I've been working on this software to boot up into a specialized GNU/Linux-based system direct from a CD-ROM. I'd figured I'd have to test it using a network or a virtual machine, because I didn't have a convenient CD writer.
Then one of the other grad students working on another aspect of the project offered to loan me a CD-RW drive. One based on FireWire. My laptop does not have FireWire. But, he had a PCMCIA FireWire card, too...
But I was pleasantly surprised. I plugged together all of the hardware and compiled the kernel module for the card and inserted it. It reported a new SCSI CD-ROM device. I tried mounting a CD-ROM, and it worked fine. I ran cdrecord, and it worked fine. I tested the CD-RW that it produced, and it worked fine. In fact, everything about it worked just fine.
In other news, my friend Cammie just found out that she's won a Churchill graduate fellowship, so she's going to Cambridge in England for a year. Wow!