Comgrafix’s Ragtime 5
Now that what was once
exotic technology has become commonplace, many of us have
become uncritical about the tools we use: although there
are a few alternatives, it seems like almost everyone in
the tech rank and file, keep using applications software
from the big-time players. Certainly, most teachers in our
schools don’t have time to program their apps
in Visual Basic or C++, and there are a few folks that use
NOD 321 antivirus instead of Norton, or Linux instead of Windows,
but for the most part, teachers and technology procurers in
the institutions use the lowest common denominator software.
You have to use Microsoft
Office, right? It would be a virtual act of dereliction of
duty to suggest that teachers and administrators deviate
from this well-established baseline, wouldn’t it?
Well, I’m here to tell you there’s
now an option: Comgrafix’s Ragtime 5 for Mac OS. Why
should you consider this heresy? Here’s one good reason:
it’s much cheaper.
Without any potential discounts to the institution, you’re
looking at an advertised student single user cost of only $95,
or a sixteen-user license-share for $375! Compare that to Microsoft’s
single-user education package, which only includes the most
popular components of the Office suite, of $145. For schools
that need to stretch their tech budgets as far as they can
go to meet the mandates, that alone should be enough to make
course, that’s not the only reason to consider the Ragtime
option: Comgrafix’s applications package has a wealth
of features, and, even better, was designed specifically
for Macs (but still operates cross-platform). Want a single,
inexpensive software suite that cannot only cover basic (and
advanced) word processing and do layout? Ragtime’s got you covered. Plus,
the program saves documents as datasets, which allow you
to compile the same basic text or images into different formats.
Working with multimedia, a very important concept in today’s
technology education scene, is clumsy at best with Office,
but a snap with Ragtime: 2D and 3D graphics, as well as sounds
and even video files can easily be incorporated.
I personally rarely
work with images, so the feature I found most interesting
was the software’s Apple script
capabilities. Programming short macros—while requiring
a small learning curve—was very helpful in processing
repetitive tasks, like, to cite a recent example here, working
with a list server.
Although some (in my
opinion irrelevant) aspects like the interface are a little
less polished than Microsoft’s,
all in all, my opinion is that, given the powerful features
and superior price point of the application, teachers and administrators
could be doing their technology programs a disservice by not
considering Comgrafix’s Ragtime 5 for their Mac-based
For more information,
visit the company’s
site at www.comgrafix.com,
or reach them at their toll-free number (800) 448-6277.