The Imager Lab now has a Yamaha CDR400 CD recorder that allows
you to burn up to 650 Meg of data onto CDs in a variety of handy formats.
The CD writer system is based on Ratbert, a Mac IIcx currently located in Imager
Dark across from Flip. It is controlled by software called "Adaptec Toast". This program is
accompanied by a fairly intuitive and easy-to-follow manual (please keep it
near the CD machine!)
Why Would You Want to Use a CD Burner, Anyway?
CDs are cheap, durable and easily accessable ways of recording large amounts
of random access data. Some possible uses for the CD-R machine are:
- making a complete backup of everything you've done so far
- moving old work onto CD to free up disk space
- building archival libraries of public data (models, programs, etc)
- building archival libraries of past Imager accounts
The CD-R machine is also capable of copying audio CDs. You're on your own
when it comes to learning how to do this and being responsible for
any potential copyright violations.
Preparing Your Files
Before you even touch the CD writer, you should spend some time
preparing and organizing the files you wish to store.
The process is much easier if all your files are in the same
place, so start by creating a new target directory ("my-CD", etc.)
and assemble everything you want to write.
It's probably also a good idea to
uncompress all your files, for the following reasons:
- CD space is plentiful and CDs are cheap, so compression doesn't
buy you much.
- When you browse the CD, you'll have to copy compressed files
elsewhere before you can uncompress them.
- Compression programs can become obsolete too.
Pre-assembling your files will give you a handle on the
total size of your CD, as well as making the transfer to Ratbert somewhat
easier. However, it's not totally necessary.
Choosing a CD Format
Our CD writer supports a wide range of data formats, including
MAC data, ISO 9660, Mac/ISO hybrid, Audio CD, CD-i, Enhanced
Music CD, and Video CD among others.
This web page concentrates on the two formats we feel will be of most
use to lab members:
- ISO 9660 - The IS0 9660 format is the standard for cross-platform
CD-ROMS. Discs created in this format can be read by many different
operating systems, including Mac, DOS and UNIX. The main disadvantage
is that all file names must be no longer than 8 characters with
a 3 character extension.
- ISO 9660 with Rockridge extensions - This format extends
the ISO 9660 format (above) with the ability to have have 32 character
filenames, likely a necessity if you want to archive from
a UNIX filesystem. However, this format requires you pre-process
your data somewhat before you transfer it to the CD burner.
Reading Your CD Later
On an SGI, slap the CD into a jacket and put it into the CD drive
associated with the machine. Your files should be accessable
from the directory "/CDROM" on the local machine.