Analysis and Conclusions

By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2003-01-23 Print this article Print

DVD burners are rapidly becoming cost-effective tools for authoring DVD video discs, backing up files and as CD burners to boot. At prices approaching $300, the capability to handle multiple formats is a real plus for most users. Media is getting increasingly cheap, too, and soon prices for all DVD recordable media will drop below $1 (DVD-R discs have already plunged well below that point). If the cycle holds, well undoubtedly see Blu-Ray recorders arrive on the scene later this year. Those will no doubt command a serious price premium, but the net effect will be to drop DVD burner prices even more. Both the Pioneer DVD-AO5U and Sony DRU-500A are excellent examples of the engineering craft. The Sony is more flexible in its use, but the Pioneer drive will appeal to authoring houses who need fast DVD-R/RW performance. Both can author to their respective record-once formats, suitable for giving away to family members or archival storage. The Sony is a bit more pricey, and its DVD read performance is sub-par, but its an excellent drive in every other respect.

Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel