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Mount Rainier for Linux 87

Cpyder writes: "Seems like Philips is getting the "patents are bad"-picture, as they have decided to let Linux support the Mount Rainier next-generation file device system. Seems like the end of floppies+zips+cdrw+whatever is finally in sight. Check it out at The Reg."
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Mount Rainier for Linux

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  • IBM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Beautyon ( 214567 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @09:44AM (#2516092) Homepage
    This probably has more to do with IBMs incredible support for Linux and the momemntum that Linux is gathering than any enlightenment on the part of Phillips. Phillips, for example, did a crackdown on all CD pressing plants to make sure that all artwork on CDS carried the "Compact Disc Audio" logo. After this, it was impossible to press CDs at DFI in France, for example, without the CD logo. Thats more like the behaviour of the Phillips that we know.
    • So, what "Phillips" would that be, then? I guess the rest of us are more familiar with the Dutch company Philips. You might want to count the L:s in there. ;^)
    • Re:IBM (Score:4, Informative)

      by Montag2k ( 459573 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <egamagj>> on Saturday November 03, 2001 @12:14PM (#2516321)
      What about the fact that Philips (jointly with other companies) developed the CD-audio standard that we all know and love - for the entire industry instead of just for themselves. They have a pretty good track record of not being patent whores.

      BTW, everyone keeps spelling it 'Phillips'. There is only one 'L'.
  • http://www.licensing.philips.com/information/mtr/d ocuments103.html

    Wow, Linux is a supporter. Cool.
  • by Krapangor ( 533950 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @09:54AM (#2516102) Homepage
    Due to the opening up these standards, it's very easy for competitors to create compatible devices without license fees. So the initial inventors don't get very much money from their inventions like they could make initially. This is very bad because it will force other companies do the very same. You might say: good for open source community. But in fact it's very bad: it restricts the profit inventors get from their invention. Look for example at IBM, they nearly died from getting not enough money from their invention of the IBM PC. So nobody will do any more inventions, because they look at IBM and say: "Look, they nearly died from getting not enough money from their invention. Let's rather sell old, cheap stuff and get rich !" So, no more inventions will be done and there will be no enconomical and scientific advancement. So, you see that treaties like this are in fact very bad and might destroy our economy.
    • No, it makes it easier for other companies to improve the product. Inventions are always based on other inventions. Patents make it illegal to invent new things based on older inventions.

      So after all, it's good for our economy
      • Patents make it illegal to invent new things based on older inventions.

        In which country do you live?

        I never heared that patents make anything illegal anywhere ...

        Likely in the US where a patent holder can force licensees to agree to absurd fees the situation is a bit different.

        Most inventions are done BECAUSE the patents of related or basic works existed and are inspectable for the general public.

        A patent is in the first instance a way to prevent espionage on industrial knowledge.

        If I patent my stuff and you do just the same, I can say: I was first. And it does not matter whether you where to stupid to look first if prior art exists (saved you a lot of research money) or if you dared to break into my facilities and copy everything.

        If I do not patent it and you take over my designes I have a hard stand in case you indeed robbed my stuff.

        The main goal of patenst is to give industries an ability to share knowledge and to be sure they get revenues for distributing their knowledge. Its just a stock exchange for knowledge.

        The fact that US patent offices regulary run mad in issuing dumb patents is of course a mayour drawback.

        However renewing "How to grant a paten" and a more reliable "What will it cost me to license a patent" business habits or law regulations could realy lead to an open knowledge exchange via patent markets.

        IMHO the idea of patents is one of the best ever in human history.

        IMHO the practice of issuing and using patens, especialy in the US is one of the worst inventions ever in human history.

        So try to understand what is good on it and emphasize its use and try to understand what is bad on it and emphasize to get rid of that.


    • by Anonymous Coward
      They will make their money. Opening up their standards will make them more money over time. Lets say they went the DVD route, the Linux community would just reverse enginner the specs and the law suits would flow like rain. Bad press for them and low adoption rates of Mt rainier.Make the software specs open then the licensing fees will get payed by the companys that make the hardware/disks, they then pass that cost onto the consumer. The consumer will be willing to pay for the drives and disks if they know that everybody can use the media. So development costs will be spread out over time into the cost of the drives and media.
      Thus by opening up their specs everybody wins, being open makes the format popular which leads to a large user base, which leads to increased sales of the drives and media. This whole senario only works if the software specs are open to begin with.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Look for example at IBM, they nearly died from getting not enough money from their invention of the IBM PC.

      Whereas Apple maintained a stranglehold on their hardware to keep it out of the hands of cloners and now command an impression 5-10% of the computer market.
    • "Look for example at IBM, they nearly died from getting not enough money from their invention of the IBM PC."

      You're joking, right? Try boning up on your history, pal. IBM made (I don't know if they're still involved in all of these areas anymore) a number of business products, including typewriters (the Selectric being a computer-like typewriter that lots of people hacked), mainframes, punch card equipment, and even fire alarm systems. Their bread and butter were the mainframe computers, where the price was high, the margins were high, and the service costs (paid to IBM, of course) were high.

      Some guy over at IBM saw the Apple II, saw the killer app for it (some spreadsheet app, maybe Visicalc? I don't recall right now), thought that maybe there was something there and had a few guys put together a prototype with off-the-shelf components, and marketed it to smaller businesses who couldn't afford any of the mainframes that IBM's bread-and-butter section created. IBM didn't bet the farm on the PC, you dolt. Apple bet the farm on the Mac, though. Maybe you've gotten your companies mixed up. I don't see how you COULD get the two confused, but I guess in some lesser minds it would be possible.

      Yeah, it's a flame. Go ahead, flame back.
    • Patents don't encourage innovation - they stifle it.
  • so.. (Score:2, Funny)

    "...for now the working groups punningly refer to "CD-MRW". "

    I can't wait to tell people about this. "Theres this great new super easy cd format!" "oh yeah? whats it called?" "CD-MRW!" "CD-huh?"

  • TuxPod (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by LazyDawg ( 519783 )
    Why doesn't the Linux/OSS community come up with an embedded, tiny-ass Linux hard drive like the iPod, with some simple GUI-and-pen based features, a 6 or 20 gig drive, firewire and not much else. We could greatly increase the establishment of Linux by having it up for sale to desktop users, and M$ won't be able to make quips about usability anymore.

    Of course, having Linux in just another file server is nice too, I guess.
    • Why doesn't the Linux/OSS community come up with an embedded, tiny-ass Linux hard drive like the iPod, with some simple GUI-and-pen based features...

      That's because the OSS community doesn't have millions of dollars from hardware sales to spend on R&D of such cool products. Apple wouldn't be able to do it without the steady income from their hardware line.

    • (see subject)
    • Why doesn't the Linux/OSS community come up with an embedded, tiny-ass Linux hard drive like the iPod

      Yes, why don't you?

      Don't forget that you (and I, and my buddy down the street...) are the "open source community". The way open source works is that when someone develops an itch for something, they build it and publish the code/plans/design for all.

      Sorry for this mini-rant, but I get tired of people who sit around complaining about the things that the open source community hasn't done for them.

      • SWillden,

        He said "Linux/OSS community". Rather than chiding him for his laziness maybe you could have mentioned that the OSS community is Open Source SOFTWARE. Making devices strikes me as hardware. I am not aware of many consumer devices developed by the OSS community. Does Tivo count? Usually devices are developed by large companies like Apple or even IBM. Yet when the Linux Watch comes out would you say that the DEVICE was developed by the OSS community?

        Ok, so maybe I am ranting too. If he had just said Linux community then I would have to shut up.

    • TiVo? (Score:2, Informative)

      by QuasEye ( 98125 )
      TiVos are linux based, definitely consumer-oriented, and probably have one of the best user interfaces I've ever come across. They're also getting close to critical mass in terms of users, I figure.
  • Patents aren't bad! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scriber ( 89211 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @10:00AM (#2516110) Homepage

    Remember that it's not patents themselves that are bad. They allow you to ensure that you'll get a return on the huge amount of money you spend doing research on algorithms, processes, etc. Then, unlike copyright, they ensure that your invention is released into the public domain before several generations of people have come and gone.

    Patents are only bad when abused. By abuse I mean obtaining overly broad patents purposely, forming companies whose sole purpose is to sue everyone that does anything remotely related to patents they purchased from others, or similar. It's perfectly fine to use a patent to charge people to use your legitimate invention, however.

    Also remember that Free Software, no matter how obscure, can cut into your profits if people use it instead of your own software. Why should someone pay lots of money for your product that implements an amazing new encoding algorithm that you payed a million dollars to develop when they could use Free Software that does the same thing just because you were too nice to demand a licensing fee from "free" projects?

    Don't worry, if the technology is that good, someone will find a way around it. Look at Ogg Vorbis, for example, which implements an intelligent audio codec without anyone else's IP.

    • Mod parent up! (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well said!
    • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @10:49AM (#2516169)

      > Why should someone pay lots of money for your product that implements an amazing new encoding algorithm that you payed a million dollars to develop when they could use Free Software that does the same thing

      How many algorithms do you know of that someone spent a million dollars developing?

      Most of the really important algorithms, just like mathematics, are coming out of public research institutions (aka "universities") and are published without patent encumbrance.

      Unfortunately the PTO has succumbed to pressure from money interests and made lots of formerly unpatentable stuff patentable, opening up a gold rush.

      No, not an innovation rush -- a gold rush.

      Also, notice that (in the USA at least) patents are justified as a way to promote commerce. Commerce, like innovation, was absolutely booming in IT even without algorithm patents.

      As Alan Cox said, patents are just a way for the big guys to keep the little guys out. The big guys all hold lots of patents, so they can pay each other off with funny money (or by swapping licenses for lawsuits), but the little guy has to pay real money if he wants to play.

      The rich get richer by natural processes; patents are a government institution that serves primarily to speed the process up.

      Just like with the DoJ's pact with Microsoft, the US government is more interested in floating the stock market than in supporting economic fair play, or even long-term economic well being.
      • by maynard ( 3337 ) <j@maynard@gelinas.gmail@com> on Saturday November 03, 2001 @12:24PM (#2516341) Journal
        I can't agree with this more. While I agree with your general sentiment WRT the U.S. patent office policy, I find the statement "US government is more interested in floating the stock market than in supporting economic fair play" to be particularly insightful.

        With average Dow P/E ratios hovering at 23 and, a flood of cheap money coming out of the Fed (just *look* at M3 since 9/11!), and the Treasury's recent decision to end the 30 year long bond in an effort to push down long term interest and mortgage rates, it's pretty clear that the policy is to squeeze out real estate equity inflationary (and illusory) gains through refinancing in order to float consumer spending and stock market speculation. The frightening thing about this is that it doesn't in the least promote healthy economic activity through increased productivity, it's entirely speculative -- as evidenced by the stock market continuing to rise even with ridiculous P/E ratios making stocks such an obvious bad long term bet. Which makes your analogy of the patent office creating a new "gold rush" all the more relevant: patenting obvious mathematical algorithms doesn't increase productivity as much as it creates exclusive monopolies for the big players. Sure, they get to claim the gains on their balance sheet, but it's a net loss for the economy as a whole.

        I'm worried that the Fed won't be able to maintain and prop up the credit bubble as rising unemployment creates a certain rise in consumer bankruptcies. With increasing unemployment, huge consumer credit and mortgage debt (backed by unreasonably inflated property values) defaults, I fear an unraveling from the banking system through the stock market. Never mind all the crazy derivative hedging going on making many major banks and financial institutions leveraged beyond belief. I fear a recession like we haven't seen since 1929. It could get bad.

        Of course, I could be wrong... (hope so -- I just bought a house! :) )


        ps - like your .sig.
      • Most of the really important algorithms, just like mathematics, are coming out of public research institutions (aka "universities") and are published without patent encumbrance.

        Unfortunately, and most disturbingly, this doesn't happen in a lot of cases.

        Professor Joe Schmoe sits in his (publicly funded) university lab while collecting his (publicly funded) salary, and discusses his (publicly funded) research with his (publicly funded) research assistants. They come up with a revolutionary new technique, so Professor Schmoe immediately incorporates Schmoe Enterprises Inc. and begins to license "his" invention/research and put a bunch of money into his pocket.

        Where is the re-payment to the taxpayers who funded his research in the first place? If this sort of thing is allowed to happen (and it is, apparently) then Schmoe Enterprises Inc. should be repaying the cost of the intial research to the university and the taxpaying public before they can make a private profit from their research in this manner. In fact, it should be "cost of research plus a hefty markup" to be repaid, to account for the amount spent on research that goes nowhere in particular. Don't like the terms? Don't accept public funding for your laboratory and research.

        Same thing goes for patents and such that are "owned" by universities and such. As publicly funded institutions, any and all research and patents should be freely available for all to use, royalty-free. After all, who paid for the research? Why should the taxpayer who already paid for the research be expected to pay again if he actually wishes to use the ideas that his money have paid for?
        • Actually, I believe the way this works around here is that the University aggressively patents things, and then licenses them to the startup companies (which they also fund). Remember that a good deal of the public research group's money comes from such things as licensing their IP, since they're not in a position to make products.

          When not abused, this is actually a pretty decent system. Companies can use licensing to get the benefit of research without all of its costs. With the costs of research skyrocketing in many fields due to the need for high-tech equipment, this actually makes more sense than requiring many small companies trying to do little bits of research.

          Unfortunately, the cases that you hear about are the abuses like Fraunhofer's rethinking of MP3 licensing after it became a standard--not the many examples of IP licensing working well.

          The end result is simple: the people (via the government) grant a time-limited monopoly to a company or institution, and then that entity is responsible for using their right to benefit the people. Unfortunately, trusting corporations to remember that people _gave_ them all the rights they enjoy is asking entirely too much these days.

  • by HaloMan ( 314646 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @10:17AM (#2516123) Homepage
    Someone has seen sense and realised the only way to have a mass-market storage device is to make it easy to develop for. Ever wondered why the Floppy/CD/CD-R/CD-RW/DVD-R/DVD-RW are each successful?

    But I think its the only way that Phillips can hope to compete with DVD-R, DVD-RW or whatever ;)

    • by Anonymous Coward
      But I think its the only way that Phillips can hope to compete with DVD-R, DVD-RW or whatever ;)

      Which they already own for about 50%.

  • Very interesting, but it sounds like the cost would be prohibitive. CD burning isn't that hard, my 72 year old grandma can do it. I think most people will spring for DVD+R/W then this because a burner's a burner, Mount Ranier's probably only gonna be little be cheaper than a DVD+R/W.
  • by Zanthany ( 166662 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @10:19AM (#2516126) Journal

    The Mount Rainier standard sounds nifty, even if the technology is still a couple of years out of wide consumer usage. But my only beef is this: does current CD-R(W) burning software for any platform have to be more complicated than the average computer user can handle?

    Enter Apple's little-known Disc Burner software, and the Authoring Support software located under the hood in the system folder. The basic premise? Put a blank CD in and Disc Burner asks for a format (either hybrid ISO/HFS, Audio, or just plain vanilla ISO), and voila, on your desktop, is an icon of your CD. Drag-n-Drop to your heart's content, and then select "Burn CD" from the Special menu (or drag the CD to the trash, then asking you to burn the CD. Even I never have understood the user interface issues with dragging a disk to the trash to eject it). Done. Simple. My cat can even burn CDs now.

    The moral of the story? Mount Rainier will be an easily applied standard across all platforms. But who said the current technology's software had to be difficult? Granted, Disc Burner is not Mount Rainier, but it definitely is a current and usable facsimile of the technology.

    • Mod me down if you like but Windows XP has this basic capability built in and every one thinks its a bad thing....

      Here is what happens when i insert a blank CDR in the disc drive.

      Windows can perform the same action each time you insert a disk or connect a device with this kind of file:

      blank CD

      What do you want windows to do

      1 Open writable CD folder using Windows explorer

      2 take no action

      Select if you want a default action to occur

      Personally I dont use the built in software because I have other hapits but just to see if it could work I created a shortcut to the CDDRIVE and placed the shortcut on the desktop then dragged and dropped music files to the shortcut and lo and behold they were waiting to be burned. To do the actual burning I opened the shortcut and selected write these files to CD.

      bobs your uncle

      Now on to CDRW if the media costs come down and preformatted disks are cheap and they dont damage easily then I would probably use more of them. My own experience is they dont hold up as well to general everyday use...

    • Too bad that feature consumes 1.4 GB of disk space and takes 20 minutes to burn a CD (with a 16X drive). Maybe my PowerBook's hard drive is just slow, though.
    • Drag-n-Drop to your heart's
      content, and then select "Burn CD" from the Special menu (or drag the CD to the trash, then asking you to burn the
      CD. Even I never have understood the user interface issues with dragging a disk to the trash to eject it).

      Dragging a disk icon to the trash for ejecting has historical reasons, from the time when a Mac had no hard drive or only very limited free spacce on a hard drive:
      normaly you ejected a disk by hitting fan/command E (the sign looking like a fan left from space, the key may also have an apple as sign).
      If you eject a disk like that, the disk comes out of the drive but the icon stays on the desktop, in dark grey.
      If you now insert a nother disk you get a second disk icon, usable like usualy.
      That means you can copy data with drag and drop from one disk to the other and the system asks you to insert the required disks at the appropriated times.
      Basicly a Mac is able to mount a unlimited number of disks despite it only has ONE disk drive.

      To get rid of a disk icon of a disk you allready have ejected(in unix speak: to unmount a disk), you drag the grey icon to the trash.

      So dragging a mounted disk to the trash means: eject and unmount. Its only a shortcut for eject (apple menu bar, special menue eject or fan/E) and unmount later by droping the unused icon to trash.


      (In our days you realy never ever need to mount two disks so most people do not know that it is possible I guess)
  • by martyb ( 196687 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @10:20AM (#2516127)
    For more info on what Mt. Rainier (CD-MRW) is all about, check out their mt-rainier web site [mt-rainier.org]
    • Mt. Rainier is all about more patent licensing money for Phillips and Sony, whose original lucrative CD patents have just about expired. Why do you think DVD-Rewritable hasn't taken off? Skip CD-RW and go straight to DVD+RW and Phillips and Sony lose patent money, big time.
  • Hey, atleast we didn't have to fight for it this time.

    No illegal code for people to wear on shirts...
    No annoying hassels between Ac3 and dts...(why the hell doesn't sound work...why the hell can I get sound, but the video is only half decoded...)

    Of course, this means that the chances of success are asimtonically close to n.

    Where "n" is a low number.

  • Nature (Score:3, Funny)

    by germinatoras ( 465782 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @10:24AM (#2516133) Homepage

    I, for one, am really glad to see that Linux is supporting our national parks. [nps.gov] Heaven knows that we geeks need to get outdoors once and a while.

  • I'll believe it when I see it.

    Unless and until they openly support Linux on ALL of their computer based products, I will NOT be a believer. Case in point: the USB Webcams - they will only let a developer work on this through an NDA. Not very supportive as far as I can tell...
  • Yet I can't help but be concerned. I'm one of the few remaining geeks who hasn't purchased a burner for his home computer, and now that this is coming along, I'm tempted to continue waiting for MR. But if there is no intercompatibility between traditional drives and thr MR medium, if any generic CD-ROM can't read an MR disc, then early adopters are going to be limited to archival work while the true beauty of the disk, transit, remains out of reach. I look forward to being able to quickly and conveniently create demo and project discs before I set off for classes.

    So. Does anyone know if MR media is expected to be readable by standard CD-ROMs?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    you know, those CD's shaped like business cards. That would be cool if thus Rainier spec worked on those CD-RW's too. More convenient than floppies for sure.
  • After reading the article (Which seem to be more about IP issues than the actual format.) and the FAQ at the site I still fail to se whatäs so great.

    Ok so you can have drag and drop support from the OS. Today you need an application for it, although in Win you can use DirectCD to make it more or less invisible to the user. Apparently that can be done in Mac OS as well.

    It's true that a normal CD-RW disc doesn't work in all the old CD players, but if the alternative is to get a new burner it's pretty much moot if you ask me.

    Why would I want to buy a new CDR unit just to avoid formatting the disk? What's the point of this?
    • The point about Mt. Rainier is that it move defect management and other things into the hardware, rather than having software handle it. It essentially turns the CD-RW into a kind of harddisk, which also does its own defect mgmt.

  • Is Mount Rainier just a disc format (like ISO9660, UDF, etc)? There's mention of hardware recorders, but it sounds like they use ordinary CD-RW media. Will normal CD-RW drives be able to use this format? I think that consumers expected to have this drag-n-drop ability in the first place. Nobody's going to buy a new drive just to do that, are they?

    Besides, how do writable DVDs fit into this picture?
    • Re:Confused (Score:5, Informative)

      by WalterSobchak ( 193686 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @12:11PM (#2516312) Homepage Journal
      OK, Mount Rainier [philips.com] is a hardware command specification, not a file format. Mt. Rainier is geared towards the UDF file format, but other file formats could be used. The key point was, that Mt. Rainier would allow the OS to see a MR CD-RW as a block-addressable (rather than a packet-addressable) device. An OS can just write a file system onto a MR CD-RW on the dics without having to worry about packet sizes or bad-block mapping.

      The big point here really is: This would have created a lucrative business for Mount Rainier licensees in selling preformatted MR media

      So in any case, any OS could have operated on MT CD-RW (as far as I understood that), but it was the formatting that was blocked.

      Hope that helps,

      • Thanks muchly. I was about do post, "How does this relate to UDF?". . .

        I guess I can see how it might make it easier for OS writers, but UDF solutions already exist for the major OSes. . .
  • I can already "drag and drop" files to a CDRW that will be read in Windows, MacOS, and Linux, with DirectCD, or packet-cd [sourceforge.net] on Linux. Microsoft even wants to include CD writing tools in Windows, so I guess soon you will not even need DirectCD. The same goes to Apple. So why is this "revolutionary" new format necessary?
  • by JoeShmoe ( 90109 ) <askjoeshmoe@hotmail.com> on Saturday November 03, 2001 @12:23PM (#2516340)
    This type of CD-R/RW usage has been available (in Windows) for years via third-party software like Adaptec/Roxio's DirectCD or the NTI's FileCD and so on. CD players already support packet writing! Why is Microsoft, IBM et. al. taking about reengineering the CD from at such a low level? Doesn't it just require someone to write a Linux version of DirectCD/FileCD? Why can't we just format CD-R/RW discs with the UDF file system that DVD's already use instead of inventing a brand new one?

    Also, I'm not sure I even like the idea of this becoming the "default" behavior for CD writers. I strongly dislike the overhead involved in formatting. I find that a packet writing CD-R/RW hold about 100MB less. I'd rather have the full capacity. I mean, if you are using this thing for business backup (which seems to be the primary argument for needing Linux support) then you are only going to be burning once a day, so why not just burn a full 650/700MB worth of data as a single data track?

    - JoeShmoe
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @12:51PM (#2516399) Homepage Journal
    This sounds a lot like the basic concepts behind Flash Translation Layer - you take a pile of sectors that are slow to erase, and insert a layer that allows you to map logical sectors to physical sectors any way you want. Thus, when you need to "erase" or "re-write" a logical sector, you just change the mapping to a physical sector that hasn't been written to. You then do a background process of taking physical sectors that are "dirty" (written to) but unused and erase them.

    Funny how this idea comes around - FTL, LVM, and now Mt. Rainier. Similar concepts, different applications.
  • I just set up my Linux boxes to do UDF packet writing on my CD-RW drives. It seems to work great, and is a truly handy storage format.

    Could somebody clarify for me why I would replace my apparently perfectly good CD-RW drives with CD-MRW capable ones? I guess there must be some technical advantage to the MRW format. Speed? Reliability? Certainly can't be portability: one of the reasons I chose CD-RW packet is that I can read it on most boxes these days.

    I'm obviously missing something here...

  • It sounds nice, but if the media doesn't fit in my shirt pocket, then it's no Zip replacement.
  • I don't think Mount Rainer can be patented. This format is declared "next-generation" because it allows you to treat CD-Rs and CD-RWs as regular media with drag-and-drop capabilities for burning data. But I'm pretty sure the latest version of Mac OS X already does that. I run Mac OS X but don't have a burner, so I haven't been able to try it myself, but after reading a recent review on C|NET, it appears you can drag-and-drop onto DVDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs to burn data. Prior art, right there.

    And since the main purpose of this format appears to be the functional benefits of treating CD-Rs and CD-RWs as regular removable media (floppies, JAZ disks, etc.), the only thing left to patent would be the physical disk. But, that's not possible because there's nothing special or different about "MRW" disks: they are just regular CD-RWs. The real support for MRW comes from the OS and software, not from hardware.

    So don't get your hopes up that Philips decided to forego the royalties in favor of widespread adoption. It's entirely possible that someone who works for Philips actually has a Mac OS X system and discovered that the project they've been working on for two years was just shown up by Apple.

    In my opinion, however, Philips is more interested in making money by selling lots of disks marked "MRW" at a premium instead of selling CD-RWs. Having support for MRW everywhere then makes more sense than charging developers for support for the format. I doubt Philips ever intended to close off access to the specification despite what Andre Hendrick says. Perhaps they were just keeping it closed until it was finalized.
    • I think you're right about OS X having this capability, and I know Windows XP does. However they both (well I'm not sure about OS X) use drivers and software that is much like those used in applications like EasyCD Creator (Toast for Mac)(in fact I think Roxio provided MS the sofware for XP). The file system being developed by Philips may have this same capability built into the actual system, as opposed to a seperate application or driver.
  • What I want to know is how is CD-MRW any different than current Packet Writing tools?

    For example, Nero comes with a Packet-Writer program, and the Sony Spressa drives all come with AbCD. These utilities allow the CD to be mounted as a large removable media, and used in a simple drag and drop fashion. As far as I know, AbCD and the Nero one (I can't remember it's name -- help -- someone?) aren't compatible so there is of course this whole compatibility issue that CD-MRW does fix up for us, but my question is this:

    If packeting writing DOES the same thing for us already -- then what is preventing CURRENT drives from supporting Mount Rainier?

    Logically, if the drives can DO Packet Writing in other formats, then it's only a driver issue that prevents them from doing it Mount Rainier format, right? If not, why not?

    By the looks of it -- everyone is going to need whole new drives and media, something I'm not too terribly keen on considering that I've been using a Sony Spressa for a while now and I ALREADY HAVE packeting writing.
  • For courage mounteth with occasion. -- William Shakespeare, "King John"

    Apt, no?

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen