Windows 2 Apples

Apple and Microsoft commentary from the perspective of a long time Microsoft user.

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Windows 2 Apples Episode 22

Posted by inetsynch on February 22nd, 2008

Audio player at end of text.

Now that apple has released a second major fix for Leopard, I'm trying to determine whether I want to spend the time and money and making the shift from Tiger. Other than the time machine function, which allows easy and apparently seamless automatic backups, I'm not sure there is much to be gained.

Unlike Microsoft, Apple conveniently allows users to install new upgrades on top of an existing OS. At first glance this seemed to be a very attractive option and possibly another reason to gravitate to Macintosh. However, many Mac users seem to have had difficulties when using this approach to upgrading and have to resort to what Windows users have been doing since day one of its release ... wipe the hard drive clean and install the new operating system followed by a reinstall of all of the various applications that you use and then crossing your fingers and hoping your applications are compatible with the upgrade.

The idea of wiping my hard drive clean and installing Leopard sends chills up and down my spine and has inspired at least one nightmare. Perhaps, I'm overreacting because of my previous experiences with similar upgrades to Windows computers. I have acquired quite a collection of small Macintosh applications and I'm not entirely sure that I can find all the original install files and required activation codes.

A reinstall of the applications that I commonly use is complicated by the fact that most have been updated at least three times since acquiring my Mac. Frankly, I had not expected so many updates and fixes to applications and the operating system. It has been a Deja vu windows experience.

Conveniently, Apple allows me to simply copy my existing operating system and all associated files to an external firewire hard drive, hopefully, giving me an easy way to reinstall Tiger if the Leopard update causes havoc to my system. Since Tiger is "simply working" and I've had no real need for most of the Leopard update features I suspect I will continue to put off the upgrade until I am persuaded that it is worth the potential angst of reinstalling my applications.

As I have noted in the past, a major advantage of the Apple operating system is the convenience with which one can make a complete backup of application files as well as the operating system. The Leopard operating system extends this advantage by offering the Time Machine option. Happily, my investment in the HP windows home server has put an end to my concerns about getting complete and frequent backups of all of my Windows PC Systems.

Additionally, our clients have been very impressed with the newfound ease with which they can now upload their podcasts and other large files. I highly recommend the Windows Home Server software and in particular the HP Some Server Solution to those with multiple Windows computers and or a networked collection of Windows and Apple systems. Although my Mac is limited to file sharing, the server makes it extremely easy to switch between the Apple and Windows machines when editing files.

Recently, I discovered OneNote 2007, a Microsoft office application that is given little press and is certainly not well promoted by Microsoft. Microsoft describes OneNote 2007 as "an electronic version of a paper notebook where you can write down notes, thoughts, ideas, scribbles, reminders, and all kinds of other information." The more I use OneNote the more dependent upon it I become and the more I wish there were an equivalent application for the Macintosh. OneNote has become indispensable to me as I create and manage projects.

This is yet another instance where I find the rich, almost overwhelming availability of Windows compatible software and applications a compelling reason not to make an absolute switch to the Apple way of doing things. I anticipate sometime in the not too distant future the gulf between hardware and software solutions available for Windows vs. those available for the Mac will become a non issue, but at present I simply can't envision abandoning Windows and completely embracing the native Mac operating system.

My experience with OneNote 2007 also highlights one of the major advantages of using Apple products. Apple has recognized that modern operating systems are visually based and has won well deserved kudos for its graphical user interface. Microsoft on the other hand has only recently, with the release of Vista, begun to smoothly integrate and make better use of a well designed graphical user interface.

I believe Apple's focus on creating a user friendly, attractive and intuitive interface inspired them to create a superb online library of video tutorials which make apple applications almost instantaneously usable. Microsoft on the other hand continues to rely primarily on dated and static pictorial tutorials requiring that Windows users seek video instruction from third party vendors such as Individual Software.

Individual Software produces an excellent series of Windows video tutorials under the Professor Teachers logo. Please don't confuse the Professor Teaches series with Video Professor frequently touted on television. The Individual Software product is far less expensive and requires no investment beyond the purchase price of the particular tutorial you are interested in. I highly recommend Professor Teaches to anyone struggling with the Microsoft operating system or applications.

Recorded using M-Audio Podcast Factory, Mixed with Mixcraft 3.1, Dictated using Vista Speech, Tag edited with JetAudio

Copyright Sam Caldwell

iNetSynch

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