Discussion: Why we're Mac centric

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Merlin Mann

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Sep 28, 2004, 1:54:48 PM9/28/04
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Since my [recent post about why we're a "Mac-centric" site][1] is more
of an announcement (rant?) than anything, I won't open comments, but if
you would like to discuss it further, please do so in this thread.
Thanks.

[1]: http://www.43folders.com/2004/09/why_were_maccen.html

Chris Hobbs

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Sep 28, 2004, 2:16:26 PM9/28/04
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Merlin Mann wrote:
> Since my [recent post about why we're a "Mac-centric" site][1] is
more
> of an announcement (rant?) than anything, I won't open comments, but
if
> you would like to discuss it further, please do so in this thread.
> Thanks.

<caveat>I work in a school district, supporting Windows, Macintosh, and
yes, even Linux (both server and desktops)</caveat>

All computers suck. But they each suck in their own unique fashion.

Although I'm primarily Windows guy (at least since 2000, now that I
don't see the BSOD every other hour), I thoroughly enjoy reading 43F --
it gives me an insight into the different types of apps that are being
built there. I assume it has to do with Mac's lineage as a more
"creative" platform.

For me at least, the OS on my desktop doesn't matter so much, since I'm
trying hard to make GTD work with my Palm (actually, a Treo) -- I have
it with me all the time, but at work the desktop environment makes
typing into it easy, and I especially like being able to cut-n-paste
from other apps (e-mail, pdf's, etc.).

So all in all Merlin, I say keep up the Mac focused info. Even if I
can't run the programs, simply reading about how they work and how they
help you work broadens my horizons.

Chris

bryce benton

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Sep 28, 2004, 2:39:12 PM9/28/04
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> Love the first three. Love 'em! Third one? You poor bastards are so out of luck here.

I think you mean to say "Fourth one? You poor bastards..."

--bryce

p.s. Personally, I would prefer that the site be more bryce-centric,
but that's just me.

bryce benton

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Sep 28, 2004, 2:39:12 PM9/28/04
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Merlin Mann

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Sep 28, 2004, 3:24:15 PM9/28/04
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Bryce, you magnificent bastard, thanks for the catch! Fixed with many
thanks.

In future editions, I will try to include a Bryce-specific footnote
that addresses your interests. ;)
Thanks a million for the proofreading.

Jeremiah McElroy

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Sep 28, 2004, 2:33:55 PM9/28/04
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Frankly, it's nice to find a site devoted to the mac. While I'm not a
heavy mac user myself (I run linux at home and am forced to use
winders at work), my wife has only used macs as long as I've known
her. And, since she has a mac that also happens to be a laptop, I
find myself using a mac a fair amount of time at home.

I've managed to find a huge number of links, tips, and new software
for both of us to use that we simply would never have been aware of if
not for my addiction to 43Folders and Merlin's ranting. By being
exposed to this software, I'm also being exposed to the lack of some
of this software for my chosen OS.

This is a Good Thing (tm) for a few reasons:

1) I get to find out about new sexy things for the mac.
2) I am forced to learn more about my chosen computing platform and
how to make it work more like I would prefer
3) By finding this distinct lack of software, I have started thinking
about getting off my arse and actually writing some tools that
incorporate the functionality of the mac software that I find useful.

Just my 2 cents.

jeremiah

Tyrone Mitchell

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Sep 28, 2004, 2:44:42 PM9/28/04
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You know what? It doesn't bother me at all. I've been enlightened to open
source, and ever so slightly to Macs, even as far as suggesting my fiance
buy one (It'll probably be less of a maintenance headache than her
Compaq). We'll see how far that goes.

In any case, I've been using (suffering) with Windows since version 3.0,
and even though I am not Mac-Centric, I read 43 folders very often for the
GtD stuff, and even get a kick out of some of the apps that you discuss.
(sometimes even wishing I could get to play with Tinderbox on a PC).

I won't get into the religious wars, cause it's not so much about the
tools as it is the process. If the tools don't let me get the job done,
then they're not worth it, and everyone's situation and opinion is
different. Use the knowledge for what it is - maybe it'll spur you to
'switch', maybe not, but for me, the entire GtD process is about
increasing my prodcutivity in things that truly matter, and tossing the
mundane to the side. I'll keep reading and sharing.

I might even make the move to add a Linux machine in my home environment
in the next year like I've hoped.

Reading the Mac-Centric stuff, even if it doesn't apply to me right now,
is worth the invaluable tips and opinions that have been shared already.
--
[-----------------------------------------------------------------------]
Thought of the week:
-------------------
"Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.
And no good thing ever dies. "
--Andy Dufresne


_/_/_/_/_/ Tyrone Mitchell
_/ _/ _/ http://www.mitchellonline.com
_/ _/ _/ AIM: trexatplay
_/ _/ _/
_/ _/_/_/
_/
_/_/
[-----------------------------------------------------------------------]

bryce benton

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Sep 28, 2004, 2:39:12 PM9/28/04
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quiksan

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Sep 28, 2004, 4:02:31 PM9/28/04
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yeah, this was well-done. I won't want to gush on it, because I don't
want it to turn-holy war in any way, but I think you put it all just
right.

I don't consider myself any kind of crazed mac-head - I'll use
whatever's in front of me, and make it productive, I just choose a mac
for my personal use/time. BUT, I love what I can do with my mac, that
I can't do on a pc (windows os that is) I love the 'wow' people elicit
(whether in their face, or audibly) when they see something I can do
(so simply!) on my powerbook.
But as you said merlin, it ain't for everyone. A friend of mine got
one because she saw all the neat things I did on mine. I pour hours
into modding my user environment with apps and tweaks and the like.
She's more a casual user. any computer will do what she needs, but she
fell under the mac spell anyway. she doesn't get out of it what I do.
The only reason I don't worry about it, is she made the decision on her
own without asking my thoughts on the decision.

bongoman

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Sep 28, 2004, 4:59:14 PM9/28/04
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Gruber speaks about the "cult of mac" in an interview at
http://www.waferbaby.com/corner/johngruber/

"they will say, "what can a mac do that a wintel computer can't?" and
the truth is they do the same things, it's just that the mac does them
better. maybe only slightly better, but better nonetheless. the pc
industry, however, is all about feature checklists. whoever has the
most features wins; if you offer the same features, whoever is cheaper
wins. and so if you compare macs and pcs that way, there seems to be no
logical reason to decide to use a mac."

"that's ok. if someone doesn't perceive any difference between the mac
and windows, they should just use windows."

Hell, just being able to nod knowingly as you read Gruber
(http://www.daringfireball.net) is reason enough to use a mac.

BTW, is the word wrapping in these google groups all over the place or
is just me?

Paul Wren

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Sep 28, 2004, 5:16:04 PM9/28/04
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I read John Gruber's Daring Fireball entry regarding viruses on Windows
vs. Mac, and had a revelation of sorts.

Why would we (as Mac users) want the whole world to move to our
platform of choice? The only real reason Windows users are plagued by
malicious malware while the rest of us are not is because we are not
where the action is.

This may be a "well, duh" for many of you, but I just realized that
Macintosh is like that great little cafe two blocks off main street
that you really love. It's got great service, great atmosphere, and
terrific food and drink.... and it's not too crowded either-- just
enough to stay in business.

If too many people find out about that little cafe, it (and all of the
current customers) will suffer from its success. The same would happen
to the Mac.

Perhaps we're better off letting those Windows users think what they
like, and enjoy our well-kept little secret.
Oh, and let a close friend in on it, every once in a while.

Derek

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Sep 28, 2004, 5:48:30 PM9/28/04
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I can't imagine why Mac users get blamed for being arrogant and
elitist. The web is my OS. Go ahead and fetishize the Mac. Sit at it
all day, fondling its buttons and knobs. Its so pretty.

I just took offense to the comment:
"But, if the existence of information outside your single area of
interest causes you stress, you should either stick with the non-Mac
categories or just not visit here at all."

In other words, deal or shut up. Awww, isn't there a slightly more
tactful way to put this?

Richard Karnesky

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Sep 28, 2004, 6:32:54 PM9/28/04
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I believe you left off one way, in between the third and fourth
choices:
3.5. Ideological separatism---"I wish that I could get general
Productivity/Lifehacks/GTD-type posts, without the platform-specific
product plugs."

This is the best new blog on both OS X and productivity. I appreciate
the categories, but do wish there was a simple method to show all posts
from one that AREN'T in the other. I also wish that the OSX
category be divided-it is good to see a Quicksilver category, but I
wish there were more. In particular, I want a CLI category: many of
the tips are also useful to me (I run Linux).

I do like having access to and do read all the content: I like OS X &
am interested in hearing what I could do if I was willing to pay more
for both hardware and software. I just wish there were better ways to
get at the posts which are most relevant or immediately useful to me.
--Rick

Merlin Mann

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Sep 28, 2004, 7:11:41 PM9/28/04
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_In other words, deal or shut up. Awww, isn't there a slightly more
tactful way to put this?_

Possibly, Derek, but it was intended as a polemical post, and I stand
by what I said.

I do wonder what sort of reception *I* would get from telling PC
Magazine that they report too heavily on Windows-based computers.

Merlin Mann

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Sep 28, 2004, 7:17:26 PM9/28/04
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I can understand your frustration, Rick, and I think your points are
good.

Again, though, this is a site that's intended to help OS X users first
and foremost. Anyplace I can work in a little trick or hack, I most
certainly will.

Having said that, thanks for visiting and for your interest. If it's
any consolation, I think sites about GTD and productivity will really
be taking off in the near future (esp. after that post, I imagine! :)
), so I wouldn't be surprised if other options presented themselves to
you soon.

Andrew Denny

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Sep 28, 2004, 7:48:58 PM9/28/04
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Merline, you said that you "tend to discourage friends from
?switching? for the very reason this post now exists; it takes a
lot of courage to move from the hegemonic center to the slightly less
well-defined edges of any system".

My experience of Mac, nine months after 'switching', has been fourfold
unhappy. Part is poor quality hardware, and a threat from Apple that
if the machine is returned and declared by them not to be faulty, they
will charge me just for inspecting it. Part is what I feel to be a
poorly designed and 'unergonomic' interface, and a third part to be an
inflexible and uncustomisable OS. (It crashes and locks up a lot too,
but no more than Windows XP)

But the worst quarter has been the response from the Macophiles who
were trying to encourage me to 'switch' late last year. They were a
lot more present and encouraging and as wide-eyed as Moonies about
getting me to buy an iBook than they were to help me sort out the mess
three months later, when I started regretting my decision.

I'm delighted to read your GTD efforts and it's a great and readable
blog. But a lot of the helpful advice you ladle out seem to me to be
answering problems that definitely exist on my Mac at home, but not on
the Windows XP and 2k machines I use (and support) at work.

I bitterly regret spending my hard-earned home money on a Mac, but I
have no money right now to switch back. (It did, after all, cost me
twice as much as an equivalent PC clone) Hopefully I'll be a little
more solvent by Christmas.

Of course, the appropriate slogan here is 'your mileage may vary'.
Obviously Merlin Mann gets a lot farther on a tankful of OSX than I do.


Reading 43 Folders, I'm wide-eyed with delight for all the fat promises
held out. But I feel a lot like Oliver Twist overhearing Mr Bumble the
Beadle tell Mr Limbkins how large the portions are at dinnertime in the
workhouse!

Merlin Mann

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Sep 28, 2004, 8:10:16 PM9/28/04
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That sucks, Andrew. Sorry about your experience.

yesno

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Sep 28, 2004, 8:17:33 PM9/28/04
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One thing I've found ironic since switching to OS X is how much more I
have learned about Unix using it than I ever did messing with Linux.
And I did Linux the Gentoo way, the next best thing to rolling your
own. But I spent all of my time fiddling with it and trying to get
things to work. Everything always works on my Mac, so I have time and
energy to actually learn sed, vim, LaTeX, etc.

yesno

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Sep 28, 2004, 8:31:00 PM9/28/04
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I was kind of iffy about my first Mac too, until I learned the theory
of why it did things the way it did. Frankly, it can be the hardest
for expert or power users to make a platform switch. They already know
how to get Windows or whatever work. They don't get pop-ups or
spyware. Their systems don't crash, because they know what they're
doing. It's like being a PhD in English literature, or a nobel prize
winning author, and then learning Japanese where all you can say is "I
like doggies." More apt, it's like knowing Portuguese as a second
language and being pretty damn fluent. Then you try to learn Spanish
and it's just weird how everything is ever so slightly off.

Macs are hard to use for Windows users. I know this. Go to a
university computer lab. No one knows how to close an application-
they just close windows. You'll go up to a computer with 10+ open
applications, and no open windows. People run IE even though Safari
and Firefox are right there, begging to be clicked on. When things
don't work the way they expect them to, they don't blame their own lack
of knowledge, they blame the computer. Macs are more logical and
intuitive, I think, to new computer users and to people who are
interested in interface design, usability, and that kind of hoo-ha.
But most people who are going to have a computer, already have one, and
it's a Windows box. Habits are hard to break, and for most people,
it's just not worth the energy.

That said, I tell people the main reason that they should buy Macs is
that if they're asking me, that means I'm the computer nerd they know.
And I can hook them up with Mac stuff. If they want to buy a PC, they
can depend on the Web OS if they want any good software.

John S J Anderson

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Sep 28, 2004, 11:03:28 PM9/28/04
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Merlin: Allow me to put on my crusty old "I've been doing this since
1998" pants and my "it's your damn blog, write about what _you_ care
about, and if people don't like it, they can start their own" hat and
say that you've clearly tapped some sort of vein and should ignore
whatever backlash is springing up and keep on keepin' on with your bad
self (just more frequently, please. 8^>=).

Andrew: Don't feel like MacOS X is the only thing you can run on that
iBook. One of the reasons I choose to invest in the Apple hardware is
because I knew that even if I ended up totally hating MacOS X, I'd be
able to run Linux. It might be something for you to consider.

I also had a lot of troubles with my initial iBook; I had to send it
back to Apple 4 times in a little over two years. (Buying the
AppleCare was a good, good idea.) Finally, with the fourth time, Apple
gave me a new iBook -- so if you've got a lemon, just keep on
bitching. (The Mac world is totally ripe for a "words from the Genii"
site skewering rude and/or ignorant things that the "Geniuses" at the
Apple store have said, IMO...)

Yesno: I'd call Linux From Scratch the next-best thing to rolling your
own. Gentoo is good (and it's what I actually run) but you can't beat
LFS for the sheer "learning how it's all put together" factor.

MetaCrossThread: yes, the Gmail word wrap is wonky, especially in the
editing stage.

cheers,
john.
--
http://genehack.org * weblog == ( bioinfo / linux / opinion / stuff )

Richard Karnesky

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Sep 29, 2004, 12:03:20 AM9/29/04
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> I can understand your frustration, Rick
I wouldn't go so far as to say "frustration:" I do like your site &
these are merely "wishes."

> Having said that, thanks for visiting and for your interest. If it's
> any consolation, I think sites about GTD and productivity will really
> be taking off in the near future (esp. after that post, I imagine! :)
> ), so I wouldn't be surprised if other options presented themselves
to
> you soon.

Perhaps, but I'm sure I will continue to enjoy reading your site too!
-Rick

Dan Hartung

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Sep 29, 2004, 2:50:01 AM9/29/04
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Well, I was willing to read as long as you kept in your place, but now
that you've come out as a wild-eyed platform fanatic ....

I kid! I'm primarily a Windows user for reasons of professional and
personal history, but I've had Linux and Mac boxen on and off for years
as well. I'm way behind on the Apple side because I don't have anything
that will run OS X, so I enjoy reading about all the cool new tools and
gadgets you guys have for that. Although I'm not going to be a
switcher, it's always been my impression that Macs have a much more
organic and interoperative field of software to work from.

Also, I definitely like to take the comparison and see what might be
useful from those tools, and seeing them (at least through your eyes)
*in operation* really teaches me more than just reading the specs in a
review. If I can, I'd like to get back into tool-writing, so there's
plenty of opportunity to learn in that regard as well.

Jon

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Sep 29, 2004, 4:06:41 AM9/29/04
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Frankly, I love you just the way you are. In a strictly platonic,
manly way, of course.
But then, I'm a mac user at home, so I guess that's to be expected.
[Eeeek...I've just realised I switched 11.5 months ago. Time to go get
that Applecare ordered on my Powerbook.]

This is one of the few blogs I bother to check on a daily basis. Keep
on doing what you've been doing, and I'll keep reading. :)


Jon

Todd

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Sep 29, 2004, 10:26:35 AM9/29/04
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I'm switching at home, but we're Windows only at work. I don't find
your site overly Mac-centric at all. Sure, the apps and utilities you
talk about are for the MAC, but the ideas and philiosphies cross over
to all platforms. I've been able to apply some things I found here to
my Outlook setup at work. Use the tools that you feel comfortable with,
and that allow you to trust in the fact that your GTD system won't let
you down.

jonathan

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Sep 29, 2004, 3:40:25 PM9/29/04
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I happily run my life from my 12" screen 3 lb. wintel laptop (along
with all personal email, ssh to my server, etc.) that sites beside my
phone, while I work on a honking big IBM laptop.

It seems that the richness of knowledgeworking tools in the Mac space
along with the increasing number of people who routinely use separate
personal laptops alongside their office PCs (thanks to corporate
lockdowns on installing applications, security, filtering, etc.) is a
potentially new niche for you Mac zealots to jump on.

cait

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Sep 29, 2004, 6:23:44 PM9/29/04
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I have to use a Mac at school for a couple of media production
subjects. Have always been kind of stuck between "mmmm... pretty!...
soooo pretty!" and "aaarrrrgh! it's NOT THE SAME."

All the cool Mac tricks here have inspired me to get learnin' so I can
move on from muttering ["I don't understand... where's my
taskbar...goddamit there's only one button on the mouse..."] to doin'
interesting type things.

All this *and* the hipster PDA! Don't stop.

eric Farris

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Sep 30, 2004, 9:46:55 AM9/30/04
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On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 15:23:44 -0700, cait <c.mu...@gmail.com> wrote:

> All the cool Mac tricks here have inspired me to get learnin' so I can
> move on from muttering ["I don't understand... where's my
> taskbar...goddamit there's only one button on the mouse..."] to doin'
> interesting type things.

don't let that 'one button' thing fool you. OS X supports multi-button
usb mice just fine. On the G5 at work i use the Microsoft Trackball
Explorer, which has five buttons, all supported via a (surprisingly
very nice) driver from MS. I have expose mapped to buttons four and
five, which is awesome. Along the same lines, i use the Microsoft
Natural Keyboard Pro instead of that little keyboard-like thing that
Apple ships. The only two MS products i regularly use, and they're
both hardware. :) I love 'em.

On the Powerbook, use SideTrack
(http://www.ragingmenace.com/software/sidetrack/index.html) as the
replacement driver for your trackpad, and you get the same cool
features of the Synaptics driver in Windows, like scrolling along the
edges, corner-taps for other mouse buttons, etc.

Richard Karnesky

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Oct 1, 2004, 12:41:19 AM10/1/04
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
> Again, though, this is a site that's intended to help OS X users
first
> and foremost. Anyplace I can work in a little trick or hack, I most
> certainly will.
Here's a nice OS X blog:
<http://www.macosxhints.com/>

--Rick

jdim...@gmail.com

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Oct 1, 2004, 2:43:40 PM10/1/04
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I'll second yesno; I think the "who is the computer nerd you know"
variable is underappreciated in terms of how good of an experience you
can get with a computer.

I'm the mac nerd all my friends know. If and when they switch (and a
lot have), they can come to me to ask questions and get quick answers,
and that eases the transition until they reach the magical point where
they grok the way the mac works, and start teaching themselves.

Whenever I find out that someone has switched to mac because of
evangelism by friends who (for whatever reason) aren't going to be able
to be there for them to aid the transition, I wince.

43 Folders is performing a wonderful function, then, of being a
friendly voice to OS X users who haven't figured this stuff out for
themselves. And it's doubly valuable to the rest of us.

teri.p...@gmail.com

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Oct 1, 2004, 10:48:42 PM10/1/04
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I run an ancient Mac at home (G3 on OS 10.2.3) and XP at work. I can't
say I really love either OS. I decided to learn Macs a couple of years
ago and have worked my way through the entire sequence starting at
version 6 and working my way up. And I have to say that while I like
their implementation of Unix, it's still not the perfect OS. It is less
backwards compatible than any other OS I have ever seen. There are
programs like Voodoo Pad that have to be OS 10.2.8 to run. I can't
upgrade past 10.2.3 without upgrading my video card. Apple decided not
to support either the printer port on the G3 or the floppy drive. I can
run my old Apple laser printer on a PC (via serial port) but not on
this Mac. What kind of stupidity is that?

At some point, when I finally retire this Mac, I'll go back to a PC
with whatever seems to be the best version of Linux (another OS I like,
but still isn't the perfect OS). I enjoy having a Mac centric site
without the evangelism of some of the others. But mainly I come here
for the GTD, which seems to work fine on my plain vanilla Mac.

yesno

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Oct 2, 2004, 12:37:28 AM10/2/04
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I hate backwards compatibility as a value in and of itself. While data
needs to stay readable forever, I see no reason to cripple and
cruft-ify an OS just to run old programs. That's what emulators are
for. Rarely do those programs have a value that offsets the penalty of
having to make your OS retain inefficiencies. Some people think
that Windows' backwards compatibility is a feature. I see it as cruft.

Teri Pittman

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Oct 2, 2004, 11:27:41 AM10/2/04
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The problem is that I'm not refering to running old programs. I'm
talking about brand new programs that run only on what is labeled to
be a minor update. If something is going to run on OS 10.2, why
shouldn't I expect it to run on both 10.2.3 and 10.2.8? It doesn't
irritate me nearly as much when something doesn't run on 10.2 if it
says it runs only in 10.3. The thing is, I don't see similar problems
in the Windows world. If it runs on XP, it will probably run on Win2K.

The Mac market isn't large to begin with. Why do they artificially
disclude those with versions of OSX that are a year or so old and make
programs that run on just a few updates.

While you may not need to run older programs, please remember that
most programs are not free. If you spend several hundred dollars on a
program, you would probably like to get a few year's use out of it
before it becomes obsolete. Same thing with hardware--why decide to
make it so that you can't use an Apple brand printer on a new Mac?
Would it have been that difficult to allow the printer port to be used
on G3s or write a driver to make the floppy work? These may not be
things that everyone needs, but when you have a company that decides
these things for users and doesn't consider their needs, you are going
to lose customers.

Samuel DeVore

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Oct 2, 2004, 1:34:29 PM10/2/04
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On Sat, 2 Oct 2004 08:27:41 -0700, Teri Pittman <teri.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> The problem is that I'm not refering to running old programs. I'm
> talking about brand new programs that run only on what is labeled to
> be a minor update. If something is going to run on OS 10.2, why
> shouldn't I expect it to run on both 10.2.3 and 10.2.8?

One reason why this is sometimes the case is that Apple is often
adding easy ways to do hard tasks to the development environment by
building the functionality into the core system. Examples of this are
live searching (like in iTunes), graphics, UI features and controls.
It is frustrating, but I bet windows users will run into similar
issues as MS moves into the changes that will be inherent with
Longhorn. For the most part you SHOULD expect things to run in both
10.2 and 10.3 (and 10.1) and if they don't it is an issue to take up
with the developer. I have found that most things that keep apps from
running in older os's is usually an issue that the developer should be
able to work around either by disabling a feature or working around.

In the windows world developers will have to deal with changes to
WinForms, Avalon new data structures, new file systems (though I hear
that MS has dropped major changes to the filesystem from the inial
releases of Longhorn)

I do find for the most part that software that ran well in older
versions almost always run in new versions of the os. Heck I still
run MORE in classic on almost a daily basis, it may be the only reason
that I still keep classic installed.

Sam D

ps I use mac and windows about equally (though I am a little more
productive on a mac because I have personal momentum there)

yesno

unread,
Oct 2, 2004, 1:39:28 PM10/2/04
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
There are updates for commercial software that won't run on the newest
point revision. I've used a USB floppy drive with OS X when I've
needed to put software on some super-old computers.

Apple has the few customers that it does because we like that they
don't make compromises. We like that Macs haven't had floppy drives
for years. We like that there are no serial ports.

One thing I like about OS X is that new versions run faster on older
hardware. Panther is faster and does more than Jaguar, and previous
versions of OS X were absurdly slow. Plus, each revision adds lots of
functionality. My iBook runs faster now than when I bought it.

On the other hand, I can't have my girlfriend improve her PC by
switching it to XP from Windows 98. A Windows 98-era PC won't run XP.


I think a big reason that updates to Windows always require more
hardware is that there are too many levels of backwards compatibility
that are an overall drag on performance.

Anyway, lots of people like backwards compatibility for lots of
reasons. Joel Spolsky wrote a classic article on the topic [1]. And I
wonder how this fits in with the notion of "software that lasts 200
years." [2]

[1]: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/APIWar.html
[2]: http://www.bricklin.com/200yearsoftware.htm

Andrew Denny

unread,
Oct 5, 2004, 5:08:40 PM10/5/04
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
I bought the iBook because the 'buzz' on communities (like the newcomer
43 Folders) suggested it would give me a much-desired end to tinkering
with computers. I simply want a computer as 'finished' appliance,
like a refrigerator or a bicycle.

I really appreciate everyone's kind motives in suggestions such as "One


of the reasons I choose to invest in the Apple hardware is because I
knew that even if I ended up totally hating MacOS X, I'd be able to run
Linux."

However, to me, that's back to the same bad experience as Windows - but
without the mass-understanding of Windows.

Simple example: I live in the UK, and grew up on typewriters and UK
keyboards that have the double quote (") over the 2, and the @ sign
over the single quote. And all Windows and other PC keyboards work as
typewriters do.

UK Macs, I've learned, have them transposed, for reasons I don't know
and don't care. To my thinking, any sophisticated OS ought to offer a
simple key remapping system. It ought to be very simple, surely. But
the Macs don't have this built in. And I've been offered ways of
changing this setup, and I don't understand it. Should I? I support
an NT network. Would you expect a non-computer expert to understand
the solution if I don't? (work it out!)

My sister gave up a Mac in despair, and switched to a PC. She didn't
understand a Win98 machine too much better, but at least she had me and
all her friends, who all understood it.

All computers have a long way to go. I wish we'd all stop arguing the
merits and start discussing the consensus.

Sorry, I've said my piece, and I'll now shut up.
Best regds
Andrew Denny
www.grannybuttons.com

David Engel

unread,
Oct 6, 2004, 11:05:45 AM10/6/04
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
I don't really mind that the site is more focused on Mac than anything
else -- though the term "rich" could have a different meaning: I think
I'd get a Mac if I could afford one.

I just wish there was a Linux-centric site like this. I've seen
Windows-centric sites, and they're only a help because I have to use
Windows at work, but I would love to find a Linux-centric site, or at
least one that had some hints on interoperability (is that a word?)
between Windows and Linux. I have a base Linux system and I prefer the
command line for most of the things I do, but I realize my big
challenge will be finding something which will allow me to move
information back and forth from my home system to work.

David Engel

John S J Anderson

unread,
Oct 7, 2004, 9:08:38 AM10/7/04
to 43fo...@googlegroups.com
> I just wish there was a Linux-centric site like this.

If you build it, perhaps they will come... Personally, I'd love to
see a site like that too.

> I would love to find a Linux-centric site, or at
> least one that had some hints on interoperability (is that a word?)
> between Windows and Linux.

Yep, it's a word. What problems are you having with interoperability?
These days it's mostly a matter of installing and configuring Samba
and OpenOffice -- although there's still not a great personal finance
solution, IMO.

cheers,
john.

ps: oh gmail gods -- it is most annoying that your spell checker
thinks 'linux' is misspelled. *especially* annoying when you consider
what OS is powering the machine serving up the spell checker...

--

David McCreath

unread,
Oct 7, 2004, 6:13:55 PM10/7/04
to 43fo...@googlegroups.com
> ps: oh gmail gods -- it is most annoying that your spell checker
> thinks 'linux' is misspelled. *especially* annoying when you consider
> what OS is powering the machine serving up the spell checker...

It only thinks it's misspelled if it's not capitalized. ;)

John S J Anderson

unread,
Oct 7, 2004, 9:59:24 PM10/7/04
to 43fo...@googlegroups.com
> It only thinks it's misspelled if it's not capitalized. ;)

No, actually, it thinks Linux is misspelled too. 8^/=

john.

drownedrat

unread,
Jan 24, 2005, 4:40:12 AM1/24/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
The only issue I have with 43 folders being mac centric is, along with
a couple of other similar site, you keep showing me far too much cool
stuff & I can afford a mac, even a mini one.

JoshD

unread,
Jan 24, 2005, 9:56:27 AM1/24/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
You could try building one out of cardboard like other people I know
have.

You can even draw a little bezel in the middle of the screen so you can
use Quicksilver.

HTH. :)

Merlin Mann

unread,
Jan 24, 2005, 11:07:02 AM1/24/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
I appreciate our Windows friends' patience with the Mac stuff. I know
how it feels to be on the other side of that equation and it can get
very annoying.

My problem lately, as probably emerged in the [review post][1], is the
volume of clue-resistant sales people who've obviously never even
looked at the site but seem determined to have me buy and try their big
flagship Wintel widget. It's doubly frustrating given that a) I don't
even _own_ a PC and b) Mac advocacy is part of the _point_ of the site.
:-)

Anyway, I am very grateful for all the folks who visit 43F--especially,
I should say, the ones who have to wade through the stuff that doesn't
appeal or apply to them.
[1]: http://www.43folders.com/2005/01/how_to_be_a_pro.html

Bryan Ewbank

unread,
Jan 24, 2005, 12:16:39 PM1/24/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
One thing to encourage - I simply *LOVE* the links in the posts, as
the Mann does below. I haven't seen this elsewhere, and it is quite
handy when google generates a bazillion hits.


On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 08:07:02 -0800, Merlin Mann <merli...@gmail.com> wrote:
> ...
> My problem lately, as probably emerged in the [review post][1], is the
> volume of clue-resistant sales people who've obviously never even
> ...
> [1]: http://www.43folders.com/2005/01/how_to_be_a_pro.html

Merlin Mann

unread,
Jan 24, 2005, 12:38:19 PM1/24/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
Actually I think Google uses an intermediating proxy to reduce the
value of links from their pages like this. Not sure how it works, but I
think it serves to let some of the carbonation out of the Google juice.


Too many Google spammers already had your idea, Bryan! ;-)
mdm

biz

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 5:11:07 PM3/21/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
Merlin Mann wrote:
> I appreciate our Windows friends' patience with the Mac stuff. I know
> how it feels to be on the other side of that equation and it can get
> very annoying.
>

You can put me down as another frequent reader of your blog who's
disappointed in the recent reiteration of your 'platform prejudice'.
Kind of like finding out that your favourite movie star turns out to be
a proslytizing neo-con (j/k) :>.

> My problem lately, as probably emerged in the [review post][1], is
the
> volume of clue-resistant sales people who've obviously never even
> looked at the site but seem determined to have me buy and try their
big
> flagship Wintel widget.

All good and well, but I'd wager that none of them were readers of your
blog, who are, to a man, intelligent, kind, understanding,
compassionate individuals and wouldn't dream of offending your
sensibilities with any flagship Wintel widgets.

> It's doubly frustrating given that a) I don't
> even _own_ a PC and b) Mac advocacy is part of the _point_ of the
site.
> :-)
>

Hey - it's your blog, I'm only here to leech the good bits (and click
on a few sponsored links - always click on links if you like a blog).
However, I'm going to be coming by less, and not contributing much to
the wiki since you put up the "No Windoze Riff-raff" shingle.

All my productivity management is done on the other side of the fence:
I might have plenty to offer, but despite your protestations of
welcome, you have made this feel a little like tagging along with your
female friends on girls-night-out: under other circumstances everyone
is fine (mis)behaving however they want, but on this night, the hang-up
that you aren't 'a part of the club' ensure that the evening devolves
into the stilted, self-concious and inane.

(For the record, I own multiple pcs and macs, at home and at work
(video and audio producer), as well as several Unix servers. You can
probably put me in category 2.5 category (open, unbiased, and dying for
sucour from the Bloatware-is-Goodware, obscene disingenuity of M$, yet
even less impressed by the 'Keep it Stupid! Simple.',
All-Hat-No-Cattle, obscene disenguity of the Cupertino Cult.)

If you feel a burning need to 'advocate' your platform, may I suggest
that you try the more credible option of leading by example? If the mac
is such a great productivity tool, you won't be able to keep it for
yourself for long.


biz

--------------------
groovetronica.com

Merlin Mann

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 5:44:28 PM3/21/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
Sorry to see you go, Biz. We could use as many smart, opinionated
people as we can muster.

Too bad you're leaving right as things are starting to get more
interesting on the wiki:
http://wiki.43folders.com/index.php/Talk:Meta:Macs-only_quandry

Michael O'Henly

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 6:41:42 PM3/21/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
I have to agree with much of this. I honestly don't mean to be offensive,
but all these breathless posts about where/why to acquire Moleskins and
Levenger doodads are hilarious!

For me, one of the first signs that an idea is wearing out is
overidentification with a "platform", be it Mac/PC, Linux/Unix,
Republican/Democrat, Moleskin/$.59 notebook.

Best wishes.

M.
--
Michael O'Henly

John SJ Anderson

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 7:02:36 PM3/21/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 15:41:42 -0800, Michael O'Henly <mic...@327.ca> wrote:
>
> I have to agree with much of this. I honestly don't mean to be offensive,
> but all these breathless posts about where/why to acquire Moleskins and
> Levenger doodads are hilarious!

/me licks finger, holds it up in air to sample prevailing winds

Yes, folks, I'd say we're firmly into the "backlash" portion of the
meme propagation. We can expect to see increasing dissent and massive
volumes of hot air for the next few weeks, followed by an influx of
new voices in a counter-backlash, with an outbreak of "this used to be
cooler before there were so many people"-ism not to long after that.
And now back to you in the studio, Merlin.

Michael O'Henly

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 7:29:22 PM3/21/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
Heh! Good call, John. I can't say I've followed the meme that closely enough
myself, but I bet you're right.

When I joined this list on Jan 30, I created a rule that, since then, has
dumped in a separate folder the 1329 posts I've received. A search on that
folder returns 138 items containing one or more occurrences of the string
"moleskin". That's better than 10% of the discussion!!!

M.
--
Michael O'Henly

-----Original Message-----
From: John SJ Anderson [mailto:gene...@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2005 4:03 PM
To: 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [43F Group] Re: Discussion: Why we're Mac centric


Merlin Mann

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 8:02:39 PM3/21/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
John SJ Anderson wrote:
> /me licks finger, holds it up in air to sample prevailing winds

Oh, you know. What's a party without someone pinching a loaf on the
divan?

I think we'll muddle through just fine. :-)

/m

Brian Carnell

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 8:03:34 PM3/21/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
As someone who is 95% PC-centric (I do have a dual G5 workstation that
one of my employees uses for video editing), I have to say that I enjoy
the Mac-centric stuff. Its interesting to look at different apps., etc.,
that people are using on the Mac side. It is interesting to see how
people solve problems regardless of the platform.

Jeffrey C.Long

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 8:09:35 PM3/21/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
i'd be of the opinion that having windows things on the wiki would be
fine as long as it was in its (it's?) own ghetto. seems like a section
of reviews of mac productivity tools, unix productivity tools and
windows productivity tools would be useful to everyone. i'm a mac user
and enjoy hearing from the unix people. and my anti-windows snobbery
isn't going to make any windows user more productive.

Rob Donoghue

unread,
Mar 22, 2005, 9:56:02 AM3/22/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 16:29:22 -0800, Michael O'Henly <mic...@327.ca> wrote:

> When I joined this list on Jan 30, I created a rule that, since then, has
> dumped in a separate folder the 1329 posts I've received. A search on that
> folder returns 138 items containing one or more occurrences of the string
> "moleskin". That's better than 10% of the discussion!!!

Just tried the same thing to similar results. What was interesting,
however, was that I got even more results when I searched on
"Windows". :)

-Rob D.

Michael O'Henly

unread,
Mar 22, 2005, 10:41:52 AM3/22/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
Y'know, my purpose in posting about this was not to mock. True, I do find
Moleskin worship pretty funny, but I like "nice stuff" as well -- it's human
nature.

If we're talking here about getting things done, then we're talking about
self-control, right?

What are the Moleskins and Levenger marketers appealing to and why are we
such eager victims? If we have to spend ridiculous amounts of money on
trendy GTD accessories, then how committed are we to a process of
self-control?

Just curious.

M.
--
Michael O'Henly

-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Donoghue [mailto:rdon...@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 6:56 AM
To: 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [43F Group] Re: Discussion: Why we're Mac centric


Donna Holmes

unread,
Mar 22, 2005, 10:56:26 AM3/22/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
No one has to buy any of these things so avidly discussed (I haven't -
my Mac is a work machine, so I'm reluctant to buy tools I can't take
with me when I leave, even to go home at the end of the night to my
PC).

The bottom line for me is this: though I discovered GTD elsewhere, I
wouldn't know about any of the things Merlin has discussed without
having read 43Folders - it's original content that I find interesting.
Expecting it all to be useful to me is like expecting every item of
clothing in a store to fit me.

Just my .02

Donna
who doesn't own a Moleskine because she doesn't need one, but whose
next computer may very well be a Mac.

Kolja

unread,
Mar 22, 2005, 11:01:09 AM3/22/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
I don't really care about the blog being mac-centric. If I want to try
out something, I can use Peach-PC, an open-source emulator\vm that
gives me all I need. Buying OS X (required) was a lot cheaper than
getting a whole mac ;-). That way I can testdrive mac-software and
still afford a 17" laptop (and I love the higher-than-powerbook
resolution). Reading about all the nice mac-software also gives me lots
of ideas for new projects (all in someday\maybe currently).

If Merlin loves the Moleskins and wants to post about them he should do
so to his hearts content. Although I like them, I will stick to my
cheapo 95 euro-cent notebook anyway ;). If the Moleskin-to-useful-stuff
ratio reaches an unacceptable level just stop reading.

jayt...@gmail.com

unread,
Mar 22, 2005, 11:19:10 AM3/22/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
Michael O'Henly wrote:
> Y'know, my purpose in posting about this was not to mock. True, I do
find
> Moleskin worship pretty funny, but I like "nice stuff" as well --
it's human
> nature.
>
> If we're talking here about getting things done, then we're talking
about
> self-control, right?
>
> What are the Moleskins and Levenger marketers appealing to and why
are we
> such eager victims? If we have to spend ridiculous amounts of money
on
> trendy GTD accessories, then how committed are we to a process of
> self-control?
>

Caveat: GTD newbie.

I think that they are appealing to our desire to have nice, cool,
tools. One of the reasons DA recommends buying a labeller is because it
is fun to use. Well, my Space Pen and Moleskine are fun to use.

I also don't think that "ridiculous amounts of money" is the correct
phrase; I spent $30 on a Moleskine calendar, some cahiers, and a pocket
notebook. For less than a penny day, I have incentive to use my cool
tools. A dayrunner costs approximately as much, is way less cool, and I
don't get the same joy from it.

Self-control can also be taken as the self-control to purchase the
right tools for the job, even if they are trendy, ignoring the jibes of
nay-sayers ;-)

Jay
jayturley at gmail dot com

Merlin Mann

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 4:49:05 PM3/23/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
I'll allow myself--as I increasingly do--to remind everyone that this
is not a "getting things done" site any more than CNN is currently a
"channel about feeding tubes."

Yes, it comes up a lot, and yes, people are batshit crazy about how
much they love it, but I'd consider it a proper if everyone who enjoys
43F would resist the persistent urge to equate it note for note with
GTD.

I think the real "problem" here is that so many people have their own
individual view port for the site, which is actually kind of great--I'm
entirely pleased that people are familiar enough with it to have an
opinion. What I don't accept (or ever intend to cater to) are folks who
try to remind me what I'm "supposed" to be talking about at any given
time.

If an admixture of costly notebooks, squirrely productivity schemes,
and software that's interesting to a single digit fraction of the globe
is appealing to every single visitor, I'd be truly surprised. And it's
not the goal. Cool?

I'm fine with backlash, and the wild opinions, and the half-truths, but
this talmudic "here's what 43 Folders needs to be" crap is a
non-starter. At least inasmuch as it guides what actually makes it onto
the site.

Can we go back to talking about fun stuff, please?

Greg Ritter

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 6:18:10 PM3/23/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
Hear, hear! 43F is Merlin's site, and he's well within his purview to
make its focus whatever the heck he pleases it to be.

Grumpy Windows users who feel too left out are welcome to implement
some productivity strategies and start their own sites oriented around
the topics of their liking. ;-)

--greg (a less-grumpy Windows user)

Greg Ritter

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 6:19:33 PM3/23/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com

Imap McGrant

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 6:47:09 PM3/23/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
On Mar 21, 2005, at 4:11 PM, biz wrote:

> All my productivity management is done on the other side of the fence:
> I might have plenty to offer, but despite your protestations of
> welcome, you have made this feel a little like tagging along with your
> female friends on girls-night-out: under other circumstances everyone
> is fine (mis)behaving however they want, but on this night, the hang-up
> that you aren't 'a part of the club' ensure that the evening devolves
> into the stilted, self-concious and inane.

I hope it's not out of place to offer a pointer to a decidedly
un-Mac-centric, but nevertheless useful and entertaining, GTD mailing
list over on Yahoogroups:
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Getting_Things_Done/>.

Michael

--
<http://globalocal.blogspot.com/>

Are they stupid or just evil?

Merlin Mann

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 7:09:10 PM3/23/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
Thanks, man.

But the good news is: all fences are mended on the wiki, and we're
moving forward with...well...whatever people want. :-)

I've backed off (what some people perceived as) Mac Snobbery™ (even
though I think that's not _really_ what I was trying to say), and we're
all happily chugging along, building a sweet-ass site that should
appeal to a broader audience than the mothership--including our friends
who are fans (or unwilling captors) of Redmond's biggest employer.

I'm very pleased with the progress and the stone soup attitude people
seem to have. Very encouraging start, I'd say.

Bill Nalen

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 8:33:44 PM3/23/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
Merlin Mann wrote:

>I've backed off (what some people perceived as) Mac Snobbery™ (even
>though I think that's not _really_ what I was trying to say), and we're
>all happily chugging along, building a sweet-ass site that should
>appeal to a broader audience than the mothership--including our friends
>who are fans (or unwilling captors) of Redmond's biggest employer.
>
>
Dang it, I'm a Windows and Mac user. I picked up a Hipster PDA after
reading about it on the 43Folders site. Are you guys saying it won't
work on Windows, but it will on my Mac?

Bill


Merlin Mann

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 9:20:10 PM3/23/05
to 43Fo...@googlegroups.com
There's a couple codecs you'll need to get and you may want to pick up
some LocalTalk adapters. ;-)