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  1. #1
    Which CD format...?
    My goals are modest...

    I have a G4 PowerBook from, I believe, the year 2000, using OS X.3, and I just want to be able to back up my writing on CD.

    But I can't find information anywhere on what type of disk I'm supposed to use to accomplish this.

    The only thing I've found indicates that to use the rather amusingly named "all purpose" CD-RW disk I need to fork out money for a special drive. I don't want to do this just to save text if I don't have to, especially since a CD drive is the *only* drive that this G4 actually came with in the first place.

    Can somebody versed in these mysteries please offer guidance?

    I apologize for the snide tone. I love Mac. I really do; I just find the way info. on using computers is organized (especially online) to be extremely annoying most of the time.

    But this forum is great! I'm so glad it's here.

    Many, many thanks!

  2. #2
    I'm not entirely sure what you are trying for here but i can't see why you can't just use regular ole' CD-R's? WHat type of back up do you want? Long time, short time? how much space do you need?

    As i'm sure you know CD-R's are cheap and CD-RW's are just a bit more but can be reused and last longer. You coould invest in a few of these if you think you might be rewriting...there is is always the DVD-R route if think you need that much room?

  3. #3
    Thanks for replying. Well, what I do now is back up my work (mainly my dissertation) on my zip disk, usually each time I do any substantial writing (a few pages, for example), which means I typically get asked if I want to replace the preexisting file with the version I've just updated and I say, "yes." Since I'm just saving text, I can't imagine that memory would be an issue.

    My understanding of CD-R (which is slight) is that, as you say, it's not rewritable, which suggests to me that I would end up with dozens of files on a disk, something like ch1.ver1, ch1.ver2, ch1.ver3, etc., if I can't replace ch1 with any updates as I work on it. This seems kind of silly, but I suppose it would be preferable to spending about $40 on a new drive. If it's really so troublesome just to save files on CD though, I might just get another back-up zip disk. (Saving on my zip works fine; I just get nervous because the zip disk is maybe 7 years old now and has seen a lot of wear.)

    Thanks for the input If you or anyone has anything else to suggest/explain, I'd sure appreciate it!

  4. #4
    Buy a couple CDR-W's or even a small USB jump.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jwindhall
    Buy a couple CDR-W's or even a small USB jump.
    Is a CDR-W different from a CD-RW, which I can't use without buying a new drive? What is a USB jump? Sounds like a peripheral drive? (Sorry to be so ignornant, but that's why I'm here.) I appreciate your help.

  6. #6
    Okay, I found the USB jump, so I know what that's about now. That sounds like a real possibility. Thanks for suggesting it.

    Little blowing-off-steam-at-computers rant follows:

    I'm just having trouble believing that in 2004 it's so darn hard to put a rewritable disk in your computer's built-in disk drive and save a text file on it. I mean my 1993 powerbook with 4 MB of RAM could do that (with a floppy)! Eleven years don't seem to taken us in the direction of ease and inexpense in this area.

    End rant. Thanks for listening.

  7. #7

    Padawan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 21, 2003
    Coruscant, Galactic Republic
    14" iBook G3 900/640/40 _ _ Power Macintosh G3 All-In-One 315/768/20 _ _ 20 GB iPod
    I'm still not entirely clear on what you're asking. If you computer has a write-capable drive, you can write to either CD-R disks or CD-RW disks. You can also erase and re-write to a CD-RW using that same drive. Now if your machine only has a CD-ROM drive without any writing feature, then you won't be able to write to any disks, whether they be one-time CD-R's or multi-use CD-RW's.

    Also, if you're using CD's to save something, you won't be able to save different files to the disk at different times as you've envisioned. For example, say you just wrote something and you want to save it to CD. You insert the CD and burn your file on it. If it's a CD-R, then that CD is done. You'll never be able to write to it again, so the only file on it will be the one you just saved. If it's a CD-RW, then if you want to save again, you'll have to erase the entire disk and save your new file to it. For frequent saving and revising, even CD-RW's aren't very efficient. I think your best bet is to buy a brand-new ZIP disk as you've suggested.

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  8. #8
    Thanks. That explains the situation very clearly. I think I was imagining that our CD technology had progressed more than, in fact, it has. (Seems like everyone is talking about doing everything on CD today.) So it sounds like sticking with the zip disks is the way to go. (And you did understand exactly what I was asking!)

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