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Differences

What were the most striking differences?

Language was a big difference, but not a big obstacle. I was surprised how easy it was to use the German-language catalog. If front-end software such as MacMelvyl is included in this comparison, then its graphical, dialog-box style of interface is very different from the underlying command-line interface of Melvyl. In file-transfer sites, the ability to directly manipulate the files and directories with software such as Rapid Filer for Windows and Fetch for the Macintosh was completely different from the command line interface to ftp. Another, almost anecdotal difference is connections that worked versus connections that failed. It is hard to tell whether a failed connection is the fault of the user, the local interface, or the remote system. Successful connections made one interface seem more successful, while crummy connections reflected poorly upon another interface. Where successful connections were accomplished, some systems and searches yielded the desired information--and this made an interface seem more helpful than one where no useful information was retrieved. Some of these `differences' might seem superstitious, but I'm sure I'm not the only user who will always return to the interface that `worked for me last time.'




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sean dreilinger

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