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Talking about Accordance for Macintosh

Mark Goodacre comments on a short review of Accordance 6.1.2 appeared on the Biblical Studies Bulletin newsletter. The review itself is very brief and general. Perhaps we should coin another term to establish some sort of difference between Reviews and reviews. Anyway, Mark's assessment of the concluding remarks of the review ("The good news for PC owners is that a free Mac emulator is available to enable them to join the Accordance party. But there's a better way: simply get a Mac and say goodbye to computer worms and viruses!") is what caught my attention. I reproduce it here in full:

And say goodbye to a few other things too, like right-clicking your mouse! I am one of those who is always a little taken aback by the sheer passion some have for Accordance and the Mac. I can't say that I am convinced that Accordance is so obviously superior to the Gramcord PC alternative. When we bought Gramcord for Windows for use here in Birmingham, I wondered whether it would be preferable instead to purchase Accordance and get an emulator to run it, but it was not clear to me that this represented any substantial advantage over Gramcord for Windows. I feel a bit like an unbeliever looking in when I hear the Mac devotees celebrating the wonder of Accordance. It is probably something we PC users simply will never understand unless we convert. And let's face it, that's not going to happen.

Leaving aside any "platform wars", I think there are a number of facts that can be asserted with a reasonable degree of objectivity:

1. The Mac equivalent to a mouse right-click is a Control-click. Having said that, many Mac users work with a two or three-button mouse, and therefore know perfectly well what right-clicking and context menus are like. Admittedly, context menus are underused (or not used at all) in a number of Macintosh applications, Accordance being one of them. This may change quickly with the increasing popularity of Mac OS X. Whatever the case, different platforms have different ways of accessing features and menus, but they are there. You just have to change your mindset.

2. Accordance is not the only program that is "obviously" superior to Gramcord PC. Other software packages for Windows currently offer more and better features (e.g., BibleWorks or even Libronix -- despite the fact that it is only at version 2.1 in the development cycle). We'll have to wait and see what the next 32-bit incarnation of Gramcord for Windows will have to offer.

3. I'm not sure if conversion is the right word to use here, but as early as 1994, Umberto Eco, talking about the "war" between PCs and Mac computer -- which he explained in terms of a religious war --, likened the MS-DOS based IBM-compatible PCs to Protestantism (of a Calvinistic brand!) and Macintosh computers to Catholicism. Windows, he asserted, was a sort of mid-way reformation, patterned after the Anglican schism. According to his definition, I guess I am a real "syncretist", since I consistently use them all (among others!). Anyway, experience tells us that there are "conversions" (i.e., the so called switchers), and that there are also those who are happy to take the emulation track in order to see what's on the other side of the fence.

4. The key, IMO, is to have some first-hand, unbiased, exposure to what's available. That applies to Accordance and to any other Bible program. But beyond that, different applications will meet the needs of different people. Make a list of your needs (or those of your organization), and then decide based on the facts, without closing any doors a priori. Well, that's what I did, and I don't regret it!


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 15, 2004 9:58 PM.

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