Fact or Fiction

Fact or Fiction

Whaa! Whaa! Whaa! I can’t find enough software to run on my Macintosh! I should’a bought a PC! Twelve aisles of PC software, but when I ask the sales kid where the Mac software is, he points to a dark and dingy corner of the “Super Duper Computer Store,” and says, “bottom shelf, sir”.

Sound familiar? Is this fact or fiction?

Personally, I think it’s fiction. Maybe five years ago it was fact. But today? I think not Shirley!

The last number I heard mentioned as the number of software titles available for the Mac O/S, was two thousand and growing. Don’t know about you Shirley, but I’ll never use two thousand pieces of software, even if I live to be 2,000.

Whaa! Whaa! Whaa! you cry, “how come my ‘Super Duper Computer Store’ only displays fifty Mac titles and four thousand PC titles?”

Economics would be my guess. If I owned the “Super Duper Computer Store” and eighty percent of my customers were PC users, I know what my inventory would look like.

It has been brought to my attention however, that what you see is not always what you get! For those of you familiar with Apple’s hidden Easter eggs inside the Mac O/S; think of your local “Super Duper Computer Store” operating under the same premise. Meaning, “The eggs are here but you have to look for them in the not so obvious places.”

(For those of you unfamiliar with Apple’s Easter eggs buried deep inside your Mac; check it out, it’s a fun way to spend an otherwise boring afternoon. It will also show you the humorous and sometimes dark side of a Mac programmers mind.)

Software for the Mac isn’t always in the Mac section of the store. In fact, there are many titles that work on both the Mac and PC. These are mostly of the CD ROM variety; but don’t expect to find any of these titles in the Macintosh software section. No siree Bob! To find these gems, you’ve got to branch out; expand your horizons! Hyperlink yourself to other parts of the store, and you may discover a treasure trove of binary encoded stuff for your Mac; stuff you may have heard about, but could never find in that dark and dingy corner of the store labeled, “Macintosh Software.”

For instance:

I was trolling in my local “SuperDuperComputerStore” the other day,” –Hey! If Microsoft, Apple, Claris, Intel, Quicken, et. al. can run words together like their space bar was broke, so can I!– and decided to expand my own horizon’s.

(Normally for me, a visit to a computer store is always the same: Walk through the front door, locate the PowerBooks, drool over the PowerBooks, play with the PowerBooks till a salesperson shows up; tell the salesperson, “I’m just making sure all your demo models are working properly.” Move on to the desktop PowerMacs, repeat same routine. Then I take a stroll down the Macintosh software aisle. “Just looking,” is my pat answer when offered assistance by the sales staff. After making a nuisance of myself, I buy whatever small item it was I went there to buy, and leave. End of visit.)

I won’t name the “SuperDuperComputerStore” I was in, suffice to say it rhymes with “commuter pity,” and looks like “ytiC retupmoC” in my rear view mirror. Probably looks like this in your rear view mirror also.

I found that if you’re looking for children’s software, you could almost forego the Macintosh section and look for a section labeled, oddly enough, “Children’s Software” or maybe “Software for Kids.” At “Commuter Pity” it was the latter I believe.

I was a little surprised to see the abundance of children’s software that’s available. Heck, I think if my kids were small today, I’d just buy each of them a computer, show them how to use it, grab a handful of that software and let them teach themselves. Couldn’t do any worse than today’s public school system!

A company called MECC, has a wonderful selection of CD’s called ‘Learning Library.’ Among some of the titles are: Oregon Trail, Amazon, Yukon, Africa and Maya Quest. Only one of these titles, Oregon Trail was in the Macintosh section of the store. The rest of them I found in the children’s educational software section mixed in with the same titles for the Windows and DOS machines.

Other educational software for the kid’s, ranging in ages from 2 right on up to junior high school, are far too numerous to mention here. However, if you’re in the market for this type of software, you’ll want to check out titles from Edmark , who carry a slew of educational CD’s. How about these two mega giants, Random House/Broderbund teaming together to bring you a collection called, “Living Books.” These are interactive story books for the younger ones.

Want to really challenge that young brain full of mush? Try, The Learning Company’s CD’s of Math and Science. Another name to watch for is Knowledge Adventure .

Yeah, I know, “To much work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Makes Shirley a dull girl too!” So send them to recess with GTE Entertainment’s fun stuff called, “Interactive Toys.” This is a 5 CD bundle of games, toys, and more games.

Moving on to us “larger” brains, full of mush, check out the “Personal Productivity” section. Again, far away from the Macintosh software section.

Looking for a new job are you? Try Davidson’s “The Perfect Resume.”

Have you finally admitted to yourself, –if not your loved ones– that maybe, just maybe, you might die sometime in the far distant future? Try “Will Maker” from Nolo Press.

Do you own your own business but can’t really afford those high priced lawyers to keep you legal and out of trouble. How `bout trying, “Business Law Partner” by none other than Quicken.

Need reference software? Plenty of that too, with title’s like Explore Your Universe, French Vocabulary Builder –ditto: German, Italian, Spanish.– Preparation for taking the S.A.T’s, and even a Classic’s Library.

None of the above mentioned software, (except for Oregon Trail ) was found in the “Software for Macintosh” aisle, yet it all works just fine on your Mac.

All in all there seems to be more than an ample supply of Macintosh software out there. It just don’t look like it when you see three aisle’s of Win/Dos stuff compared to one aisle of Mac stuff.

So, the next time you find yourself in a dark and dingy corner of your local “SuperDuperComputerStore,” wondering where all the Mac software is; keep in mind the following words.

There’s clip art, Click Art, photo images too.
Macintosh software galore.
Don’t walk away feeling all dreary and blue.
Just look through the rest of the store!

Sure, there’s more PC titles than there are Mac O/S titles, but I can’t think of one program that runs on a PC and not on the Mac, that I can’t very easily live without.

See ya next month!


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