Brian Chin, senior online producer, Hearst Corporation's New Media Department, notes that Miramar's PC-MACLAN is intended to make the PC-to-Mac file exchange "as transparent as possible to the end user. … Basically, users don't need to worry very much about what type of computer a file resides on."
Chin, who is a self-professed "staunch believer in automation" adds that the latest version of the program offers better performance and an open-standards approach, "which is really important to any new media operation."
What's in a name?
"There are some subtleties to (moving files back and forth across platforms)" DataViz's Yellen explains. Windows and Macintosh operating systems handle file naming, for example, in two different fashions. Windows uses file extensions to inform the workstation which application program should be launched when the user double-clicks on a file name. The Macintosh solution offers a more intuitive system based on file types and creators, he explains.
Goodman concurs with Yellen's assessment of the rival platform's naming
strategies. "A Mac has a much stronger file-naming convention than on the PCs. (With a Mac), you can (name) with any character you want. On the PC, you can't have backslashes, forward-slashes or … a variety of other characters. So, if you try to move that file across, you either get strange or ugly looking names versus what you (find) on the Mac.
"We have a utility that plugs into our products that allows you to move your files between a Mac and PC," Goodman proclaims. "It changes those names and adds the correct extension for it, so that you can just double click on them and open them."
Providing the impetus to move files across platforms, Miramar's PC Migrator, a PC MACLAN enhancement, adds proper PC file extensions to Macintosh files while transferring either single or groups of files over to a PC drive or server. Miramar reports when moving Mac files, PC Migrator prompts the user to add extensions to files it does not recognize. It will also identify and replace illegal characters.