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Thread: Copy to CD

  1. #1
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Michael Humby
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    Default Copy to CD

    I have raised this problem before and I'm hoping that someone can throw more light on the subject that will allow Xbasic to write to CD RW

    My apps have a built in Xbasic back up routine that creates a zip file then copies the file to a removable, floppy, memory stick, USB zip etc of the user's choice.

    e.g. copy Appdata.zip f:\ .....where f:\ is the users drop down choice

    My problem is that most of my customers want to back up to CD and I am unable to give them this option using Xbasic.

    If I go to Windows Explores and copy a file then paste to D:\ .....where D: is my CD R/W no problem

    But, if I create a Dos batch file e.g. copy Appdata.zip D:\ this is not accepted

    Same applies if I attempt to use Xbasic to write a text file to CD RW

    If I format the CD first then the above two options are OK but the trouble is that because the CD RW has been formatted on one computer, it rarely can be read by another computer so makes the CD backup useless. (In fact not all computers allow the option to 'Format a CD')

    Appreciate any ideas on the above as I would dearly like to simulate the 'copy and paste' to CD via Windows Explorer by using Xbasic.

    Michael

  2. #2
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    Tom Cone Jr
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    Default RE: Copy to CD

    Michael,

    You're tackling something I would not touch with a ten foot pole. I admire your bravery. But if it were me, I'd think long and hard before hiring on to furnish this type of functionality for the client.

    At the outset, I'd ask them if they can save other documents directly to the CD. i.e. Can they save a Word document to CD, directly from Word? i.e. Can they use File | Save As and choose the CD ? If not, then they should not expect to be able to do so with Alpha.

    But I see a larger problem here. One with potential financial liability ramifications for you. When the customer tells you that CDs formatted on one machine can't be read on other machines in the office, that raises a red flag in my mind. What possible use will a backup be if it cannot be read by other machines, or by a new machine purchased to replace the one that just crashed irrevocably ? Don't they expect you to be able to deliver a backup that can be used throughout the office, or on a new machine? How will that be possible? Do you want this responsibility? Personally, I'd be very wary of trying to solve this "problem" for the client. They are looking for convenience and expect 100% reliability. Due to the wide variation in CD formats and disk writing software I'm not certain I could ever deliver a guaranteed solution. Anything I might develop for a client would have to be tied to a specific combination of operating system, CD manufacturer, CD drive model, CD software, CD media, and CD format. The customer would have to agree in writing that my guarantee would not cover backups made with any other combination. Why? because these things are simply not interchangeable. At least that's been my experience here.

    -- tom






  3. #3
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: Copy to CD

    Tom,

    I was always under the impression that one of the most important functions of CDRW was for archiving files. My customers never appear to be very convinced when I explain the downside of archiving to CDRW.

    My main reason for posting this message is to get some discussion/feed back from other developers experiences so that I can improve my understanding of CDRW logic. I have searched various internet sites but have yet to find any reference to incompatibility between different CDRW soft/hard ware on different computers.

    My backup/restore routine runs fine when writing to all other types of removable drives. The routine has been running on hundreds of my applications so I do not have any problems here except when writing to CDRW.

    Michael

  4. #4
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    Martin W. Cole
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    Default RE: Copy to CD

    Michael, I recall several threads regarding this issue the past few years, and as I recall NOONE ever found a reliable solution. Try searching in 5.0 and 6.0, too.

  5. #5
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    Default RE: Copy to CD

    Michael,

    What do they tell you when you ask whether they can save an edited document in Word directly to the CD?

    What do they tell you when you ask them how they're going to get data off the CD if it can't be read by other machines in the office?

    -- tom

  6. #6
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: Copy to CD

    I have conducted further tests of writing to a CDRW using xbasic but get hit and miss results depending on the CDRW software.

    Having searched the net and looked at various help files, I have come to the conclusion that back up to CD is not much use to a developer for runtime apps where their customers have limited computer knowledge. So I am still left with the problem of advising my customers that back up to CD is not reliable even though they have a CD RWriter and the blurb on their RW CD disc cover tells them that the principal use of their CDRW is for archiving files. Who will they believe, me or the or the instructions on the CD?

    It would appear that writing xbasic to a formatted CDRW is OK only if it is kept to computers that have the same CD writing software installed and that the same CDRW software that was used to format the CD.

    Problems occur when switching between machines and CDRW software. In fact the data on the CD gets corrupted in some instances. The formatting software does not appear to be standardised.

    I have Roxio installed on my computer. If I load a new CD RW disc Roxio give me the option to 'Quick Format' or 'Full Format'. Roxio help info states that if I use quick format the CD can only be 'Drag to Disc' by a computer with Roxio installed. It goes on to say that if I use the full format then the CD can be 'Drag to Disc' with any RW CD but I find this is not the case because after 'Full' formatting on my computer, if I insert the same CD in to my daughter's new laptop (no Roxio installed) the CD cannot be recognised.

    In scenario 2, if I insert a new unused RW disc into my daughter's new laptop with no CD writing software installed then the RW disc is treated the same as a R only disk and Windows does not offer a 'Format' option. The only way to write is by using Windows gludgy 'Save to Disc' option which is pretty useless when using Xbasic and in the hands of a user with no computing knowledge.

    I started this thread hoping that someone out there could prove me wrong and point me to a better solution of back up to CD.

    Michael

  7. #7
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: Copy to CD

    Michael, I empathize completely. Because of liability issues I advise my folks to use commercial backup software, and help them configure it to cover all the database files. I do not try to automate this process from within Alpha Five. Nevertheless I'm very interested in this, and will keep watching cause I think your question is a good one.

    -- tom c

  8. #8
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: Copy to CD

    Tom,

    Thanks again for your input.

    Very few of my customers have any computer knowledge whatsoever so explaining a third party back up program would become far too involved.

    I am quite happy with the existing back up routine that I offer using a button with a mixture of Xbasic and my commercial zip licence but it looks as though I will have to bite the bullet and continue advising my customers not to use CD until there is a standardised format.

    I sometimes get contradicted by the occasional guru that has advised my customers differently so I wish that I could point them to an article that explains the downsides of CD archiving using CD RW.

    Michael

  9. #9
    Member MoGrace2U's Avatar
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    Robin Quinn
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    Default RE: Copy to CD

    Hi Michael - Just thought I would drop my two cents while I was hoping for a response to my own post. Any chance you could use the USB Mini Drives instead of a CD. They look like a drive to the computer and can hold a lot of data. I keep mine on my key chain! And you don't have to worry about read only files if the files are not zipped first. Win 98 does require an updated driver however. I got mine from IOMEGA - Robin

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