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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > CD-RW External

Sunday, February 17, 2002
Freecom Traveller Premium CD-RW

2. Installation

Freecom Traveller Premium -  Page 2

Because of the special role of the Freecom Traveller, we thought that it wouldn't be proper to testing on a desktop PC. Therefore, we used a laptop to do all the tests and finally compare the three connection possibilities (USB, PCMCIA, Parallel Port). Of course, the drive was also tested on a variety of desktop systems, but the results we are presenting you are based on the Laptop Tests.

Test System:
Fujitsu-Siemens Scenic Mobile 750 AGP
PIII Mobile 450Mhz
6.4MB Toshiba HDD
ATI Rage Pro AGP
Matsushita UDJA-140 Internal 24x IDE CD-ROM
Two PCMCIA Slots
Two USB Slots
Win98 SE

We started the installation procedure by first trying on the USB Cable. After plugging both the USB Cable and the Freecom Cable in the drive, we plugged the other end to the laptop itself. The Cable was recognized at once as Freecom Cable and we were asked about the proper drivers. There are some issues here: Freecom supplies the drive with a DriverChoice Program that lets you pick one of the three available drivers for the interface. These are the High Speed driver, the Compatibility Driver and the Win Standard driver (sorted by speed). The difference between the first two is that the first one requires an IRQ, whereas the second doesn't but it sacrifices some speed. The third driver is supposed to be used only when compatibility problems are faced. The driver revision we used was rev. 010 for Win98/2000.

The same issues also apply to the PCMCIA Cable, which shares the same driver with the USB interface. As we had installed the drivers for the USB before, the drive could be used at once.

Parallel Port:
A slightly different procedure is followed here. Before plugging the drive in, we had to install the accompanying driver. It installed an initialization program that runs on Windows' Startup as well as a Freecom Configuration Program that lets you control the parallel port mode or leave it to auto detection. The supported modes are: Unidirectional (SPP), Bi-directional (SPP), Standard EPP and Fast EPP in both Read and Write Modes. You can also select manually the parallel port address and the IRQ. For our tests, we used the Fast EPP Mode. It must be noted here that the Parallel cable can be used in conjunction with a Printer, which can be normally connected on the parallel port cable, which acts as a pass-through. In our tests, we kept a BJC-5100 printer connected and didn't notice any inconvenience.

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