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PIMs, Writing Software, and Windows XP, Vista, and OS X

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Posted by Randall Shinn
Dec 3, 2007 at 03:39 PM


Jim wrote:

>That being
>said, I just switched from Windows XP to Mac OSX. There were two drivers for me. One was
>the availability of software on the Mac. I currently use DevonThink Pro for most of my
>data accumulation. I also have Eaglefiler. I like them both.

Yesterday I thought I had decided to stay with XP, but today I am leaning toward going through the process of switching to Mac OSX. One reason is that there are some programs available on the Mac that I would like to use (Scrivener, DevonThink Pro, Eaglefiler, and OminOutliner Pro), plus, as best as I can tell from user forums, my most used program (Sibelius) will run faster on a Mac Pro.

The second issue is that I have heard too many complaints about Vista to want to switch to that (I’ve talked to a couple of tech support people who rolled every machine back to XP after trying use Vista). And after researching buying a new machine with XP on it, I found that I was generally offered that option only on a limited number of models, and seldom on the most powerful.

>The bottom line is, decide what you want to do-then find
>the software to do it. At that point the choice of an operating system will be obvious.

The final straw has been the simple task of installing Quicken 2008. It installed fine on my wife’s XP. But on my desktop and laptop the installer removed the old version of Quicken and then failed to install the new. I went to the forum, and it is a problem that others are having. Apparently, somewhere in the depths of the Windows’ registry I still have some reference to an older version of Quicken that is hanging up the installation.

I have tried all the suggested work arounds to no avail, and I have even tried using regedit to search through the registry and remove all references to Intuit and Quicken. After working on this for a couple of hours last night with no success, I was reminded of numerous other times I had had installations issues related to the registry.

Although Quicken support staff seem to be looking for a solution, they are essentially blaming the OS. I have read several reviews of Vista that complained that MS did not try to revamp the arcane registry system, and when software programmers at a company that has been around as long as Intuit are struggling to figure out why the registry is killing their installation, you realize that this is a valid criticism.

I’ve prided myself that in the past I have eventually always been able to solve such issues (although on one other occasion with another software program the problem was never solved, even by tech support). Last night I decided that spending hours trying to solve registry problems was a poor use of my time. I’m sure that no operating system is going to be trouble free, especially when installing new programs. And I can appreciate that MS is trying to maintain backward compatibility, but at this stage of my life I’d rather move to a system that has been designed around a newer, less trouble prone core.


The other driver was
>cost. When I was shopping for laptops, there was little difference between a Macbook,
>and a Windows laptop running Vista, and so that and the availability of Devonthink
>made the difference.

>On another note, I have been busy with work and haven’t had a chance to exercise
>Devonthink Pro and Eaglefiler to their full extent. I have been stuffing them both
>with data, and soon I will be turning to how to organize the information when you get it
>in, and how to do searches to get it out.
> >I’ll let everyone here know how things are
>going in that area soon.