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Ask Dave
by Dave Hamilton

He from whom all Mac knowledge flows...

CD-ROMs, G4 OS Support, & Building A Gaming Network
September 1st, 2000

Good day, everyone! This week's column deals with a few issues -- we tackle setting up network gaming between two Macs, we talk about problems with reading an Audio CD, and finally we discuss the issues of running an older OS on a newer Mac. Feel free to e-mail your questions to me, and for now... Read on!

Saira Abubaker writes, "I do not know why my CD-ROM drive is giving me problems. Whenever I try to insert an audio CD, it gives the message 'CD not loaded or Insert an Audio CD'. It also doesn't show the files in it."

Saira -- I think I have your answer! The CD-ROM drive relies on a few different extensions to manage different types of CD's. The first is, of course, the driver for the CD-ROM drive itself. Assuming you have a drive that came stock in your computer from Apple, this is something like, "Apple CD-ROM" or "Apple CD/DVD Driver", depending on the version of your operating system. If you have a third-party CD-ROM drive, you're probably using something like "CD-ROM Toolkit" and those drivers need to be enabled. That's enough for the system to see the CD-ROM drive itself and will allow it to mount Macintosh-formatted CD's. If you want to mount other CD's, you'll need a few more extensions. The first of which is "Foreign File Access", which is the "gateway" to everything else. From there you will need the "Audio CD Access" extension to mount (and play) your Audio CD's. If you want to mount PC-formatted CD's the "ISO 9660 File Access" is typically what it takes to do that. There are others, as well, like "High Sierra File Access" and "Apple Photo Access", which give you even more options. These are all installed by default with the Mac OS. If you don't have them in your Extensions Folder, just reinstall the "CD-ROM" group from your Mac OS install CD, and that should take care of it!

Alex Hodson Rutter, "I am about to switch from a PPC 7500/100 to a G4 450 dual on which I would like to run some application on Mac OS 8.1 (such as Omni Page Pro 8.01 which apparently is not being updated to support Mac OS 9). Are there any problems in having two OS' on the same machine?"

Well, Alex, to answer your question: No, there are no problems running multiple OS' on the same machine. You need to be aware of which system folder is active, and make sure that your extensions are installed and managed correctly, but that shouldn't cause you any headaches at all.

However, you mentioned that you're upgrading to a G4. According to a TIL article from Apple, the G4 you're about to buy will not run anything lower than Mac OS 9 (those that shipped with Mac OS 8.6 will run that variant of 8.6, but if you're buying a new one, it will be Mac OS 9 as the minimum). This is due to various changes that have been made in Apple's hardware model, and the older versions of the Mac OS just don't support the OS extensions and ROM files required to run the newer machines.

Jonathan Campbell writes, "I'm terribly sorry to bother you Dave. But after long hours of rooting through my network and help files I'm coming up short on the answer to my problem. I am trying to create a gaming network for Quake 1,2, Quake 3 demo and Unreal Tournament Demo. I've been successful in sharing files between my two computers, a 333MHz iMac and a 350MHz B&W G3. I'm currently using a dual crossover cable and having good success in the file management but I can't for the life of me correctly get the applications to link and play. I've pretty much screwed up all my settings and am hoping you can help!"

Jonathan, I think we can help you! The issue is this: You are likely using AppleTalk to share files. While this works just fine for File Sharing, it will not work to network the games you mentioned. Those games don't support the AppleTalk protocol, they only support the TCP/IP protocol (on the Mac, anyway). With that in mind, we will assume that your network cabling is all in order since AppleTalk works. Now the trick is enabling the right protocols on that same network cable so that your games can talk to each other as well. To do this, we'll need to update your TCP/IP Control Panel. If you have Internet access on this computer via a modem, chances are you'll lose those settings when you make the changes here. Write down your settings prior to changing these (or use the File->Configurations option in the Control Panel to set up two different profiles). Once you're convinced that you can get things back to the way they were before you tried this, go to your TCP/IP control panel on one computer, and set it as follows:

Connect via: Ethernet (or Ethernet built-in, whichever appears)
Configure: Manually
IP Address:
Subnet mask:

Leave ALL the other fields blank. Then go to the second computer, and set it exactly the same, except make the IP Address: This will get both computers "talking" TCP/IP over your Ethernet crossover connection, and you should be good to go!

That's it for this week, folks. Send your questions to [email protected], or visit the Forums to speak your question to the masses. Until next time...

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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