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CDFaker aka FakeCD 32bit released

The 32bitted CDFaker module, originally written by Andy Armstrong and converted to 32bit compatibility by me, has now been released into the wild. Seems to work fine on both the IYONIX pc and the BeagleBoard. Be sure to use an up-to-date image on your BeagleBoard (or BIK or ARMini), early versions did not come with CDFS.

There is no proper CDFS driver for USB CD/DVD drives for the BeagleBoard yet, so CDFaker is your best bet for CD access at the moment - extract the CD image on the machine of your choice, transfer the image file to your BeagleBoard, and mount it with CDFaker. Ideally suited to extract your brand new C/C++ package from RISCOS Open Ltd.

More info and the download here - source code will hopefully follow soon.

BeagleBoard hacking and USB

I have finally started to test my new BeagleBoard. Installing RISC OS is really easy nowadays if you have the right hardware handy (i.e. an SD card and a USB stick in filecore-formatted state). One of the first apps I tried was of course CDVDBurn - seems to work fine (not tried the CD/DVD/Blu-Ray reading and writing feature obviously, but it created a correct Isoimage at an astonishing pace). Which is amazing - I didn't expect ye olde GNAT 3.03 to output ARMv7 compliant code...

The BeagleBoard activities were triggered by my USB experiments on the IYONIX. My personal history of RISC OS USB development started quite a long time ago, when I got prototype USB podules from Simtec and Castle. However, after closely examining the speed that could be achieved, it quickly became clear that USB CD writers were just not a sensible option in the good old days of USB 1.1 podules. When the IYONIX arrived and USB 2.0 support was available, time was in short supply, and I was just hoping that Castle would make their mass storage driver compatible with CD/DVD writers. It didn't happen. I always wanted to revisit the problem after RISCOS Open Ltd. released the source code for SCSISoftUSB, but basically got nowhere. And anyway, everyone wanting to use a CD/DVD writer with the IYONIX could just put an IDE model inside.

The arrival of the BeagleBoard has changed this considerably. For the BeagleBoard, USB is your only chance to add peripherals. So I started (after reading Jan Axelson's excellent USB book) with a few experiments, trying to come to grips with the Castle USB API and the USB Mass Storage specification. The prototyping code worked after an astonishingly short period of time.

Currently, code exists to enumerate USB devices, send commands to the device and send/receive data. I have now started to add the necessary support code to CDVDBurn - we will see if that works without major stumbling blocks.

Devices tested so far include a Samsung USB DVD writer as well as various IDE models connected via an IDE-USB adapter.

Another positive result: while CDFS is not yet part of the BeagleBoard RISC OS ROM image, I was successful in softloading the CDFS parts and the 32bitted version of the CDFaker module. Mounting the Isoimage created by CDVDBurn (see above) worked fine. Before tackling a full CDFSSoftUSB driver, I guess it will be a good idea to provide a simple data track extractor for BeagleBoard users, so that at least a suboptimal way of accessing data CDs and DVDs directly on the BeagleBoard.

hubersn Software is closed from 2009-03-06 until 2009-03-22

You can still order, but delivery will be delayed. No support can be given during this time.

Watch out for the next big update release coming in time for the Wakefield Show.

First Blu-Ray Disc successfully written on RISC OS!

I am happy to report the first milestone on my way to implement Blu-Ray support on RISC OS. I have just (2008-04-14, 01:58h) finished formatting and writing the very first BD-RE (Blu-Ray Rewritable Medium) with an extended version of CDVDBurn using an IYONIX pc and an LG GGW-H20L drive. And what is probably most important, the CDVDBurn Extractor was able to read the data back without failure.

The code needs a bit tidying up, but seems to work fine so far - it is similar to DVD-RAM writing, but especially the error correction options are much more numerous and I have not decided yet which parameters should be user-adjustable and which not. I also have no experience with BD-R yet and also not with the double layer variants (50 GB). Having experience with more than one device wouldn't be a bad idea, too...

Blu-Ray support in development

I have started implementing support for Blu-Ray writing. Looks good so far (using BD-RE, the rewritable variant of Blu-Ray media). The writer I am using is the LG GGW-H20L. "But it is Serial ATA", I hear you say. That's correct, I am using a LogiLink IDE-to-SATA adapter to connect it to the IYONIX pc motherboard.

FYI: technically, Blu-Ray BD-RE is very similar to DVD-RAM. It supports fully drive-and-media-controlled error mapping and verify-on-write. It also does not suffer from write quality degradation if a certain writing speed cannot be sustained (very important for RISC OS, and the reason why DVD-R writing is still not available).

Fixing RISC OS Open's CDFSSoftATAPI

I am currently looking at fixing the CDFSSoftATAPI softloadable CDFS driver that is part of RISC OS Open's already released parts of RISC OS. This driver (as used in RISC OS 3.6/3.7/3.8/4.0x/5.xx) has some well-known shortcomings that makes it unsuitable to successfully drive e.g. the LG DVD writers when trying to read DVDs.

I have already identifed the critical parts that make it fail for the LG drives, but since I am not very fluent at ARM assembler, fixing it will take a while. Stay tuned!

This fixing is a stop-gap measure because my full-blown universal supports-every-drive-under-the-sun driver takes a bit longer to finish. I intend to release the fixing work as "free for everyone", and the completely new driver under a "donate if you like it" scheme.

hubersn Software is closed from 2008-03-02 until 2008-03-17 - you can still order, but delivery will be delayed.

Happy Birthday, CD(VD)Burn!

CDBurn first saw the (public) light of day on October 31st, 1997 - it was Acorn World 1997, and Warm Silence Software started selling CDBurn to the "masses" (if something like that ever existed in RISC OS land).

When I started developing the first prototype in June 1997, I couldn't imagine creating a product that would last more than 10 years. What began as a few hundred lines of BBC BASIC code to write data and audio tracks to a SCSI Philips CDD2000 is now a CD/DVD authoring solution supporting many (sometimes completely) different SCSI and IDE drives and running on everything from a RISC OS 3 A310 to an IYONIX pc.

Thanks to all customers, testers, friends and the whole RISC OS community who helped to make it happen.

New beta available soon...hopefully...

Work progresses slowly towards a new beta available for all CDVDBurn customers. This should add an unpolished version of the "CD/DVD Extractor" to CDVDBurn which allows four main things to be achieved by users:

  • Reading of Joliet CDs/DVDs
  • Reading beyond the CDFS 4GB limit
  • Reading with drives not properly supported by CDFS
  • Reading of DVD images beyond the 2GB RISC OS file size limit

This feature will also be a testbed for the routines to be used by the new CDFS softloadable driver which is progressing even slower than CDVDBurn.

I have roughly outlined my current ideas for "the great user interface revolution" in a recent Usenet post to comp.sys.acorn.apps (see Google Groups for reference). I'm not sure if it is really worth it, since investing time into the UI always means investing less time in functionality and compatibility. Still thinking about it. Maybe a good first step would be to implement the CD/DVD extraction feature into a seperate "CDVDRead" application with filer-like behaviour.

hubersn Software at the GAG meeting/A.U.T.O. 2007-09-29

I will be at the forthcoming GAG meeting/A.U.T.O. - meet me there to discuss hubersn Software's plans for the future, other RISC OS topics or in fact anything you'd like to discuss at all.

I hope to have some updated software to show. Some plans from March this year haven't really worked out so far, so don't expect too much.

New beta version released - V2.02b with DVD-RAM support!

I have finally managed to integrate a major new feature into CDVDBurn - DVD-RAM writing support. Obviously, you need a DVD-RAM capable drive to take advantage of this feature - fortunately, all new drives from Lite-On starting with the SHM-165H6S include DVD-RAM capabilities, and they worked out of the box with the IYONIX CDFS.

So head to the upgrading section and download the all new V2.02b upgrade for CDVDBurn. This also includes a bug fix for the serious multisession writing problem.

A few more CD/DVD-related projects of mine are nearing completion. One is a completely new CDFSSoft driver which will hopefully put an end to the sad story of buggy, incomplete and incompatible drivers which plagued so many users (and people trying to give them support - like me!). I hope that this development opens the door for usage of many more DVD writer models - it has been quite complicated to find one in recent times that would work with the existing CDFSSoftATAPI drivers.

The other project is something I call the "CD/DVD Extractor". It is on the one hand a "poor man's CD/DVD filing system" insofar as it takes advantage of the CDVDBurn ISO pseudo filer to present the content of the CD/DVD (or image) - you can't run anything directly, but you can browse the directories and copy stuff to your harddisc. On the other hand it is a powerful tool to take a closer look onto the content of those shiny silver discs - get information about the available volume descriptors, compare the ISO9660 part with the Joliet part and take a look at the content of older sessions.

Both the CDFSSoft driver and the CD/DVD Extractor are planned to be free goodies for current CDVDBurn users - a price for the rest of you has not been decided yet.

So keep your fingers crossed that I will finally get the necessary free time in the next few weeks to make all those things happen!

Plans for the next three weeks

During the next three weeks, I will finally have a chance to consolidate all the on-and-off work I did on CDVDBurn and other tools in the past 15 months. This will hopefully result in a (free) CDVDBurn update, information about currently compatible DVD writers and the second hubersn Software product.

Despite an incredibly stressful last year in my "real world" job, I have been able to do some work concerning better device compatibility, CD Text support, MP3 integration, drive firmware upgrading, PC image compatibility and two further CD/DVD related projects. Hopefully something can be announced soon.

hubersn Software at the GAG meeting/A.U.T.O. 2006-09-23

I will be at the forthcoming GAG meeting/A.U.T.O. - meet me there to discuss hubersn Software's plans for the future, other RISC OS topics or in fact anything you'd like to discuss at all.

hubersn Software at the Big Ben Show aka RISC OS Expo 2005

hubersn Software will be exhibiting at the forthcoming Big Ben Show 2005 at Nieuwegein, Netherlands. Your chance to buy CDVDBurn at a reduced price! People wanting to upgrade from CDBurn need to bring their original floppy with them. People wanting to upgrade from CDBurn Lite need to bring their IYONIX' serial number.

Don't forget - at shows, hubersn Software is the "cash only company". We can neither take cheques nor credit cards. So bring some Euro notes with you.

CDVDBurn now available!

CDVDBurn, the DVD-writing capable successor to the leading RISC OS CD-writing solution CDBurn, is now available for online ordering.

Since CDVDBurn contains all the features of CDBurn, CDBurn will no longer be available. Upgrades for owners of a CDBurn (full version) licence are available, as well as upgrades for CDBurn Lite owners.

DVD-capable CDBurn scheduled for Wakefield 2005

After some successful initial testing, I am confident to be able to release a new CDBurn version capable of DVD writing at the forthcoming Wakefield RISC OS show.

The current test version of CDBurn happily writes DVD+R and DVD+RW media with a range of different drives. I hope to be able to add DVD+RDL as well as DVD-R and DVD-RW in time for the Wakefield release.

The release of the DVD-capable CDBurn will mark a new milestone in CDBurn history - not only because of the new features added, but also because it will be the first chargeable upgrade in CDBurn history. Pricing yet to be decided.

CDFaker 32bit version in testing

Since the early years of CDBurn, CDFaker (aka FakeCD aka CDFSSoftFakerAW) was always a useful tool which was distributed free of charge for CDBurn customers. It allows to mount a CD image file onto a real CDFS drive. This helps to find out whether CDFS is able to access all the data, and that there are no critical filename issues.

Unfortunately, until now, CDFaker was 26bit only, meaning that IYONIX pc customers could not use it on their machine.

A few days ago, I finally acquired the full source of the CDFaker module from the original author Andy Armstrong, and produced a 32bit clean CDFaker module. It is currently in testing on a variety of systems to iron out possible instabilities introduced during the porting process.

The 32bit version is also slightly improved in that it allows image files to be mounted - this means that you can now use CDROMFS and CDFS/CDFaker side by side without any problems.

hubersn Software at the Wakefield RISC OS Show 2005

After the successful attendance of the 2004 show which featured the introduction of the newly founded hubersn Software company, I will show the latest in CD/DVD writing technology at this year's Wakefield RISC OS show.

Please come along and have a chat with me - I will be at stand 30, next to Martin Würthner/MW Software.

 
   

 

 
     

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