The news that NetNewsWire has been aquired by Newsgator has me thinking about my Mac. One of the main reason that I wanted to work with the Mac was because of this particular program. Most of the PC RSS readers had some deficiency that could not be overcome. What I wanted was simple… Store all of the items in my feeds, make them searchable, allow me to flag items to find later, and make it reasonably quick. Up until recently, no PC reader had met that criteria. RSSBandit was close, but it kept loosing news items. So NetNewsWire was a great solution, it provided all of the functionality that I was looking for. I was happy. But… (you could see that coming a mile away) I had to start doing some development on my PC. Plus, Sauce Reader for the PC had a new version out that wasn’t half bad. Then Sauce Reader’s company closed it doors, and they sold the source code. I was *not* happy with my choices for readers for work. So, I checked out RSSBandit again, just to see if they had updated their code. I was in luck, there was a new alpha/beta of RSSBandit, code named Nightcrawler. I decided to try it, for a ‘what the heck’. Surprising, it is working VERY well. If someone (maybe me!) would write a filter/plug-in so that MSN Desktop search could index items, I’d be unbelievably happy. As it is, the built in search is quite good, but it’d be nice to be able to integrate like NetNewsWire and Spotlight.
Now, what does this have to do with my uncertainty? My major programs are now back on the PC. Quicken for mac is horrible. I started using Microsoft Money, and have been quite impressed. NetNewsWire has serious competition from RSS Bandit. Virtual PC is not even in the same league as the wonderful VMWare, and let’s not forget Visual Studio 2005 and .NET 2.0. These plus some games, and the ability to upgrade easily and cheaply, make me think that the Microsoft platform has a LOT to offer. And Vista is due out late next year.
As far as what’s going wrong with the Mac, I definitely have issues with my Mac, audio interface and iSight. The tech support answer I got from M-Audio didn’t really help, and I haven’t found anyone else with either the setup or the issue. Plus, Apple’s business practices have been out of character for Apple lately. My boss has a Nano that has a broken screen, and he was told that he could give it back and get a 10% credit on a new one! The thing is a week old, for goodness sake! Plus, this intentional mislabeling of Mac mini’s so that Apple can clear out there stock actually shocks me to the bone! What happens when the Mactels are released? You might get a mactel, but you might get a G5? I’d be very upset if I was trying to buy a Mini right now, because you don’t know what’s in the box until you open it. Surprise!
I still think the Mac has a better interface, with a LOT more thought and artistry going into the user interaction. BUT, Windows developers can get do the same with just a little bit of care in their user interface designs, too…