Many years ago, after reviewing all the available products out there, I settled on the DVD+RW format and bought a DVD burner. Blank disks were expensive ($15-$20 each), the software was really bad (they recently released a patch so you could run it on Windows XP), and they were slow. After a trip to practically every store in town for a DVI cable (more on this later), I noticed the brand new (at least I have never seen it) Sony DRX510UL. It is external and supports USB 2.0 and Firewire, meaning I can connect it to my laptop unlike the old, internal-only one. I bought it, and when I got home I plugged it into the laptop and it worked (reading CD/DVDs and burning CDs) right away, it didn’t even need to install drivers! Now the problem: during the move I was in a rush and I packed up all my computer disk in various boxes. Now I cannot find my Roxio Easy CD & DVD creator 6 disk. I could install the software that was bundled with the drive, but I liked the Roxio software and I don’t want 3 different burning software programs on the computer at once. Oh, and for the price of media, last December I found blank DVD+RW disks for $2 each at one of those bulk warehouse clubs. They were not of the best quality, but I bought 20 of them and have had only 1 go bad so far.


As I mentioned earlier, my trip first started out looking for a DVI cable. I stopped at one of the local electronics stores (who should remain nameless) on Friday asking for a DVI cable and was told that they were out of them but will be receiving a new shipment on Saturday. I called on Sunday, and was told they had them in stock. I went there on Monday, where I was told that they don’t have any, have not had any in several months, and will not be getting any more. Obviously I was not happy. Eventually I found one where I bought the DVD burner. I got it home and plugged it in, but the TV ignored it. After reading a little more about it, it appears that my cable box has the DVI output port, but it does not put out a signal. All that for nothing. So why did I need a DVI cable? I bought a new HDTV set in June, but in anticipation of the move I never had them hook it up. I could have watched the Mariners loose in HD, but the last half of the season looked just as sloppy in regular as it would have in HD. Last week I had them connect up a HD box which took up one component video input. Another component input was taken up by the DVD player. The TV only has 2 component video inputs, but I also have an Xbox with the HD pack, which requires another component input, I needed to free one up. The DVI cable would have worked great, but now I am back to square 1 which means playing NFL Fever 2004 without HD. It still looks better than my old TV, a 19” that I got for Christmas 16 years ago (when I was 13, if you are wondering). If I keep the new TV as long as I did the old one, I think I will get my money’s worth.