Why I'm switching to Mac
By John Edward Philips
[Dr. Philips sent me this article and a couple of others some time ago, so that I could use them when I
was in dire need of material. I have probably waited too long already, but after reading this, you
might want to try to catch him in the newsgroups and ask him how things have turned out with the Mac. --
No, I'm not really switching. I just need to use Macintosh, too. I have this problem. I sometimes need
to use English, Japanese and Arabic in the same document. Japanese Windows won't do that.
Windows 2000 was supposed to do that. I read all the information on Microsoft's website, and even
showed it to other people. I held off on any new computer purchases until Win2000 came out. I was
really up for a Windows that finally would do different alphabets, fully Unicode compliant.
"Why didn't you just get a Mac?" friends with the same problem would laugh. (Yes, believe it or not
there are a lot of Japanese who need to write Arabic. Middle Eastern and Islamic studies is one of the
fastest growing areas in Japanese academia.)
"Had I been spending someone else's money, of course I would have gotten a Mac." became my standard
response. Mac may be a computer for people who didn't want to buy a computer in the first place, but
Windows is a Mac for people who can't afford one. Eventually I will figure out how to enter Japanese
(and Arabic) in Linux, but eventually is still a ways off right now.
Luckily for me our Arabic professor shelled out for Windows2k before I did. For obvious reasons he was
in even more dire need of multi-script capabilities than I was. When I visited him to see how it was
working he showed me the results: Win2K(J) does not support Arabic! He phoned Microsoft and got his
I'm finally spending someone else's money, though. Japan pays generous equipment budgets at national
universities, as long as we spend the money in Japan. (OK, I know, technically you can spend the money
overseas, but try going into the accounting office and saying "kaigai chuumon" "overseas order") So I
finally broke down and bought a G4 with DVD, Zip drive, etc. Suddenly I'm able to access almost any
language in use, and type easily, backwards or forwards (depending on the language) or even upside
Now if I can just get my printer to recognize the output!
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