Windows without Windows

Trend watch, part 2

In your coverage of the multiple-OS Mac (“What’s Next,” January 2007 ), you ignored the most significant cross-platform development for Mac users: the ability to run Windows software without Windows. That’s exactly what you can do with Codeweaver’s $60 CrossOver Mac. The only reason most Mac users would want to run other operating systems is to run a specific application that’s not available for the Mac. In most cases, that’s likely to be a Windows app. Buying and installing a full copy of Windows just to run one or two applications is too high a price. CrossOver lets you get away without paying it.— Ken Norkin

In listing the various players in the Blu-ray versus HD DVD format war (“What’s Next,” January 2007 ), Jonathan Seff left out one extremely significant name: Microsoft already strongly supports HD DVD; players in that format are available for the XBox 360.— Adam Lloyd

There are three reasons Blu-ray will come out on top in the optical drive format wars. First, capacity. People want more storage space, and Blu-ray’s higher capacity gives it an advantage over HD DVD. Second, Sony. The PlayStation 3 already has massive market share, which means Blu-ray does too. Third, brand. Let’s just agree that Blu-ray is a much sexier name than HD DVD.— Charles S. Branch

There was an error in your recent story about technology trends, in particular the section on flash memory. You wrote: “Historically, flash memory’s major disadvantage has been price: in 2002, it cost about $260 per gigabyte, compared with $150 per gigabyte for a hard drive.” But surely 1GB of hard-drive space didn’t cost $150 in 2002.— Patrick Schannong

Actually, 1GB of hard-drive space did cost $150 per gigabyte in 2002—if you were buying it in the form of a 1-inch hard drive (the form factor most directly comparable to flash memory). While we spelled that out in the chart accompanying the story, we should have made it much clearer in the text.—Dan Miller

I recently switched to a MacBook Pro because of its Intel chip and ability to run Windows. I discovered an unintended benefit of doing so shortly thereafter: It turns out that a realty Web site I need for my job isn’t fully functional under Safari. Parallels solved the problem, by letting me browse the site in Internet Explorer. But then I found that my new printer (a Canon Pixma i90) couldn’t print when I was in Parallels. After much discussion with Apple’s and Parallels’ tech support, I returned Parallels, got my money back, and loaded Boot Camp instead. Switching back and forth has been time-consuming, but at least I can print and browse the sites I need. I’m still ecstatic that I migrated to the Mac but am disappointed with the rough transition.— Mark Galvan

Decoding the Web

In “Be a Power Browser” (“Decode the Web,” February 2007 ), you missed a Safari shortcut that I find invaluable. Pressing 1-L highlights the address bar. This shortcut—along with the autocompletion of Web addresses—is one of the quickest ways to navigate to different sites without removing your hands from the keyboard.— Keith Bradnam

Regarding Sarah Milstein’s tips for searching the Web, I wanted to bring another resource to your attention. BookFinder.com is a dedicated search engine for books, capable of querying over 100,000 booksellers from over 50 countries, with a total searchable inventory of more than 100 million books.— Barbara Franzoia

Reviewing reviews

I beg to differ with Henry Norr’s comment that the black MacBook is not a “rational choice” ( Reviews, February 2007 ). Walking into my local CompUSA the day the Core 2 Duos hit the shelves, I decided to buy the black MacBook because of its 50 percent larger hard drive. I was upgrading from a 12-inch PowerBook G4 with an 80GB hard drive and figured I’d need the extra storage for the Windows apps I’d be running. When I figured out what it would take to swap the smaller internal drive of the white MacBook for a larger one, the black model became a very rational choice indeed.— Ben Levi

Regarding your review of Data Backup 2.1 ( Reviews, February 2007 ): How can you give a   rating to a backup product that doesn’t support optical drives? The ability to back up data to a DVD or CD should be mandatory for a backup application.— Curtis Christensen

Replying to feedback

In your January Feedback section, you suggested that a reader who wanted to share Address Book contacts check out the program’s Sharing preference pane. There’s one problem: That works only if you subscribe to .Mac. Many of us, disgusted with the service’s poor performance and high price, are deciding not to.— Bill Martin

Regarding Neal Gallagher’s letter in your February Feedback section (which was in turn a reply to “Back Up Photos on the Road,” November 2006): I live in Colorado, and when I’m in the field, I’m really in the field. From most of the places I shoot, I can’t upload my shots to an online service. I can’t even get a cell phone signal. So I carry several power inverters in my Jeep. If I want to unload photos from my camera, I use my constantly recharged iPod or MacBook. Of course, I could just use film and have none of these issues.— Patrick Soehl

Missing Moltz

What happened to What’s Hot by John Moltz? I don’t know about anyone else, but I happened to enjoy that particular part of the magazine.— Todd Boruff

What’s Hot has been retired (and Hot Stuff, where it used to reside, has moved from the back page to inside the Mac Beat section). But we hope to continue working with John in other ways. For example, he was in our February Mac Beat section (“Fortune-Tellers”), offering up his fearless (and funny) predictions for 2007.—Dan Miller

I laughed out loud when reading the February issue of Macworld the day after Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. Who knew that John Moltz would make the most accurate prediction when he said Apple’s iPhone would have only one button!— Tom Bober

More like Windows

With Apple putting out advertisements trying to woo Windows Vista switchers, the company could do one thing to make that transition easier: During the setup screens that appear the first time you boot your Mac, there should be an option to choose the default Mac interface or make it more PC-like. That second option would, for example, toggle control-key modifiers. (I know that you can do this in System Preferences, but it’s easy only if you know that option is there.) The system could also move program menus to the top of individual file windows (as on the PC). It wouldn’t hurt Mac users at all and might help retain PC users trying to make the switch.— Thomas Dalton

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