that is accurate. One case where it is not true is in Mount Rainier support for CD-RW drives. Essentially, Mount Rainier, a.k.a EasyWrite provides background formatting and defect management for storage on CD-RW and DVD+RW. In other words, this eventual floppy replacement offers considerable added value in business and home PCs. EasyWrite provides the easiest way available to store, move and share large quantities of information. All you have to do is take a new CD-RW disc out of the box, pop it into the drive, and within seconds you can start dragging and dropping data. The drive it self handles formatting in the background.

At this point, only Linux offers OS-level support for the Mount Rainier requirement. Windows and Mac OS users can use it too, but they will need to run a separate program to access the discs. Mount Rainier support has been in the Linux kernel in some form or another since the 2.4 series. Conversely, full support began with the 2.6.2-rc1 kernels. So right now Linux users can enjoy a feature that Windows users will have to wait for in Vista.

Soon you will start to see DVD+MRW (Mount Rainier Write) supported drives in the stores and you can use the same DVD+RW discs you already use with your current DVD+RW drive.

Note: “DVD+RW is the only recordable DVD system that may optionally offer drives with Mount Rainier-based drag-'n-drop support, also known as EasyWrite. DVD-RW will never offer Mt. Rainier (EasyWrite) support, as it is not part of its specification.”


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