Re: Advice sought

Subject: Re: Advice sought
From: "Arlen P. Walker" <arlen -dot- walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 1994 09:51:03 -0500

Apologies in advance but I *had* to step in on this misinformation. I'll
make it as brief as I can. And then I promise I'll go back to being a Good

>Microsoft has shipped 50 million
>copies of Windows, with more than a million per month.

And by Microsoft's own figures, more than half (at one point they said 3/4,
now they're down to 2/3) are sitting on a shelf, having been removed from
the computer by the purchaser as unusable, intolerable, or not allowed by
company policy.

>Generations behind? Most of the stuff is multiplatform, with simultaneous

Guess again. Most of the "multi-platform" programs leave out some features
going from Mac to Windows. And get slower. There was a letter in one of the
tabloid trade mags from a graphics user complaining that after his shop
switched to Windows, it took him considerably longer to get things done,
because of the slowness of the Windows versions of the products they used.
And simultaneous release only applies to the press kit. I've never seen a
package yet that did more than announce both platforms. Most say "Mac
version avaiable now, Windows version to ship in 3-6 months." (Or vice

>It's not called the PowerMac.

It is, too. I have one on my desk. It's got PowerMacintosh written right on
the front. PowerPC is simply the chip name. Since the chip is from IBM's
base design, they get to call it what they want. Apple has no more say in
the chip name than they did with the 68000 series they were using.

> It's the PowerPEECEE. IBM and
>Motorola did not join with Apple to limit themselves into a tiny market
>that exists mostly on the West Coast (Macs did very poorly in Europe and
>elsewhere). They want to go after the gigantic PC market.

Actually, they want to go after the growing RISC workstation market.
Motorola's 88000 RISC chip wasn't very popular, and IBM couldn't get its
POWER architecture down to chip size without help.

>Look, folks, I don't care what one uses. Mac or PC.

Sure you do. Why else would you post this harangue?

>With LAN's, Powerdrives (does everything for the Mac start with Power?),
>Mac-in-DOS, and multiplatform products, any project can work on any

The road to multi-platform shops is strewn with landmines with names like
those on them. I know; we have one.

>A solid PC machine for a writer, with no
>frills such as 100 Mhz chips etc, is very affordable. I just bought a
>desktop PC for my wife's legal secretary: 486 50 Mhz 8MB RAM, ideal to run
>Word 6.0, for under $995. That's list price. No fake student ID's, etc.

So? Using Ingram's benchmarks to select an equivalent performing machine, I
can put together a Performa at Office Depot which will fit the same
performance class, along with bundled software and modem for about the same
price (perhaps less, by the time you've added the software to the PC). Face
it. In Ingram's latest benchmark surveys, Mac won all three
price/performance categories. (BTW, Ingram sells both platforms, so doesn't
have an axe to grind, unlike many of the periodicals who do comparison

> To
>advise a newbie or low budget writer to buy a machine that costs triple,
>with high end prices for every add on, with the promise that it'll run
>"just like a PC" with Word or WordPerfect, is unrealistic or unfair.

And stupid. But to advise a newbie to buy a machine for a roughly
equivalent price which will be easier to use and expand, is a Good Idea.

>If anyone cares to get technical, then Amigas blow Macs out of the
>graphics water. It's Amigas, not Macs, that do the graphics for Deep
>Space Nine, New Star Trek, seaQuest. It's Amigas that are the engines of
>virtual reality arcade games.

It's also Amigas that are no longer being sold, because no one would buy
them. And more special effects companies use Macs than Amigas. Silicon
Graphics workstations also are more popular than Amigas among special
effects shops, they're even catching up to the Macs.

> Oh, and it was available several years ago.

But not any longer. Too bad. The Amiga was an interesting machine. I think
Commodore just rushed the production on it too much. I tried one out in the
computer store, but when I realized they couldn't even keep the
Commodore-supplied demo running on the machine for more than a few hours
without crashing it, I went elsewhere.

Have Fun,

arlen -dot- walker -at- jci -dot- com
This mail message contains 100% recycled electrons

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