Re: Mac Advice

Subject: Re: Mac Advice
From: "Arlen P. Walker" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 13:17:00 -0600

using a Mac (not my choice), and my manager has asked me to select
whatever software I will need to document a PC-based application that
runs under OS/2. I am currently using Word and Ventura on a PC. I know
absolutely nothing about Macs and what runs on them, other than that Word
runs on a Mac.

Word you're familiar with. Don't know if Ventura has a Mac version. (I've never
looked as the PC version we used to use here was dreadful. But that was long ago
and it's probably better now.) Pagemaker, Xpress, and Frame are the best of the
DTP crowd that I've seen on a Mac.

Gven that my manager wants me to create online help for this PC-based
application, does it even make sense to use a Mac (leaving aside for the
moment that my manager *says* it does)?

This is indeed a valid question. The only possible reason I can see for forcing
a Mac on you is that the help is only a small part of what you'll be doing, and
there are heavy compatibility issues involved in the rest of the job.

I don't know of a help engine common to OS/2 and Mac. The question then arises,
which Mac? Perhaps it's one which you can get a Reply or Apple DOS card for. I'm
assuming that since it can run iRMX, it can run OS/2 Warp.

If there's a tool for converting Word docs to OS/2 help, perhaps you can do most
of the development on a Mac and run to a PC for the final tune-ups.

For example, how will I capture screens under OS/2 and use them on a Mac?

That shouldn't be too hard. A Mac with Photoshop can read almost any graphic
format under the sun.

If you were in this situation, what software would you choose if you
could choose anything? Or would it be better to plead for
a PC?

Really depends. My inclination would be to keep the Mac, but if the only things
I had to document were PC packages, and the only help systems I built were PC
help systems, a PC might be a better choice. (Note: I'm including this section
for the benefit of those who persist in seeing me as a Mac bigot. I'm not a
bigot, only biased. ;{>} )

Like I said, which Mac and what's already on it?

Have fun,
Arlen
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 124

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
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