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Re: Newbie

Mary "I come in peace. :-) I ask my questions in sincerity, not as a
challenge" wants to know how the Macintosh is easier to use:

Because the hardware technology and assembly is controlled by one company
(Apple) whereas PCs can come from reputable manufacturers or basement
shops. Individual parts can come from anywhere. This means both that Macs
are more stable (meaning less frustration for the average user) but that
they are more expensive. However, despite Mr Rubino to the contrary,
Apple's recent resurgence means that prices are now very similar for very
similar machines (ie: true feature for feature), but you can find cheaper
PCs, if you have to.

Most software written for the Mac OS (Operating System -- and yes, Windows
was Microsoft's solution/contribution toward making their product more
'user friendly') conforms to strict guidelines established by Apple so that
there is a similarity in the way the programs work, allowing the user to be
productive in a shorter period and, generally, the programs are slightly
more bug-free. (By the way, Apple apparently 'borrowed' the user interface
-- its 'friendliness' -- from Xerox in the first place.) Windows is also an
operating system, and again contra Mr Rubino, not the one driving the
Internet: that would be Unix. Unix is a text-based operating system whereas
Windows and Mac are both graphically-based -- ie: draggable icons and
pull-down menus to accomplish tasks. Both are probably equally easy to use
for the first time.

Most quality software (applications/programs) is written for both platforms
and the difference between them is usually minimal. In some cases files
generated on one platform can be opened effortlessly on the other using the
same program. Most service bureaus worthy of the name can deal with files
from almost any program from either platform. Art is partly right on the
amount of software available: there is more for PCs, but most of it is for
esoteric purposes or is a one-trick-pony. For the majority of users,
software for any purpose is available for either platform.

By the way, Marty made the point that PageMaker is almost obsolete, which
is true, but so what? So are Albion or Columbian hand presses (this is a
book arts list after all ;-). However, knowing about PageMaker, I would
recommend against anyone buying it for the first time since it won't be
supported much longer. But it still does what it does very well if you
already own it.

If you are an amateur (in the true sense), especially in a small town, you
might best be guided by access to whatever is most available locally:
hardware, software, supplies, and service. But if you have a real choice,
get whatever you like: but you make the decision. Don't be guided by
nonsense (or fruity colours). Sit down in front of several machines for
more than five minutes each (don't be pressured by sales people), get
intelligent answers to your questions about software, ask for
demonstrations if you can: then buy the computer you like and the sofware
that does the job for you.

Marty also mentioned that the time would come when software will run on
either platform (I predict about five years) so I guess that makes Art
right about one thing: for a fairly small investment you can buy a computer
now -- either one -- which will last for a few years, then you can buy a
new improved model.


Richard Miller <rmiller@peterboro.net>

I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy
than be a success at something I hate. (George Burns)

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