Compared to what I’d been using, the subject-line referenced optical drive is amazingly fast, but balked at burning photo CDs and DVDs. Toast versions 7 & 9 returned error codes, as did OS X.4.11’s folder burn function.
Perhaps the most personally distressing drive glitch was it’s failure to play through Jaques Tati’s masterpiece film, Playtime – which snagged at one of the scenes inside the soulless commercial emporium, and again during the early scenes in the five star restaurant. On the merits of the restaurant scenes alone I recommended my friends at the Flatiron Cafe rent, buy, or somehow acquire and watch the movie.
The thing about cinematographs is they are expected to tell a story using moving pictures and, at this point in the development of the art, sound synced with those moving pictures. But if you mute the volume on whatever device you’re using to watch one of these moving picture stories, you will notice if you are observant that much of the action consists of shots of the actor’s mouths moving. And that is what passes for acting in too many instances – an actor repeating a writer’s output with inflection, cadence, sometimes pronunciation added. Thus a story told booklike using the written word, as opposed to an oral tradition using information acquired aurally.
Tati’s films, on the other hand, present stories told in moving pictures and sound with dialogue incidental to the action. Like a good silent film with sound, color, some dialogue. Subtitles are not really necessary to enjoy his work.
All of Tati’s atmosphere people are noteworthy for some physical characteristic that may include body language and gait. In the restaurant scene he makes one fashion plate glide, but that is a trick that must have been accomplished by pulling her through the scene on a hidden dolly.
Solving the Problem
I searched for a solution to the Toast “sense-code” problems, as well as for information about problems with this model optical drive. I checked in at Brock Kyle’s excellent resource, EveryMac.Com and posted a query to the forum there. I contacted by telephone a customer service rep at MacOfAllTrades.Com, and followed up by sending screenshots of a couple of the frequent sense codes in Toast 7 and 9, as well as the steps I’d taken to correct the problem.
What finally worked was running a several years old Maxell lens cleaning disc in the drive for about sixty seconds. The continuous high pitched tone produced thereby attracted the attention of little Seventy-Six, but apparently caused him no distress.
My email exchange with Cathi Davis at Mac of All Trades resulted in her stating she would send me out a replacement drive, even though I’d informed her the lens cleaner had apparently resolved the problem. That’s pretty good customer service.