Smart and Friendly, CD Rocket, CD-RW.

Burn a CD in 5 minutes or under nowadays. Nowadays you can burn a CD with any Panasonic or other comparable brand. Originally you needed a Rocket 8x CD-R burner from Smart and Friendly.

Toast software from Adaptec allows you to drag-and-drop and fill a CD-R as easily as transferring files from one disk to another.

The advantage of a CD is that the data cannot be damaged by SCSI cable problems. If your SCSI cables are too long, or the wrong kind, then every file on your hard drive(s) can be corrupted (totally ruined). This is why I did not want a CD-RW, because I had too many digital files damaged by SCSI headaches (in Japan, while working in their National Museum of Ethnology). I also lost an entire disk full of digital photographs on a Pinnacle Micro Apex (over 2 Gigabytes worth of data) when the Apex decided to malfunction.

Smart and Friendly made headlines with their 8x CD-R burner but now faster CD burners are available. Although several other companies now have their own version of 8x burners, Smart and Friendly has established a solid reputation for itself. Now, since everyone else is also producing perfectly good 8x CD-R burners, Smart-and-Friendly now has a 12x burner.

I visited the Smart and Friendly booth at the CeBIT computer trade show in Hannover, Germany, to get a closer look at their products.

Smart and Friendly also makes high speed CD-RW burners. The company also made 4x and 6x burners. It is recommended that you use media certified for 8x burning speeds. For 4x speeds we have used generic disks with ease.

Smart and Friendly CD burnNot all places sell the Smart and Friendly brand, so we got an 8x CD burner with a Yamaha inside. Nowadays 8x and even 12x CD-R burners from other name brands are standard commodities. You should be able to get 12x CD-R burners from all major revelers as well (but probably other brands, not Smart and Friendly). Actually inside they are all rather similar and all the products I have purchased have been high quality international name brands.

This 8x CD-R burner from ProDirect was possibly a Sanyo, but the software read the innards as a Yamaha, a good name in CD burners.

I was very pleasantly surprised that generic disks did perfectly well at 8x speed. These are disks from Maxell, bulk-rate on spindles of 100 raw disks. Every disk has successfully burned at 8x speed. Not a single frisbee.

The newer disks hold 700 MB, so they are worth tracking down. Verbatim makes special disks which can be burned at 12x speed.