Twisted Pair Shout Out

If you haven’t listened to Keith Shaw and Jason Meserve’s Twisted Pair weekly audio podcast, you’re missing some fun. This week they talked about listener response to Keith’s rant after a Microsoft computer meltdown. Hey, guys, if you want e-mails for and against switching away from Microsoft to a Mac, I’ve got 47 from last summer you can have. There’s also strings of user comments on previous newsletters mentioning Macintosh or complaining about Microsoft (I do my fair share).

After my report on searching for Macintosh software for my PowerBook, I heard from Mac users that my problems are their problems. Several had good suggestions for where to buy Mac software online. Next time I’ll try to plan ahead a bit more and leave myself some time.

Reader Alex quotes a software developer who provides Mac and PC versions of products explaining why Mac software usually costs more: “Most Mac users actually buy their software but PC users tend to just copy from their friends or buy bootleg copies so we have to make that version cheap enough so they will buy it.”

That may be true generally, but not in the case of the used PowerBook I bought last year. It arrived with a copy of Microsoft Office loaded. I assumed the previous owner left it on either by accident or as an illegal favor to me. Nope. The registered name on the Office software was not that of the previous owner. Friends “sharing” software seems to cross computer maker boundaries. Just don’t take this note as an endorsement from me for software vendors to tighten their clumsy attempts at copy restrictions and the like. It makes no sense to aggravate all your users to stop a few software copies yet ignore the warehouses full of pirated software all over the US and Asia.

Apple cleverly prices software correctly for a family of Macintosh users. When I bought iLife, I bought the single copy version for $79. For $99, I could have bought the family pack usable on up to five computers. That’s smart business on Apple’s part.

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