Devices (CD-Rewritable Drives
& USB Flash Drives)
Many computers now sold come with CD-RW drives (some even come with
DVD-RW drives, which can not only read and write to DVD media, but
also to CD media). These CD-'Burners', as they're commonly called,
greatly increase the amount of storage capacity available to the
computer user. A single blank CD can hold as much data as 500 3-1/2"
floppy disks. Note that the following discussion, for the most part,
also is applicable for recordable DVD media, which is now being
offered as an option when purchasing a computer.
are 2 kinds of blank CD media: CD-R ('R' stands for Recordable)
and CD-RW ('RW' stands for ReWritable). CD-R's can only be written
to once and CD-RW can be written to up to about a thousand times.
Although CD-R's can only be written to only once, additional files
can be added to any files already on the CD-R. For example, if you
back up your user folder on a CD-R and it takes 50Mb of space on
the CD-R, you can never use that 50Mb again, i.e. you cannot erase
or format the CD-R and then reuse that space. You can, however,
keep adding additional files to the CD-R until the CD-R is full.
CD-R's are useful for archiving material on a permanent basis. CD-RW's
works much the same way a 3-1/2" floppy diskette does, allowing
you to reuse the space over and over again.
software, such as Quickbooks, Microsoft Word, AristoCAT, etc. can
write to either a CD-R or CD-RW without some 3rd party CD burning
software being installed on the computer (except for Windows XP
which we'll talk about later.) Examples of 3rd party CD burning
software include Easy CD Creator and Nero. And with the use of this
3rd party CD burning software, there are two methods of burning
information on a CD. One method uses 'projects' and the second method
uses a method called UDF (we won't worry about what UDF stands for.)
Writing to a CD using the project method is analogous to building
a job dictionary. You would start your CD burning software and tell
it what files you want to add to the project. After you have told
it all of the files, you then burn the CD. The advantage of this
method is that the CD is readable on virtually all computers with
a CD drive. The second method treats your CD burner just like a
floppy diskette. You can copy, erase and rename files through the
AristoCAT File Management program (and any other program). The disadvantage
of this method is that you have to have additional CD-burning software
installed on your computer and the CD's created this way may not
be readable on other computers unless they have the UDF reader software
installed on them. This may sound complicated, but the good news
is that this additional software usually comes with the 3rd party
CD-burning software and once installed, you can use your CD-burner
just like a floppy diskette. The most popular software using this
second method (UDF) is called DirectCD which comes with Easy CD
Creator from Roxio (formerly Adaptec). A detailed description of
DirectCD and how it works can be found on www.roxio.com (link: www.roxio.de/english/products/ecdc5/dcdfaqs.html#q1).
are using a version of Windows other than Windows XP (i.e. 95/98/Me/NT/2000),
then if your computer came with a CD-burner then it most likely
came with 3rd party CD-burning software and that software was probably
installed on the computer. If you purchased a CD-burner (internal
or external) to add to a computer, then the CD-burner probably came
with a CD which has 3rd party CD-burning software and you will have
to install this software after you have successfully installed CD-burner.
If you are using CD-burning software other than Easy CD Creator,
then contact the manufacturer of that software to make sure that
their software supports UDF if you want to be able to use your CD-burner
just as if it were a floppy diskette. If you cannot locate CD burning
software on your computer then check the packet of material you
received when you purchased the computer or CD-burner. Please take
time to review the manual which comes with this software.
XP operating system has limited CD-burning capabilities built-in
to the operating system (assuming you have a CD-burner installed
on your computer). With this limited, built-in capabilities, you
can read and write files to your CD-burner without the need for
3rd party CD-burning software. Note that you can read and write
files, but you cannot erase or rename them. To use your CD-burner
like a floppy diskette under Windows XP you will still need 3rd
party CD-burning software.
CD-burning capabilities of Windows XP involves first copying the
files to a 'Staging Area'. After a few seconds, Windows XP will
see these files in the 'Staging Area' and ask you if you want to
burn these files on a CD. Note that with the latest AristoCAT update
currently being shipped, when you try to copy files to your CD-burner
under Windows XP, the File Management program will try to copy these
files directly to your CD-burner. If it can't (because you don't
have any 3rd party CD-burning software), then the File Management
program will copy the files to this 'Staging Area'. After a few
moments, you will be prompted by Windows XP as to whether or not
you want to burn the material onto the CD from the Staging Area.
Essentially, if you're not using 3rd party software, it becomes
a 2-step process with AristoCAT's File Management Program sending
the files to the Staging Area and then Windows XP burning the files
on the CD. The good news is that the CD created this way is readable
on most CD drives.
If you decide to use a different method of writing files to your
CD-R's and CD-RW's other than AristoCAT's File Management program,
such as Windows Explorer, then create a folder on the CD with the
same name as your user folder and copy the files to this folder.
That way you can still use the file management program to copy the
files from the CD to your hard drive.
Flash Drives are the latest innovation in removable storage devices
for computers. These small portable devices are easier and faster
to use than a CD-RW or a floppy drive and they are much more reliable
than a floppy diskette. They are extremely useful for transferring
files between computers (home and work) and can be used to store
and install AristoCAT software downloads (especially those downloads
which won't fit on a floppy diskette). The drives come in varying
sizes from 32 megabytes to 2 gigabytes. The larger the drive size,
the more expensive. Stores such as OfficeMAX and Staples are offering
the smaller drives (32Mb) for as little as $10. These drives work
great with the AristoCAT File Management Program. What size drive
should you get? If you are not using Avsync with the large sound
files, then the smaller drives will work just fine. If you are transferring
sound files from Avsync between computers, then get a Flash Drive
with at least 256Mb of capacity.
Flash Drives act as removable drives for your computer and will
show up as E, F or G drives under the "My Computer" icon
of your computer. For computers with Windows Me, 2000 or XP there
is no need for additional software to access a Flash Drive. You
simply plug them into a free USB port on your computer and the operating
system will automatically recognize the type of device and automatically
install the software drivers. The first time you plug one of these
Flash Drives into a computer, a small balloon window will appear
announcing 'NEW HARDWARE FOUND' and then the operating system will
take a couple of minutes to install the software driver. When the
process is finished you will be informed the drive is ready to use.
After the first installation the computer will automatically recognize
and access the device almost immediately each time you plug it into
your computer. If you are using a Flash Drive on a Windows 98 computer
you will need to visit the vendor's web site and download the appropriate
software driver or some Flash Drives come with a CD or floppy diskette
with Windows 98 drivers. Please read all installation instructions.
Some manufacturers of Flash Drives refer to their software drivers
for Windows 98SE, which is the Second Edition of Windows 98. We
have used the SanDisk USB Flash Drive with the first edition of
Windows 98 with no problems. Note that Windows 95 and Windows NT
do not support USB devices, so if you have a computer with Windows
95 or NT, you will not be able to use the Flash Drive with that
a Flash Drive is plugged into the computer you will be able to access
the drive using the AristoCAT File Management program. This means
you can now copy files from your reporter folder to the drive by
selecting the appropriate drive assignment from the drop down menu
(Diskette Drive) that appears to the right of the bottom window
in File Management and the drive will be named '(Removable Disk)'.
If your Flash Drive is listed as 'USB v.2.0' or 'USB v.1.0' this
will have no effect on how it works with the File Management Program.
You might consider placing a README.txt file containing contact
information on the Flash Drive. If you should lose the drive its
possible an honest soul will return it to you.