By now, you have to forgive Mac fans for being a bit punchy. Over the past year, they’ve been through two tectonic shifts in the Mac landscape. First came the shock of hearing the words “Mac” and “Intel chips” in the same sentence. Then came the astonishing news that—with the debut of those Intel Macs and the release of Apple’s Boot Camp software—it was now possible to run Windows on a Mac. Once they’d recovered a bit from that last development, Macworld readers went to their keyboards to let us know what they thought of it.
Boot Camp recruits
—Apple’s decision to allow the Mac to boot Windows is going to be a public relations nightmare. Windows is defective. It is laden with bugs, glitches, and holes. Even when installed on a Mac, it will still freeze, hang, and generally frustrate the user. But how many Mac newcomers will blame the Mac for these problems instead of Windows? Apple’s reputation for making trouble-free products will take a huge hit.
—Boot Camp works great! After buying Windows XP from
for $133, I installed it on my Mac mini with no problems. I now use it to run QuickBooks and the occasional work application. My success may be partly because I was working with a brand-new computer. For anyone thinking of doing this, my best advice is this: follow Apple’s Boot Camp directions exactly. Don’t deviate from the step-by-step instructions, and you should succeed too.
—My first reaction to Boot Camp was “Great, now everyone can join the Apple camp.” However, I see a Trojan horse here, insofar as Boot Camp removes the incentive for third-party developers to write programs for the Mac. I predict that ultimately we will boot up Mac OS to run Apple software only; sadly, we’ll be forced to use Windows for everything else.
—Three hard truths about corporate IT will keep the Mac a boutique brand: 1. Macs are significantly more expensive than PCs. Corporations are not looking for coolness, they’re looking at performance per dollar, and that’s where the Mac loses in comparison with Dell, HP, and Lenovo. 2. Mac security has come a long way, but the Mac still doesn’t offer distributed security like Active Directory. 3. The number of applications available for the PC still dwarfs the choices on the Mac platform. The vast majority of industry-specific applications support Windows only. Boot Camp won’t change any of these factors. Macs make very expensive Windows machines.
—Now that Apple has developed Mac OS X for Intel chips and offered a way to run Windows on an Intel Mac, am I the only one thinking there should be a way to run the Universal version of OS X on an Intel PC? I hope someone figures that out so I can liberate my work PC.
—While you’re talking about ways of running two operating systems on a single computer, I think you should compare that to using a KVM switch to alternate between two separate computers. I’m currently running a simulation on my Windows XP machine while I write this on my Mac. I have only one monitor, but I can quickly switch between the two machines by pressing a hot-key combination on my only keyboard. I can import data from my XP machine via Ethernet or e-mail, and incorporate it into a spreadsheet on my Mac. There are some real advantages to working this way.
Apple’s Top 30
—I was greatly disappointed to see that you omitted Keynote from your list of the top 30 Apple products of all time (
June 2006). Even in its first version, Keynote overwhelmed PowerPoint with its capabilities and elegance, and each major update just makes the difference more significant. The advent of Keynote caused Microsoft to add some goodies to PowerPoint, but it is still a pain to use compared with Keynote.
—Of all the articles published so far about Apple’s 30th anniversary, I haven’t seen one that mentioned OpenDoc. Today it sounds like just another obscure technology that never really took off. But back in 1996 it was the hottest thing Apple had to show. Apple executives at the time said that the two cornerstone technologies for the company’s future were the PowerPC and OpenDoc. We all know how that prediction turned out.
—Although it wasn’t an Apple product, I was surprised that you mentioned PageMaker only in the LaserWriter section. Without PageMaker and the people who used it to jump-start the desktop publishing craze, I’m not sure the Macintosh would have been anything more than a historical curiosity, like the Commodore or Osborn.
There’s no doubt that PageMaker was hugely influential in putting the Mac on the map. But there’s also no doubt that it wasn’t an Apple product and hence didn’t fit into a list of the most important Apple products of all time.—Ed.
Pros and cams
—I found Richard Baguley’s roundup of point-and-shoot digital cameras to be superficial and grossly in error. For example, I seriously doubt that the Nikon Coolpix P2’s image quality is “mediocre.” I have a similar lens on a different Nikon point-and-shoot, and the image quality is excellent. Also, I’m sure some of the reviewed cameras have better battery life than others, but to say that four of the cameras are “flawed” in that respect is ridiculous. A battery that lasts 200 images between recharges is hardly flawed.
—I love your reviews of digital cameras, but I have one big complaint: the pictures. Why, oh why, do you show the fronts of cameras? How often do digital camera users look at the front? I want to see the back. How big is the display? What kind of controls do I get? How big is the viewfinder? I know it’s traditional to show products in a face-on shot, but in this case it does the reader no good.
No accounting for taste
—I followed your advice (which is usually pretty good) and purchased MYOB’s First Edge (
June 2006). Big mistake! It comes with no customer support—none, zero, nada. There isn’t even e-mail support! If you have a question, you have to
customer support, which costs $50 or more. I’m sure FirstEdge is a good product, but that’s not enough to overcome the poor customer support. I wish I’d bought Intuit’s QuickBooks—it offers better support, plus compatibility with Quicken and TurboTax. If QuickBooks had an entry-level Mac product, I’d throw FirstEdge out.
—About your review of QuickBooks Pro (
June 2006): I am an accountant and run an almost all-Mac office, and I think QuickBooks is simply unacceptable as a business accounting package. (It does bring me a lot of customers, though, because of how badly it can screw up a business’s books.) I get very upset when reviewers publish such favorable reviews of inferior products. Please hold the developers to the fire and make them publish business software for the Mac that is acceptable.
Which way up?
—In “New Life for Old Photos” (
), author Derrick Story referred to the film’s emulsion as “the shinier side.” The emulsion side is actually the duller, matte side. It’s important to know which side is which, or else all your scans come out flopped.