I've had this drive since May of 2000 and I have never updated the firmware--the version that's installed right now is 1C26 (RPC2).
This drive is a re-branded Matsushita/Panasonic SR-8585 and I see a ton of firmwares around for that thing, some of them remove region protection (being in Region 1 and not being much of a world traveler, that doesn't bother me).
Would I gain/lose anything going from 1C26/1W26 (I assume that they're the same, the C just denotes Creative) to 1W29 or 1W32?
The lack of documentation, specifically change logs, is disturbing...
They also hint on their download page that firmware might need to be changed on some drives to read Type 2 DVD-RAM discs (2.6GB--removed from carrier)
Panasonic's industrial site says it's discontinued, but says the drive supports Ultra DMA 33. Mine currently works in Multi-Word DMA mode 2. Is it worth messing with? (Then there's the possibility of DAE issues...)
I suppose if I b0rk it, I can just get a Lite-On LTD-163 from Newegg for US $39 or a Toshiba SD-M1612 for $45...