Mail changes, and the Mac vs. PC question


Published: Monday, January 13, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 12, 2003 at 10:41 p.m.

Q:

In a few months I'll be graduating from the University of Florida and need a new Web and e-mail service. I use Outlook Express for e-mail. How can I switch my mail to the new service with as little disruption as possible?

A:

Your new Internet service will likely have POP (incoming) and SMTP (outgoing) e-mail service, like that provided by the University of Florida through GatorLink (www.gatorlink.ufl.edu). Some providers use a single "mail" server for both incoming and outgoing mail, which works the same as POP/SMTP. GatorLink has a six-month extension of e-mail service for all UF graduates in order to help facilitate transitioning to a new provider. If you're using Outlook Express, choose Tools, Accounts, Select the Mail tab and click Add. You can enter the POP and SMTP settings for your new provider there, and your mail will be collected and sent from the main Outlook Express mail folders. Your new ISP should provide the names of the POP and SMTP servers from your new account; enter that information in Outlook Express. Most ISPs have online illustrated guides on how to do this. If you have more then one e-mail address, click the down arrow in the "From" field in Outlook Express to select the address you wish to use. An easy way to update contacts about your new address is to send all of the listings in your address book an e-mail from your new address informing them of the change.

Q:

We have an old PC (233MHz Pentium) and are going to buy a new system in the next few months. I hear a lot of enthusiasm for the new Apple. We would like to get into editing video, but our main concern is which system would be best for voice dictation. My son has cerebral palsy and finds using a keyboard difficult. We have some experience with Dragon and are considering the IBM ViaVoice program. We also use Quicken, Microsoft Office, and I would like to be able to transfer files. Any suggestions on moving to a new Apple OS X system versus sticking with a Windows PC?

A:

As far as PCs vs. Macs, each has strengths and weaknesses, and each has devout fans. Although Macs only represent 5 percent or so of PC sales, the Gainesville area Mac group (www.macpeoplemug.org) is a very strong one, and presents monthly meetings with discussions and demonstrations for Mac users. As far as the particular needs you've stated, Macs are used for video editing in many shops around the world, as are PCs. Macs are often easier to set up and use for this purpose, but PCs have a wider range of editing software available and can largely match Macs on editing performance if properly configured. If you want to edit longer high-quality videos, make sure the system you purchase has at least two 80 gigabytes 7200RPM (or larger/faster) hard drives. I'd also look for at least 512 megabytes of RAM and either a Pentium IV (PC) or G4 (Mac) processor.
Voice dictation is still largely a PC domain, with IBM's ViaVoice (www.ibm.com) and ScanSoft's Dragon Naturally Speaking (www.dragonsys.com) the leading products. ViaVoice is the only choice available in a Mac edition, and reviews indicate it's not as robust as some similar PC applications, offering good dictation capabilities but sub-par application control, meaning Windows XP would likely be the better choice.
As far as file transfers, either a Mac or PC will be able to accept the transferred files, although the possibility for error in the PC-Mac transfer and subsequent usage is higher. Both Quicken and Microsoft Office have Mac versions available, but you'll need to buy the Mac-specific versions of those and any other software you want to use. Windows XP will run most (but not all) of your legacy PC programs as well as most new PC applications.
Tom Meek is a computer and media consultant whose column appears each Monday. He can be reached at webgator@bellsouth.net or via www.tvccs.com. His columns also are available at www.gainesvillesun.com.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top