Apple System Profiler
Tip 27 referred to the Apple System Profiler. Tip 50 mentioned using the Apple System Profiler to discover which kind of CD drive you have. Here’s how:
OS 9: Go to the Apple Menu and click on Apple System Profiler.
OS X: Go to the Utilities Folder inside the Applications Folder on your hard drive and double-click on Apple System Profiler.
All: When the Apple System Profiler opens up click on the Tab across the top for Devices and Volumes.
After a moment you’ll see information about all the drives connected to your computer. This could include floppy drives, CD drives, Zip drives, mouse, keyboard and others.
Provided you have a drive for CDs one of the devices listed will be a CD drive. On my Powerbook it’s listed as a DVD-ROM drive which tells me that my Powerbook can play DVDs (and CDs).
My friend Rachel has an iBook capable of both playing and creating CDs. Her drive is listed as a CD-RW.
On my iBook I can see a CD-ROM drive which means it can play CDs but not create them.
If you have a very high-powered Mac you just might have a drive which can both play and create DVDs. This is also known as a SuperDrive. Although I don’t have access to one myself, I believe the Apple System Profiler may show DVD-R/CD-RW.
While CDs are suitable for backing up and archiving regular files, a DVD will be of more use for those wanting to store movies and large numbers of photos. A CD will hold approximately 650Mb of data, while a DVD can hold many Gigabytes.