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The Opdicom story

Before I decided to write a Linux driver for the Imation Disc Stakka I made some enquiries to Opdicom (the designers of the Disc Stakka) to ask if they had any plans for developing a client for the Linux community. They informed me that they had no plans but would possibly consider it in the future.

Being the kind of person that I am (and because I had some free time) I decided to try to write my own open source driver for the Linux community. I obtained a USB protocol analyser and started work looking at the communication between unit and computer.

Having enough information to perform some simple tests I decided to write a small test program to see if my findings were correct. While writing this code I realised that knowledge of the full capabilities of the unit would allow me to structure my code in a more logical fashion.

I told Opticom of my progress with writing code for the Linux platform and made enquiries regarding the command set supported by the `Disc Stakka`_s. In addition I made enquiries regarding the meaning of each of the bits in the status code returned by the unit (something which I am still not 100% confident on).

Cathy, their tech support person, appeared more than happy to assist. She requested copies of my code and details regarding who I was and who I worked for. I obliged and provided her with links to my GPL'ed code on sourceforge. Repeatedly I asked her questions - of which she would happily answer the non-technical and leave the technical questions to be answered by a more formal response from the development team.

Unfortunately there was no response.

Roughly 2 weeks after our initial communication Opdicom has refused to reply to any of my emails. Indeed I have heard similar reports from other Linux enthusiasts who have sent Opdicom emails.

It appears that Opdicom wishes to have nothing to do with the Linux community - either by choice or due to possible legal pressure from their distributor Imation. Either way our emails seem to be falling on deaf ears.

I ask that a representative from either Opdicom or Imation get in contact with me to sort this matter out. It seems obvious to me that having your product supported on more than just two platforms (Windows and Mac) seems like the smart thing to do financially.

In the meantime I don't recommend emailing Opdicom and complaining as they are already aware of this project and will contact us when they are ready.

Let's hope that they eventually see the light and allow this project to fully support the Disc Stakka protocol.

Eddie Cornejo cornejo@users.sourceforge.net