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So Long Floppy Disc

ElectronicsHawksM30 April 2010

Remember that 3.5 inch square piece of plastic with the metal tip that fit so well into that small, skinny slot in your computer?

Can’t think back that far? Let’s refresh your memory; it’s called the floppy disk. Now that’s erase that from your memory, because if you didn’t know already, the floppy disk is well on it’s way to technology heaven.

Sony hammered yet one more nail into that coffin recently by announcing that as of 2011 it will no longer sell the floppy disk.

After nearly 30 years in the floppy disk market, the floppy disc began its demise in 1998 when Apple left the floppy disc drive off its G3 iMac. Now, according to the BBC. Sony has announced that it will cut off all sales of the antiquated storage medium in Japan next year. Earlier this year Sony suspended sales of its floppy disc in other international markets.

Floppies were initially introduced in the 1970s in an 8-inch format, available for use by Apple II and IBM personal computer users. In the 1980s the disc was reformatted to 5.5-inch version. After shrinking in physical size to the well known 3.5-incher, the disc continued to increase in storage capacity to the standard 1.44MB size.

While this move may come as no surprise to the millions of computer users out there, Sony’s competitors in the media storage industry, including Verbatim, Imation (3M), and Maxwell, have yet to abandon this sales chain.

After the floppy came the short-lived success of the Zip disk, Insite’s Floptical drive and the hybrid Imation’s 120MB SuperDisk, both serving merely as a transition medium to the CD disc – spurred on by the proliferation of CD burning – and then to thumb-drive storage. The future of the hard disc drive really came into question by analysts when personal PC computer giant Dell agreed to “drop the flop” in 2003, and it has been downhill for the disc ever since.

Farewell floppy friend; you served us well but your time has come.

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New DVD/CD Rewritable Drives Released by Sony Optiarc

DVD DL, DVD-RHawksM22 April 2010

Blu-ray recording is still far from becoming a household commodity. As such Sony Optiarc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony, is set to debut a new line of CD and DVD optical disc drives, the AD-7260S and the DRX-S77U with improved functionality, portability, and speed.


The internal half-height AD-7260S CD/DVD burner builds on the Sony predecessor the AD-7240S by offering 2MB buffer and supports 24X max DVD+/-R recording, 12X DVD+/-R Double/Dual layer recording, 12X DVD-RAM, and 48X CD-R recording. The product also features auto write functionality. And with Sony’s LightScribe technology AD-7260S users can customize each disc label.

With USB 2.0 connectivity, the external interface DRX-S77U boasts 8x DVD +/-R recording speeds, holding up to 4.7 GB of video, data, music or images. But it doesn’t tap out there, the new lightweight device can also record on 8.5 GB DVD+/-R Double/Dual layer and 4.7 GB DVD-RW discs at 6X speed, as well as DVD+RW at 8X speed, DVD-RAM at 5X speed, and CD-R/RW at 24X.

To increase keep up with the new trend in colored netbooks, Sony is offering the DRX-S77U in a variety of colors, including black, white, pink, and gold. And has released the device with Windows 7 compatibility, as well as in a bundle with Nero 9 DVD/CD mastering software suite.


Sony has yet to release pricing on the two new devices but both products are set to debut in stores soon.

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New Rimage Technology Catapults Company Into the World of Law Enforcement

CD DVD DuplicatorsHawksM15 April 2010

Digital evidence is a growing field within law enforcement as electronic –based and Internet data continue to flood evidence rooms. Plowing through this data can be intensive, time consuming, and tedious, and with limited manpower, law enforcement agencies are already swamped with evidence.

New technology from Rimage, the London-based provider of on-demand CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc publishing systems, hopes to help mitigate these issues.

The Rimage Evidence Disc System™, introduced April 14, automates the ingestion and analysis of optical media evidence, freeing up time and energy for digital forensic examiners. This new series of solutions combines Rimage CD/DVD/Blu-ray combination recorders, an integrated digital camera, and industrial grade robotics to ingest and analyze evidence data.

The Evidence Disc System operates in a three-step, automated process:

  1. Pick evidence discs from input bins
  2. Ingest and analyze recorded content
  3. Prepare disc report

The system never alters or compromises the evidence data and has proven to be more than 87 percent faster than manually processing; the Evidence Disc System photographs and analyzes up to 300 discs at a time. Rimage claims this kind of speeds because the new system leverages the company’s current line of products, including Rimage product capabilities to act as publishing and archiving appliances simultaneously.

“This solution really streamlines and simplifies our customer’s workflow,” said Christopher Wells, vice president of marketing and strategy in a Rimage press release. “The easy-to-use software makes ingesting digital evidence simple, and all the data exports directly into leading desktop forensic analysis software packages so it can be combined with other case information.”

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DVD+R DL a Game Changer for Personal DVD Recording

DVD DLHawksM08 April 2010

DVD±9 format, Double Layer recording technology, also known as Dual Layer DVD, allows for more data to be stored on a single DVD disc – up to 8.55 GB in total-disc capacity, almost double that of 4.7 GB single-disc capacity. Since DVD±9 inception, double layer use has increased steadily over the years, especially as prices dropped.

Sidenote: Which format should I use + or -? With Double Layer blank media, DVD+R DL is by far the most used format. With Single Layer blank media, DVD-R is the most popular format.

So how does Double Layer recording technology work?

In simple terms, dual layer discs are formed with a second physical layer within the disc. The DVD disc reader or player is able to access the second layer of data by shining a laser through the first, transparent layer.

In more technical terms, dual layer discs are formed with two organic dye-recording layers (L0 and L1), which are separated by a single transparent spacing layer. Unlike single layer recordings, with dual layer discs each recording layer has its own wobble pre-groove that’s molded into the polycarbonate base, allowing for individualized control of the disc rotation speed and addressing scheme.  The table of contents in dual layer recording is always embedded in the L0, the first recordable layer.

Two modes exist for dual-layer orientation. The parallel track path (PTP) is used for DVD-ROM. Data is laid down in PTP mode from beginning of the first layer to the end of the first layer and then from the beginning of the second layer to the end. Sequencing for the other dual-layer orientation, Opposite Track Path (OTP), begins with the first layer to the end of the first layer, but then moves from the end of the second layer to the beginning of the second layer.


Disc Capacity Comparison

For comparison, the table below shows storage capacities of the four most common DVD recordable media, excluding DVD-RAM. (SL) stands for standard single-layer discs, while DL denotes the dual-layer variants.

Disk Type

Number of sectors for data (2,048B each)

Capacity in bytes

Capacity in GB

Capacity in GiB





















*Chart source: Wikipedia

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GotMedia News Roundup

UncategorizedHawksM01 April 2010

Largest-capacity 32GB memory card released by SanDisk

SanDisk Corporation has officially started shipping a 32 gigabyte microSDHC card, the company’s highest-capacity removable memory card for mobile phones. As of Tuesday, March 23, the 32GB card can be purchased on SanDisk U.S. and European e-commerce sites for $199.99 with a five-year warranty. The card will be available worldwide beginning in April.

The new card, according to the SanDisk release, can hold more than 35 round-trip flights worth of music between San Francisco and New York before a song repeats.  The unprecedentedly large storage capacity in a small-form medium is made possible by SanDisk’s 32nm X3 (3-bit-per-cell) technology, allowing mobile network operators and handset manufacturers to scale the card for a variety of card and adaptor configurations.

Imation, ENCRYPTX join forces, combining optimum data storage and security

The data storage company Imation Corp. and data security company ENCRYPTX have partnered to create CD-R, DVD-R, and Blu-ray optical media with EncryptDisc™ technology, AES 256-bit encryption and burning technology from ENCRYPTX. The two companies, as part of the agreement, have also partnered with Compass Medical, North Central Sight Services, and Rocky Mountain RAM as the supply and distribution channels for certain medical, government, and other regulated markets.

The EncryptDisc technology allows discs to be encrypted while they’re being burned – eliminating the possibility for writing files in the clear. Password recovery and protection is highly efficient; authorized users can securely recover forgotten passwords with integrated password recovery and remote administrator recovery services, while hackers are prevented from cracking passwords by the built-in password attack self-defeating mechanism. EncryptDisc versatility also enables users to add new content or edit files and incrementally burn the changes or finalize discs with Read-Only decryption access.

Israeli company offers free DVD-ROM security systems

TrustCont, Ltd., an Israeli-based copy protection and DRM solutions company, is offering its new security system for free through June 15. The free DVD-ROM copy protection service allows first-time TrustCont publishers to restrict printing and copying and pasting and set global or “on-access” passwords on specific files at no cost and with no obligation.

Passwords can be set to expire at a certain time, rendering the data inaccessible. Replicated content on the discs can be set with restricted access on certain networks or to certain users or computers.

To take advantage of this offer, publishers must register on the TrustCont Website and download the free DVD protection toolkit software. With the software, users can burn a Gold Master on a standard DVD-R disc for use in mass production. A List of authorized replicators already set to process TrusCont Gold Masters can also be found on the TrusCont Web site.

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