PC-->Mac File Transfer

I am the happy owner of a new titanium iBook and need to transfer some files off my old PC onto it. The most important files are MS Word documents. First, do I need to open these on the PC and resave them in a different format? I have MS Word on the Mac, too.

My original idea was to physically transfer the files by burning a CD on the PC and then copying the documents off the CD onto the Mac’s hard drive. But when I try to either drag the files onto or copy them onto the CD, I get a message saying “Error copying file: There is no disk in drive F.” But there is! It even shows up when I double click on “My Computer”.

So my next idea is that I could email the files from myself to myself, but this seems like it might be rather slow, since I use a dial-up connection.

What would be the best way to go about doing this?

Mac Word can read PC Word formats. No resave necessary.

Yes, Macs can read PC formatted CDs, but you are obviously having problems with burning CDs. You can’t just drag files to a CDR, you have to use some sort of CD burning software. RTFM.

You can transfer files via email, however most ISPs put a limit on email accounts, and caps the mailbox at 5 MB or so. You could compress the Word files into a .zip file and this could yield up to about 80% compression, text files are highly compressible. Stuffit Expander can uncompress .zip files.

In the unlikely chance that your PC has a firewire port, you can make your iBook behave like a Firewire hard disk. Boot up your iBook while holding down the T key. Connect the two machines with a standard Firewire cable. The iBook should appear on the PC desktop, just dump the files directly on the iBook drive.

Congratulations on your new iBook- I’m very jealous!

You shouldn’t have to “resave” the files on the PC- if it’s a newer version of Word on the Mac, it should be able to recognize the files. Of course, it depends on what version of Word you have on the PC.

As for burning, unless you have a program that supports drag and drop burning on your PC, most burning programs I’ve seen, you actually have to run an executable first, then specify which files need burning. The disk you see in “My Computer” may not be writable, or could be marked as “read only”.

Aside from this, use a Zip drive if you have access to one, or put the files on floppy, go to a Kinko’s, and use their bandwidth to email them to yourself…

Good luck!

If you want to drag-and-drop to a CD drive, you usually need a special program for CD-RW like DirectCD. They essentially allow your CD-RW drive to act like floppy or a hard drive.

In my experience, though, each user has to have the software installed on their separate machines in order to read the CD.

What you need is a plain vanilla CD-R. You won’t be able to drag and drop, and it won’t act like another drive. You’ll have to use the software that most likely came with your drive.

In short, make sure you’re using a CD-R rather than a CD-RW.

I don’t have a manual, “F” or otherwise. Was that really necessary?

But the idea to use WinZip to compress the files is a big help. I didn’t know that StuffIt would be able to read a .zip file. I think I’ll be doing that tonight or whenever I have time.

Thanks everybody for the information that I need to run some kind of program to burn the files onto the CD. I think the computer came with one originally installed, but I haven’t seen it since I had to reinstall Windows a while ago.


Do you have the ability to Network them? You’ll be VERY happy in the longrun when it comes to sharing ANYTHING back and forth between the PC and the Mac.

If your iBook’s new, that means it ALSO comes with OS X pre-installed, right? On OS X, I use the free “Sharity” program to communicate with my Windows computer with NO problems (only that the Mac is only a client, not a server). If you have/plan-to-get Virtual PC for the Mac, then you can get onto Windows networks with Virtual PC with ZERO problem (well, assuming you know what you’re doing).

Good luck, fellow Mac-user.

Read The Fine Manual.

FWIW: I belong to a professional mailing list on which the acronym RTFM is constantly being used. When I first complained about it, I assigned the same meaning to the F as Yersinia Pestis did. But several people assured me that RTFM is commonly understood as ‘Read The Fine Manual’. So I stopped my campaign to remove the F.

I would try to email them first. Try one of the free online storage websites.

I don’t think that PC cd’s are the same format at Mac cds. I’d have to check on that first.

To get a PC file onto a Mac usually required a ‘translator program’ for each file type, is that still the case?

Also you can get one of those Zip drives that connect to both a Mac & a PC, right?

While PC CD formats are not the same as the format for Macs, the Macs can read any PC file format, whether CD, floppy, or Zip disc.

Once the PC document is on the Mac hard drive, it has generally been necessary to have a translator program. However, more and more programs have built-in translators, such as Apple’s latest version of Appleworks (v6.2). In the case of MS Office, the same files are used by Office on the Mac and Office on the PC–no translation necessary.

And now it’s time to play, Useless Information From handy!:

I wouldn’t. Given a large number of files and the stated fact that the OP is on a dialup, that would be an enourmous pain in the ass.

Yes, they are. They are both ISO-9660 standard CD-ROMs. Any CD-ROM drive can read them, and just about any OS can deal with the filesystem.

It never was the case. When MacOS started supporting PS-formatted floppies, software companies (like Microsoft) started making their file formats the same accross platforms. The only time you needed a translator was when working with old software or some software that was not available cross-platform, or when simply using different software on each, e.g. converting PC Word files to Claris Works.

This functionality was usually provided by the software itself or third party ad-ons like MacLink.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter since all recent versions of Word will read many many file formats.

This is actually a useful suggestion. If the PC has USB a USB zip (or similar) drive would work. If you have the bucks. It also may be worth it to invest in a crossover cable (if the PC has an ethernet card) and set up an FTP server on one machine and up/download the files.

Should be “PC-formatted floppies.”

PC compact disks are generally burned in ISO 9660 format, sometimes with Joliet (support for long file names). The MacOS comes with native support for reading ISO CDs, but long files names on a Joliet ISO CD may be truncated. A free improved Joliet support extension is available for download.

The Mac hasn’t required a “translator program” to get a PC file onto a Mac since…oh geez, System 6? PC (FAT or Fat-32 or ISO) formatted media, including floppies, Zip cartridges, SCSI or ATA hard drives, and CDs can all be read on a Mac simply by inserting them (or in the case of hard drives, attaching them).

Recognizing the PC file and assigning it a Macintosh file type and creator code is not always quite as automatic–there is a Control Panel that maps PC-style file extensions such as “.doc” and “.ppt” and so forth to Macintosh applications. You may find it necessary to edit this list, depending on what PC apps and what Mac apps you have.

However, even if the Mac operating system doesn’t recognize a PC word document as a PC word document, if you have Microsoft Word on the Mac you can go to File:Open and select the file and Word will open it w/o problem, or you can drag the file onto Word itself and it will open in Word. Likewise for FileMaker, Excel, WordPerfect, Photoshop, and most other programs that exist on both sides of the fence.

I second this. You can network for free (or for the cost of a crossover ethernet cable) and try out some good networking software by downloading the demo versions of DAVE and MacLan. MacLan is actually the easiest to set up when you are working with only two comptuters like this, especially if you have never set up NetBIOS file sharing on the PC before.

DAVE puts a NetBIOS stack on your Mac and a new icon in the Chooser which lets you browse PC workgroups or domains.

MacLan adds an AppleShare stack to your PC and makes AppleTalk zones available in Network Neighborhood under “Entire Network”.

Both of them share in either direction.

Minor kibbitzing on friedo’s post (mainly 'cuz he posted while I was composing my reply to handy)–

Well, Macintosh CDs are not by any means always ISO, and in fact tend not to be. Macs can read ISO but CDs burned with the Mac in mind are usually in Macintosh format (HFS, just like Mac hard drives) so that resource forks are supported and booting from CD is possible. And Mac-formatted CDs can’t be read on a PC without additional software. But if you stick with ISO both computers can read them.

Way way back in the System 6 days, instead of simply inserting the DOS formatted floppy and seeing it appear on the Desktop like a Mac diskette, you had to launch…hmmph, can’t even recall the name of it, it was an ugly little program with two windows, DOS diskette contents in one pane and Mac drive(s) in the other; you had to select the file and click the button to move it over. I don’t think it modified the FILE per se, but it did “translate” it from one storage medium format to another. Heck, we even thought it was cool to be able to do that, since before the hi-density floppy drive gave the Mac compatibility with PC-formatted diskettes, you couldn’t even do that much.

Then a company called Dayna soon came out with DOS Mounter, which mounted DOS diskettes on the desktop; and later, Apple put out their own version with System 7 which persists as the File Exchange Control Panel.

Okay, I’ll stop being miffed. :slight_smile:

Thanks for so much help–the PC does not have an ethernet card, so I guess networking them is not an option. That sounds like it might be a bit more complicated than I want to tackle what with the start of classes this week. Can’t spare the $$ for a Zip drive right now. But hey, it’s a three-day weekend and I can spare a little time to compress the files and email them to myself. Ongoing sharing should not be an issue, because the PC is going bye-bye.

Windows XP supports drag and drop CD-R writing. RTFM. :slight_smile:

“Yes, they are. They are both ISO-9660 standard CD-ROMs. Any CD-ROM drive can read them,
and just about any OS can deal with the filesystem.”

Oh, I guess that program I have that writes a Mac CD on a PC is worthless then?

Also, friedo:
Mac only cdroms:

"I found the following information in Apple’s “The Information Alley”
Volume 2 Issue 7 pp12-13 (24 July 1995).

Summarising, if the disk is a Mac-only CDROM, it’s probably using the
HFS format. It supports filenames of up to 31 characters, custom icons,
and other Finder features. It is not compatible with ISO-9660 as it
supports Mac features not available under the former.

There is a Hybrid HFS-ISO standard, which is a combination of the two
(and can be used by Windows, Mac and Unix)."

Oh sure. Next I suppose you are going to tell me I can get a virus just by reading an email.