Linux Friendly Hardware Database ??

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Many moons ago I bough a Sony DVD burner.
It worked in Linux from day one - worked extremely well.

I finally ran out of my supply of DVD-R and bought another 50 spindle.
It will not burn to them - first spitting out the disk and sucking back in, and then failing when it comes to the burn.
I googled the error and found that my drive is old enough that for the
new media types, I need to update the firmware on the drive. Went to get
the new firmware, and read the instructions. You can not update the
firmware from a DOS boot floppy, you update the firmware from within
That's a bit of a problem for me, I do not have windows, and this is NOT
the kind of task I would expect to work in wine (though I may be wrong,
I kind of doubt it would).
So I'm on the hunt for a new DVD burner, but I'd like to find one that
allows firmware updating via boot floppy or bootable flash drive. I'm
having trouble finding one.
Is there a hardware database of Linux friendly hardware that takes into
account things like firmware updates?
I hate having to replace hardware that otherwise functions perfectly,
but just needs new firmware.

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