Based On A Novel By A Man Named Lear

Bought a CD writer on Friday. Tried using it on Saturday. Relaxed again on Sunday.

I wasn’t that it didn’t work, and it wasn’t that when it worked it didn’t work well, it’s just it didn’t work all the time. Which before you’ve even seen it work once is a bit worrying. If it had started off working and then stopped maybe I’d have been filled with something more akin to hope, rather than despair.

First I tried to install the driver and software from the CD provided. Before any else happened it popped up an error message and said that it couldn’t start the CD. After a couple of tries I found it was possible to start the program by finding it through Windows Explorer. OK not too bad. Waded through a few “There’s an error, Cancel or Ignore” messages and after a while managed to get the driver downloaded. It seemed to be working fine so I thought "well it wasn’t too hard". So I thought I’d move onto installing the software.

Basically I think the software was made to be installed on a Win2K system and while they clearly state on the box that a Win98SE system would be just fine, I think they were hoping we wouldn’t bother. First it didn’t work and told me to download a new Windows Service Pack from micro$oft, so went to Microsoft and they scanned my computer and listed about 30 service updates thingies that I should download. I crossed off the list a few of the biggest ones (filesize) and downloaded them. Then I tried the CD software again. Nothing. It said I still hadn’t got what it needed. It was something called a “Windows Installer” or something and searching around on Google etc only seemed to imply that it was something MS made for Win2K. But I don’t have Win2k!!! Anyway extended Googling found me an obscure message board where some guy was asking how to get his new joystick working, and mentioning the "Windows Installer". The helpful responder gave a URL and some vaguely sympathetic advice which rang a bell so I followed the link (to what seemed like a previously inaccessible area of the MS web site) and downloaded what I found there. Excellent the CD software seemed to like that and installed something called "Easy CD creator 5". Woo!

So first thing to do was create a music CD. As per my previous post I have been thinking about the number of CD singles I have and never listen to, so I decide to compile them onto one CD - good plan sir. I MP3-erized them and set about using the program to get them ready for writing. However when I hit the record button I was told that "there’s a problem, maybe you’ve not thought to put a CD in the writer". "No", I said, "I have put a CD in the writer. In fact it’s the very same CD (CD-R) I got IN THE BOX, with the CD writer. You see?". "Oh", it said, "well it doesn’t seem like a CD I know about". So I tried another one, one of the batch I hastily picked up just before I bought the CD writer. It seemed to like that one and the drive whirred pleasantly but then another message came up. "This is a CD-RW disk which once written might not be readable in CD players". Well, yes, OK I’m pretty confident that it would have been fine but another message was one too many and I thought “Fuck it” and went to wash up.

I came back and turned the CD writer back on and put the original (CD-R) disk in and low and behold it worked fine. Wrote the CD (not as fast as it claimed it would - apparently my computer isn’t up to it) but it wrote the CD. Thank god for that.

Next Time:Formatting and writing data onto the CD (the last battle) and why they can’t give away the full software with the hardware but instead expect you to shell out a further $65 for the full thing. Arrrrrgh!