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Ask Dave
by Dave Hamilton

He from whom all Mac knowledge flows...

Dave Shares Some Of His Techiques For Finding Answers!
February 4th, 2000

Greetings, folks. Today we're going to focus on finding software on the Web. I get many questions like the following each week, and figured it was time to address a few of them together, showing you where I get *my* answers from! As always, if you have a question of your own, feel free to e-mail me directly or ask everyone in the Forums.

Willie Delarosa writes, "I have recently purchased a G4 Mac and updating it to Mac OS 09 rendered my DVD-RAM drive unable to read anymore. According to Apple's Tech Library, this is because Mac OS 9 has the "Apple DVD Software ver. 2.0". The version 2.02b should work. Is there a possibility of getting this particular version of the DVD Software. I called Apple and I can't seem to get these particular files. Can you help me with this?"

Wille -- For this, I went to Apple's Software Update page (available at I did a search there for DVD and immediately found what you need. DVD software 2.0 was freed from it's beta status when it was officially released on December 23, 1999. This should address your needs and get you rolling!

Apple's Software Update page (in conjunction with their Tech Info library -- is a GREAT resource for all things related to Mac hardware and system software. They update it daily, and there are *countless* times when I've referred to it in my column here.

Dwayne Godden writes, "I'm trying to setup a Mac and PC network. the Mac's are on AppleTalk/PhoneNet network and the PC has a PhoneNet AppleTalk card. When the PC had Windows 3.11, I had no trouble using the PhoneNet software. Now the PC needs to have Windows 98 and the PhoneNet software doesn't work.

Do you have any Ideas on what software and hardware I should use to make this work?"

For this one I had to cheat a little bit. I checked all the standard sources (VersionTracker and The Mac Observer's VersionMaster included), searching for "Windows" and "PhoneNet" or "Localtalk". Nothing came up. Not surprising, though, since these places all track Mac software, and what you need, Dwayne, is Windows software. So I went to one of my favorite search engines,, and did a search for "PhoneNet Windows". Up came a link to Miramar Systems, the makers of PC MacLan connect. The latest version of this software supports almost every PhoneNet card on the market (as well as Windows 98!), and should solve your problems quite nicely.

Marcia Vitton writes, "Dave, I have downloaded Outlook Express to have a secure system when I use my online trading account. When I open Outlook Express it tells me I need Mac OS 8.1 to run it. Where can I download this from?"

And we'll end with one that we can find in a few places. A search on VersionTracker for "8.1" reveals the "Apple Mac OS 8.1 Update" released on 3/2/1998. Also heading back to Apple's Software Update Page gives us multiple download options and links to related information. Finally, a search on Apple's Tech Info Library gives us a "readme" file, explaining the fixes and additions in the updated software.

Note that to make Mac OS 8.1 work, you'll need Mac OS 8.0 installed prior. If you don't have this, then you'll need to update to Mac OS 9, since that's the only software commercially available now.

MAC/PC Networking Update

Mike Alvarino writes, "You've recently talked about networking Macs and PCs via Maclan or Dave. I was wondering if this can also be done through Virtual PC. In effect using Virtual PC on a Mac and being able to connect to another PC. Is this possible? If so, how well will this work and is it easy to set up?"

Yes, it works *very* well and is quite easy to set up. I tested connectivity to a Windows NT server this way, and it was a breeze -- assuming you know Windows, of course. It requires setting up "Client for Microsoft Networks" and "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks" on both machines, assigning them network protocols (NetBEUI is probably easiest) and connecting to the shared folders/drives via the Network Neighborhood. In all my tests, speed has been fantastic, and I've never had a single problem -- not even when logging into a Windows NT domain server. It works just like it's supposed to work!

That's it for this week! Send in your questions to [email protected] or meet up with everyone in the Forums and we'll get you fixed up quick!

P.S. Have a Nice Day.

is President and CEO of The Mac Observer, Inc. He has worked in the computer industry as a consultant, trainer, network engineer, webmaster, and a programmer for most of the last 10 years. During that time he has worked on the Mac, all the various Windows flavors, Be, a few brands of Unix, and it is rumored he once saw an OS/2 machine in action. Before that he ran some of the earliest Bulletin Board systems, but most of the charges have since been dropped, and not even the FBI requests that he check in more than twice a year.

Ask Dave is here to answer all the Mac questions you have. Networking, system conflicts, hardware, you ask it, he can answer it. He is the person from whom all Mac knowledge flows....

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