TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
> Yeah, I think that was the most short-sighted move Apple ever made.
> If they had licensed the Mac for cloning in 1984, before Windows
> hold, and accepted a little less profit, they would have cornered
> and Bill Gates would just be making Word and Excel today.
This is true, some sort of cloning deal should've been struck sooner.
The first attempt cost Apple some $$$ as people would buy the clones
(faster, cheaper, etc.) instead of Apple's systems. Rumor has it that
Motorola, who also made their own brand of clones, is still steamed at
SJ for killing the clone licenses ... and moved their systems from
Macs to NT machines.
> Yes, if your primary consideration is sending your files back in
> time to your late Uncle Festus in 1994, sure. In 2000 I don't think
> much significance.
Does the long filename persist if the file is placed on a floppy
and transferred? .... and doesn't the file depend on the three letter
extension to allow it to be opened by the proper program?
>> If you really want to see the difference between a Mac and a PC,
>> the Fonts folder from each system to the desktop. Reboot. Which
>> works? That's the one you should buy.
> I'm glad to see we're limiting the discussion to practical
> considerations here... don't we all like to drag our fonts to the
> try to confuse our operating systems? I know that's MY idea of a fun
Okay, I should have been more clear here.
During my short stint doing PageMaker tech support, the common Windows
issue was the error "Unable to load ICON.DLL." This was usually
caused because the user had Corel Draw installed, and the installer
used a font utility called FontMaster and installed far too many fonts.
In the fix (http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/48fe.htm), one of
the easier steps was Solution 2: "temporarily remove TrueType fonts
in the Fonts folder until you have a minimal set (e.g., 100 or fewer),
then restart your computer."
Typically, my customers had read that incorrectly (Adobe Tech Support
points the customer to the on-line docs and lets the customer apply
the fix), and missed the note right below that step which says "Do not
remove Windows 95 or Windows 98 standard fonts, which Windows 95,
Windows 98 and other applications require....", and would simply drag
these fonts to either their Desktop, a folder on their Desktop, or the
Recycle Bin ... which results in a "no boot" situation, and another
call to Tech Support because they didn't read the directions.
So, you're right: this is not a great way to spend a Saturday (or any
other day of the week, for that matter). On the Mac, if the customer
messes up and removes the Fonts folder and reboots, the system still
works. On the PC, you're stuck.
Note that I haven't played with Windows 2000, so this small problem
may have been fixed.
> As far as I know, Windows still doesn't automatically update file
> locations, but Win98 does when there's a system call for a
> Still, why not discuss more _everyday_ little irritations, then,
> being able to get disks out of the machine without getting the
On the Mac, you can't eject a floppy/CD/Zip disk that has open
applications. Not sure how that works on the PC, as I've never tried
to run an app from a floppy ....
> not being able to defrag FROM the HD, or while doing other
> things, and so on?
True, the defrag issue is a bit of a problem; bought a small external
hard drive (80MB) just for this situation for my ex-wife (the
technical term for this is "Glen-imony").
> There were things about the Mac I liked better, but Apple makes it
> love -- for most people.
.... until they play with one for more than a minute, usually.
> And there was a time, not that long ago, when I would have had to
> say, yes, a Mac was a definite advantage for an artist -- Adobe
> Windows for Illustrator after version 4, and 5.x is when the plug-ins
> started, so Windows missed out on those, too. Finally Adobe released
> version 7 for Windows, but even so, it took till last year for
> to release Vector Effects for Windows.
MetaCreations is gone, now, alas ... another victim of shortsighted
> Bottom line, for graphics people, is this: anything you can do with
> a Mac in 2000, you can do with a PC in 2000 (and vice-versa). But
> for less money.
Okay, I'll agree with that -- to a certain extent. Just be sure that
if you're buying a PC, you try to avoid the "Two-Guys-in-a-Garage"
type companies. Sure, the price is low ... but will they be around
when your system has problems?
When buying a computer the words "bigger" and "more" are good to keep
in mind -- as in "bigger" hard drive. "More" RAM. "More" speed.
On the Mac side of things, that means a 500MHz G4 with all the RAM you
can throw into it, and the largest hard drive -- excuse me, the
"biggest" hard drive -- you can throw into it.
On the PC side of things, 1GHz Athelon CPU, Big hard drive, More RAM.
Try to get a motherboard with USB and FireWire (iLink on Sony
systems), and you should be all set.
Don't forget that antivirus software ... and don't forget to factor in
the next version of "I Love You" on your lost productivity.
> Todd G. Sutherland
"Power corrupts. Absolute power ... is kinda neat!"
-- J. Lehman, Secretary of the Navy, 81 - 87