PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT a guide for circumventing the licensing requirements of Teaching Textbooks. You will still need to purchase the product and install per the instructions. This HOWTO seeks to show a way use the products without always needing to have the CDs in the drive. This will enable safe-keeping of the CDS, as well as using them in computers that do not have a CD drive always attached.
The instructions here are for OS X (Macintosh). Due to Windows using drive letters, I am pretty sure an approach similar to this will not work on that operating system.
You will need to have enough hard drive space available. This could be anywhere between 300MB to 650MB per CD. So, worst case, a four CD set will require 2.6GB of space.
You will also need a user in the Administrator’s group. This will enable you to run
sudo and execute commands as the root user on the machine.
Copying the CDs
Insert the first CD. For our examples, I’ll use the Math 3 CDs. Open a terminal window (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal). Execute the following commands:
cd /Volumes sudo cp -av Math3-1 Math3-1.temp
Once done, remove the disk, insert the next disk, and run the copy command again, using the name for that disk (e.g. Math3-2).
Once you are done copying, remove the disks, rename the directory for the disk you want to use:
sudo mv Math3-1.temp Math3-1
You can rename all the directories in this manner as the application will use the first directory it finds. So, in this case, when you start Math 3, it will use the Math 3-1 directory (Lessons 1-30). If you wish to use Math 3-2 (Lessons 31-60), rename or remove the Math3-1 directory. NOTE: Do not do the renaming or copying while the program is running.
It seems we could put all the disks in one directory, but there is a file named
mathXinit/TTinit.dat (in the Math course case), where X is the level. For the first disk, it looks like this:
1,1,30,0, 7,14,21,28, 0,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,22,0, 0,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,0,
The first line has the following information: the disk number, the first lesson on the disk, the last lesson on the disk, and (I think) the number of quizzes before this disk, as this number is four on disk two, eight on the third disk, etc.
The second line, as near as I can tell, are the lessons that are quizzes.
The third line is the number of problems in each lesson, but I do not know why it starts and ends with zero. I am not sure, however, what the last line is.
If this information could be understood, maybe all lessons could be copied to one directory, and the TTinit.dat file could be modified accordingly.
Please let me know if this information was useful to you. I’d be interested in any more insight on the TTinit.dat file. That holds the key to reducing the amount of fiddling that has to be done after the contents are copied.