Hardware

CD and DVD support comes to ARMini

While RISC OS users have been able to access CDs and DVDs from their computers many years, users of R-Comp Interactive’s ARMini computer (as well as those using BeagleBoards in their own right) have only been able to do so via another computer and a network connection: Accessing the media in CD and DVD drives connected to the computer by USB was not an option.

Until recently.

With this now a possibility it means R-Comp are able to offer their ARMini computers with an internal CD/DVD drive, fully functional on RISC OS. With an optical drive in the computer, discs are able to be read just as they would be on any other RISC OS machine equipped with an optical drive: by way of the CDFS icon on the icon bar – and written to, if you have the latest version of CDVDBurn from Steffen Huber.

“Despite the small size of the chassis,” explains Andrew Rawnsley, “the ARMini is able to house 3 (or more) internal devices – the main boot drive, a secondary hard disc (or, more often, solid state disc) and an optical (CD/DVD) drive. That’s not to mention the standard SD/MMC card reader that is also present. That’s a lot of functionality, in a small box!”

Being housed internally, Andrew informs me that this won’t affect the number of external connections for the ARMini “because there are enough free spaces on the internal USB to drive all the bits – flash drive, SSD/HDD (2 if necessary), CD/DVD drive, 2x front ports, card reader. The hubs have 7 ports + uplink.”

R-Comp have also updated their MusicMan software to support the ARMini now that it is able to access optical media. The software allows audio CDs to be played, with track listings and album information (which can be downloaded from the internet) and, at the click of a button, copy them to your local storage as MP3s (or other formats).

Existing ARMini owners who elected not to have a drive fitted originally, can contact R-Comp to order a simple, self-fit upgrade kit with all the necessary parts included, if desired. The kit will consist of the drive itself, an adaptor to connect the optical drive’s SATA connection to USB, a mounting kit and the necessary cable.

Another important component in all this is the version of RISC OS that includes the necessary support – and that can be downloaded by owners of the computer from the ARMini private website (for which a password and username has been supplied to those people who have bought the machine).