Re: new to contracting, all the usual questions

Subject: Re: new to contracting, all the usual questions
From: Laura Lemay <llemay -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 06:53:36 -0700


Re: mac vs PC.

I've been contracting steadily for about five years now, and on and
off for eight years before that. I use primarily a Mac at home and
I've had very little trouble with contracts over the years. A lot of
companies provide machines onsite; a rare few even provide equipment
for your use at home.

Even if you're using a mac in a windows or unix job, most files are
binary compatible between platforms for Office, FrameMaker, and pretty
much all illustration formats. Frame 7.0 on the mac versus 7.1 on
windows is an issue, but a lot of companies I've worked with seem to
be a version or two behind so often that isn't a problem. If your
company uses unusual fonts there may be font issues when you move the
files back and forth. If this is a problem see if you can't get
copies of the fonts -- OSX supports PC-format ttf and otf fonts
natively and that will make your life a lot easier. (I ran into this
problem just this week which is why its on my mind)

Note however that I usually write traditional linear books, API
documentation or web-based tutorials -- if I did online help things
might be different. I believe the tools for help are mostly windows
based.

To move the files from work to home and back I either zip everything
up and email it -- zip is supported on the mac by stuffit -- or I use
a USB drive as Phillip suggested (actually I use a mini SD card reader
so I can use all the same flash cards I have kicking around for my
camera and my palm pilot.)

Recently I've found that since the competition for contracts has
gotten stiffer it helps to casually point out in interviews that I
have a fully stocked home office with Windows, Linux, and Mac and that
I can easily work on anything they give me. It shows I have invested
in my career both money-wise and in the attention to learn all three
platforms.

If you do find you need a PC, a decent one can be found for only about
$500 these days. The software you need is more of a problem, of
course, but Ebay can be very helpful for that. You can either find
new software at cut-rate prices or buy previous versions and then
upgrade.

good luck;
Laura
--
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Laura Lemay Killer of Trees lemay % lne.com lemay % gmail.com
http://www.lauralemay.com http://blog.lauralemay.com
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References:
new to contracting, all the usual questions: From: rstevenson
RE: new to contracting, all the usual questions: From: Barbara Philbrick

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