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Uses for a DVD and IEEE 1394

Hi. I have 2 questions.

1. Can I play ordinary CDs on a DVD drive on a laptop? Will it run my Red Alert etc games? I intend to get two drvies: a DVD AND a CD-RW. Can I play a data CD on the DVD and copy to the CD-RW?


2. What exactly is a IEEE 1394, and why might I need one? I've heard the term "Firewire", but have no idea what it's all about.


I am not a computer expert or anything (obviously), so please keep answer in ordinary layman's language.

Thanks very much in advance.
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anthonyf
Asked:
anthonyf
1 Solution
 
jhanceCommented:
>1. Can I play ordinary CDs on a DVD drive on a laptop?

Yes, almost certainly.  I've never seen a DVD drive that would not also play CDs.

>Will it run my Red Alert etc games?

Again, it certainly should.  The game won't know the difference since the DVD drive acts just like a CD when a CD disk is in the drive.

>I intend to get two drvies: a DVD AND a CD-RW. Can I play
>a data CD on the DVD and copy to the CD-RW?

Yes...

>>2. What exactly is a IEEE 1394, and why might I need one? I've heard the term "Firewire", but have no
idea what it's all about.

It's a high-speed serial bus, similar to but a lot faster than USB.  It's most commonly used today on DV (Digital Video) camcorders and is fast enough to transfer real-time digital video from a camcorder to the computer.  It's nowhere near as commonplace as USB but just like USB was a few years ago, it's early.  Unless you're into digital video today, I'd hold off on 1394.  It's just not very widely supported yet and there are not that many peripherals using it yet.
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RoadWarriorCommented:
If you are talking of a Laptop machine here, and intend to have one drive internal and one drive external, DVD and CDRW, then definitely go for IEEE 1394 ports if you can get them, since external USB models of either of  these drives perform abyssmally. Micro$oft now officially supports IEEE 1394, regards USB as legacy and is only implementing support for new, faster USB 2 as a second thoughts service pack add on to it's new operating systems it seems. Think of how wonderfully they implemented USB as an add on for win 95b and c and you'll get the idea why it wouldn't be such a good idea to put your money into USB right now. If you are talking about IEEE 1394 for a desktop, then don't bother buying it until you need it for digital video transfers, you can get an add on card, for external storage devices for a desktop, SCSI is still the interface of choice, and you have that much more expansion room inside anyway. USB is however handy to have if you are thinking of having a printer and scanner together on the same machine, far less trouble than trying to share the parallel port for these, but I have seen IEEE 1394 scanners on the market, not seen it yet for printers, but haven't been looking particularly. Expect IEEE 1394 devices to command a 10% to 20% price margin over USB devices of the same type at present, however that money is well worth the difference in performance when the devices benefit from higher bus speed.

regards,

Road Warrior
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anthonyfAuthor Commented:
Thanks very much to both of you. Most helpful. Sorry I wasn't allowed to give points to both, but this site didnt wanna let me.
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