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Snarking software

I've been wanting a Mac for some time. I almost got one when it was time to replace my last PC last year, but I didn't have the money for a G5 burning a hole in my pocket then, or now. Indeed, I don't have the money for a Mac Mini burning a hole in my pocket, and if I did, I would spend it on things that need replacing more urgently around the house.
But I find something about them intensely desirable, whether it's a professional, high-end G5 or a lowly Mac Mini. In fact, I find the Mini more desirable, because it's almost affordable and can double as a table prop. The two things about them that I like most when I look at them in the shops are the sleek interface of OS X and the fact that those things are silent. PCs with their fans always make a noise, and Apple has come up with a desktop computer the size of a waffle iron that you don't hear in an environment where there's any other ambient sound. That impresses me.
As a result, I've been keeping up with what people are saying about Macs, ranging from "I don't see the point, and don't think they're worth the premium" to "It's one of three things that have improved my productivity by an order of magnitude" both from computer savvy webcomics folks. I've been very interested in Branko Collin's two posts about his Mac experience.
But what's really given me pause for thought is this: Eric Burns Snarks Pages, Apple's new word processing software.

A few choice quotes:

Let me say that again, with italics to properly describe my shock: there is no way to change the default document font.
This software program breaks the cardinal rule of the Macintosh. This software program actually breaks the single greatest innovation the Macintosh brought to software of any kind. Through all evolutions of the Macintosh Operating System, every program works basically the same way. The same keystrokes do the same thing in every package. The same menu items do the same thing. There is unity. There was a day when you could excitedly tell a DOS or even Windows user "hey, it's a Mac -- all the software works the same way. You know how to use one program, you can use any program."
I swear to Christ, it renders HTML code that's worse than Word's.

And that's the total crime of this software. Not only does it break all the rules... not only does it lack things any Word Processor should have while loading it down with layout options that prepress professionals would rarely use... but it literally makes you compare it to Microsoft Word the whole time, and Word comes out ahead in essentially every category.

Of course, it's only one program. I won't even have to use it, because I don't do a lot of word processing that can't be done in a simple Notepad-style text editor. But it came from Apple, and breaks Apple's interface tradition, and is worse than a Microsoft product. This would indicate that behind the sleekness, all is not well.

Just one data point to keep in mind.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 10, 2005 10:29 AM.

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