RE: Mac/Window button names

Subject: RE: Mac/Window button names
From: "Christian, Peter" <PACf -at- pge -dot- com>
To: "'Murrell, Thomas'" <TMurrell -at- alldata -dot- net>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 14:16:39 -0800

The best Mac/Windows documentation that I have seen was in Metacreations
software documentation, and Hash Animation Master.

Both sets of documentation gave the Windows command followed by the
Macintosh equivelent, in parenthesis. For example:

Right-Click on the frame (Option-Click on the frame).

Further, at the start of the documentation, the writer explained what they
were doing, and why.

Do not assume that any users in general are smarter than any others. The
iMac is specifically marketed to people who have never owned a computer
before. Many people start working on Windows machines in their office
without the benefit of training.

Peter Christian

-----Original Message-----
From: Murrell, Thomas [mailto:TMurrell -at- alldata -dot- net]
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2000 5:27 AM
Subject: RE: Mac/Window button names

> From: Arthur Schweke[SMTP:tekritelist -at- hotmail -dot- com]
> I would use the Windows button names only. PC users outnumber MAC users
> and
> MAC users are intelligent enough to know that SAVE is the same as OK. If
> in
> doubt use a back slash.
This is a most interesting response from a technical writer point of view.
It seems to me--and I've been known to be wrong, believe it or not--that
Arthur thinks Mac users might be smarter than PC users. I think that's a
fascinating conclusion to come to. I can understand making a decision to
focus on Windows users since Windows has enormously more market penetration
than the Mac OS does. And as someone who has only Macintoshes at
home--though I've been using Windows at work for over two years now, I'm
quite flattered to be considered smart enough to figure out that SAVE is the
same as OK.

I'm just not sure it's true (not to mention the fact that my friends hate to
see my ego fed gratuitously).

Arthur's response, and my own reaction to it, raise the question: Are the
users of certain operating systems smarter than the users of others? How
would you rank the OS's in terms of user intelligence? (The OS's that come
to mind are--in no particular order--Mac OS, MS Windows, UNIX (which has
various flavors), and LINUX.)

I'd be interested in others reactions. I think these questions do have
implications for writing technical documentation. If nothing else, the
answers will reflect the perceptions of the respondents.

Tom Murrell

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