Tux Tested! BenQ DW1620
A week before Christmas, in a fit of panic, I decided to buy a DVD writer so that I could transfer the movies I made, of my now five month old son, onto DVDs to give to our parents and other family members. Yeah, I know . . . but new parents are like that. Anyhow, I headed out to the local Future Shop more or less blindly trusting that whatever I bought would just work on my Linux system. After a few minutes of hemming and hawing, I settled on a BenQ model DW1620. Here's how it went.
BenQ DW1620. 16X+R 16X-R DVD+-RW/R 8.5 GB Double Layer Purchased at Future Shop for $160 Canadian, a few days before Christmas 2004.
This is an internal drive with an IDE connector so the first step was to install the unit in my computer. I only had one free slot so I exchanged the CDROM drive that was there with the new DVD writer. The drive went in without a hitch and showed up when I booted Knoppix on my test system. Since my test system needed an OS (I replaced the hard drive as well), I decided to install SUSE 9.1 and booted its installation disk from the my new BenQ DW1620. Everything worked perfectly. The experiment was such a success that I followed it up with a Mandrake 10.1 install, also from the DWD writer.
All told, the drive worked successfully with SUSE 9.1 Professional, Knoppix 3.7, and Mandrake 10.1. The system on which it is currently installed is the Mandrake system.
Once the install was complete, I used Kino to read and edit the digital video from my camcorder. Then, I installed the dvdauthor program along with another program called DVDStyler to create the DVD complete with menus and chapters. Finally, I used K3B to burn multiple copies of the DVD. I won't say that my DVD authoring work turned out to be studio quality, but not one of my burned DVDs turned out to be a coaster and each one worked perfectly.
All told, I'm thrilled with my BenQ DW1620 DVD writer purchase and would give it top marks. Recommended!
Editor's Note : This is an experimental column whose idea grew out of discussions from an online Linux User Group I run (the WFTL-LUG). From time to time, someone will ask about a particular piece of hardware, be it a printer, webcam, scanner, or whatever. Recommendations and discussions follow and someone invariably says that it would be nice if this sort of information were regularly available. On that note, I'd like to try this experiment. If you have recently bought some cool new hardware toy, (a Christmas gift, perhaps) and you are excited about it, this is your opportunity to recommend it to other Linux users. Send me an email to email@example.com and tell TUX readers what you purchased (make and model), where you bought it, and how much you paid for it. Then, tell us what Linux distribution you used it with and, if applicable, what software.
One more side note : I'd like these to be user reviews and I will need to confirm your email address before posting.