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iMac Businesses Apple Hardware

eMac Gets SuperDrive 28

unspec writes "For those looking for cheap Macintosh DVD authoring, Zettabyte Solutions have a press release describing the SuperDrive-equipped eMac they will soon be offering." I imagine it wouldn't be too hard to convert your own eMac to a "SuperDrive," but I don't really know.
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eMac Gets SuperDrive

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  • You gotta hand it to Apple. They sure know how to name technologies.

    Too bad they painted themselves into a corner with this one. What do you call a drive that can do more than CD-R/W+DVD-R/W? Super-Duper Drive? Ultra Drive?
    • by AKA da JET ( 280057 ) on Sunday July 07, 2002 @11:12AM (#3836807) Homepage
      You do like Capcom and call it "Super Drive II Turbo".
    • Here's what they do: just wait a few years until the current technology is left behind, then give "superdrive" to the new standard. remember, "superdrive' was originally the amazing (heh heh) floppy drive that could read both Mac and PC formatted disks.
      • by LazLong ( 757 )
        Actually, the SuperDrive wasn't given that moniker because it could read both Mac and PC formatted disks, but rather because it could write 1.44MB diskettes. At the time this drive was released there was no native MacOS support for reading and writing of PC disks. Apple later released PC Exchange which let you use PC floppies, but only from within the app - you had to copy files to and from the floppy, no on-the-fly use of the disk. Software Architects released an INIT/CDEV called DOS Mounter which would allow the use of PC disks natively within the Finder as if it were a Mac disk (and later PC SCSI hard disks). Apple later purchased the right to bundle this with the MacOS.
    • My guess is that it'll just be Superdrive 2. Definitely faster, possibly DVD+RW or some other standard that's backwards compatible with DVD-RW.
      • Why bother?

        Apple are still selling the 'iMac', which has changed somewhat over its lifespan so far :)

        Anyway, I thought the drive has already changed (103 -> 104 or something small like that, bringing about better CD-R performance or something :/ )
  • Warranty Claims? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Chances are that Apple won't hold up your warranty if they find your eMac's been opened up by a dealer and had a SuperDrive fitted. It's not one of their configurations so they'll not look too kindly upon it...
  • The SuperDrives are just plain old Pioneer DVR drives. You can get a Cheap SuperDrive for $254.49 here [] or keep checking [] for falling prices.

    You should be able to slip this drive into a G4 in either it's available drive bay or by replacing your existing DVD/CDRW/Combo/CD with it. The only difficult part of installing a SuperDrives in an eMac would be getting the case apart and then back together. I haven't taken an eMac apart so I can't comment on it's ease but having taken many iMacs apart, I can tell you it's not super easy. If it's like the iMac, you'll have to get in there pretty far to get at the drive bay. The trick is to go slow, think about it and remember where all the screws came from!

    If the thought of taking a machine apart and/or voiding your warranty makes you squeamish, you may be able to put the Pioneer DVR into a Piranha FireWire case [] for an extra $55. You should give them a call first and make sure this case can handle removable media drives and is fast enough for a DVR.

    • It should be noted, though, that iDVD won't work with external Pioneer DVD-R drives, though apparently it'll work with internally installed Pioneer drives.
    • True!

      But at least for G4 I can't fit in a second CD/DVD/??? -drive in without doing some metal work. At least in the "old" (not quicksilver) G4 case the lower space has metal brackets for 3.5" form drives (such as Zip drive) only. And I still am looking for the DVD-burner to fit into that (and still use use stadard DVDs). *GRIN* Maybe with some sort of "hardware compression technology"?

      No, seriously. It's easy to replace the internal drive with anything (supported). I replaced my internal DVD-RAM with a Sony CD-RW (a model that Apple used in another G4-model) I got cheaply - works perfectly directly from OS, no Toast needed. Only problem is I have to swap in the DVD-RAM to watch movies... I would love to put them both in at once, but I hesitate to cut my G4 case to bits - maybe I'll just buy a PC case and fit everything in that...

      But as for fitting a DVD-R in, I see no reason why it shouldn't work as well (provided model matches those of used by Apple). It seems Apple has used the same (PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-104) drive in both G4s and iMacs. Ofcourse you'll be voiding the warranty and all that, but you can find a pretty good list at Dantz's site: apple_o pt_compat_dev

  • iMac vs. eMac (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HiredMan ( 5546 ) on Sunday July 07, 2002 @06:46PM (#3838347) Journal
    At that point there's only aboput $100 between the flat panel iMac with the SuperDrive and the eMac with the SuperDrive.

    Same processor and speed, same HD space etc. The eMac's screen is slightly larger 15" vs. 17" but the LCD has an viewable of 15" so the difference is not that much... The eMac is probably easier to upgrade for the power-user but that's about it....

    I personally think I'd go for the iMac with it's fancy stylin' - but more power to 'em for trying this out.

  • For those just tuning in, the SuperDrive is just a Pioneer DVR-104 burner thrown into a Mac. You can buy the same drive and install it in a PC just like you would any other burner. The problem is that Pioneer has been having trouble keeping a steady supply of them.

    I bought such a drive last december, and it died on me 3 weeks later. The drive was out-of-stock and the store was forced to refund my fat wad of cash. They just started receiving new units two weeks ago. I don't know how Apple has been dealing with this pathetic shortage, but it sure was a pain in the ass. Today I don't even want to buy that burner, because I am afraid it might again disappear from the shelves within weeks. Now I'm not saying this is a bad drive, I just landed on a lemon (probably damaged in shipping). The bitch is that had my original drive been replaced in timely fashion, I would have had 8 months to capitalize on it (home video conversions and corporate DVD promo mastering - big $$$ =) I really looked like a fool when I was forced to drop a handful of contracts thanks to my invisible DVD burner. And yet there was nothing to be done, Pioneer was silent; "Just wait a little longer" they said.

    Anyone can understand the value of getting a 1000$ toy before everyone else. At first it was scanners, and people would pay 5$ a pop to scan photos to floppy. Then cd burners came around and people were paying 30$/disc to backup their hard drive. And not so long ago, DVD burners. Now they've dropped prices about 40%, making them so much more accessible to the unwashed masses. Of course there is still a place in the local market for my skills and experience, but I won't be able to charge nearly as much now that just about anyone can get a burner and "EZ-DVD-Creator for dummies" software.

    Oh well, thanks Pioneer.
    • I don't know how Apple has been dealing with this pathetic shortage

      Um, Apple is probably the _cause_ of the shortage. You can be guaranteed that Apple has a deal with Pioneer to ensure that they get first dibs on the units that are produced.
  • Dismanteling an eMac (Score:2, Informative)

    by krischan ( 162684 )

    I dismantled mine last week as I swapped the CD-RW with an DVD and upgraded the HDD.

    That was a lot of fun!

    basically it comes down to unscrewing 30 or so screws, taking care of many wires and playing around with the mainboard as the drive bay is connected with it.

    I took some pathetic pictures, might post them if someone wants them...

    not for the faint - and I think I lost my warranty


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