Elvis Would've Used a Mac

Voice Card  -  Volume 25  -  John Card Number 8  -  Wed, Sep 2, 1992 10:06 PM

This is a response to VC 25 Larry 5 ("Mac vs Windows")...

Thanks for the articles, Larry. Although it's been two months since I read them, I seem to recall that they were interesting and ALMOST correct.

As I recall, the major premise was that nowadays Macs and PCs (with Windows) are more or less the same, except that Macs cost about $300 more. Having spent a summer working with both a 486 PC and Mac II Fx on my desk, I can testify that the two machines are indeed becoming harder and harder to tell apart. (GASP!)

Popular programs like Excel and Word are almost identical on the two machines. Many companies in the Bay area use networks with Macs and PCs working side by side. And the tools I was working with are "cross platform", that is, the same HyperCard-like stacks I created could run on either a Mac or PC without any special modifications.

What is less obvious to the casual observer, however, is that a PC is only Mac-like on the surface while a Mac is a Mac through and through. Although Windows 3.1 is a vast improvement over earlier versions it is still hobbled by the antedeluvian disk operating system lurking just beneath it's glistening surface.

For example, file names on the PC are STILL limited to eight characters plus a three character extension. In a business environment it is next to impossible to distinguish between thousands of spreadsheets and word processing documents with only 11 characters. So most file names on the PC are "RNDMEMO8.WRD" and things of that ilk. The simple task of transferring a file from a diskette to a hard disk and placing an icon on the windows desktop is so difficult and cumbersome that most PC users can't even do it. Fonts on the PC are next to useless. There are a hundred more examples.

The bottom line? Yes, PCs are becoming more Mac-like, more user friendly. But deep down, the two machines are still worlds apart. For now, Macs are easily worth the extra $300.