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Ask Dave
by Dave Hamilton

He from whom all Mac knowledge flows...

Palm Organizing, Upgrade Tips, & Opening .EXE Files
June 15th, 2001

Greetings, everyone. Yeah, I know, it's been a while since you've heard from me. MACWORLD and summer happened, not to mention house renovations and other *really* fun things. But enough of my yacking... today I'm back with another action-packed issue of Ask Dave! Today's column discusses Claris Organizer, upgrading an old 7200, and playing (certain types of) PC-formatted .EXE files on your Mac! If you have a question of your own, you can e-mail me, or ask in the Ask Dave/Mac Support Boards, where everyone can take a stab answering your questions! For now, read on!

Jeff Lancaster writes, "Can I sync my Claris Organizer 1.0 data to my Palm, or am I stuck?"

Thankfully, Jeff, you're not stuck. When the folks at Palm Computing decided to offer a Mac version, they chose to build upon an existing package instead of developing their own. The package that they built upon was Claris Organizer. They are using the 2.x engine in the "Palm Desktop" application, but I believe you can just open the Palm Desktop, choose import, and have it pull all your old Claris data in. Once it's in the Palm Desktop application, you can sync it with your PalmOS handheld as usual. Good luck!

Dave C. writes, "I'm about to upgrade my 7200/75 with a Sonnet upgrade daughterboard as I've been out of circulation for over a year now (so has the computer). I'll be using Quark or Pagemaker, Illustrator, maybe Photoshop and some other graphics oriented software. Is the Altivec support through the G4 worth the $100 price difference? Do you see any reasons not to upgrade, given a new unit is looking to be in the $1500 range these days?"

Dave -- I think you're a prime candidate for this upgrade, assuming that you won't have to add anything else to the machine to make it perform as you like. At US$349 (for the G3) or US$449 (for the G4), you'll end up with plenty of horsepower to keep you going. However, if you need to add additional hard drive space, RAM, or any other peripherals, I would recommend skipping the upgrade and going to a new machine. Any new peripherals you buy for your existing machine will likely not work with a new desktop Mac. All the new models use FireWire and USB, while your machine has SCSI and serial ports on board, instantly obsoleting any new peripherals you buy once you eventually upgrade to a new desktop. Also keep in mind that Mac OS X support is not currently available, though Sonnet has plans to support it soon.

As far as the processor, I would definitely recommend going with the G4. For only $100, you get the performance enhancements in Photoshop and other AltiVec applications, not to mention that Mac OS X has been optimized for the G4, as well.

Alex Ng writes, "There is, in fact, a player that is available for the Mac that will play .EXE files. It is called "Bink" and it has opened .EXE files on my brother's G3 (I do not know where to get it, but I thought I'd let you know)."

Alex is right, sort of. The Bink Player is available for the Mac, and will definitely play PC-formatted .EXE files, with one caveat -- it only supports .EXE files that are movies encoded with the Bink engine. 99% of the .EXE files out there are NOT encoded movies, rather they are programs for the PC (Windows/DOS) operating environment. Just like you can't run the Mac version of Word on a PC, you can't run PC applications on the Mac (unless you're using an emulator like Virtual PC).

That's it for this week, folks! If you have any comments about the items discussed here, please post them in the comments below. If you have a question of your own, please feel free it to me at [email protected], or ask in the Ask Dave/Mac Support Boards. I'll see you in a few weeks!

PS. Have a Nice Day.

is President and CEO of The Mac Observer, Inc. He has worked in the computer industry as a consultant, trainer, network engineer, webmaster, and a programmer for most of the last 10 years. During that time he has worked on the Mac, all the various Windows flavors, Be, a few brands of Unix, and it is rumored he once saw an OS/2 machine in action. Before that he ran some of the earliest Bulletin Board systems, but most of the charges have since been dropped, and not even the FBI requests that he check in more than twice a year.

Ask Dave is here to answer all the Mac questions you have. Networking, system conflicts, hardware, you ask it, he can answer it. He is the person from whom all Mac knowledge flows....

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