CD-R news from Young Minds, Inc.
The company showed a new CD-Recording system at UNIX Expo that pre-masters and records as many as 100 different CD-ROM discs in a single day. This turkey system, named the Mass Production System, is the fastest and most cost-effective solution available for today's demanding, data-intensive applications.
"MPS brings the benefits of parallel computing to CD-Recording," said David H. Cote of Young Minds. "Computer manufacturers began exploiting the power of parallel processing several years ago. Now, Young Minds has ported this technology to CD-Recording technology. One of the most important benefits that our customers derive from MPS's parallel architecture is that it costs significantly less than competing solutions." Cote explained that by utilizing a parallel configuration with multiple premastering engines, only one CD-Recorder and media autoloader is required, "unlike competing solutions that require two or more recorders and autoloaders."
The MPS system consists of the MPS multi-processor controller, premastering software, a CD recorder, and a media autoloader. The MPS controller is available with two, three, or four premastering engines. An in-line disc label printer is optional. Since premastering the data set (premastering is the process of formatting the data to the requirements of the CD-Recorder) requires at least as much time as the actual disc recording process, two or more premastering tasks run concurrently on the host system. The host system can be virtually any UNIX workstation. Once a set of data has been premastered, the host sends the data to the MPS system, which then queues and sends it to the recorder.
The MPS system uses the world's fastest CD-Recorder, the Kodak PCD 600, which is the only 6x recorder on the market. It takes only 12 minutes for the PCD 600 to record 650 MB of data onto a recordable disc.
Utilizing Young Minds' proven MakeDisc premastering software, MPS is available for virtually every popular UNIX environment, including Sun OS, HP UX, AIX, DEC UNIX, DG UX, SGI, Solaris, SCO, UNIXWare and many other UNIX variants.
The in-line disc printer is optional. When the printer is used, the printing operation is done at the same time the disc is recorded. The MPS printer prints identifying information directly on the disc. The printing operation occurs immediately after the disc is recorded. No additional handling is required, as the Disc Transporter automatically removes the disc from the recorder, places it in the printer, and then moves it to the output spindle.
MPS pricing begins at $69,950 and includes the MPS controller, premastering software, the Kodak PCD 600, and Disc Transporter. Other configurations are available.
Young Minds has also announced a new CD Recording product for Novell networks. Called AutoCDR, it attaches to a NetWare file server and allows network users to create standard CD-ROM discs by simply tagging files and directories for recording to disc.
"AutoCDR is a breakthrough product:' declared Andrew Young, president of Young Minds. "It eliminates the complexities that until now have limited the usability of CD-Recordable products, particularly in networked environments. AutoCDR works very much like a network printer. Instead of printing your documents on paper, AutoCDR `prints' the documents on a CD-ROM disc. Anyone that knows how to copy a file already knows how to use AutoCDR."
"As an electronic replacement for the network printer, AutoCDR makes the concept of the paperless office a reality," continued Young. "A single disc can hold 250,000 pages of text and can be read by virtually any computer with a CD-ROM drive. Moreover, you can find any particular piece of information on a disc in a split second."
When using traditional printing methods on a network, there are three basic production steps. Once the data has been prepared, the user sends a print command. At this point, the network print spooler takes over. The spooler queues the document, along with identifying information such as user ID, job number, and job ID, and sends this to the appropriate printer. When the printer received the job, it prints a banner page containing user and job information, followed by the document.
There are also three basic production steps required for printing a document (or set of documents) to AutoCDR. Once the data is collected, the user specifies how many disc are needed and issues a "job ready" command. Auto CDR receives the command and processes the job, similar to the network print spooler. AutoCDR queues the data and adds a banner page containing user ID, job number, and job ID. AutoCDR also adds a serialized disc bar code number to the banner page. It automatically loads a disc into the CD recorder and send the data to the recorder. Once the disc is recorded, AutoCDR sends a command to unload the disc and process the next job in the queue.
AutoCDR consists of a Kodak PCD 600 CD recorder, a Kodak Disc Transporter, and an AutoCDR Controller.
The third new product is one that Young Minds is shipping now. SimpliCD Release has new features, including faster recording times and an integrated Backup and Restore utility. SimpliCD Release 3 also supports capaCD, a unique CD-ROM data compression software package. With this data compression software, SimpliCD can premaster discs that contain up to 4 GB of data and/or audio. capaCD is available as an option for SimpliCD.
By combining SimpliCd and capaCD, users can compress data files at up to a six-to-one ratio and record them on CD-ROM. CapaCD transparently decompresses the data as it is read. This innovative data storage technology significantly boosts the storage capacity of CD-ROMs allowing up to 4 GB of information to be placed on a 74-minute CD-R disc.
Since it was first released in January 1994, Windows-based SimpliCD, has continued to lead the market in both ease of use and supported features. This third release incorporates the most significant new feature set since the initial release.
The formatting code has been rewritten to allow Format-on-the-Fly recording, through which data is formatted and sent to the CD recorder in a single operation. Previously, SimpliCD wrote formatted data to the computer's hard disk prior to sending it to the recorder. At the user's discretion, SimpliCD formats a portion of the data, records it to disc, and then starts formatting the next portion of data through a CD-recording method called Track-at-Once recording. Or, if the user chooses, SimpliCD formats the entire data set and records it as one continuous track; this is called Disc-at-Once recording. These recording methods are retained under Release 3.
SimpliStor, SimpliCD's new Backup and Restore module, is the most comprehensive archival software available for CD recording. It includes options for full incremental, and differential backups. Simp]iStor also automatically changes file attributes upon file restoration. Since CD-ROM is a read-only storage media, the read-only file attribute is set for files that have been recorded to CD; SimpliStor turns off this attribute when it restores files.
Young Minds, Inc. provides a complete line of UNIX and Windows-based CD-Recordable and CD-ROM Mass Storage systems to business, industry, government agencies, and educational institutions. For more information contact Young Minds, Inc., Redlands, CA 800/YMI-4YMI (964-4964), Fax: 909/798-0488.