[thelist] switching to Mac

Techwatcher techwatcher at accesswriters.com
Sat May 18 09:14:01 CDT 2002

I've used both Mac's and PC's since, oh, around 1984 (it was probably still Apple then) or so. I always preferred PC (even though some of
its changes from earlier --yes, that's right, before MS-DOS-- OS's were just dumb. Like, older OS's would search for the file through all
disk drives if you weren't logged to the right one, then ask if that was what you meant. Imagine that!). I preferred PC ONLY because the
Mac (and Apple before that) refuses to give me tools to get to low-level code. There used to be "Norton's Utilities" and when diskettes
went bad (before hard drives were that affordable), you could easily recover [most of] your data by looking at disk sectors and copying
them into memory, for example. Nothing similar for Mac/Apple.

Anyway, one BIG issue to think about, even if you're a pure Web design shop, using machines ONLY for Web design: Consider the off-the
-cuff, first-impression-making reaction of new potential clients. Many still shy away from Mac offices -- or, in the case of publishing-based
companies, shy towards them! Which makes up the bulk of your client or target group?

I've been noticing also, recently, how incredibly annoying the PC work environment really is. I think it's because I'm developing on an
unconnected machine, and transferring work to a floppy to upload files. Wow. Why CAN'T I make a list of what's in the Explorer window?
Such a simple thing to do, and I need it. Instead, I have to open my ancient XyWrite, point it to the directory (change dir default to
not-read-only), and then I have a list to work with. Of course, this software so old it only reliably knows names of 8 characters or less, and
the last character is ambiguous since I'm using HTMl or SHTML extensions.... Grrr.

And while I'm complaining about very basic problems, why hasn't anyone come up with a keyboard with a lever sticking up where the little
finger can flick it either up or down -- to move text cursor to mouse position, or mouse cursor to text position? If I can think of this, and it's
not my job (I'm a writer!!! grrrrrr--I shouldn't have to pay attention to this stuff), why can't those bozo's who make keyboards and other
interfaces think of it?

I suppose people will think this is off-topic and I should make a tip. Grrrrr. Well, I woke up and power was off, so I'm a little grouchy this

<tip type="Writing for the Web" author="Carol Stein">
Keep paragraphs -- for purposes of this tip, those things not surrounded by white space -- to less than 8 lines. Count using a
slightly-larger-than-you-use font on a smaller desktop window. Anything else looks off-putting to the eye. It doesn't matter how you break
it up -- even the lowly bullet will help the eye keep its place within the screen, giving the mind a chance to read and understand.

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