Hello once again, everybody! It’s November, which means it’s time for my second annual list of “What I’m Thankful For in the Macintosh World.”
I’m thankful that Netscape decided to offer Navigator 4.0 separate from the entire Communicator package. My less-than-powerful computer can only dream of running Communicator, but I’ve found the stand-alone Navigator 4.0 to load faster, use less memory, and be more responsive than the 3.0 version. Kudos to Mozilla and company for this great move. I do wish the directory buttons would have stuck around, instead of giving way to the Guide pop-up menu, but now there’s more room on the screen to display the Web page itself now, so I guess it’s a fair trade-off. (That, by the way, was also my micro-review of Navigator 4.0 – if you’re still using 3.0, what are waiting for?)
I’m thankful that the Macworld/MacUser merger turned out the way it did. I was partial to the MacUser name, and would rather have seen Macworld merge with MacUser, but that’s a case of a six of one, half a dozen of the other. I think the best part of the whole deal is that now the best columnists and features in the industry are in between one set of covers. It’ll save me fifteen or twenty bucks a year in magazine subscriptions…
I’m thankful for MicroMac Technologies, because without their accelerator card installed in my LC, the last sentence of the Navigator paragraph would just be appearing on screen about now…
I’m thankful for the PC Exchange Control Panel, which has been an absolute life-saver on this PC-only campus. My roommate, a regular PC user, can type a paper on my computer and save it on his PC disk. I can do the same, during the times when I am forced to use a PC-formatted disk. Even better, I can take advantage of the campus-wide T1 Internet connection by downloading a Mac file onto a PC disk using a PC in one of the computer labs. I can then insert the PC disk into my Mac and use StuffIt Expander to save the Mac file on my hard drive. It’s much faster than using the dial-up connection I have in my dorm room. (The only caveat to this is, of course, the Mac file must be 1.4 megabytes or smaller.) Truly a thing of beauty, and no, you can’t do the same thing in the other direction (Mac-to-PC) – I’ve tried.
I’m thankful that Iomega designed the Zip drive to be able to sit on a desktop horizontally AND vertically. Every square inch of desk space in this dorm room is precious!
Believe it or not, I’m even thankful for America Online. Because of them, I’m one starving college student that will never, ever have to spend money buying floppy disks. Now if only I could somehow erase and re-use those darn CD-ROMs they’re sending me…
Finally, I am thankful for the entire My Mac staff, the staffs of any other Mac e-zines out there, the numerous shareware authors of the Mac community, and every single person on the planet who uses a Macintosh and feels loyalty towards the Mac OS. It’s because of people like these that the Macintosh will survive: people willing to publish a magazine or write a computer program knowing full well that it is more a labor of love than a money-making project. It’s because of people like these, people who believe in the Macintosh concept with an intense fervor that there will always be Macs around. Yes, I’m concerned about the well-being of Apple, and I believe that to a degree, all Mac users should be. However, no matter how much money Microsoft invests in Apple, how many companies stop making clones, or how much the stock price plummets, there will still be Mac users. And that’s where the heart and soul of the Macintosh lies – in the spirit, in the heart, and in the mind of the people who understand what makes the Mac insanely great. People who are willing to, if you will, think different.
OK, that was my list of what I am most thankful for about the Mac, with a soapbox rant or two thrown in for good measure. In keeping with the seasons, next month I’ll probably have to rant a bit and give you my Macintosh wish list. Until then, have a good Thanksgiving, enjoy yourselves, and keep on thinking different. (I just had to throw that in again somewhere!)
Mike Wallinga (firstname.lastname@example.org)