Using The Philips Jackrabbit with Linux

This external CD burner is a versatile tool that looks and works like a personal CD player, except that it only comes with a USB connector and an eject button. When used with the Knoppix or other live Linux distribution, this is an excellent CD backup tool when used for repairing Linux/UNIX and Windows installations on defunct machines.

The Jackrabbit is a 24x12x40 CD burner when connected to a USB 2.0 port, and a 6x4x4 CD burner when connected to a USB 1.x port. This device works like any other external burner when used with Linux. It uses the USB mass storage device driver, and all CD burning tools work with the device.

The Blue Button

On the side of the device, near the eject button, is a blue button. This button allows Windows PCs to search for and download the latest firmware for the device. Unfortunately, the button only works with the Philips supplied, Windows only software.

The button has no effect on Linux, Mac OS-X, or other UNIX dialect that supports USB mass storage.

Plug and Play

If your distribution has a working HAL and/or udev installation and you are running KDE or GNOME, the Jackrabbit is literally a plug and play device. This is true of the SimplyMEPIS, Mandriva and openSuSE distributions.

Simply plug in the device, and HAL or udev will create the device names.

Notes on K3B, Nautilus, and GnomeBurner

These CD burning packages have an autoeject function. If you are rewriting a CD-RW, you will need to close the cover after the CD-RW is erased (you will know this when the dialog that says the program is unable to reload the media), and then after the newly created ISO image is rewritten to the CD-RW.

If you are using CD-R discs to write data, the cover will automatically open (you will hear a click) after the program is finished writing the CD.

Though the CD burning packages enable buffer underrun protection, the Jackrabbit provides a optimal balance of burning power and buffer underrun protection within the hardware, ensuring the quality of the CDs burned with this device.

Boot Time Information

If you have the Jackrabbit connected when you boot Linux, the cover will open when the USB mass storage is loaded and registered for the Jackrabbit. Do not have anything placed on the Jackrabbit at boot time. You must allow the cover to open. If you block the cover so it will not open, the Jackrabbit will not be able to send an acknowledgement that the device is ready for use, and your system will hang at boot time.

The LEDs

The Jackrabbit comes with two LEDs, one a green/red state LED, and a blue LED. When the green/red LED is lit as green, this indicates there is no CD in the drive. When the blue LED is lit, there is a CD in the drive. When the green/red LED is lit as red, this indicates the Jackrabbit is writing to the CD.

USB Operational Notes

The Jackrabbit is a USB 2.0 device. When connected to a USB 2.0 port, the device can write CD-R discs at up to 24X speed, write to CD-RW discs at up to 12X speed, both factors of course depend upon the media you are using.

When the Jackrabbit is plugged in to a USB 1.x port, the device can write to CD-R discs at only 6X speed and to CD-RW discs at only 4X speed.

Reading CDs, however, is a different matter. With a USB 1.x port, the Jackrabbit can only read CDs at 4X. When plugged into a USB 2.0 port, the Jackrabbit can read CDs at up to 40X. You do not want to attempt to open the cover when the Jackrabbit is running at this speed.

Warning: If you need to stop the Jackrabbit running at this speed, unplug both the USB cable, and the power cord, then wait for the CD to stop spinning before you attempt to open the cover. Failure to do so may cause serious injury. (This is according to Philips documentation.)

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