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Classic conundrum

I erased my Power Mac G4’s hard drive during a clean install of OS X 10.4. Now I can’t seem to reinstall OS 9 to run the Classic environment. Is there a way to install Mac OS 9 while my system is running Tiger?—Rob Prosky

Although Tiger supports the Classic environment, it doesn’t install the OS 9 components necessary to run applications in that environment. For that, you’ll need the installation discs that came in the box with your Mac. With my Power Mac G5, I can install OS 9 using the Install Additional Software installer that’s found on the Additional Software & AHT disc. You’ll likely find such an installer on a separate disc called Power Mac G4 Mac OS 9 Install, or on a software-restore disc.

If you’ll be using OS 9 only in the Classic environment, you needn’t worry about how your hard drive is formatted. However, if you intend to boot your Mac into OS 9, you have to put the OS 9 driver on the OS 9 boot volume. The option for installing the driver is in both the Erase tab and the Partition tab of Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities). To install the driver, you must reformat the drive or partition.

iPod safety net

My entire iTunes Music Library has disappeared. However, 5,624 of my songs are on my 40GB iPod. If I could retrieve all of them, I will have lost only a total of 35 songs. Is there a way to recover my music from my iPod?—Mike Quinn

There are many ways to do what you ask. Of the myriad utilities for moving music from an iPod to a Mac’s hard drive, I prefer Whitney Young’s Senuti ( I like Senuti because it’s free, because it’s faster than many similar utilities, and because it, unlike a lot of iPod recovery tools, will copy not only the music but also any playlists stored on the iPod (see top screenshot).

The Little App Factory’s iPodRip ($15) is another good choice. You’re allowed to use it ten times for free before you have to pony up the modest shareware fee. This is quite a bargain, considering that unless you’re an extremely unlucky individual, you shouldn’t have to recover music from your iPod more than a couple of times.

Preview MIA

I have an iMac G4 with OS X 10.3.9 and cannot get a preview when printing from Microsoft Word. I think the problem is related to the fact that the Preview application won’t open when clicked on directly. I just downloaded and installed the OS X 10.3.9 update combo, but it didn’t help.—David Key

When an application acts up and restarting your Mac doesn’t make it settle down, try deleting its preferences file. When these files become scrambled, odd things can happen—for example, the application can fail to launch. You can usually find your preferences files by following this path: / your user folder / Library/Preferences. In this case, you’re looking for the file named

If that doesn’t work, your next step is to launch Disk Utility, click on the First Aid tab, select your startup drive, and click on the Repair Disk Permissions button. This is a good all-purpose solution—sometimes it will fix the problem, but if it doesn’t, it won’t usually do any harm.

Still no luck? Before reinstalling the application, try repairing the drive by restarting the Mac while holding down Command-S (to boot into Single User Mode). Once the Mac has booted to the black screen with white letters, type

fsck -fy
and press return to repair the drive. If your Mac reports problems, re-enter
fsck -fy
until you get a clean report. When it reports no problems, type
and press return to restart the Mac.

Finally, if nothing else works, reinstall the problem application. If one of OSX’s built-in applications, such as Preview or iChat, is giving you trouble, you can use CharlesSoft’s Pacifist ($20) to extract the single application from the Mac OS X installation disc.

Make your mark

I have a third-generation iPod, and it won’t bookmark the Podcasts I download from the iTunes Music Store. Is there any way for me to bookmark these files?—Gwen Hunter

Ah, the convenience of bookmarking—listen to a bit of a Podcast on your iPod or computer and then play some different tracks, and when you return to the Podcast, it picks up where it left off. You’re not alone in wishing you could do this. Click Wheel iPods will bookmark Podcasts, but earlier iPods won’t. Thankfully, there’s a way to convert the files so you can bookmark them on your iPod, no matter what its age.

One method is to use Thunderstone Media’s iPodderX ($25; to download your Podcasts. Enable the Convert Audio Files To AAC and Make AAC Files Bookmarkable options in the Subscriptions pane of the program’s Preferences window. With these options selected, iPodderX converts Podcasts into AAC files and then converts them to a bookmarkable form that all iPods can understand.

Alternatively, you can convert any non-AAC Podcast within iTunes by selecting the Podcast and then choosing Advanced: Convert Selection To AAC. (If you don’t see that menu option, go to iTunes: Preferences, click on Importing, and select AAC Encoder from the Import Using pop-up menu.) Once you’ve converted the file, download Doug Adams’s free Make Bookmarkable AppleScript from Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes site ( and use it to make those files bookmarkable.

Slicker slide shows

I like making slide shows of my digital photos. I could do this in iPhoto, but I use iMovie instead so I can add titles and have more control over the audio. Still, I wish I could use iPhoto’s Page Flip and Cube transitions. Is there any way to bridge this gap?—Charlie Frick

You can approach this problem from a couple of different angles. If you’d like to work within iPhoto, which Apple’s iLife ’05 includes ($79), you don’t have to do without titles. Create a title image (white text on a black background, for example) in a graphics application, save it as a JPEG, import it into iPhoto, and include it as part of your slide show. The downside of this technique is that your titles have to be static images—you won’t get the swoopy-doopy moving titles you can create in iMovie.

Alternatively, you can create the slide show in iPhoto, choose Share: Export to save it as a QuickTime movie, and then import it into iMovie. There, you use Edit: Split Clip At Playhead to break up the video as needed; then you can insert titles where you like.

Yet another alternative is to create the slide show in iMovie and use some of the many third-party iMovie transitions available today. offers tons of transitions (as well as titles and effects) in its many Slick Transitions & Effects packages, priced at $30 to $70 per set and also available in bundles. If a comprehensive package of transitions is more than you need, check out cf/x, which offers single transitions; prices range from free to $5.50 each.

But wait, there’s more! A visitor to the Mac 911 forums at suggests that you create a presentation in Keynote, included in Apple’s iWork ’05 ($79). Put one picture on each slide and use cool transitions (see bottom screenshot). Then save that presentation as a QuickTime movie, ready for import into iMovie.

Protecting archives

Is there a way to secure an archive with a password?—Alberto Martinez

If you select a file in the Finder and choose File: Create Archive, you won’t see an encryption option. But you can use Apple’s Disk Utility to create encrypted disk-image archives. To do so, create a folder and place anything you want to archive and encrypt inside it. Launch Disk Utility and choose File: New: Disk Image From Folder. (If you’re using Panther, go to Images: New: Disk Image From Folder.) In the resulting dialog box, navigate to the folder you just created and click on Image.

In the New Image From Folder dialog box that appears, choose Compressed from the Image Format pop-up menu and AES-128 (Recommended) from the Encryption pop-up menu. Click on Save. You’ll soon see an Authenticate dialog box. Enter and verify a password for the archive. If you don’t want the image to decrypt automatically when opened from your user account, disable the Remember Password (Add To Keychain) option. (In other words, if other people will operate your Mac while logged in to your user account, disable this option so they’ll need the password to decrypt the archive.) Click on OK to create the encrypted and compressed archive. Note that you can use these archives only on a Mac—Windows won’t have a clue what to do with them.

You can also create password-protected archives with Allume’s StuffIt Standard Edition ($50)—an option that makes sense if you need to e-mail archives that work on the Mac and on Windows.

Fax facts

Having given away my old, reliable Brother fax machine, and needing to send a fax, I thought I’d give the fax feature on the Mac a try. The result was zero. Nothing. No matter what I tried, it wouldn’t work. I’m using OS X 10.3.9. In particular, I’m confused by the drop-down fax window that asks which modem I want to use. I’m using DSL, not a dial-up modem. What am I missing here?—Don King

You’re missing the notion that traditional faxes send analog signals over analog modems via ana-log phone lines, whereas your DSL modem uses digital signals.

It’s possible that the wall jack you’re using for your DSL connection also supports analog calls—a quick way to test it is to plug a phone into that jack and listen for a dial tone. If the jack works, you can plug both the DSL modem and your Mac’s modem into the jack, using a line splitter.

If not, you need to plug your Mac’s modem into a standard phone line or transmit the fax to a compatible mobile phone using Bluetooth. Adding a Bluetooth fax-modem device is a somewhat convoluted process, and not all mobile phones and services support faxing. But if you’re thinking about faxing via a Bluetooth phone (and you use Panther or Tiger), read Apple’s Knowledge Base article “Adding a Bluetooth Fax Device”.

Another option is to do all your faxing online, through a service such as eFax. For $12.95 a month, you can send faxes via eFax’s eFax Messenger software or the Web. When people send you faxes, they use your personal eFax number (usually with the area code of your choice). eFax receives the fax, converts it to a graphics file, and mails it to your e-mail account as an attachment.

[ Contributing Editor Christopher Breen is the editor in chief of and the author of Secrets of the iPod and iTunes, fifth edition (Peachpit Press, 2005). ]

There’s no need to despair if you spill coffee on your iBook and fry your music collection. As long as your songs are on your iPod, Senuti can help you recover them.Keynote is more than a PowerPoint substitute. You can use it to generate slide shows of your photos.
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