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Old July 14th, 2005, 04:30 PM   #1
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Virtual PC print drivers?

My department is trying to purchase a dvd duplicator but, unfortunately, none seem to be truly Mac compatible. The specific model that we would like is a "stand-alone" that requires a .PRN file to be loaded to print on discs. Of course, Macs can't generate a .PRN file (Windows own format) so I'm wondering if Virtual PC will work. The big catch here is that the required OptiEC Pro print drivers are only available on Windows. Can Windows-only print drivers be loaded onto a Mac with Virtual PC to be printed inside Virtual PC?
Any other possible work-arounds?
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Old July 17th, 2005, 06:23 AM   #2
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I have no idea, but why not simply get a cheap PC and hook it up to the macs
through a network? That sounds like the best and easiest solution. This should
make sure that it all works as it should.

I have only worked with Virtual PC on the PC (for test reasons) and it did not
see any hardware beyond the standard stuff. So it probably won't even see
that device (if Virtual PC on the Mac operates similar).
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Old July 17th, 2005, 02:48 PM   #3
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i've always wanted a dvd duplicator, but i want it to be a stand-alone tower that makes copies off of original dvd discs, not from a computer hard drive... you can burn multiple copies all at once doing it like that.

so i guess that the problem you are having actually revolves around printing on the discs, rather than burning 'em?
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Old July 18th, 2005, 09:07 AM   #4
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The DVD/CD copy aspect of this unit is very standalone in that you load a disc and it is duplicated - no harddrive or computer necessary. However, my catch is with the label printing side, rather than burning (just like Dan mentioned). Although the unit doesn't have to be connected to a PC to work, it does rely on a .PRN file to be loaded (via CD), designating the image/picture to be printed as the DVD label. If the printer could load a .PS or .PDF image, I'd be in business. Which brings me into the whole, "Why did they limit themselves to a .PRN file when a .PDF or .PS would have been fully cross-platform and probably just as easy?" question. But, as you well know, that's a common theme in the Mac world.

As far as getting a cheap PC, we've thought about that but really feel it would be a waste to drop $5000 on a duplicator/printer that is supposed to be "standalone", then another $500 on a computer that will only be used to generate a print file once every week or so just to compensate for a machine that isn't truly standalone as advertised. My hope was that Virtual PC would keep me covered until a better solution could be adapted. Ideally, Virtual PC would be able to handle this no problem since it only requires a basic print driver (the printer doesn't even have to be connected to the computer) to generate the .PRN file, but I agree that this probably isn't the case.

In the end, I'm just glad I took the salesman's "Oh, yeah... I'm sure its Mac compatible." with a grain of salt and opted for a slightly more official answer.

I appreciate the help, and if you have any more ideas, please let me know.
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Last edited by Nicholi Brossia; July 18th, 2005 at 12:41 PM.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 09:40 PM   #5
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it's not clear what your workflow is here.

you can get automated dvd printers that are osx compatible for $1,300-$2k... they will do stacks of 25-50 discs at a time.

you can build the dvd duplicator part seperately for less than that, it's a pc tower with any of several dvd burner controllers... if you do a search on the dvd forum here, you'll see some info on where to get the products.

a single burner/printer unit will be slow because it can only do a disc at a time, but it shouldn't require much user intervention... the tower duplicators will be much faster at burning, since they can do 5-7 discs at a time.
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