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Adventures In External Media With Kubuntu - page 2

Easy Things First

  • January 28, 2009
  • By Rob Reilly
My old external IOMega Zip CD drive and I have been through a lot. This relic cost me $200 back in 2000. It seems so long ago. Anyway, this device has been very reliable over the years. I've used it to burn countless CDs and it was a savior for loading SUSE Linux on a tiny OQO Palmtop PC, for a story a few years back.

I can't say enough about hardware recognition in Kubuntu. Using this old drive amounted to plugging in the USB and powering up the device. The drive shows up in the device notifier pop-up, as soon as a CD is inserted into the device. A quick click on the appropriate menu item and Dolphin appears with all the files and directories, from the CD.

The Zip CD drive is useful now because the only thing that doesn't work on the ASUS is the internal CD/DVD drive. It's an LG model GSA-T50L, which apparently is known to have problems with Kubuntu. Funny thing is that it worked fine to load the basic Kubuntu software during installation, but is unreliable under normal desktop conditions. I think it might be a problem with the LG drive being SATA. Hopefully, a fix is in the works for future versions.

Let's switch over to a more complicated external device.

Lots Of Portable Space

Perhaps I'm loosing my Internet research edge, because I spent a couple of days looking around for data on using external mass storage devices with Linux and really didn't find much.

Seagate, Western Digital and a host of other vendors make consumer level packaged high-capacity USB drives that are available through retail outlets at very reasonable prices. Office Depot, CompUSA and Best Buy offer 500 GB models for around $80. Single tera-byte models go for around $130.

I'm in the process of consolidating all my music and photo files, so I went ahead and bought a Western Digital 500 GB MyBook external drive. Just as before, using the thing worked by plugging into an available USB port and a nearby power socket. Apparently, vendors are getting the message that standardization is a good thing because there was virtually no configuration needed by Kubuntu or the ASUS laptop.

There was a CD for XP and Vista in the box, but I didn't crack the seal when I moved the disk over to my wife's Vista laptop. It plugged in there, too with no drivers, or fussing around with settings.

Let's see...I could have an additional four tera-bytes of storage, if I bought a few more MyBooks. That's a lot of photos. And, on a laptop, no less.

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