Letters to Menagerie of Macs

Letters received in response to Menagerie of Macs #3.

Menagerie of Macs

Excellent issue! Thanks!

Regarding the Y2K issue affecting pee-cee’s, I always like to tell my “Windoze” counterparts the following: You know, Apple may not get everything right, but at least they knew the century was going to end!

The dumbfounded look on their faces is priceless!!

Cheers!

Bob Pinkelman


Hello Brad,

You are totally right about PowerBooks and their amazing qualities . . . I am a student and all I could afford was a PB 140, but now I take notes with it in college, write my poetry, stories, and essays, my web pages, email, fight wars against it, and love the thing. My next computer will be a PPC PowerBook, but hopefully a G3 or G4! It doesn’t matter that it’s an old black and white Mac . . . it’s still better than a Stink Pad or any other ‘laptop’ from a Wintel maker!

I love the newsletter . . . and I might be interested in writing something for it if you need filler…: )

yours,
James Dilworth


hi brad !

for me as one of the out-dying German mac-evangelists it was a pleasure to read your first issue !

it was real great ! by the way I’m also “just” 23 years old…. 😉

I’m already looking forward to receiving your next issue !

great – just go on like you did !!!!

cu,

steve
(the one and only) macevangelist
germany


Brad,

A few comments on your “PC Users Point of View”, from a regular user of both Windows 95 (work) and the Mac OS (home).

> Mac vs. PC: A PC user’s point of view
>
> #2 Ease of use
> Windows is in almost every way exactly like the Mac’s OS, and a user who is
> familiar with one may use the other with no introduction. I know. I’ve done
> it.

Snidely is quite right in this assessment. It’s true that to a Windows user with only casual Mac experience, both systems seem very similar, and a Windows user can quite easily figure out how to run a Mac. But there are many subtle differences that add up to a very different user experience when one works with both systems over an extended period of time.

The fact is, Microsoft did copy the Mac user interface, but either they really didn’t understand some of it’s finer points, or they intentionally changed it enough to avoid legal problems. As a result, the the two systems provide a very different user experience Here are just a few of the differences.

  1. Under Windows 95, left click on the Recycle Bin and select “Properties”. Uncheck the “Warn me before emptying the Recycle Bin” option. Put something in the Recycle Bin, left click on the Recycle Bin, and chose “Empty Recycle Bin”. A dialog box will pop up asking you if you really want to empty the Recycle Bin! Why is that? (I haven’t had an opportunity to see if this has been fixed in Windows 98.) On the Mac, select the Trash, go the the File menu, and select “Get Info”. Uncheck the “Warn Before Emptying” option. Put something in the Trash. Go to the Special menu and select “Empty Trash”. The trash will politely empty itself.
  2. Under Windows, drop a couple of folders full of files into the Recycle Bin. Now double click on the Recycle Bin and take a peek at what’s in there. You will see all the files, but the folders are gone! As an exercise, try recovering the files into their original folders. On the Mac, drop a couple of folders full of files into the Trash. Now double click on the Trash and take a peek at what’s in there. You will see the original two folders. If you wish you can open the folders and see their contents and even drag individual files out of them. Select one or both folders, and press the [Apple][Y] key combination, or select “Put Away” from the File menu. The folders and their contents will be returned, unharmed, to their original locations.
  3. Under Window, drop a bunch of folders or file or both from a floppy into the trash can. Now open the trash and look at what’s inside. Nothing! Your files are goners unless you want to go poking around with same recovery tools. Try the same operation on a Mac floppy. The files are still in the trash, waiting for salvage.
  4. Windows puts a Menu Bar in every window. When several windows are open, the menus start eating up a lot of screen real estate. On a small 15″ monitor this can be quite annoying. In addition you can never predict where a menu will be located without hunting for it. On the Mac there is one Menu Bar at the top of the screen. The Menu Bar is for the top (foreground) application. You can always find the appropriate menu option because it will always be in the same place. And without all the extra menus all over the place you have more room on the screen to keep extra windows open.
  5. The Mac has four ways to close a window, and the four methods always work the same in every application. Perhaps you can hold a contest to see how many ways your Windows fans can find to close a window. (Hint – There are at least 20!) In addition, the methods vary from application to application, and there are subtle differences in the operation of each that must be remembered. In some cases close buttons that do very different things are located right next to each other. One may close the currently open window, the other shuts down(without warning) the running application! Do you want to know how many times I accidentally exit Lotus Notes (requiring a slow re-launch and login) when I really just wanted to close an open window? Typically at least once a day. This is usually accompanied by loud swearing at the brain-dead Windows design.

Most Windows users get around this problem by choosing one or two simple methods and using them all the time. But which methods are best? And how do Windows users communicate when they all do things differently?

This list only scratches the surface of the differences between the two systems. And in almost every case, the Mac does it better.

A good analogy is the difference between driving an old Chevy Chevette and a new BMW. The Chevette owner may be quite satisfied with his car, and may even claim there is no real difference between it and BMW. The Chevette owner can even figure out how to drive the BMW because “they are so much alike”. But the regular BMW driver understands the difference, as does the Mac driver.

If you want to really see the differences between the two systems in mind numbing detail, check out the “Interface” articles in David Every’s MacKiDo website. He has some terrific stuff in there.

John Kessler

Corrections

Oh no! My first correction’s section! Oh well, we all make mistakes, right?

Brad-

>The 601 was the first of the the PowerPC line. It started at 40 MHz and
>eventually came to an amazing 120 MHz. Macs included in this line were the
>Performa 611x, the Power Mac x100, x00, and several workgroup servers. The
>following chip, the 603 made leaps and bounds over the 601.

This is incorrect. The 603 at a given speed was slower than an equivalent 601. For that matter, a 603/100 machine was only about as fast as a 601/60. The 603 was a low-power chip, originally intended for laptop use.

Alan Keith Carver

Correct. Sorry, about that. Thanks for pointing that out Alan. It seems that everyone realised that 1210 MHz was a typo as nobody pointed it out. Also, several pointed out that the popular line of family computers was the Performa, not the Performa as I had.

Brad

Go the the Menagerie of Macs #4 home page.