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