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Becoming obsessed with the idea of a mac

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Posted by Matty
Nov 23, 2007 at 05:08 PM


Stephen is right, the question was poorly worded.  I’m not so much interested in the differences between platforms as whether people had experience to share about scrivener and devonthink.  I have heard nothing but raves about Scrivener, so the responses here were not too much of a surprise.  What intrigues me about devonthink is its integrated OCR.  So much of my research is in pdf form that is not searchable.  The idea of having my own searchable database seems very powerful to me.  It looks to me that devonthink handles different document types almost as well as Onenote with much stronger outlining/organizational/search capabilities.  My problem right now is that I use Onenote for research that does not easily translate into text, whizfolders for material that I am going to actively work with in a writing project, and zoot for material that needs to be handled using sophisticated organizational tools.  It would be lovely to be able to do all that in a single program…

It does seem to me that there is a lot of extremely powerful software geared towards research and writing that is being developed exclusively for the mac.  I’m not about to run out and drop a couple grand for a new computer just to feed my crimpish tendencies, but it does seem likely that my next computer will run os 10 with parallels.

As for Maxthink… you can put me in the column of people who just don’t get it.  For whatever reason I can’t get my head around the two-pane interface.  For the kind of work it does I find brainstorm to be fantastically intuitive to use.  BTW, the new update of brainstorm is nothing revolutionary, but they have added a couple of nice features.  Especially welcome is the ability to mark 6 different locations to “throw” to. 



Hugh Pile wrote:
> >
>Stephen R. Diamond wrote:
>>Ask a question like that and you’re bound to get
>encouragement to switch. Microsoft is
>>the monopolist. Nobody has a great interest
>in its defense. Your sample is also
>>biased, because those who have already made a Mac
>commitment are the ones in the best
>>position to respond.
>>Nobody answers that
>Scrivener is good, but ignores the other
>>side of the equation. Are BrainStorm and
>Zoot more or less valuable than DevonThink
>>and Scrivener? 
>>There are other
>matters to be concerned about when embracing the
>>Macintosh. The biggest one,
>generally unmentioned, concerns the companies’
>>policies on backward
>>Anyway, before jumping platforms, check out
>>the new
>MaxThink, the true state of the art pure outliner, guaranteed not remotely
> >>available on the Mac.
>>Matty wrote:
>>>I’ve been following this forum with
>>interest for the last six months or so with
>>>great delight since I share many
>of the
>>obsessions of the community.  I am a historian
>>>working with a combination
>>biblioscape, brainstorm, whizfolders, microsoft
>>>word, and I’ve been
>>around with zoot.  Lately, however, I have become obsessed
>>>with two
>programs for the
>>mac, Devonthink and Scrivener.  Does anyone have any
> >>>experience with these?  Please
>>tell me that they are not that great and I should
>>>fantasizing about switching
>>platforms when really I should be writing. 
> >
>I am in the possibly happy position of running Windows on one machine and Macintosh
>OS 10.5 on another. I have licences for Zoot, Scrivener and DevonThink, and a copy of
>Ecco. Whilst recommending the Macintosh platform, I try not merely to post-justify a
>leap of faith.
> >In my experience, Ecco and Zoot are as close to unique as you can get;
>only Tinderbox on the Mac comes anywhere near as a “text-sippet manipulator/notes
>outliner”, and of course Tbx is not a PIM. But Scrivener is also unique; there is no
>drafting tool on Windows to compete with it. I know - I’ve probably tried them
> >DevonThink’s current version is in some respects somewhat long in the tooth,
>as previously pointed out, but if you want a heavyweight personal file manager that
>takes classification logic to its furthest conclusion and is demonstrably stable
>and acceptably quick with thousands of files and millions of words, there’s probably
>none better.
> >I don’t have a licence for Brainstorm, but I trialled it some years ago.
>I thought it was a perfectly good piece of outlining software (though at the time I
>preferred NoteMap). But having used OmniOutliner Pro, I think it’s better, and its
>development cycle is certainly faster than either (the Omni Group being a notably
>vigorous and expanding developer).
> >Omnifocus has been mentioned. Although it
>can’t challenge Ecco as a fully-featured PIM, it’s an impressive task outliner
>that’s only the latest in a large number of such tools available on the Macintosh,
>several of which are at least as useful as MyLife Organized or Achieve Planner.
> >For
>me, though, what is most attractive about the Macintosh platform is not individual
>applications or even the OS itself (Leopard seems to be more nimble than Vista). What
>impresses me most is that I can see that if these applications lose their edge or die,
>there will soon be others to replace them that are just as good or better. To mix
>metaphors, the platform appears to be a relatively more fertile one for
>medium-to-small developers than Windows. Why this is so, I’m not in a postion to say,
>although, yes, Microsoft’s much smaller presence in the Mac-world probably has
>something to do with it. It’s true that backwards compatibility is an issue and Apple
>itself appears to be not immune from MS-like behaviour on occasions, but these
>disadvantages don’t seem to deter developers or their customers - witness the
>writing niche.
> >And of course, since Mac went Intel, all Windows programmes
>(including MaxThink) can be available on the Mac using Boot Camp or Parallels - whilst
>the reverse is not possible without significant technical ingenuity and patience,
>and a willingness to defy Macintosh’s licence.