Re: Macs vs Pcs

Subject: Re: Macs vs Pcs
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- STARBASECORP -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 18:34:55 -0700

Tracie wonders...

> I'm interested in learning what type of computers technical writers use on
> a regular basis. My background is primarily Mac based and I'm wondering if
> I should develop my PC skills prior to graduation.
[snip]>
> What hardware and software do your companies provide?
StarBase is a Windows shop - exclusively. We have all the different
flavors of Windows in-house, and nothing else (except a single
Unix box attached to the internet). All of the documentation
and graphics I do are on the PC.

> What computer brand do you feel more comfortable using at home and at work?
Because I work *primarily* with PC's, I have a PC at home.
I have, however, worked on the MAC (and on Unix) often enough
to feel relatively comfortable on these platforms, too.

> What computer do tech writers use most often, Macs or PCs?
Used to be Macs... Now? I'd guess that things are evening out.

> Is either the PC or the Mac more appropriate for creating on-line
documentation?
Online (as was recently mentioned elsewhen on this list)
really needs to be developed on the delivery platform.
There just really isn't any way to convert or simulate.

In general, I'd say that *most* advertising, layout intensive,
and graphic intensive work is still done on the Mac, but the
difference in the capabilities of the Mac and PC platforms
has been greatly reduced over the years, so moving those
graphic intensive tasks over to the PC isn't as impractical
as it once was.

By far, the most practical solution (and the one that the
software industry has moved to over the years) is to document on
the platform you're writing about. Since PC's really do have
the largest market share right now (and I won't argue about
what's gonna be), it makes sense to become familiar with that
platform before you hit the real world. Especially if you
plan to work in the software industry.

However, if you plan to document scientific applications,
odds are you'll use a Mac or a Unix workstation.

One thing is certain... The minute you plan to use one
system exclusively, someone will change your plans for you!

Sue Gallagher
StarBase Corp, Irvine CA
sgallagher -at- starbasecorp -dot- com


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