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First post, by ncmark

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Is anyone else nostalgic for the era of CD-R? I was one of the early adopters, paid like $350 for a HP 2X burner (and that was on sale). At the time that seemed like a really big deal.....especially coming from tape backup that ran off a floppy disk controller. 650 megabytes was a lot back then! And once you got over the initial cost of the drive, disks were cheap and could be read in any drive/

Reply 1 of 69, by Caluser2000

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Not really. My generally interest is prior to those. My first CD-RW was given to me when someone upgrade to a DVD-RW.

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Reply 2 of 69, by Unknown_K

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I paid $1100 for my first burner HP402oi when Bestbuy first got them. A month later it dropped $100 and I got a rebate back from Bestbuy and purchased a Matrox M3d card with it .

Anyway that drive was SCSI without buffer underun so you needed a fast HD to burn at 2x and eventually it went bad (sent it in to get it replaced for free class action lawsuite and all) and sold the returned drive for a few hundred and purchased a Yamama 4x burner instead (caddy loading also SCSI). I migrated to Teac SCSI drives in 6x, and 8x speeds and eventually went with IDE Liteon drives and then whatever since they became a commodity.

Everybody and their grandmother was begging me to burn copies of their CDs especially some people I worked with that had Sega Saturns. Blanks were $6-8 back then and I purchased some CD labels to protect them from getting scratched.

Media dye came in green, gold, blue and other colors and most discs are still readable 20+ years later.

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Reply 3 of 69, by Jorpho

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In the beginning, the blank CDs were way too expensive for a long time to consider wasting on anything frivolous – plus there was the terrible risk of a buffer underrun ruining the burn. It was only a few years later when small USB flash drives became affordable.

But sure, I've still got a giant stack of discs from those intervening years, and I am determined to keep using BD-R for at least a little while. I can't seem to find nice, cheap disc storage boxes anymore, though.

Reply 4 of 69, by foil_fresh

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I had some friends that had burners in '98/'99 and we had many CDs with ripped games and music etc that were passed from friend to friend.

I lusted after a burner for so long and then in 2001 with my first ever pay packet I remember buying a Sony 32x/12x/8x (I think? maybe 24x) burner and 20GB Maxtor hdd that went into my Celeron PC at the time. It was awesome to make mix CDs or to recreate albums from MP3s downloaded with napster. I became "the guy" to burn albums and games for friends "for a fee" :p I think i paid about $20aud for a 10 pack of jewel case TDK gold blank cds. For a kid who was only earning 50-60 a fortnight these things were expensive but so so cool.

2 years later I bought the complementary DVD-rom drive and an extra 40gb IBM drive. It was a long time until I had a DVD burner, maybe like 2006 or something? They weren't cheap either iirc.

A big reason I wanted a burner for so long was that gold CD that Travis Dane used in Under Seige 2. That was maybe the first time I saw them outside of just being a music CD.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVQsxLfKPNI

I also wanted a jazz or zip drive earlier but that never happened. Man I hated floppy drives.

Reply 5 of 69, by cyclone3d

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My first CD drive was a 2x that I was sold by Reveal at Walmart. It was on clearance for like $65 when I got it.

I think the first burner we had was an HP 12x4x4 drive. Don't remember where I got it from but it was also probably a clearance deal.

I still have a ton of burnable media, a bunch of which I got for like $3 a spindle from a local thrift store not too long ago. I don't think I will need to buy anymore ever but will probably pick some up if I see it for super cheap again.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
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Reply 6 of 69, by zyzzle

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I purchased my first burner -- Yamaha 2416 or 4416 if I remember correctly, in 1998. It was like magic! Suddenly I could burn audio CDs... I could even overburn up to 84 minutes! I immediately got to work making high-quality 16/44.1 CD masters of all my favorite MODs, S3ms and XMs. Burning compilations of all my favorite songs -- even back then I never used .mp3 but always stayed in lossless 16/44.1.

Then the Plextor DVD burner was released (Plextor 716) which was truly magical. It could overburn, fit 140+ minutes of uncompressed audio on a 99-minute CD-R! It was wonderful! All of my high-quality standalone audio equipment could play those overburned / out-of-spec discs with tighter grooves. Still have kept them all to this day, as a wonderful memory of those days. It is like going back into a time warp when I put my favorite disc of MODs -- crammed full of 120+ minutes of great music in and let it spin, along with some great headphones (Sony V6 Studios from those days!).

Reply 7 of 69, by chinny22

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Got mine in 99? Was my first purchase working at a computer store after finishing school. Cant remember the price but got it at cost. Iomega Zip 650 4x 4x 24x
I was one of the last out of my circle of computer friends who were a few years older so had been working longer.
But was the first out of my school non computing friends so would burn audio CD's for them for the cost of the CD. A few asked why I didn't charge more and I said it's because 9 times out of 10 I make myself a copy of the CD as well!

The original drive died about 2 weeks out of warranty but the shop which I had also recently quit on good terms from still got it replaced under warranty.
It still worked upto 2006 when I left the country although it was starting having spin up/down issues. So it's still in my PC that's in my parents garage.

These days I mostly use whatever optical drive the PC comes with or I have lying around that suits. CD/DVD-ROM, burner doesn't really matter, its only for when mounting an iso won't work for whatever reason.
Only have Nero 5.5 on my XP rig and isoburn on my laptop

Reply 8 of 69, by creepingnet

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I'm not nostalgic on that front - I just like being able to burn data off my vintage DOS/Win9x boxen if the networking breaks. CD-R's are still fairly cheap and I know where to find them. Far cheaper and ieasier than ZIp Drives (what I used to use).

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Reply 9 of 69, by ncmark

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Well - I trashed a bunch of old CD-R once - the files had long since been moved onto DVD.
Then I had a fit of nostalgia and spent who knows how much time reburning them - enough to fill 200-disk wallet.
Now - the CD-R are gone again and even the DVDs are being replaced by external drives.
Go figure.

Reply 10 of 69, by cyclone3d

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I have a ton of spare drives and blank media but really only for use on older machines.

The burners have a really bad habit of not being able to burn after a certain amount of time even if they were only used to burn a few discs.

Had that happen to internal driver after internal drive. The brand didn't matter. Funnily enough, an external USB DVD burner I bought probably 15+ years ago still works like new.

I really need to go through my stash of optical drives and get rid of the ones that don't work or won't burn. Probably clear out at least half of them.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 11 of 69, by ncmark

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Going through my box I had a lite-on CD burner...was going to trash it but decided to keep it - for now.
I still have two 100-piece cakeboxes of JVC disks I will probably never use now. You know - the good Japanese-made ones with the blue-green dye.... 😉

Reply 12 of 69, by Bige4u

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CompUSA.... 1998.... Mitsumi 4x/8x(burn/read).... almost $500 after tax.

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Reply 13 of 69, by Errius

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I don't have many CD-Rs, and only a few more DVD-Rs, but I have many, many BD-Rs. I still burn important stuff to them for archival purposes.

ETA: I'll bet nobody here has burned more optical disks than me. I have 1680 in 3 cases, about half Blu-ray and most of the rest DVD. Only 75 CD-Rs, most of them corrupt. I keep them in the hopes that someday I will be able to recover the data on them.

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ETA2: You can see 2 of the cases here: Re: Show us your IBM Compatible PC games collection

(The cases can theoretically hold 1000 disks each, but I limit them to 976, otherwise they get too crowded and there is risk of damaging the sleeves when disks are inserted and removed)

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Reply 15 of 69, by Errius

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I got my first BD-RE drive in 2012, and have bought a new one every few years since then. (They tend to start producing coasters after a couple of years. I keep the old ones around, but don't use them for burning.) In order they have been:

Lite-on iHBS112
Pioneer BDR-209DBK
LG WH14NS40
Pioneer BDR-212DBK
Asus BW-16D1HT

(I also have a couple of LG GBW-H10N drives, which are cool because they are PATA, but I use them as little as possible. I've only burned a dozen or so disks on them.)

For media I usually use Aone disks, as they are cheap and generally reliable, burned as slowly as possible (2X if possible).

Last edited by Errius on 2021-08-05, 17:34. Edited 2 times in total.

“I like to dissect PCs. Don't you know I'm utterly insane?"

Reply 16 of 69, by dr_st

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I got my first burner in the year 2000 - Smart & Friendly SCSI. Used it with Windows 98. Dunno if it makes me an early adopter or a semi-early.

My first DVD burner I got in 2004, with a WinXP machine. They were not common back then. I remember I got my first batch of measly 1x DVD-R media from a friend, who had mistakenly bought them thinking they were CD-R, and his burner did not support DVDs.

After that first S&F, I've almost exclusively used LG optical drives, for no particular reason other than they were affordable and abundant. My Win98 machine still has an LG CD-ROM and CD-RW. Briefly it had a DVD-ROM, but it started glitching so I took it out. The Pentium 4 desktop has two LG DVD burners (PATA), and newer desktops have LG BD-RE drives (SATA).

Errius wrote on 2021-08-04, 02:27:

I got my first BD-RE drive in 2012, and have bought a new one every few years since then. (They tend to start producing coasters after a couple of years. I keep the old ones around, but don't use them for burning.)

My experience has been different, but no less bizarre - the older BD-RE drives I have read and write BluRay just fine, and CDs as well, but became very finicky in reading DVDs, including pressed ones.

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Reply 17 of 69, by Salient

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My first CD-R drive was a SCSI Tayo Yuden single speed. I remember when writing a CD you really had to leave the PC completely alone or it would fail (and you would lose a 7 dollar CD-recordable, yes, that is what they cost back then) "Good" old times 😀

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Reply 18 of 69, by gerry

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I wasn't an early adopter as such, but i did get one after they had become somewhat established (I'd got an iomega zip100 too, always liked storage things!)

I found that I'd encounter errors quite often and burned CD's that could only be read in the device that burned them or maybe one or two other cd readers with hit and miss success, yet I burned others that even many years later read just fine in anything. Maybe there was a lot of variance in the blank media at the time. I still have a small tower of never to be burned CD-Rs, everything moved on quickly and the moment USB 'sticks' hit 1gb that was it really

there is a hint of nostalgia, but enough to re-enact any of it!

Reply 19 of 69, by FiIosofia

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Offcourse! My first burner was a OEM Philips capable of burning CD-R at twice the normal speed! So it would only take about half an hour to backup an audio cd!
A couple years after, I bought an LG x16 burner that did the same in 8min!!!

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