Editorial 004

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Imagine the Best of Both

I just saw the listing below of programs I currently have running on my new Mac G4 733 and thought some of you might find it interesting. If so, you might need to click on the image to read it better. And yes, I own them all or they are freeware or beta versions.
    Anyway, this list shows that I currently have 24 programs running, some of them heavy hitters in regard to CPU and memory demand, some of them run continually in the background multitasking with all the others, like iTunes which is playing classical music streaming in from the internet while I'm writing this and it hasn't dropped a note since I started it hours ago and like AirPort which is also creating and continually transmitting a wireless network feed to my laptop (more on this new addition to my office soon). At times I'll actually have more than 30 programs running, so this 24 is not really straining things too badly.
    You might think it unusual to be running so many programs but it's not when you consider that over the course of time with 960MB of effective RAM, I seldom close a program but just keep opening more as I need them to work, to update this website, to surf, to play, to whatever. Some days I wonder why I've stuck with the Mac over the years when it goes against popular "wisdom" and then I see something like this list. Try running this many programs on a PC.sometime, even though Windows claims to have preemptive multitasking and protected memory.
    I really do try to look at computers objectively and some days the Mac drives me to the point of saying a naughty word or two (there will eventually be a memory leak and the system will crash) and some days Apple and Steve Jobs annoy me to the point I swear I'm going to start using the PC as my main machine. But when I've tried to do this, even though I try to keep both my PC and main Mac more-or-less on par with each other, I find the PC just doesn't cut it.
    A perfect example of this is when I burn a backup CD of work files. I burn it on the Mac because it natively burns a hybrid CD that is readable on both computers, where the PC doesn't, and after burning it I'll then open key files on the CD to double verify them (the burner also verifies them after it burns them). I open them on both the PC and Mac to confirm the hybrid format worked as it should and it is while doing this that one of the biggest differences between the Mac and PC shows up. Invariably after opening 2 or 3 of these high-end graphics programs on the PC, opening the next one will crash. True, it usually doesn't bring down Windows, but does that matter when the PC will no longer print and I have to restart it before it will print again, does it matter that it killed ICQ, Outlook Express, and my backup program and I have to restart before I can get them back? I can't think of a time when I've been able to run as many as 10 programs on Windows, let alone 30, before losing some vital function and having to restart. And I run the PC pretty lean to avoid as many conflicts as possible.
     Also worthy of note is that even with my old Mac G4 350, after burning one of these work backup CDs I will start opening the key files on the PC while on the Mac I'll start burning the second backup CD (one for here, one for off-site) and due to the ease of use and speed of the Mac, invariably I will have the second CD burnt and its files opened on the Mac before I can get the same files opened on the PC!
    I think it's a pity Microsoft's software people aren't as effective as their marketing people. Even more's the pity that Apple's marketing people aren't as effective as their software people. Imagine a company with the best of both. hmmmph!

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