Spam is a nuisance sure, but with most e-mail programs having some capability to delete it automatically, it isn’t as bad as it once was. Sure, you may have to spend a little time training your e-mail program to recognize spam, but you can cut down the amount of spam you have to deal with quite drastically.
It sure beats letting someone else decide for you what you should receive.
—Paul Barker, London
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Americans’ scepticism of national government often amazes me. Why the agro? I thought you had a democracy?
But I am humbled by your willingness to accept spam. To me it is a severely irritating limitation of my freedom use my time as I want to. Spam is also sand in the machinery of effective production, locally and worldwide, because it produces something a lot of us don’t want. That people are employed in a business is no great argument for not regulating it; crime offers “jobs” too. If a private solution can be found, great. But I would think it is more efficient to get governments to do this. And anyway, I think government is partly there to defend me when I want it to.
—Chris Brown, Norway
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I agree that 57 million telephone numbers being registered in the Do Not Call Registry is a lot, but your arithmetic is confusing:
Fifty-seven million Americans is a lot of people to say they want something stopped. We get only a small part of that many to vote in general elections—they must feel strongly about this issue!
In 2000 about 105.5 million US citizens voted (about 67.5% of registered voters, or about 51% of voting-age people). 105.5 million is a lot more than 57 million.
A better comparison would be the 57 million registrations to the total number of households (80 or 90 million, I think).
About your statement:
We can fix this, without government intervention. All you bright people, economics people, techies, figure it out and let us know.
I must reply:
No! If you think that it can be solved without government intervention, then you figure it out. You supply the answer. Don’t try to dump it onto “techies” (an insulting term with its diminishing sense), the “free market,” or anyone else. Otherwise you’re just avoiding the responsibility for providing a solution, which is about the same as asking the government to supply a solution.
I really appreciate all the good work you have done in this series of articles. I’ve learned a great deal.
I vote for the NoteBook/NoteTaker comparison. I’ve tried both. I keep going back and forth because they are both so similar but each has features I like that the other doesn’t. I would really appreciate an in-depth review/comparison of both of them to help me make my decision on which one to commit to.
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This is a fascinating article. Great work. I only switched over to the Mac from Linux in the last year and from Windows before that. What kept me in Windows till about 1997 was a single outlining program which ran my entire life—EccoPro. It was a fantastic outliner-based PIM, and I am still looking for a replacement to it to this day. I assume you’re familiar with it. I was curious what you think could replace it on the Mac these days.
Looking forward to future installments.
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I have a theory about the great extinction—an impressionistic theory, to be sure, based only on personal experience. My theory is that output technology drives the development of outlining software.
Computer outlining is most useful when accomplished on screen, where the user can exploit the ability to manipulate of headings. Outlining on the Mac flowered because the Mac supplied ultra-sharp black-and-white monitors. PC monitors weren’t as sharp, but they had color before the Mac, and color is useful on screen, but not useful when printing in monochrome. On-screen editing back then was much faster than printing because that was when most of us had dot-matrix printers. Printing out a document was a major hassle, both because printing was inherently slow and because dot-matrix printers often suffered from paper jams.
Then came laser printers, and suddenly editing on a 13" Mac screen was what we tried to avoid. It was nicer to have the pages before oneself, at 300 DPI.
Outlining is once again flowering. What’s new? Large, bright, sharp LCD screens. Now you can not only have the manipulation of headings that outlines afford on screen, but you can actually see more of the document at once there than on the printed page. And we may differ here, but I see more development of outlining today on the PC than the Mac, because the prototypical Mac is the 15-17" iMac, where the 19" screen is becoming the norm on the PC.