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REVIEW: "Crossing Platforms", Adam Engst/David Pogue

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKCRSPLT.RVW 20000526 Crossing Platforms , Adam Engst/David Pogue, 1999, 1-56592-539-4, U$29.95/C$43.75 %A Adam Engst ace@tidbits.com %A David Pogue
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 12, 2000
      BKCRSPLT.RVW 20000526

      "Crossing Platforms", Adam Engst/David Pogue, 1999, 1-56592-539-4,
      %A Adam Engst ace@...
      %A David Pogue david@...
      %C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
      %D 1999
      %G 1-56592-539-4
      %I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
      %O U$29.95/C$43.75 800-998-9938 fax: 707-829-0104 nuts@...
      %P 321 p.
      %T "Crossing Platforms: A Macintosh/Windows Phrasebook"

      There is no overall preface to this book, so it takes a while to
      figure out that it is a dictionary. Or encyclopedia or glossary,
      maybe. Two dictionaries, in fact. The first half of the book
      translates Mac to Win, and the second half is Win to Mac. Each
      section has an almost identical, and very brief, introduction.
      Unfortunately, there are few cross-references, and there is no index.

      There is a great deal of useful information. "Disk space" points out
      that dragging a disk to the trash is the usual way to eject it on the
      Mac, but doing the same thing with the Recycle Bin in Windows will
      erase the files on the disk. "File synchronization" gives one of the
      best explanations I have seen of the mysterious Windows Briefcase.

      Some of the terms don't really translate. For example, there is an
      entry (in both sections) for "clean install." This makes sense in the
      Mac world, but not Windows, where the relevant term is "re-install"
      (which isn't even listed in the Windows side). The description makes
      it clear that replacing the operating system on Windows is a more
      involved process than it is on the Mac, but doesn't point out that the
      situation is so radically different that Windows users wouldn't even
      recognize the term. ("You talkin' about reformatting?")

      In some cases the descriptions leave out valuable information. For
      example, the sections on transferring files cover a variety of
      methods, but don't discuss the importance of file extensions in
      assisting the process. Even the entry for file types fails to list
      the common extensions.

      There is a definite Windows 98 emphasis. "Folders" is the term used
      by both sides, even though most experienced (read "old") Windows users
      still talk about directories. There is also a tendency to try to
      integrate terms, which leads to entries such as "Passwords Control
      Panel" rather than the more recognizable "My Computer|Control
      Panel|Passwords." In other places similar functions are not linked if
      they aren't identical: Scrapbook makes no mention of Clipboard.
      Rather oddly, a number of commercial applications that are available
      on both platforms are also listed.

      Despite the flaws, this guide is very useful for those with a strong
      background on one platform needing an introduction to work with the
      other. It can save a lot of time and aggravation.

      (Oh, all right. It does have an entry for virus, and it's no good.)

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2000 BKCRSPLT.RVW 20000526

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
      Stop abusing my verses, or publish some of your own.
      - Marcus Valerius Martialis
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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