Picking an external DVD drive

A long time ago I thought it was good to see the old printer ports phased out of laptops. Then the PS2 mouse plug started to fade away. When floppy drives disappeared I was a little concerned, but it hasn’t really affected me much. This X60s is the first machine I’ve ever bought that came without an optical drive though, and considering that was one of my reasons for needing a new computer I pondered it greatly before buying this one.

But that is a problem easily solved with about US$50 at my local electronic department store, on the way home from work. I have a bad habit of simply grabbing something off the shelf without double-checking its compatibility, but I do admit I check the label against what I know before I purchase.

This time though, I just yanked a Buffalo DVSM-PN58U2V off the shelf and walked to the counter. Careful Linux consumer be darned, I was going to go crazy and take my chances. I paid my money, came home and plugged it in.

And not only does it get its proper attention from Linux, but the BIOS in this X60s likes it too. I can boot off CDs (which was my main concern) and write ISOs out to disc too, so my adventures in restoring old hardware to full function can continue unabated.

My only caveat if you decide on the same one, is that the surface is that over-polished sheen that seems to be the rage on laptops these days. Personally I hate that, because it picks up fingerprints like crazy. So I leave the protective plastic cover on mine — much like I do with my cellphone. It’s a small layer of protection against dinks and scuffs, and doesn’t look like an entire primary school ate cookies and Kool-aid and then mauled your DVD burner.

And on that note. …

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6 Responses to “Picking an external DVD drive”


  1. 1 LeoSolaris 2010/02/24 at 11:11 PM

    “And on that note. …”

    It’s time for cookies and kool-aid?

    That shouldn’t be a question…

    Of course it’s time for cookies and kool-aid!

    (It’s it why I’m a part of the cult of Linux… We have so many more choices in our cookie types and kool-aid flavors than the other compuCults.)

  2. 3 Luca 2010/02/25 at 3:41 AM

    I really don’t get leaving the plastic on. Surely it looks worse than having fingerprints? :P

    On another note, I’m glad to see BIOSs boot of external DVD drives. I was pondering replacing my laptop with a netbook, and this would have been a requirement.

  3. 4 steve 2010/02/25 at 12:03 PM

    You’ll be pretty hard pressed to find a netbook that won’t boot from external USB drive and whatever type.

    Also, it’s getting harder to find hardware that *doesn’t* work with Linux these days. I rarely check any more to be honest.


  1. 1 Circumventing a lack of USB CD support « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2010/02/26 at 11:00 PM
  2. 2 Shopping with a friend « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2010/03/12 at 12:19 PM

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