Using the CD-ROM, Floppy and Zip drives on the Deepsearch PCs

I don't know how to do it on the Suns, only the PCs.

Users should be able to mount all of these sorts of drives themselves. All of the PCs (except for the McDonalds cluster) have CD-ROM drives. All have floppy drives. The Micron Millennia machines (including the workstations ajanta, jimbean, pasand, vics, and dara) have Zip drives.

The procedure for mounting a CD-ROM drive is as follows:

  1. Push the eject button on the drive to extend the tray.

  2. Put the disk in the tray.

  3. Push the eject button on the drive again to get the drive to suck the tray back in.

  4. Type "mount /mnt/cdrom" on your workstation. If you're running Gnome on a PC, this may not be necessary; the CD may mount automatically, and you may even get an icon on your desktop.

  5. Find the CD-ROM at /mnt/cdrom. You may use this like a normal Unix directory (except that, of course, you can't write to it).

  6. When you are done, type "umount /mnt/cdrom" on your workstation. (Or, in Gnome, use the "eject" menu item you can get from the CD's icon.)

  7. Push the eject button to get your CD out of the drive. Very Important: Don't try this before you've tried the previous umount step.

The procedure for using a floppy or zip drive is similar, except that you can write to the drive, and the directory you mount and where you find the drive is different:

Linux formatted floppy /mnt/floppy
MS-DOS/Windows formatted floppy /mnt/floppy
Linux formatted Zip disk /mnt/zip
MS-DOS/Windows formatted Zip disk /mnt/pczip

It is not possible for users to format zip disks or floppies, unfortunately. (I don't want to make this possible, because it will then become way too easy for users to inadvertently erase entire hard drives.) If you have a disk which isn't already formatted in the format you need, you will have to get Rob, Alex, or Mike to help you.

The drive should automatically detect whether the floppy you've inserted is a Linux or a DOS floppy.

DOS doesn't know anything about users; I believe that the system will set up the floppy such that all the files are owned by the person who mounted the disk. On a Linux floppy, you have a normal filesystem, and you'll need one of the superusers to make you a directory on that floppy. The same applies for Zip disks.

Using the CD to play music

Most of the CD-ROM drives have a jack for headphones. You can use the CD drive to play music while you are working. There are a number programs which will do this; try, for instance, xplaycd. There are other utilities, all of which should work. (Again, Gnome may be smart enough to automatically pop up a CD playing utility; I haven't tried it yet, so I don't know.) Please exit this (or any other CD-playing) program when you aren't actually playing a CD. Occasionally, I see a CD-playing program that seems to be using up CPU time on one of the computers when I know that nobody is sitting at that workstation.
Last Modified: 2000-October-04