The Practical Mac

Mac Challenge Follow Up

- 2002.06.11 - Tip Jar

Reader response to last week's report on the results of the Mac Challenge has been overwhelming. Next week's column will be devoted to printing some of your responses and experiences.

I have also received a great number of requests for more information on the Challenge, specifically an approximation of the use each application received on each platform. I hope this additional information will be beneficial in evaluation of the results.


Microsoft Office: Word and Excel were used daily on both platforms. PowerPoint got a brief workout on the Mac and was used several times on the PC.

Web Browsers: Internet Explorer was the primary browser on both computers and was used daily. Netscape 6 was installed primarily to test the browser in each environment. Netscape was used very sparingly, not being launched more than twice on either computer.

Outlook (PC) and Entourage (Mac) were used heavily on a daily basis.

iTunes (Mac) and WinAmp (PC) were open and playing music in the background virtually all the time the computers were in use.

The following programs, while not being used daily, were used on a frequent basis (3-5 times/week) on both platforms:

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • LimeWire
  • Fetch (Mac)
  • SmartFTP (PC)

These programs were used a little less frequently (1-2 times/week) on both computers:

  • Civilization III
  • Roxio Toast Titanium (Mac)
  • Adaptec EZ CD Creator (PC)

Photoshop, Claris Home Page, and Macromedia Dreamweaver were used four times on the Mac.

Photoshop, FrontPage Express, and Macromedia Dreamweaver were used once on the PC.

Other Clarifications

The PC was off for a single 8-day period and the Mac for a two-day stretch. Otherwise, they were running 24/7.

What do you think of the results now? Click on my name above and email me your thoughts. We will print selected excerpts next week!

Another Indispensable OS X Ware

A while back, we wrote a column dedicated to a review some "must-have" OS X shareware. Alert reader Kyle McKay pointed out one we missed, SharePoints.

In Mac OS X, by default you are limited to sharing only what is in your public folder in your home directory. SharePoints makes it easy to add or delete share points, as in the Classic OS Finder. We are in favor of anything that eases the transition to OS X. LEM

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Steve Watkins is the Vice President for Information Technology for a mid-sized bank, an attorney, and an Army Reserve JAG on extended active duty. He has been a Mac user for about 12 years. He has owned some PCs along the way - but always came back to the Mac. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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