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« Mac Aficionados In Flames About Critical Article | Main | Marketers Missing out on Broadcasting Webinars »

October 16, 2006

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» Larry Bodine on Macs -- and how to get Free PR from Justia :: Legal Marketing, Law Firm Web Site Design & Search Engine Optimization Blog
Hi Friends,I would comment on Larry Bodine's (in)experience with Macs (see Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree). But LexBlog's Kevin O'Keefe (a Mac User) just sent me a post from Wil Shipley's blog that pretty much covers the Mac side.And... [Read More]

Comments

MLE

I'd like to respond to your original column by offering information that might be useful if you ever find yourself using a Mac again.


> I pretended that I liked the one button mouse...
> I really missed the little scrolling wheel in
> the center of the mouse.

Any USB mouse works with any recent Mac. You could take a cheap $5 Dell mouse and plug it into your Mac's USB port and get right-click and scroll-wheel features -- that functionality is built into the Mac OS. I haven't used a one-button mouse with a Mac since the early 90s ;-)

> I put up with the fact that the HP printer,
> which I had purchased on the recommendation
> of an Apple Store, would work about 50 percent
> of the time with the Mac. I was constantly
> deleting print jobs and starting them over.

Your experience isn't representative. Did you contact HP about this issue?

> What drove me nuts was that I would open Word
> for Mac and couldn't delete files while I was
> in Word. There is no File | Delete option. So
> the documents took up space on my hard drive,
> until someone told me I had to find the
> documentin Finder and then move it into the
> trash from there. This seemed stupid to me;
> I just wanted to highlight a file and tap
> "delete."

To be fair, this is more a difference in approach than better or worse. (And the Mac approach decreases the chances that you'll accidentally delete a file you need.)

One of the biggest issues people have when switching platforms, whether switching from Windows to Mac or from Mac to Windows, is that there are differences in the way each platform approaches many basic tasks. People get used to a certain way of doing things, and when they have to do that thing differently, their first reaction is that the new way is wrong/hard/dumb/etc. But really it's just different.

> Word files transferred from the Mac were missing
> pictures. PowerPoint files transferred from the
> Mac would lose their formatting. PCs and Macs
> are not compatible, regardless of what they say.

Although it's true that there are occasional issues with Office documents transferred from Mac to Windows and vice versa, in my experience, the above is, again, not representative. Over several years of heavy use with the latest versions of Office for both platforms, I've rarely had a problem with PowerPoint files. The only times I've ever had problems with Excel files have been when a Windows file contains lots of VBA. And the only time I've had problems with Word files is when one platform is missing fonts used in a document on the other -- an IT issue, not a compatibility one.


> The multiple clicking to accomplish simple tasks
> was a constant annoyance. Things I could do with
> a PC in two keystrokes took four or five clicks
> with the Mac. To do a "fast print" required
> clicking File, Print, find Copies & Pages, click
> Paper Type/Quality, click Normal and finally
> clicking Fast Draft. And there was no way to
> leave the setting as the default. I had to do
> it manually every time.

After you've chosen your preferred settings, you simply choose the Save As command in the Presets menu in the Print dialog. This menu lets you save as many printing presets as you need. And you can choose one preset to be your default.

The other steps you mention above (navigating to the Copies & Pages settings and making changes) are a function of your printer, and would be required in Windows, as well.

> Doing a simple screen capture was an immense
> chore. On a PC you just press Alt and tap
> PrtScr. With the Mac I had to download and
> launch special programs to accomplish this
> simple task.

Actually -- and this is *clearly* documented in Mac Help; just type "screen capture" -- the Mac provides many more built-in options for taking screenshots than Windows. Via keyboard shortcuts, you can take a shot of the entire screen, a selected section of the screen, or any object on the screen (a window, a dialog, a menu, an icon). Via the Grab utility (in your Utilities folder), you can also take timed screenshots.

> I didn't even bother with the Mac's iCal or Mail,
> which required me to buy an @mac.com address.

This isn't true. Both of these applications are fully functional without a Mac.com address. Mail is a standard POP/IMAP/Exchange email client -- more powerful than Outlook Express, in fact. iCal is a standard calendaring application; subscribing to .Mac lets you publish your calendars on .Mac's servers, but you can publish to any WebDAV server, as well. I'm not sure where you got the impression that you needed to pay for Apple's .Mac service to use them.

> For me the killer was the Web browser. Safari
> simply cannot read Flash. It is, quite simply,
> a second-rate browser...On the suggestions of
> friends, I downloaded Netscape and Firefox,
> which were no better.

Safari works great with Flash, as does every other Mac browser (Firefox, Camino, Opera, OmniWeb, etc.). I've never -- OK, not in the last few years -- encountered a Flash element on a Web site I couldn't view and interact with.

> I scraped along with Internet Explorer 5.0
> for Mac, and then discovered in 2006 that
> Microsoft would no longer support the Mac
> version. You can't do WSYWIG on Typepad
> (where many folks create their blogs),
> which you can on a PC.

According to TypePad, Firefox for Mac is fully supported for WYSIWYG editing. I can't verify this, as I'm not a TypePad author, but that's what the company claims on their support pages. There are also a number of standalone blogging tools for the Mac that offer WYSIWYG authoring for TypePad.

> I run several Web sites, all optimized for IE
> 5.5 or higher. I couldn't operate my own Web
> sites with the Mac. That was the straw that
> broke the camel's back.

"Optimized for IE" is the scarlet letter of Web sites. The Web has internationally-recognized standards, and any site adhering to those standards will work on any Web browser that's standards-compliant. Unfortunately, Microsoft and the company's Web-authoring tools encourage people who aren't up on these standards to create Web sites that work only with IE. The solution here is to create standards-compliant sites -- if your site doesn't work in Safari, chances are there are a good number of other Web browsers -- on multiple platforms -- that won't render it properly, either. With all due respect, any competent Web designer knows this and wouldn't blame Safari or the Mac when an IE-optimized (read: non-standards-compliant) site has problems outside of IE.

Hopefully, this information is helpful. Unless, of course, you were just BS'ing for page views...

shifuimam

I like how y'all turn opinions and personal experiences into global "facts" regarding Macs, OS X, and interoperability with Windows.

I'm telling you, get Tom Cruise in here and you'll really start a ruckus.

He's great at defending borderline-insane causes...

Don't Feed the Trolls

I suspect that Mr.Bodine is doing a bit of market testing with his blog, to see just how trollish one has to be to maximize one's counter statistics.

You can all be quite sure that he neither care, nor even reads what you're all posting here.

Just so you know you're wasting your time.

Cheers

Kristofer Baxter

re: "Regarding the screen capture feature, it was not described anywhere in the manuals that came with the computer nor in the 'Help' link on the Mac."

http://www.kristoferbaxter.com/files/screenshot.jpg

Are you serious?

JClark

Show the world what kind of people Mac users are?

Judging by most of the comments here, I would have to conclude that they are smart, well versed in technology, and far more capable than yourself at backing up their arguments with facts.

Thank you, my arrogant no-nothing friend, you've done the Mac community a great service.

James Gowan

Apple released preliminary fourth quarter 2006 financial results today. These results may be subject to significant adjustments.

Apple posted revenue of $4.84 billion with a net quarterly profit of $546 million, or $.62 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $3.68 billion and net profit of $430 million, or $.50 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 29.2 percent, up from 28.1 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 40 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

1,610,000 Macs and 8,729,000 iPods were shipped this quarter representing a 30 percent growth in Macs and 35 percent growth in iPods over the year-ago quarter.

“This strong quarter caps an extraordinary year for Apple. Selling more than 39 million iPods and 5.3 million Macs while performing an incredibly complex architecture transition is something we are all very proud of,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Looking forward, 2007 is likely to be one of the most exciting new product years in Apple’s history.”

“We are pleased to have finished the year with over $10 billion in cash and to have increased annual revenue by $11 billion in the last two years,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2007, we expect revenue of $6.0 to $6.2 billion and earnings per diluted share of $.70 to $.73.”

- 58% of company revenue from Macs
- 61% of Macs sold were laptops

BITCHSLAP!

Blucaso

Larry, Larry, Larry...

I wasn't going to bother, since everyone has said everything there is to say. But after looking at your site(s) and reading a bit about you and your business, I just felt obliged to add a few words...

First, it says in your bio that you have 15 years experience as a journalist, in addition to having a J.D. and having practiced law in Madison, WI.

So it should be no surprise whatever that you stirred up a hornet's nest with the "facts" you provided in the original article. (Not to mention the posed photo of you "trashing" your Mac - sensationalism at its best.)

It would be the same as I would expect if I gave an interview in an article about how hiring a professional marketing firm drove my law firm's sales into the toilet. Imagine if I suggested points such as:

"Well, I went on this marketing website, and I learned that law firms can increase their business by $1,000,000 by chasing ambulances! Well, I chased a few, and all I got was sore feet! Sometimes there weren't even patients IN the ambulances! Phooey! What a bunch of bunk. No lawyer is ever going to make money from personal injuries."

..I could go on and on with this, and it would be great fun. But you get the idea. If I posted a bunch of "old hat" that suggested that lawyers are parasites and that "law marketing" is really just a bunch of bunk... and that was something that meant a lot to you and others in your profession..

Wouldn't I expect a response from you?

And furthermore, if I did provide these sort of "sensational", play-to-the-stereotype, and factually (provably) incorrect points... wouldn't you really feel like treating me less reverently than if it was a well-reasoned article?

This is not to excuse the flames and phone calls and such. Frankly, I read the MacDailyNews site, and it can be a quite boorish and childish crowd there, hiding in the anonymoty of their comments section. Sorry that your article got noticed there.

But in all honesty, with your legal experience, your journalistic experience, and your general experience with people after 50 or so years on the planet, do you not think you provided the fuel for the fire?

Anyway... good luck with your business. As you don't seem to be responding to any of these (not coincidentally very reasonable seeming) comments, I won't bother to include my email.

Jethro

Let me make a few corrections to your corrections, my brother:

1. Flash has been available for Macs as long as it has for Windows. Apple has pre-installed the Flash plug-in in included browsers since that time, many years prior to 2005, incidentally.

2. The magazine editor was obviously exaggerating.

3. The built-in screen capture feauture is indeed described in Mac OS X's online Help. In addition, two included applications--Grab and Preview--implement screen capture functionality.

4. You could have easily verified the presence of the Flash plug-in in the Safari browser by simply pulling down Safari's Help menu and selecting the "Installed Plug-ins" item.

You keep digging this hole deeper, Larry...

Don

"Thank you my Mac friends for making this blog one of the most popular in the marketing field!"

Larry, how can this be? Everyone knows that no one uses Macs...

Craig

This is all a online marketing ploy! He's just sitting back and watching his hits sky-rocket!


Smart Larry. Good example of the power of online marketing and content creation.

alex

"You can post comments at will and show the world what kind of people Mac users are."

I guess it's a good thing 90% of the posts are informative and help you with your mac problems, eh? I guess mac users are mostly helpful, nice people! Imagine that.

Kevin S.

Larry, why don't you let your next editorial for LegalTechnology be a Windows XP flame (at the very least you can complain about viruses). You can then invite the "ferocious cultists" back to your blog for more hits to read your Windows XP flame. Surely they would sing your praises for ever more, wouldn't they?

There's a catch though, you have to make as many factual inaccuracies about the WinXP platform as you did about the OS X platform, and you aren't allowed to check any of the facts you claim and you can't provide any evidence to back up your claims. How does that sound, Mr. Lawyer?

Larry Bodine

>>Regarding the screen capture feature, it was not described anywhere in the manuals that came with the computer nor in the "Help" link on the Mac.<<

Obviously I can't search as well :

http://img157.imageshack.us/img157/9130/helplarrycr0.png

Kevin S.

"Regarding the screen capture feature, it was not described anywhere in the manuals that came with the computer nor in the "Help" link on the Mac."

It's hard to tell whether you are incompetent or purposely just flat out lying.

Searching for "screen capture" via "the 'Help' link on the Mac" under OS X Tiger returns the following eight Help Topics:
Taking a picture of a menu
Shortcuts for taking pictures of the screen
Taking a picture of a window
Taking a picture of part of your screen
Taking a picture of your entire screen
Taking pictures of your screen with Grab
Using Image Capture to transfer images from your camera or scanner
Converting Grab screen shots to other formats

Tiger started shipping on April 29, 2005, http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/04/12/148225&tid=179&tid=3, so if you bought a PowerMac G5 on July 15, 2005 as you claim then the above search in "the 'Help' link on the Mac" would have returned these results.

Therefore, you either never made a search for "screen capture" and are making things up, did search for "screen capture", got the listed results and didn't understand the meaning of "Taking a picture of your entire screen" or did search for "screen capture", got and understood the listed results and are just lying.

Tim Stanley

What a great way to get content links to your Web site (I added a few of my own -- all done in good fun -- I love the Mac v. PC debates :).

As for your Mac... if not doing a Google search like Ernie suggests.. you should have contacted someone on the Mac Law Yahoo! group or one of your many Mac user friends. One of us would have helped out for sure.

Why PCs... That some programs only run on PCs, that the network administrative features and controls are more built out and the abundance of support people with PC experience, would have been better reasons for sticking with a PC. Of course that is in addition to the better integration of Microsoft products, especially server products like MS Exchange Server (and IE 7 is pretty good as well).

Future Macs... The great thing about the new MacBook Pro's is you can run Windows XP (or the latest beta of Vista) at the same time in a separate window (there are some networking issues still). Thus allowing you to run all of your PC only programs. Or you could just use the MacBook Pro as a Windows machine.

In any case if you do decide to get a Mac again... join the Mac Law group on Yahoo! (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MacLaw/). And run your next Mac focused article by a some Mac folks, it will help you make a stronger case for the PC --- even if us Mac people disagree --- rather than getting caught up in a debate about some of your facts being off. Of course my guess is you will get just as many emails :)

And most importantly... here is the URL for downloading flash: http://tinyurl.com/e9row

Peace - Tim

heyitsme

so the question is: are you still using the mac, or in reality getting rid of it? The original article written when you purchased the mac was a different tune, and $4500 for a computer means you didn't buy just the basic machine, but had it customized for your needs. I imagine in 15 months you must have gotten some use out of it, even if the hard drive did fail. (failures usually don't occure right off the bat)

Also, you may be a lot happier with a $20 logitech multi-button mouse.

Kevin S.

Spikes are just that, Larry, spikes. Your stats are way up now, but they'll go back down to right where they were after a few days and your blog will be the none better for having posted such an error ridden article. Good content draws a lasting audience and builds traffic, not bad content. You've not built traffic, you've built a spike.

Kevin S.

"You can post comments at will and show the world what kind of people Mac users are."

Why don't you respond to http://wilshipley.com/blog/2006/10/flame-my-birthday-present-to-me.html
this well-written criticism of your article and show the world what kind of a technology writer you are.

Wow

Let me preface this by saying that I currently own three computer systems - A primary desktop Windows workstation, a secondary TabletPC (also for work) and a Powerbook at home. Over the years, I've had experience in a wide variety of platforms, and I'm no zealot for any particular one. I'm generally of the opinion that a tool is just a means to an end, so any tool that's particularly suited for a given task is what I use.

Notwithstanding the purported technical inaccuracies of Larry's article, it's a good sampling of barriers into the business market faced by Apple. These perceptions, whether justified or not, drive IT purchasing decisions to a certain extent, and if Apple is going to compete in the marketplace, it must address them. It doesn't make one bit of a difference whether such perceptions are accurate or not, it is what it is.

Insulting Larry's intelligence isn't going to get anywhere. Anybody who does so appear to fit the stereotypical Mac elitist, and does the entire platform a disservice. I've been following Larry's law marketing posts for a while now, and I, for one, respect his opinions.

And, this has to be said about all the flames going around: It's just an operating system! Get a life!

I can see why someone switching to OSX will get the impression that .Mac is the only e-mail account type supported by OSX Mail. When first setting up an account, there's a pull-down list of account types, with .Mac accounts as the default type. The rest of the dialog box remains blank (or largely so). Only after selecting a different account type does that blank spot fill in with other options.

This behavior is counter-intuitive to those coming from the Windows world because in Windows, you wouldn't expect that a selection of one pull-down menu item will load a completely new set of modifiable options in the existing window. In Windows, all of the options possible for any particular pull-down menu selection is visible, and those options inapplicable to the currently selected pull-down menu item is grayed out. Thus, the lack of any options would suggest to a Windows user that given the current conditions (whatever they may be), there can be no alternative selections in said pull-down menu. The fact that the pull-down menu defaults to the .Mac account type (and not some statement asking the user to select an account type) results in further confusion.

Pull-down lists are not very user-friendly anyway because of the unpredictability in being able to tell what's coming next in the process.

Having used Mail extensively for two years, I must say that this procedure was slightly confusing. I thought I couldn't set up my POP3 and IMAP accounts in that "wizard," and that I had to set them up after cancelling it and loading a new preferences window.

I'm not saying that the OSX interface is flawed, I'm just saying that for the particular application (Mail) and the particular tast involved (setting up new accounts) the interface choice left more to be desired, and that Larry's confusion in this regard is understandable. It may be intuitive for OSX veterans, but I'm sure you can see how it will be confusing for a Windows user.

J Clark

Come on Larry, be a man and simply admit that you were wrong, and that you tossed those comments out there without bothering to make sire they were correct. And please, stop making blanket statements regarding Mac users, it's really not fair.

Responding with nothing but contempt and unbelievable ego doesn't help your case any either. The fact remains that the information you used in the original article was incorrect, own up to it.

As for making this site so popular, I don't think you're thinking this through (and you're an "expert" in marketing?). The more people who read these stories, the more people will know that you're technologically ignorant and can't be bothered to actually look up anything you don't already know.

Good show.

Jesper

As others have said, the Flash plugin has shipped with the Safari web browser since its introduction (in 2003 if I recall correctly - ahead of your purchase in any case). Apple folks should have told you to go to either of www.macromedia.com or www.adobe.com, depending on when you were calling, and to download the Flash plugin from there.

I'm glad that you're reconsidering your opinion of Mac users as a whole. Within any given group sized past a certain threshold, there will always be assholes, and there will be the genuinely nice and helpful. (I don't think writing on the forehead of 25 million Mac users that they have the "Betamax" om this generation of computers helped your case in keeping the assholes at bay, but what do I know?)

Christopher

I actually have less of a problemm with Larry than I do with Law Technology News, its factcheckers, and editors. Many of Larry's critiques of the Mac platform are demonstrably false. (As are two of the three "corrections" on his blog). Why didn't someone at Law Technology News catch these mistakes?

alan

Having checked out these threads a couple of times since yesterday, I'm really puzzled by a couple of things in particular:

(A bunch of questions follow, and I don't simply mean them rhetorically. I'm quite serious when I say that I really can't make this all line up.)

First, the corrected purchase date: How the blazes did you so precisely state the date as May 21, 2006, when it was July 15, 2005? Mis-typing 2006 when you mean 2005 is one thing, but in an article purported to be a detailed accounting of your experience, I just don't get it. It's sloppy, at best.

Second, now that the date has been corrected, why did it take 15 -months- for you to write up your highly disgruntled review? How much time did you actually spend with this machine? Did you really spend a year with it and never, ever, explore how Mail and iCal work? Or never come across the screen grab shortcut? Or, in a year, figure out how flash works?

How smug can somebody reasonably be, when fifteen months after a major purchase, they haven't learned a thing? Considering that, how seriously should anybody take your largely fact-free artice as a warning of "the trouble you're in for when you switch from a PC to a Mac?"

Steve

Larry,

I went back and read your original article at LAW.COM. Honestly --- I have a problem with most of your comments.

I won't take the time for a line by line breakdown. Many others have already done so elsewhere. You may have viewed these posts as defensive. We viewed your article as gobbledygook, so let's just figure this one a wash.

I don't consider myself as biased regarding platform. I frequently post on forums discussing technical issues having to do with 2D CAD, 3D Modeling and Rendering to name a few. I am not one to hold my opinion where I think a program or OS is lacking. I have no problem in saying that a certain feature in use on a Windows based CAD product is, or can be, better than what is on the Mac. My knowledge is not restricted to these areas or types of programs.

The issue I discuss more than any other, is likely to do with UI (user interface). A number of your problems had to do with interface. So I feel I have a little bit to say with regard to this discussion.

Do us all a favor and stick with marketing. Leave the computer stuff -- at least with Macs -- to those in the know. With your lack of knowledge, don't start off an article with -- "I was suckered ... I bought a boat anchor ... dumbed-down versions ..." If you want to post an article about your inability to get something to work - make it clear that the problem could very likely be with you - that is, being that many kids have shown that it is no problem to use a Mac.

With Apple (as with others), there are many forums you can find using Google, where if you post a question, you will get many responses from knowledgeable Mac users eager to help, out of the kindness of their hearts --- no remuneration necessary. As a computer user and lawyer, couldn't you figure this one out earlier, rather than waiting to get frustrated?

Here is an example of a good place to start - http://discussions.apple.com/index.jspa

And save us the baloney high moral ground argument of our being touchy. Realize that your original article was absolute rubbish and you deserved much of what you got.

hi

"Regarding the screen capture feature, it was not described anywhere in the manuals that came with the computer nor in the "Help" link on the Mac."

Please type screen capture in Mac Help.

"Regarding the inability to read Flash, I even telephoned Apple and asked about a plug-in for it. As I stated in the article, the Apple help desk said no improvements in Safari were planned."

No piece of software is ever "done", Safari is frequently revised.

I'm curious about flash, which site caused the problem? Anyway, you can download the latest version of the flash plug-in from Adobe’s website.

http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/alternates/

Do you have any more questions regarding the Mac?

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