Re: Linux VCR driver?

Eric Hoeltzel (
Wed, 4 Dec 1996 13:59:05 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 4 Dec 1996, Magnus Hiie wrote:

> I have been using an ISA card (its name is Arvid) that does such
> thing. I'm completely happy with it. It stores about 2GB data on a
> 240min VHS cassette. Its speed is about 150KB/s. I have found no
> errors in data restored from the cassettes (not including one which
> got wet). Compared to my (quite old) HP 2GB DDS tape drive, I find
> them quite competitive.
> > Problems with these video beasts:
> > - No read-after-write, therefore no decent error control.
> Correct, but as I said, I have encountered no errors. Maybe it stores
> data with a lot of error control (parity) extra data.
> > - The additional conversion to an analog video signal means that the
> > speed
> > is nothing to speak of.
> I'm satisfied.
> > - No filemarks, i.e. one backup per tape.
> Wrong, I have more than 10 backup sets on each tape.
> > - How do you push the rewind/play/record buttons with the computer?
> It has a remote control connected to a wire connected to the card
> (actually a simple infra-red LED)
> > - Timing of the signal (usually, parallel-port) is likely to be
> > rather
> > critical -> writing a Linux driver is difficult at best.
> It is an ISA card as I mentioned.
> BTW, it costs only about $50! And it works with about every VCR there
> is on the market.

Are you running this Avrid card under linux? If not, any idea
how much trouble it would be to write a driver for it? Where
can I get in contact with the company if I wished to purchase

If nothing else, the gee-whiz factor alone would prompt
me to buy one of these cards. I can just imagine setting
up my vcr and my commodore 64 monitor here at work and
running the whole show from a C=64 plugged into the serial
port of a linux box. (Mostly pentium 166 machines here)

If I did my math correctly, this beast will do about 9MB
per minute or about 540 MB per hour? That's pretty acceptable
for quite a few different tasks.