Once again the Duo root around in the mailbag and award a tchotchke from the PR Piñata--that repository of junk that public relations people insist on sending us.

Viewer Pablo writes from cyberspace: "I have been wanting to purchase an IBook for some time now, but I've hesitated because of the interoperability between Windows and Macs. Would I be able to share Word documents or pictures between an IBook and a friend's Windows laptop? What kinds of files would I not be able to share?"

Angela confirms Pablo's fond hope: In theory, most files you create on a Mac can indeed be opened on a Windows machine. Nice theory, but Steve notes that just in putting this show together, the Duo ran into two glitches while transferring files between a Mac and a Windows machine.

For instance, notes Angela, files from Microsoft Office applications are supposedly fully compatible between Mac and Windows. But where a graphic should have appeared in one Mac Word document, the Windows machine couldn't show it, claiming the PC didn't have the right software to view it. And one JPEG image created on a Mac wouldn't open on any of the available Windows machines until Steve renamed it in a particular way.

There are lots of other incompatibilities, too--in other words, most of the time you'll be fine, except for those times when you're not. The nonplussed Duo shrug and set about finding a truly compatible prize for Pablo: A Mr. Potato Head, fully compatible with russets, red potatoes, and even purple ones. Pablo, thanks for writing--this spud's for you!

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