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Re: How is your Dreamcast gaming going on?

by CRTGAMER Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:54 am

Tanooki wrote:Do you have any hard industry evidence on how a burned low quality consumer disc with shoddy data on it won't shorten the life of a drive working right?

To be clear I do have burns, just 3, just like 15 years ago I had that many too. Not against them, but I do like to buy real stuff when it's affordable and doesn't require a mod or other hoops to jump through.

3 to 5 billion pits average per disc. A lot of zeros and ones that all have to be copied from the master pressed disc with exact spacing.

jay_red wrote:just to add my personal experience, I have used burned games for years and years on the same DC, and I have never experienced any issues that would cause me to think that my DC life has been compromised.

Agree, some have gone for years with no issues. Given that the older consoles will continually be harder to replace as years go by, a good idea to do whatever possible to prolong the life. I lean to the better quality control of a pressed disc over a home burned disc. So many pits that will not have that same tight spacing tolerance compared to industry pressings. Throw in the reflective qualities of the burned disc dye vs the pressed disc.

As posted earlier, some burned games do not have all the music and video due to smaller size of the CDR compared to the Dreamcast pressed disc. That alone, reason to buy the GD-ROM original Dreamcast game over a burned disc. :idea:
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Re: How is your Dreamcast gaming going on?

by Tanooki Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:24 am

BogusMeatFactory wrote:Yeah, having no proof that something exists sure does mean it exists.


So I guess that means since there's supposedly no proof it doesn't happen? That's like telling Einstein a 100 years ago there was no such thing as gravity waves since he had no proof other than his theory on the subject because it couldn't be tested or observed, he had no physical proof. Yet we have 3 guys who got a nobel prize for science last year for finally detecting, measuring, and recording it proving that reality. Just because people may not have solid proof doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Your weak flippant comment may hold fine for you, but that's you, not everyone else. I've had CDRs I burned in the 90s go bad over time and they're not left out where dust and light can get to them. I've also had a game CDs on older Sony systems start to degrade where if you put them up to a light bulb you can see pinholes through the material.Yet at first glance those commercial discs have not a scratch let alone a thumb print on them as I get OCD about optical media and scratching. And I'm sure some here are aware that certain Gamecube games were pressed cheaply and have fallen apart like the famous Metal Gear Twin Snakes where the top aprt flakes away like sunburned skin and the data layer corrupts on them too after they go that far and that's a documented known.
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Re: How is your Dreamcast gaming going on?

by marurun Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:22 pm

Tanooki wrote:Unlike anti vaxxer nuts, I could make the same argument at you couldn't I?


Net necessarily. CD-Rs are designed to work in CD drives similarly to regular CDs, so the assertion that they are somehow harmful to our CD hardware is therefore a claim against their very design and purpose. CD-Rs aren't supposed to require a special CD drive to read.

That said, I do have email correspondence with Sam Goldwasser, author and maintainer of the Notes on the Troubleshooting and Repair of Compact Disc Players and CDROM Drives FAQ. Here's his CV. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from MIT and has taught and published about lasers. He agrees with my assertion that wear and tear from CD-Rs on CD drives should be minimal and unlikely to affect the overall lifespan of a drive.

As far as I know there have been no studies after the fact about the effects of CD-Rs on drives, so there is no data. But when CD-Rs were first designed, you can bet they did lots of testing to ensure they were readable in standard drives as part of the product design phase. So we have design and market success telling us they are effective products.
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Re: How is your Dreamcast gaming going on?

by Tanooki Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:47 pm

Now there's a respectable response thank you.

And yes I agree they would have tested them out thoroughly for sure. But I would also assume since business is in the line for selling more players and more discs they probably wouldn't mind too much if a CDR put some minimal cumulative strain on a device so say the possibility would be there in later years you'd need to buy another. Stuff just wears out and if something can nudge it along a year or two faster I doubt they'd mind but that's just a guess. Obviously they'd be made with the here and now in mind to function as desired with no ill effects, but no business is about the long term as that doesn't sell more product.
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Re: How is your Dreamcast gaming going on?

by fastbilly1 Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:59 pm

RCBH928 wrote:So, any one has a launch Dreamcast or a brand new one?
How well do they hold? The problem with buying used is that you have no idea what kind of abuse the system had or how many prior owners. I also heard Dreamcasts are starting to die left and right... not sure if true...

Launch Dreamcast, running burns since 2001. It ran Power Stone 2 for four hours on Saturday, off a 2002 burn with no issues. Thats a 18 year old console with a 15 year old consumer cdr.

My Sega Sports Dreamcast was a secondhand purchase in 2009, it also runs the Power Stone 2 copy with no issues. My only still working convention Dreamcast however does not. It did spend 2007-2012 getting ran ragged in the worst possible conditions for atleast one weekend a month - 40 hours of operation in hot and humid gaming rooms at minimum once a month for five years. It was loaned out to other events to mostly run Marvel Vs Capcom 2. It does not run many games anymore, retail or burned, so I need to do a full teardown to see if I can repair it.

That said, my experience is not scientific. Just my observations.
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Re: How is your Dreamcast gaming going on?

by marurun Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:00 pm

Well, how long do you think a typical CD drive is really supposed to last? It's a precision mechanical device that is manufactured cheaply, with many rubber and plastic parts. I think in most cases with these surviving classic game systems it is age not wear and tear that are the enemy. They just weren't designed to be used for as many years as we're using them. I mean, if they assume a successful market lifecycle is 5-7 years, they probably aren't engineering the hardware design for 20.

The Dreamcast is now almost 20 years old. I know there was a minor revision for cutting off reading MILCDs, but that's a firmware change and wouldn't actually require a hardware part change. So essentially we have a soon to be 20 year old system with a hardware design which, if we're lucky, was shooting for 10. We also know that Sega designed the system specifically to keep manufacturing and design costs reasonable. We should all keep our fingers crossed for our little Dreamcast that couldn't.
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Re: How is your Dreamcast gaming going on?

by Tanooki Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:33 pm

I don't know, probably few would be able to answer that. I think the point goes back to just wear and tear and just time. Though if they were let's say to rate the disc drive motor for 1000 hours of continuous use. And then you used a CDR for DC with chopped up data, moved around data, and filled in dummy information to round out a 700MB burn. Those older burns had the motor being accessed more time than a stock disc. One could argue the cheap discs may not jack up the laser but shorten the life of the drive motor and increasing the chance of a failure of the motor or some part of it from higher usage.

It's a mixed bag of what ifs.
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Re: How is your Dreamcast gaming going on?

by marurun Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:31 pm

I think if you're paranoid enough to not want to play burns in a system that readily accepts them, you're probably not really all THAT interested in playing burns. So don't. Even if your system's lifespan isn't extended meaningfully, you'll feel better about it. I would never tell someone else how to use their console.

What gets me is the people who proselytize about how CD-Rs will destroy our consoles. They make those expansive claims without anything to back them up, trying to get other people to follow their creed. These are the people who feel compelled to tell others how they should use their console. No, it's OK, you're not an abusive Dreamcast owner for playing burns.

RCBH928 wrote:So, marurun, how do you know if the images are properly packed game images?


The older Echelon images and the like were usually thrown together haphazardly and are usually not dummied and reordered. Most groups that are fixing DC releases have that in the info file/readme: that the disk has been re-packed and dummied. I don't know how to tell just by looking at an ISO with no readme.
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Re: How is your Dreamcast gaming going on?

by Tanooki Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:54 pm

Now that I can agree on, and I'm not in that camp. I know a CDR can't kill a console, or an audio or movie player either. But I do believe a badly slapped together crappily ordered burn could shorten the life of a drive somewhat but by how much I doubt can be measured. It's just the common sense that if you make the motor run twice as hard and twice as long, it's twice as likely to have a problem sooner than later.


Now as far as the DC burns go. Look for TUX or DCREC names attached.

Those ones they take original media not the crap that was out there. They'll on their computer use whatever apps they coded or found around that get the job done and they will first 1:1 copy the data off the GDROM. From there they look how over the 700MB cap a CD burned master can take and first compress that lovely FMV video done in that SOFTDEC(that's it isn't it?) with a modern compression routine to a smaller size without (in many cases) visually degrading the quality of the video. If more room is needed then you can downsample the audio on the FMV or the audio tracks a little bit each time until you're within the cap. At times they find the people mastering the data didn't do all that well organizing it, so these 2 guys(Groups) would re-organize the data and have seen returns where you get faster access times and less back and forward on the laser motor too.

I don't know any of the techno jargon with it but I read up on it a lot when I was weighing my options on burning a set of 3 discs until I found this guy doing them for a very very fair price with industry level CDs and using a machine that splashes the same kind of ink (same color and quality) Sega used so I went with that over crap discs, a learning curve of failures and a crappy sharpee label.
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Re: How is your Dreamcast gaming going on?

by RCBH928 Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:31 am

marurun wrote:Net necessarily. CD-Rs are designed to work in CD drives similarly to regular CDs, so the assertion that they are somehow harmful to our CD hardware is therefore a claim against their very design and purpose. CD-Rs aren't supposed to require a special CD drive to read.


But the Dreamcast is not a CD-R drive its a GD-ROM drive. Can that affect the system's lifespan?

Very ironic they went through the trouble of creating a new media type to overcome piracy when its just about the only console I know you can run bootlegs with no mods.

also, the fact they released a firmware update to prevent copies from being played seemed like they were still having hope to continue their business in the console market.

marurun wrote:I mean, if they assume a successful market lifecycle is 5-7 years, they probably aren't engineering the hardware design for 20.

The Dreamcast is now almost 20 years old..


Last I heard Dreamcast and later generation consoles emulation has not been perfected. Meaning with the last dying Dreamcast, we will lose the option of playing Dreamcast games. This means we will lose a piece of gaming history and future generations will hear about Dreamcast games (or later!) but will not be able to experience them (unlike video and audio that can transfer to other mediums).
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