There are still three barriers standing between me and moving onto a Mac. Two are rapidly disappearing. (I was a Mac guy for years and shifted to a PC in the mid-’90s during Apple’s slump years, when the unreliability of the Mac OS and Mac hardware had me losing more data than I could stand.)
One is the availability of a true lightweight Apple laptop. Rumor has it that’s coming; it’s time for a Mac laptop that is slim, elegant and three pounds heavy, like the IBM/Lenovo X-class laptops I’ve been using forever. I’m sure Apple knows this and I can’t imagine waiting too much longer for such a device.
Second is the availability of a Quicken for the Mac that’s as good as Quicken for the PC. It seems plain that Intuit is never going to make this happen.
Third is that, for the moment at least, I’m still running my life and work with Ecco Pro, and it’s an old Windows app. There are modern Mac apps that do some of what Ecco does better than it does, but I’ve found none that does everything that Ecco does as well as it does, and it pains me to think of abandoning it.
In the age of Intel-based Macs it’s now quite easy to run Windows in parallel to your OS X. But Apple’s Boot Camp requires a reboot each time you want to go to your Windows app, and that’s a royal pain; Parallels doesn’t. But both approaches require that you spend $300 on another copy of Windows, and that’s an extraordinary amount to pay.
Last night I downloaded and tried out Crossover Mac, an application (based on the WINE project) that lets you run individual Windows apps from inside OS X (on an Intel-based Mac) without needing to install a second OS. The good news is that Crossover Mac worked apparently hitchlessly on Quicken 2005, which is one of a bevy of apps that Crossover officially supports. (I haven’t really pounded on it, and maybe heavy usage will uncover problems, but I’m impressed so far.)
So what I’m now wrestling with is: how to get Ecco Pro running under Crossover? The app is not officially supported (no surprise there!) and my “let’s give it a try anyway” install failed. Ecco is a solid Win32 application but it dates back to the mid-’90s so there might simply be too many archaic calls or idiosyncracies. I’d probably give up hope — but there are screenshots on the Crossover site of Ecco running successfully under Crossover/Linux. So I think there ought to be some hope here. I’m posting this largely as a beacon: Ecco Pro users! Crossover users! Can anything be done here?
I’m also pondering trying the Parallels route by using a Windows license from an older, diisused version of XP or Windows 2000; either of those runs Ecco perfectly. If I experiment with Parallels using this approach I’ll report on it.
[tags]ecco pro, crossover, parallels, windows on mac[/tags]
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Question: why do you want to move to a Mac in the first place? You haven’t mentioned any of the “pro’s”. And yet you simply take it as read that despite all the cons you list, it’s a good idea. Perhaps I have missed previous posts on this, but if not, it’s an interesting shift in the marketplace when people don’t even feel the need to point out the reasons why they want a Mac — only the reasons they can’t have one yet.
Answer (short version): (1) Prefer general usability of Mac OS (not as clear an advantge today as was a long time ago, but still clear to me); (2) many more interesting apps for personal information management these days on Mac platform — again, this is something that has changed since the mid ’90s, when independent Mac software development was relatively in decline; (3) tired of the way Windows degrades over time as the registry gets crudded up; the install/uninstall model for Windows apps has been broken forever, and for someone like me who likes to try out lots of new software, it’s a huge pain.
I think for those individuals who are technologically current and not crippled by erroneous FUD beliefs, the Mac is a no-brainer. Ask any tech literate under thirty and the Mac is THE way and also Windows is rightfully seen as a brain dead dinosaur from their parents past. For the most technically literate the Mac has been a self-explanatory, RIGHT solution, for half a decade. Those of no technical expertise and the single digit IQ crowd are still dreaming the Vista FUD and totally imbedded in the perpetually self replicating malware world of Windows
First off Scott, please don’t feel any pressure to go out and get a Vista license if you try the Parallels approach. I just got a new laptop with Vista on it, and I’m seriously considering installing Windows XP on it because Vista is so god-awful. If you’ve got an old XP or Win2000 license, that is definitely the way to go.
Anyway, as for Mac migrations, like Scott, I started out on the Mac and eventually ended up on the Windows side. Unlike Scott, I don’t feel any attraction to the Mac at all.
The first strike against a Mac migration is cost. A similar amount of processing power, hard disk space, memory, etc will cost a significant amount more on the Mac side than on the PC side, usually at least 25% and often more.
The second strike is what Scott is struggling with now: figuring out how to run important applications. This is especially true if some of those important applications include games, which are often delayed for months before they come out for the Mac, if they are released at all. And while, as Scott mentioned, applications exist that will let you run Windows on your Intel-based Mac, why bother? Why not just buy a Windows machine to begin with, save a bunch of money and not worry about it?
Windows is far from perfect (and Vista in particular is a nightmare), but the Mac is not a no-brainer by any stretch of the imagination. Simply put, Apple has yet to justify the huge premium that you have to pay for the privilege of using their hardware and software. Anything you can do on a Mac, you can do for less on a PC. And if you’re truly tech-savvy, you’d probably skip the whole Windows vs. Mac holy war and get a linux distro anyway. Which you’d probably install on PC hardware, because it’s so much cheaper.
1. Macs are not more expensive.
Arguing otherwise is ignorance of the facts;
2. Best of class software (Final Cut HD, etc.) is Mac only.
Anything you can do on a Windows laptop you can do on a Mac;
The reverse is not true;
3. There is no huge premium to pay for the use of OS X on a Mac;
4. Windows is worse than far from perfect;
Windows inevitably lowers your productivity;
and Windows’ viruses, adware, and overall security flaws
should be unacceptable to any intelligent computer user;
5. Mac OS is UNIX. What would you rather use?
Industrial strength mission critical UNIX?
or a half-baked proprietary funky OS from Redmond?
I had some rough edges when I installed Win2K, but I think those were cleaned up in more recent releases of Parallels.
I don’t give Win2K much if any net access, so I don’t bother with antivirals, etc.
It works fine for installing all the Windows apps I use and it boots with amazing speed.
If you have a 2k license then Parallels isn’t too much. I’d go that way.
There are many interesting data management products on the Mac, you may find one that will replace Ecco Pro …
I too am dependent on Ecco Pro, and I too have been migrating to Mac. I have a Core 2 Duo Macbook and was able to get Ecco installed and running under Crossover, but it seemed a little fragile. Worse yet, I don’t believe Crossover supports USB devices, and I am as wedded to my C-Pen as to Ecco. So I installed Parallels (ugly, time-consuming install, but it worked) and WinXP. Then I installed Ecco Pro. Then the C-Pen. Then ported over my big Ecco file for the book I’m writing. So far (a day or so) it seems to be working fine. I think this is your answer. (I only have 1GB RAM but it seems ok; my sense, though, is that 2GB would be a lot better.)
As to Mac equivalents to Ecco, they don’t even come close. Omni Outliner bears a surface resemblance and is least toy-like of the lot, but Ecco is immensely more powerful, flexible and suitable for industrial-strength use. I’d love to find an up to date Mac equivalent, but so far no luck.
A small clarification: Parallels installed fine, but installing WinXP under Parallels was ugly and time-consuming.
FWIW I run ecco pro pretty successfully under Crossover Linux. There are a few quirks, and i’m by no means a power user of ecco Pro, but even like this it remains the best organiser/GTD mechanism I’ve found. Forget about printing from it, though.
I don’t know how in sync the Mac & Linux versions of Crossover are, but you should stand a chance. Perhaps register as an advocate of the app with Codeweavers?
As many on this thread already noted, I, too had a difficult time justifying spending more for a Mac. Three weeks ago I started a project at a company that gave me a choice of Mac or Windows laptop. Three weeks later, I doubt that I will ever got back to a Windows laptop. Its not any single feature that makes me say that, its a combination of several factors: starting with the sleek design and a real Unix under the hood, to the speed of startup and fancy graphic effects in the task switcher (dock), to the built-in camera.
Or do I like my Mac because I felt like a minority when I showed up at BarCamp? It felt like arriving at a bio-diesel/hybrid car meetup in a gas-powered Hummer. :)
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I have a bit of Mac envy because of programs like iWorks. I really like the creativity you can achieve. Windows word processors are awful in this respect. However, I must admit that MS Word 2007 is a HUGE improvement for creative endeavors.
I hope Scott can get Ecco Pro to work on his Mac. Sometimes a change can be good for us. As for myself, I have found a nice balance on Windows and doubt if I will ever migrate. But then, I use Ecco Pro for my organization stuff and find it an immensely enjoyable and versatile program.
Scott & Other Ecco Users – Have you found any additional tips in running Ecco on the Mac?
We have used the notebook function for organizing/storing research for about 15 years & one of our key users is set on moving from a pc to a Mac.
I’d give my eyeteeth if I could still get Ecco to even run under Windows, but I had to give it up years ago, I think mostly because it reached a point I could no longer even synch it with my Palm.
Do you have any idea if it will synch to anything available for the iPhone, if I were able to get it back up and running again on either a PC or Mac?
I’m also considering switching over to Mac and am investigating what would be involved in transferring over the software I need. If there really is a good PIM out there for Mac that has anywhere near the functionality of Ecco, I’m going to be all over it.
The other issue is that I’ve now got an iPhone, which was a *huge* mistake as far as critical PDA/PIM stuff is concerned, at least so far. I’m having enough trouble trying to get a third party PIM app to synch to anything at all just to back it up. I’m even more reluctant to bring a whole new OS into the mix, even though initially, it would just be for my laptop. Eventually, I’d get a desktop, too, if I liked it, but I mostly just glaze over from trying to figure it all out and decide what makes the most sense. But wherever I end up, I’ve *got* to be able to synch a full-featured PIM on the iPhone with the laptop.
Clearly from a software point of view, staying with PC is logical, but I also agree with JV NYC about the problems with Windows, and that’s why I’m looking at switching.
I know this is an old post, so any information you may have about new apps and solutions to these issues would be very welcome!
Hey Scott Long time Incontrol for work groups mac user however will not run on new Intel chipset. Ecco Pro was the better app all along, just couldn’t drag myself from mac. Now oddly I’m try to migrate to Ecco because the intel will run windows. I notice it’s been some time since you have weighed in on your Ecco on mac, would you mind a new post please?
Has anyone had any luck getting Ecco to run under Crossover? I’d dearly love to have that ability, and really don’t want to have to install Parallels or Fusion AND Windows.
Ecco runs just fine in Parallels but I don’t have any experience with it and Crossover — sorry!
I’m now using a combination of Evernote (for general notes) and OmniFocus (for todo/planning). Neither is a real outliner though. OmniOutliner is a decent outliner but not, in my view, anything like a full-on Ecco replacement. That really just doesn’t exist, but I’ve accepted that I’m just not going to get it… Other Mac tools worth checking out include Yojimbo, Tinderbox, Things. I haven’t yet tried it but DevonThink has lots of fans as well.
Also anyone still following this thread will be interested in my more recent post on all this stuff titled Mac Life After Ecco
As many on this thread already noted, I, too had a difficult time justifying spending more for a Mac. Three weeks ago I started a project at a company that gave me a choice of Mac or Windows laptop. Three weeks later, I doubt that I will ever got back to a Windows laptop.