Can you suggest a decent, cheap external firewire or USB CDRW that works with OS9?
December 1, 2004 11:48 AM   Subscribe

My mother has an older iMac running on OS9. I'd like to upgrade her to a new one but can't afford it right now. I need to buy an external firewire or USB CDRW that will work with OS9 so she can easily back up her digital photography; can anyone suggest something decent and cheap?
posted by luriete to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Instead of buying a ready-made unit, it may be cheaper for you to simply buy an external IDE enclosure (like this) and put in a regular burner (like this. I linked to that one because I have it and I love it).

If you look at LaCie externals that's all that they do, except they charge a lot more for it.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 12:05 PM on December 1, 2004

The Drive Compatibility Database at provides accounts of drive issues and quality according to model and operating system.

You can also check Other World Computing's upgrade wizard to see what available items that store has in stock.
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:10 PM on December 1, 2004

I had no trouble with any of Que's stuff when I was on 9, and they worked fine when I upgraded as well.
posted by amberglow at 12:20 PM on December 1, 2004

Response by poster: Well, I am not too worried about after the upgrade, because her new iMac will come with a CDRW or superdrive built-in.
posted by luriete at 12:27 PM on December 1, 2004

How about an iPod? You can copy files to them once they mount on the desktop - they are hard drives after all.
posted by glyphlet at 1:13 PM on December 1, 2004

Don't get a USB external drive since the old iMacs were USB and it would take several thousand years to burn a CD.

Firewire is the way to go. The basic CDRWs aren't too expensive these days. It is cheaper to buy a desktop burner and an enclosure like Dipsomanic said, but it is less hassle to buy one already made.

And since mom is evenually going to get a new imac, you might go the route of given her an external hard drive so she can just plug in and continue to use it on the new system. I got a 160GB LaCie for $135 from Amazon not too long ago. And not to mention the hard drives that come on the iMacs aren't that big so having an external hard drive will come in handy someday.
posted by birdherder at 1:27 PM on December 1, 2004

I'm backing birherder's suggestion on this one. An external firewire drive will be much easier and faster to use. A thing to consider when you're hooking up external hard drives in OS9 though, you should probably have a copy of Disk Warrior somewhere close by. Them external drives can get damn finicky and fail to mount if you don't properly unmount them each time you disconnect the drive.
posted by spaghetti at 9:16 PM on December 1, 2004

If you are seriously only needing this for BACKUP and she has a connection to the internets, I would set up an FTP account somewhere free/cheap (Spymac gives you 100MB of web space, but not sure if that is with FTP access?)
Then there is an AppleScript called DropFTP,by Visa Kopu, that uses the Anarchie FTP client to transfer files in the right locations on a remote FTP server.

All she would have to do is select the pics and drag them to the DropFTP icon and they would be uploaded to her backup space.
posted by spock at 10:23 PM on December 1, 2004

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