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I’ve had some time now to think about Apple’s new .MAC strategy. Initially, I was a bit upset about having to pay $50 to keep my iTools stuff (which had been free until now). I understood the rationale–none of these kinds of services are free anymore from hotmail, yahoo, idrive, etc–and I agree with Apple’s decision to “jump on the bandwagon,” as Jobs put it in his keynote.

What miffed me was the way that this was such a Microsoftian move: make people dependent upon a free service and then, once you’ve got them hooked, charge them for it.

But the more I think about it, the better the deal begins to seem. I get my email (not a huge concern); I get 100 MB of space online (not a huge issue, but certainly better than the 20 MB I currently have); I get iCal and iSync, which will hopefully evolve into some kind of full-fledged syncing software so that I can work on my dissertation on my laptop and then sync it up with the same files on my desktop (I like to work away from home, and keeping these files in order is a real pain). There is even great hope among the remarkably strong Newton community that we’ll finally be able to sync up our Newtons in OS X. And finally I get some backup software and some anti-virus software.

What’s even more interesting to me at this point is iCal. Between it, the new, beefed-up address book, and the new, beefed-up Mail.app in 10.2, there’s little need for something like Entourage (the Mac equivalent of Outlook). While this might not seem like anything all that special, when you consider that the only way you can get Entourage is to fork out the considerable amount of around $259 for the Office 2001 Upgrade or a staggering $545 for Office v. X, it’s no wonder that sales of Office for Mac have been down lately.

As Todd noted, there is hope of a revamped AppleWorks 7, which we’re certainly due for. AppleWorks occupies an unusual status, somewhere between MS Works and MS Office. It can read and write Word and Excel documents (I don’t know about PowerPoint). It has all of the standard features of a modern word processor (which for me means footnotes). But it suffers from lack of attention. Updates are sporadic, at best. It’s missing some of the neato keen features of Office. But it works fine. I’m writing my dissertation in it, and I have no complaints. Well, I have once complaint: I miss macros. They removed them with the OS 10 version in favor of Applescript, but then didn’t make the application recordable. Harumph.

But at any rate, now we have a very good email client. We have a very good address book. We have a very good calendar program. What’s more, all of these are free, and effectively replace Outlook/Entourage. For free.

Now we need a better office suite–and for a reasonable price. A revised and considerably improved AppleWorks might just fit the bill.

And by the way, I’m upset that the new (and cheaper!) iPods did not come with a video out option. That’s what I want to see. Record your movie in hi-resolution MPEG-4 and save it to your iPod. Plug your iPod into your television. Watch the movie in near-DVD quality on your television.

Doesn’t that seem simple?

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Written by srogers

July 2, 2011 at 2:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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