Peripheral Annoyance

Update 2: Mark Pilgrim installs WinXP.

Update: (Argh, scratch this entry. Admittedly, yes, I tested it in Win98, but now I’ve tested the Predator in WinME, WinXP, Mac OS 9, and OS X again, and now the thing refuses to acknowledge any CD-Rs or CD-RWs at all, which means the issue was with the unit itself. I’m now stuck with a glorified external CD-ROM drive. Having read the comments, I agree, yes, it’s much easier to install in WinXP — though it still needed the drivers — and I apologize if anyone felt baited.)

Installing and testing an old Iomega Predator…

On Windows:

1. Insert Iomega software CD.

2. Fill out required registration form but do not send it.

3. Install Iomega HotBurn software and Predator drivers.

4. Reboot.

6. After reboot process, shut down, plug Predator into USB port, and start up.

7. Wait for Add New Hardware Wizard to detect Predator. “Drivers not found.”

8. Hunt for drivers manually through C:Program FilesIomega.

9. Insert CD-R into Predator and open Iomega Hotburn software.

10. Stare blankly at error window which says “This is not a CD-R.”

11. Reinstall drivers. Reboot again.

12. Repeat from step 7 until limit of tolerance.

Elapsed time: 2 hours.

On Mac OS X:

1. Plug Predator into USB port.

2. Insert CD-R into Predator.

3. Drag and drop.

Elapsed time: 45 seconds.

This is why I prefer Apple.


  1. Bam says:

    *sigh*. Are you trying to bait Windows users?

    Were you hooking this up to your old Dell laptop? The exercise you’re describing correctly describes the dismal state of drivers in the Windows 9x/Me family of operating systems. It’s especially a problem if the device you’re attaching was released after the operating system, since the OS won’t have drivers for that device and they must be added using that difficult procedure.

    On the other side of the comparison is Jaguar, which has more drivers for more current devices by virtue of it being released more recently.

    Even better, newer devices have been conforming to common standards, like generic mass storage, which allows all those nifty USB memory keys to look just like a standard drive. Same with UI devices like keyboards and mice. One driver fits all, so to speak.

    A fair comparison would involve Windows 2000/XP, which will likely recognize it just as quickly. However, neither has built-in CD burning software or packet burning, so the Mac is certainly superior in that department.

  2. sparticus says:

    Yes, it’s only fair if you compare it on XP. Send me your drive in the post and I will test it out. I promise to send it back. :)

  3. Mic says:

    Yeah, Pau. I’ve had no problems with peripherals with XP.

    Bam, XP does have a built in CD burning (based on Roxio’s software). But it sucks. Big time. I guess you really can’t call it “built in.” More like “slapped on.”

  4. Mic says:

    Pardon the typos.

  5. Paulo says:

    I updated the entry; turns out the Iomega Predator unit was broken, probably from being jostled about in packing. Yes, the thing was easier to install in XP.

    Bam – actually, I’ve found that OS X’s integrated CD-burning is a bit *less* intuitive than it was in OS 9. There’s desktop drag-and-dropping, but unless you know how to Ctrl-click — which not every user is aware of — there doesn’t seem to be any immediately evident way to burn the CD till you eject it and it pops up a dialog.

  6. Jason Wall says:

    A long time windows user, I’ve become increasingly enamored with Apple recently, not because Apple is so much better at doing things than windows, but because Apple is the first vendor to offer Unix with a sophisticated GUI and a host of necessary apps.

    Unix, if you do web development and want to expand your skills beyond vbscript and asp, is a necessity. Although I’m as fond of “Terminal” as the next guy, it just isn’t efficient to try and do everything at command line.

    I haven’t had many problems installing things on windows boxes, unless the device is some 23rd party piece whose drivers are generic and/or ancient. *grin* WinXP’s even as stable as most Macs with OS X, when your hardware is in good shape.

    The only real gripe between the two platforms is security. Windows, even in the new forthcoming 2003 version, has significant security issues. Unix, whose history is longer and richer, has always been much stronger in that regard.

  7. Tim says:

    Glad I held my tongue.

  8. Rod says:

    I despise Windows XP. I much prefer the cleaner interface of W2K. XP is much too busy and exhibits a behavior which I find abhorent in software – helpfulness. Helpful software wants to do things for you, usually in a manner which makes the function totally worthless.

    This, actually, is my primary complaint about Mac software. I like being able to lift the hood and tinker. With the Mac OS, I can’t even find the lever to open her up with.

    OSX may be different – I have never played with it – but it has been my experience that Apple wants the shield the user from the confusing intricacies of the computing, not a bad thing for most people, but for those of us who don’t want that, very annoying.

  9. Rod says:

    Oh, and my opinion of MS coders? Hacks, all of them. It is my opinion, based on years of experience, that Windows software is simply an accretion of everything that has gone before, and that no one in MS really understands which parts of it do what, hence their squawking when the courts wanted them to seperate out IE from the OS. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to for marketing reasons – it’s that they COULDN’T. They did not have a clue about how to do it.

  10. Rod, you’d have a gas in OS X. Pop open the Terminal and you’ve got command line access, something that never existed in a Mac OS before. You can do all sorts of things with that, good and bad.

    Personally, I don’t hate XP. It looks a bit cartoony but it seesm pretty stable and functional. My general complaint with Windows is that Mircosoft (since 95 anyway) has taken too much control over how the software works.

    I guess it is a matter of opinion.

    Speaking of opinions, I share yours of MS software with the exception of Office:Mac. It is very un-MS-like. It works great.

  11. Tim says:

    Dang Paulo, you beat me to the XP install bit. I thought that was a whoot!

    I thought this part was great (it one of the reasons I moved to Apple):

    You do know that Windows has a half-life, don’t you? Every installation of Windows naturally degrades along a logarithmic curve until it becomes annoying, then unbearable, then unusable. Each successive revision of Windows has featured a slightly longer half-life. Back in the day, Windows 95 would last me about 3 months, while my copy of Windows XP has lasted me almost 9.

  12. Rod says:

    Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Redmond,

    I will fear no crashes….

    More like whistling in the dark walking past the graveyard. I have broken down and bought (and installed) XP. Not as bad as it could have been, after I told it in no uncertain terms that I didn’t want any crap from it. Windows Classic interface is fine. The Plug-and-Play is a little strange but that’s because there seems to have been much legacy stuff dropped out the mix. I wish there was a legacy pack you could download for it – it would make my life as a user and as a technician MUCH easier.

  13. Mark says:

    Funny, I happen to be burning a CD with one of those under win98 right now, without any problems (except that it claims 16x but won’t go above 4x – probably because this PC’s only got USB1.1?) … my only issue is with the dismal Iomega software. I’ve ditched it for something that was included as an unexpected afterthought in a small bit of free WAV-ripping software I downloaded last night (in all of about 5 seconds on very modest broadband) and am much happier!

    I suggest it’s maybe not so much the hardware or windows98 itself, but the poor excuse for drivers / software that iomega have supplied. Mine are likely newer versions to yours… stuff just doesn’t seem to have gone entirely right for them since the world started deserting the Zip for CDR.