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April 2000
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Letters

Compatibility?

Re: MIS@ Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, Jan. 2000.

Editor:

Glenn Rogers wrote: "Most people find Word easier to use than WordPerfect because it is not necessary to learn Macro keyboard shortcuts. The availability of Word templates allows us to easily generate memos, letters, pleadings, and other basic business documents. One of the most valuable features is the Forms Bank. We have 800 sets of text available through pre-defined templates that cover everything from engagement letters to jury instructions."

I am curious as to what version of WordPerfect was used for the comparison. Certainly WordPerfect 8 (the Windows version current at the time the choice was made) offered a wide variety of templates as well as the ability to create them. WordPerfect Legal offers some additional tools including a version of HotDocs.

Moreover, while I still use keyboard shortcuts, because they allow me to work faster than I can with a mouse, that is personal choice. WPWin is a GUI system with substantially the same choice of menus, toolbars etc. as Word.

There are certainly differences between the two. In my experience Word has some advantages with document automation, while WordPerfect offers more control over formatting and a much lower likelihood of macro viruses. However, any comparison of the two products should use the versions current at the time of the comparison.

John Greenwood
McLaughlin & Stern, LLP
New York City

Glenn Rogers, of Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, responds:

Word 97 was compared with WordPerfect 5.1 and WPWin 6. The actual comparison was late '97. But the real determining factor was that our clients were telling us to stop using WordPerfect and to use Microsoft Word. Because the firm was still VAX-based, we were still using the older WP5.1 character mode -- so comments about ease of use was along the lines of peopl,e becoming more familiar with MS Windows conventions.

Piloting Palms

Re: Feb. SO/HO column by William Gibson, about Palm and Handspring PDAs.

Editor:

The article promotes a misconception I've long had about Graffiti, that it's some sort of bizarre set of hieroglyphics. To the contrary: Using it is, with a few exceptions, like normal printing (think back to the first grade). There are a couple of exceptions, but nothing too weird or difficult or, more importantly, time consuming to learn. Part of the reason I was willing to commit to a Pilot was because I tried out Graffiti at the Java demo at the Palm Web site. (www.palm.com).

Handspring, it seems, is not quite ready for prime time, so to speak. Theoretically, the Visor would seem to be a better machine than the Pilot; however, the support apparently just isn't there from Handspring. I looked at the customer reviews at c/net to compare the two machines. There were nearly two and a half times the complaints regarding the Visor as the Palm.

Re: Mac compatibility: The MacPac is not, per se, required. Software is available for free (via download) from Palm and is fairly ubiquitous on CDs that come with Mac magazines. The current version is also included on the OS 9 CD. (OS 9 is something every Mac user should be seriously considering upgrading to, but that's another subject.) The MacPac also includes an adapter cable that is of no use or value with a USB machine.

Mitchell Senft
Barry Montrose P.C.
New York City

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