You Get What You Pay For

I’ve never been able to get my DVD burner on my Thinkpad X40 to work properly. I usually have to ruin five or six DVD-R’s before I get a successful burn, and even then the result doesn’t necessarily work.

I’ve always gotten 5 or 10 cent DVD-Rs from the cheapest source I can find on pricewatch or froogle. Today, I decided to go to Staples and buy some “name brand” (well, Staples brand) DVD-Rs.

I’ve burned three so far and they each work perfectly. They cost about 50 cents each, but since I had to throw away 80% of the cheaper DVD-Rs, I actually end up ahead. Way ahead if you count the value of my time.

The web is really good at finding the cheapest anything, but I’m noticing more and more often that buying the cheapest of a particular item on the web, even for a “commodity” product like DVD-Rs, often turns out to be not all that cheap. What I would really like is a more automated system to find the cheapest anything that doesn’t suck.


  1. madduck Jan 28

    Could you tell me the command you used to burn the DVD? I also have an X40 and I have not once been able to burn a DVD…

  2. Adam Rosi-Kessel Jan 28

    I just use a standard growisofs command: growisofs -Z /dev/dvd -dvd-video /path/to/dvd. That seems to work fine.

  3. Ben Hutchings Jan 28

    For future reference:

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