Starting Line
My Mac Magazine #33, Jan. ’98

On January 1, 1998, in The Starting Line, by Barbara Bell

Dear Readers,

As I sit here in my new office, I have to admit, I almost slimed out of writing this month’s column. It has been a long weekend moving to a different facility owned by the company I work for. Trying to find the time to do my job and Christmas shopping has been tough enough during this move. But then I thought of all the positive feedback I’ve gotten, from both readers and the editors of My Mac. I thought of how our subscription list has grown, how the Web site has gotten so big and busy… and if Tim and Russ and all the others who contribute so much time to My Mac can keep up with it, well so can I!

(Besides, I have a real Protestant work ethic and feel guilty whenever I don’t do something, no matter how mundane!)

Before I jump into Helpful Hints, I thought I’d share with you some of the little factoids I picked up from Apple at the last Boston Macworld Expo:

1. Macintosh is the #1 multimedia PC vendor in the world-for the second year in a row.

2. Apple is the only PC company offering systems that can run both Mac OS and Windows applications.

3. Internet browsing among users of Mac computers with modems soared from 6% to 40% between June 1994 and January 1996.

4. Brand loyalty? Apple is the #1 computer company worldwide with 97% of users repurchasing Macintosh computers.

5. After UNIX, the Mac OS is the most popular platform for World Wide Web servers.

6. The Mac OS won the “Ultimate Mac vs. Windows Challenge” battled between a 10-year-old Mac user and an adult Windows user.

7. Macintosh is the #1 platform for World Wide Web authoring, with 41% market share.

8. Apple holds the #1 market share position in K­12 education.

9. On average, the cost to develop and support Wintel applications is 50% higher per dollar of revenue than the cost to develop for Macintosh.

10. 72% of all multimedia CD-ROM titles are developed on Macintosh.

11. With WorldScript technology built in, the Mac OS is the world’s leading multilingual PC platform, now available in 44 language versions.

12. Apple is the #1 US computer vendor in Japan-and the #3 vendor overall in Japan. (I think it’s time to move to Japan! ;-) )

13. The Mac OS was rated the best 32-bit operating system-over Windows 95, Windows NT, and the IBM OS/2 Warp.

14. Regardless of the platform they run on, 42 of the 50 top-selling CD-ROM titles worldwide were developed on Macintosh.

15. In the quarter ending December 1995, Apple was the #1 PC vendor in the Western Europe education market.

16. The Macintosh platform is used for 65% of postproduction video editing.

17. Apple Computer was awarded 53 US software patents in 1995-more than any other vendor.

18. Apple continues to dominate the world of color publishing, with 80% market share.

19. Over 1,800 native applications for Power Macintosh have shipped since the platform’s introduction in March 1994.

20. Apple has just shipped its 25 millionth Macintosh computer – it’ll be used by one of the 60 million Macintosh users worldwide.

(If you wish to know the sources for these stats, please e-mail me. It’s all on the little brochure I received from Apple.)

With stats like that, it’s easy to see why Bill Gates has been copying the Mac OS for so long and why he just invested millions of dollars into Apple. It also seems to me that the only place that Wintel has a stronghold is Corporate America. But then, that’s typical Corporate America… buy the cheapest equipment you can to do the job, no matter how difficult it is for the folks actually using it and no matter how appropriate something else is. After all, we have to keep the shareholders happy. So what if you have to send that mailer out to a vendor because the DOS database is so convoluted and old no one can figure out who the current customers are?

The December 1, 1997 edition of AdWeek had a wonderful column on the current Mac advertising. While the title of the article, “Day of the Dead,” and the pull-out quote used would have you think Apple might be missing the mark, the article itself was fine. In a nutshell, the author, Debra Goldman, wrote she thought “Think Different” was perfect for Apple… at this time. She was more depressed at the thought that our modern day heroes tend to be business people, rather than someone of Martin Luther King Jr.’s or Mahatma Gandhi’s stature.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I’m so happy to see Apple advertising again! Finally!!! Articles like Debra Goldman’s are just what Apple needs to keep in the consumer’s mind, and eventually, wallet.

On to Helpful Hints:

HH #36: Microsoft Word 6.0 Find File-While MS Word 6 is definitely not on my favorites list for software, I have been forced to use it at work. Glancing at the Find File utility (under File when in MS Word) showed a very useful item.

It offers several features to help you locate a file that you thought lost forever. It starts with the basic search function, using file type and the location you would like searched. By location I mean your hard drive, your Syquest, your CD-Rom, etc., etc. You can also save the search results if you like.

If this is too basic for you, it also offers an advanced searching mechanism. Simply click on Advanced Search in the Find File dialog box and you get a whole new and wonderful search utility.

There are three tabs in this section: Location, Summary, and Time Stamp.

Location is just that; you can search whatever drive you like by file name and or file type. Summary searches by the summary information you tag onto each document saved in Word. (See Summary Info under File in MS Word for more detail.) Time Stamp lets you search by the date you last saved the document and/or the date you created the document.

Not too shabby for an in-program utility.

HH#37: Fractions-I have to admit, this is one area that the Mac could improve on. Our Macs have all these wonderful special characters, but no fractions!

To create fraction, you must first type the fraction without any space between the characters: 1/2. You might want to try option-shift-1 for the fraction bar: /. See the difference?

Then, highlight the numerator and superscript it. 1/2. Finally, highlight the denominator and subscript it: 1/2

A pain, I know, but it works. There are some typefaces that do contain fractions, however, it is not the norm like the m-dashes and n-dashes I’ve written about.

HH #38: Damaged Floppies – We’ve all had those moments when we’ve put a usually good floppy disk into our drive only to have our Mac tell us: “This disk is unreadable by this Macintosh. Do you want to initialize the disk?”

There’s lots of reasons why this may happen. The point is not to let it freak you out. First, eject the disk and reinsert. That usually clears up the problem. If it does not, try using your Disk First Aid.

First, eject that floppy. Open Disk First Aid. If it is on a CD, open it on the CD. If it is on a floppy, copy it to your hard drive, and then open it.

Reinsert the disk. Go to Disk First Aid and select your floppy. Verify it. It should tell you the disk needs to be repaired. Click Repair. You’re done!

Very rarely will this not solve the problem. While Disk First Aid is not nearly as robust as some of the other repair utilities out there (Norton Utilities is my personal favorite), it does have its uses. I’ve even found it repairing things Norton did not find.

Internet Site of the Month:

The Mac Pruning Pages,
. I should have included this last month! The Mac Pruning Pages helps you decide what you can trash and what you absolutely, without a doubt, need to keep.

Happy New Year everyone!

Barbara Bell (

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