Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to use Monopoly Software (MS) products to do real work.

In fact, MS products tend to work against efficiency. We are proud to be 100% MS free, both in the creation of this Web site and in the production of all of our products.

How do we do it? Follow the work flow:

Our drug database is kept in Paradox 3.5 for DOS (pub: Borland) on a Sony Vaio PC running the DR-DOS 6.0 operating system (pub: Digital Research).

The appropriate records are exported from Paradox in DOS text (ASCII) format, then imported into WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS (pub: WordPerfect Corp.). Custom-programmed WordPerfect macros (scripts) are used to add special characters and typesetting codes (for the books) and convert the export to SQL statements (for the CD).

The file is saved in the WordPerfect 5.1 DOS format to a USB flash memory “disk.” The “disk” is inserted into a Macintosh G5 running Mac OS X 10.5 (pub: Apple) and converted to a Mac text file by MacLinkPlus Deluxe 16 (pub: DataViz).

For book production, the Mac text file is imported into QuarkXPress 3.3 (mfgr: Quark) via the XData 2.6 XTension (pub: Em Software) and “tweaked” using various non-MS typographic XTensions. Since the book printer uses a PDF workflow, the final layouts are exported from Quark via Prinergy Refiner (pub: Creo) and converted to PDF by Acrobat Distiller (pub: Adobe). The PDF files are stuffed with Stuffit Deluxe 9 (pub: Allume Systems) and e-mailed to the publisher as an attachment using Eudora 6.2 (pub: Qualcomm).

For CD production, the Mac text file, in SQL format, is imported into a MySQL database (mfgr: MySQL AB) via phpMyAdmin (pub: SourceForge). This database is kept a on Macintosh Powerbook G4 computer running OS X 10.5 (mfgr: Apple) using an Apache 2 server (pub: Apache Software Foundation) under Unix (part of Apple’s OS X operating system). Sound values (phonemes) are calculated from the drug names using a proprietary algorithm we designed and programmed in PHP (pub: The PHP Group). The 38,000+ records, with all sound values included, are then exported from the MySQL database in SQL format, stuffed, and e-mailed to the publisher.

This Web site was developed using Dreamweaver CS3 (pub: Adobe) and PHP on the Macintosh Powerbook mentioned above. Buttons and other graphics were designed in Fireworks (pub: Adobe). Our books’ cover art is scanned on a Microtek scanner and optimized in Photoshop CS3 (pub: Adobe) on the Mac.

By not using MS products, we spend our time working efficiently instead of tracking down conflicts, bad drivers, errant DLLs, and rebooting. Think about it . . .