I have a business card CD. I have a Mac. Um.
October 11, 2010 7:05 AM   Subscribe

For a work project, I need to utilize a "business card cd" to download a camera driver. I'm using a Macbook, whose slot drive can't deal with an irregularly shaped CD. Help? (Minor snowflake details inside.)

I've found external drives that can deal with a mini-CD - but nothing that seems guaranteed to work for a business card cd and a mac.

I've seen adapters for mini-cds, like this one from Memorex - but can't track anything similar for business card CDs, "bootable business cards" or the like.

I'm aware this is a somewhat obscure problem - but any help would be very much appreciated.
posted by (The Rt Hon.) MP to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You might want to say what camera it is you need drivers for, in case a Mefite can point you to an alternative source.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:09 AM on October 11, 2010

Do you have access to a computer with a standard cd drive? Make a .iso of the cd with that computer and then transfer the .iso to your mac. Mount it and it will be the same as if you have the CD.
posted by wayland at 7:11 AM on October 11, 2010

Thanks, EndsOfInvention. Alas, it's an ultra-obscure camera-pen, probably made in China, that we got from a local spyshop for a stage project on espionage...
posted by (The Rt Hon.) MP at 7:12 AM on October 11, 2010

Do you have an external drive? That could work. Otherwise, I think wayland's answer solves it pretty much.
posted by easilyconfused at 7:15 AM on October 11, 2010

I think any cd drive that has a tray will work. They have the correct grooves to fit the different sized cds and a business card size because of the corners fits in the smaller sized groove. At least thats whats happened whenever i used them.
posted by stuartmm at 7:17 AM on October 11, 2010

Hey wayland and easily confused: don't know offhand if I can get a PC loaned in time.

Are there any external tray-based drives for mac that'd definitely handle an irregularly shaped CD?
posted by (The Rt Hon.) MP at 7:17 AM on October 11, 2010

The only mac that needs a "special" external CD drive is the Air. Pretty much any tray-loading external optical drive will work for what you're trying to do.
posted by Oktober at 7:27 AM on October 11, 2010

Seconding Oktober. USB Mass Storage is USB Mass Storage. You should be fine with any external drive out there.

Failing that, seriously, post what the camera is. You'd be surprised how common some chipsets are, and how common drivers for cheap devices like this actually are.
posted by Rendus at 7:33 AM on October 11, 2010

Just in case: have you tried just plugging the camera in without any additional drivers installed? It might Just Work. The first spy camera pen I found with a quick search stated "To watch video, simply plug The Pen camera into a standard USB port. No drivers or outside power source needed."
posted by bcwinters at 7:46 AM on October 11, 2010

I don't know how recently it's been updated, but macam has always been able to drive the weird bits of cheap photographic plastic I attach to my mac.
posted by scruss at 7:57 AM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Seconding bcwinters. Your pen camera might just mount on the desktop like an external USB drive, in which case you could drag the images off of it. But maybe you've already tried that.
posted by emelenjr at 9:00 AM on October 11, 2010

Apple makes a clear statement that you should never use those adapter things in their slot drives, so even if you did find one i'd suggest you don't use it.

I'd be shocked if any off-the-shelf usb external drive, particularly from major brands like Memorex, didn't simply work if you plug it into your mac. So you could buy one for around $70 at BestBuy or the like. I am not advocating this, but you could also return it when you're done. Personally I find having one around to be useful but your capacity for spending/clutter might be lower.
posted by phearlez at 9:16 AM on October 11, 2010

If you can't find a loaner PC, the local Kinkos (or FedEx Office or whatever they are calling themselves now) rent desktops by the hour. Call beforehand to make sure their rentals have a tray loading drive.
posted by jamaro at 9:42 AM on October 11, 2010

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