What I find really odd about this "hacked firmware" thing is:
1) Change from single layer writing to dual layer writing requires re-focusing the laser to a different focal point. It is not just re-calibrating the power. This is a known fact if one reads the specifications for DL burning or any professional optical storage magazine article written by industry insiders.
It has not been proven (AFAIK) that this re-focusing can be implemented with firmware modifying (at least in all mfg drives).
It could be a hardware feature that's implemented on the construction level for all we know. I don't believe a single self-learned hardware hacker's claims, until I hear an explanation from a hardware design guy from inside some of the companies, the firmware of which they are hacking.
Of course, the hacked firmware may work, but as the only thing we have to support our thinking on these things are kProbe scans, there is not much proof either way.
2) I find it slightly odd that some people think that "let's change from strategy A to strategy B on disc X and get better kProbe scans" is a proof of better burn quality.
kProbe scans prove very little about general burn quality. They are a measure of how one drive (unit/model) sees the disc and how many causal errors are produced in the reading. Some of the upgrade hacks not only change the writing process, but also upgrade the reading process ACROSS different hardware parts (particularly PUH). I'm not all too convinced that they remaining readability results are accurate anymore, even for that one particular unit/model.
Furthermore, it has already been show by measurements by ODS magazine and others that different drives optimize the number of say DC jitter by optimizing different lower level measures.
In practise this means that one drive may be tolerant to different types of jitter. Some are more prone to land pit variations, due to slicer implementation, while others more tolerant of focus type problems. All of these factor into DC jitter, but do it differently. As such, it is impossible to say which disc measures (direct or indirect) are causing a rise in causal errors and more importantly, which drives will still be compatible with that disc.
The only way to assess "better burn" is to try out the various ready made strategies and then do a mass compatibility test of various burns on disc X using LiteOn, Samsung, LG, Pioneer, Nec, Plextor, BTC, MSI, CATS, Datarius, etc drives. In addition it requires scanning true low level disc characteristics and not only drive unit/model based causal indirect measures (i.e. PI/PIF).
I'm not saying that changing the strategy may not work, but considering that there are hundreds of people working at LiteOn, with several decades of man work experience and plenty of lab grade equipment to assess quality, it does strike me a little odd that somehow they were not able to first build and then to choose the right strategy for a particular media, but some hacker with no knowledge of the hardware was able to do it by trial and error?
I'm sorry, but it's just a little bit too much to swallow in one gulp :)
Now, if the we actually had low level measures of the disc or a mass compatibility scan (using 10 most bought drives for example) to actually prove that the burns are better, then I would suspend my disbelief immediately.
However until that happens, I hope it's understandable that some may remain somewhat skeptical :)
And again, don't take this as an attack against the people who do the modifications. Of course I congratulate them for their curiousity, achievements and sharing of the results. Hell, I can say I'm a little bit envious I don't have the time nor the inclination (probably not even the skill) to even attempt the same myself :)
It's just that some people take these things (esp. too many users hanging around in forums) too literally and think that a couple of kProbe scans show how much better firmware hackers with LiteON drives can produce compared to the whole engineering team + bunch of pro test equipment of one whole optical drive company.
Just my two cents worth, don't take it personally as it's not meant as such. I'm just trying to poke holes where I see potential logical fallacies going around. Also, I don't claim to be infallible, so I could be wrong for all I know and I'm ready to admit it right out of the bat.
However, I just don't agree with the consensus opinion, because to me it defies common logic based on my current understanding of optical burning (which is far from being on even semi-neophyte level, I might add).
Food for thought.
< Message edited by Halcyon -- 7/29/2004 1:26:57 PM >