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#54848 - 06/08/20 12:28 PM Optical Drive Sharing In Catalina
joemikeb Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
It has been six years since optical drives were built-in devices, but I have always kept one or two drives around for the very occasional CD/DVDs I read or burn. This morning I attempted to burn a DVD for a very young friend my wife is teaching to sew and discovered the drive in my NewerTech Mini Max enclosure can no longer generate the proper frequency to burn a DVD+R. No problem, I can use the external Apple SuperDrive connected to my wife's Mac mini. It was then I discovered you can no longer share an optical drive in Catalina.

I have to wonder how many of us have what we thought were imperishable records committed to optical media because we thought it would last forever (or at least close enough for government work) and the media is still good, but do we have the hardware or software to read it. I am looking at my DVDs with generations of tax and financial data. Heaven help me if there should ever be an audit.πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’» 🀯 😱 πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

DOCMENTATION SIDELIGHT: I have recently become aware that more and more Apple "User Guide" and similar online documentation has multiple sections or pages for different versions of MacOS. An indicator of how much is changing under the hood and how rapidly it is changing in MacOS, but going largely unnoticed by users.
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#54849 - 06/08/20 01:37 PM Re: Optical Drive Sharing In Catalina [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I am looking at my DVDs with generations of tax and financial data. Heaven help me if there should ever be an audit.πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’» 🀯 😱 πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Unless the IRS has got enough goods on you to prosecute you for fraud or finds a substantial error in a return they're auditing, your returns are only subject to audit for three years from their filing date or due date, whichever is later.

How far back can the IRS go to audit my return?
Generally, the IRS can include returns filed within the last three years in an audit. If we identify a substantial error, we may add additional years. We usually don’t go back more than the last six years.

Under any circumstances, though, we haven't been prohibited from borrowing someone else's disc drive...yet. tongue

Can you think of a reason for the prohibition? Drive sharing seems pretty innocuous.


Edited by artie505 (06/08/20 06:09 PM)
Edit Reason: More
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#54852 - 06/09/20 08:46 AM Re: Optical Drive Sharing In Catalina [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
Under any circumstances, though, we haven't been prohibited from borrowing someone else's disc drive...yet. tongue

Yes but then there are issues of application compatibility, both my tax and accounting apps are old 32 bit. Actually all of that could probably be solved, but my point is historical/archival data backups we thought we could rely on, may/are not be as reliable as we thought. (1️⃣)

Originally Posted By: artie505
Can you think of a reason for the prohibition? Drive sharing seems pretty innocuous.

OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD: AND in rough order of probability...
  1. The re-shuffling of functionalities between the system volume and data volume in Catalina made sharing optical drives significantly more complex and expensive to code and maintain (2️⃣).
  2. Because of the preceding not all features were ready for prime time when Catalina was released so rather than having a problematic minor feature it was simply dropped β€” possibly to reappear in the future.
  3. There was insufficient demand to make the cost of maintaining the ability worthwhile.
  4. It created a security vulnerability either on the system sharing the drive or the system "borrowing" the drive.
  5. Some or all of the above
  6. None of the above.

FOOTNOTES:
1️⃣ I am now creating all my new text files in markdown on the theory that it is easy to output in a wide variety of formats or in apps and is simple enough to remain compatible in the future.

2️⃣ There are multiple third party developers dealing with as yet unresolved kernel extension (a.k.a. .kext or driver) issues in Catalina or anticipated in MacOS 10.16 because "Apple has yet to fully document new APIs associated with drive access and I/O" which would seem to indicate the work is still incomplete.
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#54853 - 06/09/20 09:25 AM Re: Optical Drive Sharing In Catalina [Re: joemikeb]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Am I missing something in your post? Couldn't you still unplug the Apple SuperDrive connected to the Mac Mini and plug it into your computer?

The Apple document you reference in your original post seems to talk about network sharing, not sharing by picking it up and moving the drive. crazy
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#54854 - 06/09/20 10:42 AM Re: Optical Drive Sharing In Catalina [Re: Ira L]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Ira L
Am I missing something in your post? Couldn't you still unplug the Apple SuperDrive connected to the Mac Mini and plug it into your computer?

Yes, with an hours work or more to disassemble/reassemble everything. You haven't seen my work area smile. Network sharing is (was) a LOT quicker and easier and requires nothing but a network connection (until Catalina that is).

Originally Posted By: Ira L
The Apple document you reference in your original post seems to talk about network sharing, not sharing by picking it up and moving the drive. crazy

Yep, you got it in one! That is exactly what I have done for many years now and it worked perfectly until Catalina. I have even shared the drive with my iPad, but that took a bit of a work around.
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#54855 - 06/10/20 12:35 AM Re: Optical Drive Sharing In Catalina [Re: joemikeb]
freelance Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: London, UK
If you decide you want something portable (as long as it's just around the office) I bought an internal (because it's cheaper) Pioneer BDR-212 Blu-ray burner and a SATA-to-USB3 adaptor cable for about Β£80 all in. Sits on a bit of foam. Easy enough to move from room to room. Does a great job.
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#54856 - 06/10/20 12:46 AM Re: Optical Drive Sharing In Catalina [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: Ira L
Am I missing something in your post? Couldn't you still unplug the Apple SuperDrive connected to the Mac Mini and plug it into your computer?

Yes, with an hours work or more to disassemble/reassemble everything. You haven't seen my work area smile.

You seriously can't reach a single USB port that you can free up for a few minutes without screwing up your entire installation?

WOW!
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#54858 - 06/10/20 06:52 AM Re: Optical Drive Sharing In Catalina [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
You seriously can't reach a single USB port that you can free up for a few minutes without screwing up your entire installation?

WOW!

Its not so much can't reach it is deciding what chain of devices to disconnect. Between the four TB3 PORTS on the Mac mini, four USB 3.1 gen 2 ports on the USB hub, and the USB ports on both monitors β€” are all in use and/or are very inconvenient to get to. Besides that my wife and I have shared an optical drive attached to a Mac mini server for years with no difficulty β€” until Catalina.
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#54860 - 06/10/20 07:31 AM Re: Optical Drive Sharing In Catalina [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Between the four TB3 PORTS on the Mac mini, four USB 3.1 gen 2 ports on the USB hub, and the USB ports on both monitors β€” are all in use and/or are very inconvenient to get to. Besides that my wife and I have shared an optical drive attached to a Mac mini server for years with no difficulty β€” until Catalina.

I certainly hope you coil your cables!

Besides "besides," unless this is a temporary glitch, you're going to have to get creative.
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In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#54862 - 06/10/20 08:19 AM Re: Optical Drive Sharing In Catalina [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie 505
I certainly hope you coil your cables!

Can you spell rat's nest?

Originally Posted By: artie505
Besides "besides," unless this is a temporary glitch, you're going to have to get creative.
I am pretty. sure I am going to have to get creative. For now I can read the DVDs and while I was considering adding a new high capacity hard drive to replace optical drives for archival storage, I will probably settle on encrypted dmg's on iCloud or a similar online service. They have a regular program to refresh their drives and I don't.
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