Getting latest word on Apple Information: Several magazines cater to the other operating system.

Mac Centric

August 10, 1998|By Dave Zeiler | Dave Zeiler,SUN STAFF

The crushing weight of Windows' dominance in the computer universe has made it ever more difficult to find news and discussion about the Apple Macintosh. If you know where to look, however, you can find an abundance of information on the Mac.

The most obvious place to get Mac news is from magazines, either the electronic variety on the Web or old-fashioned ink-on-paper ones.

The two best-known Mac magazines, MacWorld and MacUser, merged late last year under the banner of MacWorld (www.macworld.zdnet.com). This is the most serious of the Mac magazines, with reliable information and thorough product reviews. For the most part, MacWorld avoids the Apple boosterism found elsewhere, particularly on a lot of the Mac-oriented Web sites.

MacWorld is an excellent source of news, advice and reviews. It's also the beefiest of the Mac mags, with significantly more content and depth than its competitors. If you want your Mac news served straight, this is the place to get it.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the 2-year-old MacAddict (www.macaddict.com). While it does provide some news, the emphasis is on fun. The reviews section, for instance, is heavy with games. Silly and irreverent, this magazine is unabashedly devoted to all things Macintosh.

The best part of MacAddict, however, is the software-laden CD-ROM that comes with each issue. Not only do you get a collection of impressive shareware utilities and games, but each month brings fresh software updates for major Mac programs, including system software updates from Apple.

The MacAddict CD-ROMs also feature demos of major-release games such as Duke Nukem, and commercial applications such as Claris Home Page. It's a great way to keep up with what's new for the Mac and provides something to evaluate if you're considering a purchase.

Less well known than MacAddict and MacWorld are two other general interest mags, MacHome Journal and MacToday. MacHome Journal (www.machome.com) focuses on the home user, offering "solutions for work, play and education." It features departments labeled "Your Office," "Your Family," and "Entertainment." Like MacAddict, MacHome Journal also comes with a CD-ROM loaded with Mac shareware, updates and demos.

A bimonthly called MacToday (www.mactoday.com) steers closer to the path of MacAddict's zeal but without the silliness (or the CD-ROM). While far from humorless, MacToday reflects a conviction that the Mac OS obviously outclasses Windows, and, by gum, they can prove it. With its heavy doses of quotes and facts demonstrating Apple's technical edge, this magazine reminded me of those Web sites dedicated to convincing all doubters that Macs are best.

Speaking of Mac Internet sites, you can find plenty of excellent (and free) Apple-oriented "e-zines" and sites on the Web. MacCentral (maccentral.com) and MacSurfer (www.macsurfer.com) are great places to look for daily Mac news online. And all the print magazines' Web sites offer scads of information as well as piles of links to Mac-related sites.

Finally, if you'd like to add a human touch to your Mac endeavors, check out Maryland's Mac users group, a wing of the Maryland Apple Corps. The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the Towson library.

In addition, the group maintains an e-mail list that passes on Mac news tidbits and alerts members to special events in the area. For information, contact Mical Wilmoth at mdapplol.com.

Send e-mail to david.zeilebaltsun.com.

Pub date: 8/10/98

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