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iWiki

Especially since this is an online, emerging technology in STC course, I might be about to start a big debate here, but I’m willing to take responsibility.

My technology world runs on Apple. Ever since I started using Apple computers back in elementary school, I have been in love with them. Don’t get me wrong; I think that PCs have a ton of uses, like when you need to turn a ten-minute project into a thirty-minute project, or when you need a hacker magnet. How can you not applaud the fact that Vista takes nearly 2gb of ram to run right of the box, that’s definitely using all of your resources.

All right, I know, I’m being harsh. Mostly that all has to do with programming. I do applaud the work of Mr. Gates, as his dream has become reality, and given us all nightmares. Lets face it; even my phone runs off of a Microsoft OS. I do think that PCs play nice together in the business setting, but I do feel that when it comes to something like Wikis, an Apple is the healthier choice.

In my opinion, Apple has always taken steps to make their computers work for the user, not the other way around. With Apple, each of their programs works with the next.

Now before I sound too much like an Apple ad, I’m going to get to my point. For those of you that don’t know, Apple has developed .Mac, which as I understand it, Apple gives you space on their server, and software to manage it. With this software, you can upload files, photos, and videos, host web pages, and even have your own mac.com email. My point in all of this is that this is a major move towards collaboration by a large corporation.

The “What is a Wiki? article by Stafford and Webb, was very well done, and help to fill in the gaps with some of this wiki stuff for me. I do think that it is good that they mention that Wiki’s are “not so good for non-geeks, as you need to be reasonably tech-savvy and familiar with the concept of text markup.? Since everyone isn’t tech savvy, I think that it is good that companies like Apple are creating software that makes it easier for everyone to collaborate online. Apple isn’t the only one; Google is among them as well.

Online collaboration is great, but we need a way to run it. I am very much into modifying cars, and there is a saying that you always want more brakes than you have car. In other words, you always want to have more stopping power than you need. Lots of power is great, but if you don’t have any way to control it, you have problems. My point is that, I think articles like the one written by Stafford and Webb are great, because they really stress the point of being critical about the software that we use. The even caution users about upgrading, saying that “It’s not about the wiki, it’s about the project.? I think that this is a great point to keep in mind as we continue to explore the uncharted waters of Wikis. Know the goal, focus on the project, stay on task and don’t get caught up in making things look good. Just because the car has a nice paint job, doesn’t mean that it will go fast.

P.S. Here is a link to Apple's .Mac, if anyone is interested in taking a further look at it. I just joined a couple of days ago, and am still learning myself.

http://www.apple.com/dotmac/

Comments

Thanks for the update on the latest Apple project. I am very interested in what it's all about ... I am devoted to Macs, too, not so much by choice however. It's the standard platform for graphic design. Given that I'm always working inside large organizations though, I'm always the lone Mac user. Inevitably, the IT departments don't service Macs which makes it even lonelier! But, I hardly ever get Spam and never get viruses. That alone makes it worth it to be a solitary Mac island in a sea of PCs.

I was sort of struck by that comment about wiki users being tech savy as well. I personally feel that to use any new software you need not be tech savy but instead fearless. No one ever learns anything by sticking to what they know. After years of doing tech support in a variety of settings I have pretty much learned that there is very little that a user can break that the IT department can't fix (software wise of course). I personally don't think that it is a lack of knowledge that is holding people back from using wikis but rather a fear of "breaking something" or "messing it up". So I would respectfully disagree with Stafford and Webb and say fear is the limiting factor, not a lack of computer knowledge.

Hi Quinn. Oh, the Apple or PC discussion. Well, here are my thoughts. While I was growing up, it was all about Apple--grade school and high school. It wasn't until college I started using PC's more and more. I pretty much just use PC's now--work and school--however, I am pretty flexible and use Apple every once in a while. I think it's good to be versatile. From my understanding, I think the graphic artists/biological researchers use Apple more whereas the business people use PC's more? Whatever it is, I love both Apple's and PC's. Thanks for your post, Quinn.