Mac 911

Now that the election-year hoo-ha is over, the holidays are behind us, and Apple has taken significant steps toward releasing OS X, we are free to ponder what really matters: How does one transfer an address book from Netscape to Eudora? What causes a CD-R burner to fail? And why won't Sherlock plug-ins install when you drag them onto a closed System Folder?

Change of Address Book

Marian MacLeod, who, judging by the suffix in her e-mail address, lives in a climate favorable to walruses and caribou, writes that she'd like to employ Eudora as her e-mail client but has a problem. She can't find a way to import the address book from her current e-mail program, Netscape Communicator, as Eudora 5's Import Mail command won't import Netscape addresses. The situation isn't hopeless. I could recommend that Marian take advantage of a Web-based application such as ABConverter, which costs about $10 per use, to do the job. But I prefer a free (and more devious) method, a little something I call the Outlook Express Runaround. The idea behind the Runaround is to use Microsoft Outlook Express 5 as a conduit for moving your Netscape addresses to Eudora. Here's how it works:

Download and install a copy of Microsoft Outlook Express 5. Now launch Outlook Express and select Import from the File menu. In the resulting window select the Import From An Application option, and in the succeeding window select Netscape Communicator 4.0 Or Higher. Go to the next window and deselect every option except Addresses. (If you want to import e-mail messages as well, leave Mail Messages selected.) Click on the tiny right-pointing arrow at the bottom of this window, and your Netscape addresses will waltz their way into Outlook Express. Then you just click on Finish and quit the program.

Fire up a copy of Eudora 5 and select the Import Mail command. In the window that appears, select Outlook Express 5 from the pop-up menu and click on OK. Select Main Identity, and then click on the Import Account button in the next window. Finally, in the Import Mail window, select only the Address Book Information option and click on OK. In less than a long wink, the Netscape addresses you imported into Outlook Express will be shoveled into Eudora's Address Book.

A Burning Issue

A visitor to the Mac 911 Forum, Gerard Walschap, is distressed that his LaCie SCSI CD-RW drive - rated to write at 12x - seems able to successfully burn CD-Rs at only a measly 1x. When he attempts to burn at faster rates, Toast 4.1 sends up an ominous "buffer underrun" error, and his CD-R disc becomes a useless hunk of shiny plastic.

Naturally, my heart goes out to Mr. Walschap, but the depth of this sympathy doesn't diminish my suspicion that he may not have done all he could to prepare his Mac for a successful burn.

To increase the odds of walking away with a newly burned CD, he should:

Copy the CD-ROM to his hard drive and then to the burner, for the simple reason that a hard drive can deliver data far more quickly than today's fastest CD-ROM drive.

Nix background applications and networking services - file sharing or automatic e-mail retrieval, for example - during the burn. Such background activities can easily interrupt the delivery of data to a CD burner, drain the burner's buffer, and result in underrun errors.

Allot a large enough RAM buffer in Toast to prevent these errors. For pity's sake, Walschap, Toast allows you to buffer data to the Mac's RAM for additional short-term storage, so why not take advantage of it!?

In summary, keep it simple. Using Apple's Extensions Manager or Casady & Greene's Conflict Catcher, create a base set of only those extensions and control panels necessary to perform the burn; the CD-R-burning software should be the only active application during a burn. Burn files from a hard drive rather than from a CD, and use Toast's RAM buffering feature to full advantage.

A Puzzle for Sherlock

James Schneider, another visitor to the Mac 911 Forum, couldn't successfully install Sherlock plug-ins - you know, those files that allow Sherlock to explore particular Web sites - even though he followed Apple's advice to drag and drop these plug-ins onto a closed System Folder. Although the plug-ins were filed in the Internet Search Sites folder within the System Folder, they never appeared in Sherlock 2's list of Internet sites.

Unfortunately, the freshness date on the advice that James received has long since passed. With the original Sherlock (the version that shipped with Mac OS 8.5 and 8.6), dragging and dropping Sherlock plug-ins to a closed System Folder did cause new search sites to appear within Sherlock. But with Sherlock 2 and OS 9, this is no longer the case.

To successfully add Sherlock plug-ins, you must do one of two things: open the Internet Search Sites folder and drag the plug-ins to the Internet folder that lurks within, or drag the plug-in directly into the open Internet pane of the Sherlock window (see "Such a Drag").

Because I tend to add new search sites on a regular basis, I've created a separate channel for new sites. You can, too, by choosing New Channel from Sherlock's Channel menu, giving your new channel a descriptive name such as My Channel, assigning an icon to the channel, selecting Searching from the Channel Type pop-up menu, and placing additional search sites in this channel via the methods I described here.

Contributing Editor CHRISTOPHER BREEN is a coauthor of the recently revised and updated My iMac (IDG Books Worldwide, 2001).

Share tips and discuss Mac problems with other Mac users in the Mac 911 Forum ( www.macworld.com/subject/mac911 ). Also send tips by e-mail to mac911@macworld.com. We pay $50 for tips selected for publication in Macworld . All published submissions become the sole property of Macworld .

Shareware and freeware mentioned in Mac 911 are available from the Macworld Online software library.

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