iPhone Queries, OS X Reinstallation, iTunes Migration & More

This installment of Ask TUAW features a variety of inquiries including iPhone software updates, OS X reinstallation, TV viewing options on Mac, iTunes library transfers, and expanding hard drive space. We encourage everyone to submit their questions for future columns in the comments section below. Let’s dive into this week’s questions.

Graham asks

Can the first generation iPhone switch from EDGE if AT&T discontinues it, and does it have a vibrate mode?

Upgrading the first generation iPhone from EDGE to 3G via software isn’t feasible as it would require a hardware update, something that would have been noted in FCC filings. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely.

Regarding your second question, yes, the iPhone does include a vibrate mode, as confirmed by Macworld.

Brandon asks

I need to format a Mac upgraded to Tiger but lost the CD. Can I use a Panther CD instead, and what are the formatting options?

Using a Panther CD will indeed revert your system back to Panther. The only workaround is to locate the original Tiger CD. For formatting options, refer to this Support Doc from Apple.

The “Software Restore” discs are intended to reinstall the original software that came with your Mac, varying by model.

Steve asks

Is there an affordable way to input both HD and SD video into my MacBook for watching TV and playing games?

HD input might be challenging without a cable box with FireWire output, which you can request from your cable provider. For SD, the EyeTV Hybrid is a good option, though its performance with game consoles might vary. More details can be found in this article at Mac OS X Hints.

(Another) Steve asks

How can I make iTunes on a new computer recognize a music library on an external drive?

To transfer your music along with all associated metadata, use the Consolidate function in iTunes, which is detailed in this tip from Playlist.

mic1981 asks

Can I automatically increase my Mac’s storage with an external drive, possibly using RAID, so that programs like iTunes and iPhoto treat it as internal storage?

Setting up a RAID with external drives can increase storage but isn’t automatic; you’d need to configure it each time. A more seamless solution might be the Drobo storage robot, which we mentioned previously.


Brian is a dedicated writer for TUAW, where he shares his insights and expertise on all things Apple. With a deep love for technology, Brian covers a wide range of topics, from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to the intricacies of macOS and Apple Watch features. His clear and engaging writing style makes complex tech topics accessible to all readers. Brian’s enthusiasm for Apple products shines through in every article he writes.