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Ask Dave
by Dave Hamilton

He from whom all Mac knowledge flows...

From LP To CD, Ethernet Problems, & Startup Disks
July 7th, 2000

Greetings, everyone. Today we'll be discussing ways to convert your old LPs (or tapes) to CDs using your Mac, pesky yet persistent AppleTalk connections, and booting from the Norton Utilities CD on a newer Mac. As always, feel free to e-mail your questions to me or ask in the forums. But for now, read on!

Marian & Dan Macry met our Editor-In-Chief at CompUSA and asked, "We need to go from our analog record turntable to an iMac to, in turn, burn CDs. We have an iMac G3 with Mac OS 8.5. What software and/or hardware will we need to accomplish this goal?" Our Editor-In-Chief, being the kind soul that he is, passed this along to me and, in an emperor-like tone, commanded that I answer. As such:

Well, you're in luck. You just need a ballpene hammer, some gauze pads, and a REALLY high-powered laser. Ok, ok, ok... it's easier than that, but my first method SOUNDS more fun! Anyway, this process should be fairly simple.

Lets start with the hardware required. Essentially we want to connect your turntable to the sound-in port on your iMac. Your turntable most likely will have RCA jacks on the back of it (just like your CD player or tape deck). The difference here is that your turntable operates at "low-level" and everything else (including the sound-in port on your iMac), operates at line level, at least for the purpose we're discussing. So we need to get your turntable up to line level. If you have a stereo receiver, it will perform this function for you. Just hook your turntable up to your receiver as you normally would, and then connect your receiver's "tape out" signal to your iMac. You'll need a stereo RCA to 1/8" cable, which is readily available at your local Radio Shack. If you DON'T have a receiver with which to accomplish this goal, you can also get a signal amplifier at Radio Shack as well.

On the other end of this, you'll need a CD burner. There are various CD burners that work with the iMac, such as the Sony Spressa or VST Portable CD/RW drive.

Once you've got your hardware in place, there are two pieces of software you'll need. The first is Toast 4.0 Deluxe from Adaptec. This will allow you to burn CDs. The second piece of software you'll need is SoundJam MP Plus. This will let you record your audio straight to an AIFF file, and will then link with Toast to burn it to a CD for you.

That should do it! Enjoy!

Oliver Donald writes, "I recently bought a G4/450 and connected it up to the LAN in our flat, which otherwise consists of PC's. We have a Linux server with AppleTalk installed, so my Mac has no trouble running on the network. However, I'm back at my proper home now and my Mac is by itself. Now every time I restart my Mac, the modem tries to connect to the internet. If it manages, my Mac locks up for about a minute, then works as normal. If it fails (because I unplug the modem from the phone socket), it also locks up for about a minute, then carries on. If TCP/IP is set to Ethernet, it doesn't dial in but still locks up for a while before continuing. No errors come up however. Have you got any idea what this is? I've scoured all my control panels, (TCP/IP, QuickTime, Remote Access, Security etc.) with Appletalk on/off, loads of things. Restarting with extensions off cures this problem :-). I think its because in Appletalk, some of the network's shares were checked to open on restart. I think it may still be trying to access those shares, which it obviously can't. Because I'm not on the network anymore, I can't see the shares and so can't turn them off. If you think this is the problem, how do you think I could fix it?"

Oliver, I do, indeed, think this is the problem. Your computer is probably looking for TCP/IP-based shares, and is going about that any way that it can! With that, it's dialing up to get an internet connection, or looking across your Ethernet to see if the server it's looking for can be found. Disabling this is fairly simple, however, and only involves deleting a few files. The first file to delete is your "AppleShare Prep" file contained in your Preferences folder inside your System Folder. The second set of files you need to delete are contained within the Servers folder inside your System Folder. Delete ANYTHING within this Servers folder, as the system looks here when it starts up for any servers to which you want it to connect. Removing things from here will keep the computer from attempting those connections upon restart. That's it!

Henri Koks writes, "Well Dave, I try a startup with a CD from Symantec containing the Norton Utilities on my Mac G4 (Syst. 9.x). It was impossible. On my other Mac Power PC 7400 (Syst. 8.5) everything was A. O.K. Can you tell me the reason, because I really need at least Disk Doctor and Speed Disk on my G4."

Yes, Henri -- the problem is that certain system software is required to start each Mac, and newer Macs won't necessarily start from an "older" version of the system software. There are components that are typically required to be able to perform this restart, and if they weren't included on the CD when it was pressed initially, that CD will never start your Mac. Symantec, however, has typically released updates to their CD's to allow people to boot from them on machines released after the software hit the shelves. Try contacting Symantec for an updated CD.

That's it for this week, folks. If you want to see your question answered here, send it to me at [email protected]. If you'd rather discuss your problems with others, you can do so in the Ask Dave Forums!

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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