, Peter Coffee regaled readers with tales of IEEE 1394 (FireWire)-related woes and Windows machines in a recent article entitled
For Plug-and-Play, I Pick the Apple.
Coffee started out by explaining the trouble he had getting both Windows 98 SE and Windows 2000-equipped PC compatible systems working with a FireWire-based do-it-yourself hard disk drive enclosure kit. The Windows 98 SE system’s attempts ended in utter failure, and the Windows 2000 system wasn’t able to find the storage system until he got in touch with the FireWire enclosure maker’s technical support department.
“Then there was Mac OS X, where things just worked the way they should. Period. The contrast was impressive — or depressing, depending on your platform loyalties,” said Coffee.
It was, as the title of Coffee’s column suggested, a plug-and-play experience on the Mac: Coffee plugged in the hard drive, the PowerBook G4 (running Mac OS X) asked him if he wanted to initialize it, and he had a fully functional drive almost right away.
“In other words, and I want to stress this, the ADS and Western Digital hardware worked just fine,” said Coffee, who added that the “near geriatric” combination of hardware worked “without a hitch” on the Mac system. This level of “openness” as Coffee put it, isn’t what many users expect from Apple. “Wouldn’t you expect Apple’s software to push you in the direction of buying all-new Apple devices from end to end?”
Coffee also noted that once he got his Windows 2000 system to see the disk, it wouldn’t recognize the DOS partition he’d set up under Mac OS X — in fact, the operating system insisted on reformatting the disk. Back to the Mac, and no problem. New Macs and Mac OS X “are going the extra mile” to play well with others, he said.
Whither Windows XP? Coffee admits to not yet being an XP user. He’s thinking about switching to XP, he said, “but also just as ready to move, perhaps before the summer is over, back to the Mac. It served me well as my primary platform 15 years ago, and it’s grown up a lot since then,” he concluded.