Ok. Maybe this is just me. Even if it is, it’s enough to keep me from using the Windows operating system.
When running Windows, if I want to burn a CD, I have to walk on egg shells to get a clean burn, otherwise, the burn fails, and I have to start over. Case in point: tomorrow is a state-wide OALUG/UPHPU combined workshop where we’ll be learning PHP. We will be in a lab that does not have Linux installed on the machines. As such, we will be running off of LiveCDs for the meet. I don’t have enough, and need to burn quite a few to make sure I have everyone covered. My wife booted into Windows and began using the computer. I asked her if she could take advantage of the two burners in the tower, and start burning Ubuntu CDs while she was working. No problem. She downloaded the ISO, put a blank disk in both burners and started burning. Withing 15 seconds, she received an error message saying the burn had failed. We tried again, and got the same response: burn failed. So, we decided to burn one for the time being. Half way through, it failed. We put in another one. Failed. We slowly began realizing that if we were to get a successful burn, we needed to stay off the computer during the duration of the burn. Not only that, but the screensaver had to be disabled as did power management. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy, as we had spent almost an hour trying to get a single disk burn, but yet, we had nothing but coasters.
Now Ubuntu Linux. I reboot the computer, and boot into Ubuntu. Curious, I try the same thing. Take a guess what happened. Yes, I was able to burn both disks simultaneously without any errors. Not only that, but I could use the operating system as normal without a hitch. I could browse the web, check my email, chat online and even play a game. Every disk I burned, came out perfect. Not a single failure. I could even have the screensaver on while burning.
Imagine that. An operating system that allows me to multitask without any major issues.
The funny thing is, I am not alone. After hitting a couple IRC channels and forums, searching for the reason for this odd behavior, I discovered that recording CDs in the Windows operating system is a delicate process. Running processes cannot be memory hungry, or the burn will fail. To me, this seems backwards. Why can I not use my operating system to do more than one task? Granted, I am aware of the physical restraints, but burning CDs is not an intensive process. Memory is hardly used and the CPU is waiting for cycles. The only device under stress would be the disk I/O, but then, CD burners read the file in advance, and load it into memory before sending it to the burner. So, I’m stumped why Windows needs to be abandoned while burning a CD.
Thank you Linux.