The Power of Mac

Dumping Dr. Evil's Junk

Eric Schwarz - 2002.02.06

Let's see - most die-hard Mac users have something against Microsoft, whether it's simply a bad experience (any experience) with a Wintel machine or completely disliking everything that comes out of Redmond.

I find myself in the middle. Some Microsoft products (mostly the older ones) I've found quite useful, but I really can't stand Windows or any of their modern offerings. Something somewhere awhile back compared the Bill Gates/Steve Ballmer combo to the Dr. Evil/Number 2 combo in the Austin Powers movies. Ever since then. it just seems logical....

To get to the story, I was using my PowerBook 540c (it seems to be featured in most of my articles) over the weekend when Internet Explorer crashed hard, causing me to fully shut down (the three-finger salute didn't even work). Starting up, I checked for drive problems and such - nothing. However, IE (and its mostly trouble-free partner in crime, Internet Mail and News [now Outlook Express]) both refused to run. Even a reinstall didn't work. :-(

Seizing an opportunity, I downloaded iCab (I tried it on my PowerBook 180 almost two years ago and kinda liked it, but I never got into a habit of using it - always IE) and loaded it on my 540c. I also got some icon sets I liked and got some of the accessory programs. I found that iCab worked much faster than Internet Explorer for most tasks, and I love all the little customization features.

Since I was rid of Microsoft on the browser side, it was time for an email makeover. I found a copy of Eudora 5 and loaded it. It was faster than Internet Mail and News, yet it provided more features in less RAM. Everything actually worked, too. I used to not like Eudora at all, but this version gets a thumbs-up from me. A big help in the switch was that Eudora imported my old mail and addresses - a big plus.

My old PowerBook still has modern applications, but is now 99% Microsoft-free (the only thing left is the AppleShare "plugin" that lets me connect to our school's network). I dumped the old versions of Word and Excel last year in favor of AppleWorks 5 and don't regret that one bit.

Go For It!

I highly suggest dumping Microsoft programs in favor of the smaller, more efficient ones by the companies that seem to show a true interest in the Mac community. Don't settle for bloatware.

Coming up next week: Palm Vx and Macintosh. LEM

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