The Semi-Literate Mac / To Do Anything, Just Add Money

The latest WTF comes with my attempt to read AND write to an NTFS-formatted WD Passport drive. I was trying to transfer a huge (15GB) file and the limitation of FAT32 is 4GB, so I converted the drive to NTFS. That caused a problem with having it read by my Xbox 360 (it only reads FAT32) but where it gets silly is the Mac can't write to a NTFS drive. It can read it, but writing requires third-party apps and some messy-looking hackery that could mess up Mac OS X. Yuck. Every version of Windows from Windows 2000 on can read and write NTFS, but Mac can't.

From what I've seen, it appears that once you stray beyond the iLife apps, you need to start shelling out a lot of money to get this thing to do basic stuff. I was looking at MacLife magazine's special issue at Borders for tips on how to do things and "tip" after tip seemed to be, "If you want to organize this simple thing, get iApp This or iApp that which retails for $29-$99." I can't recall what the C-note app was, but it struck me as being quite exorbitant for what it did.

I haven't looked too far into the freeware app options for the Mac yet, but so far it's a lame introduction. Perhaps they figure that since Mac users are swimming in cash to buy these things in the first place, they won't mind shelling out for add-ons.