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MacInTax comes on two disks and requires that you use its installation program to copy the files to your hard disk. The installer program is a special version of StuffIt (but not StuffIt Deluxe) and it isn’t terribly capable – all it does is ask you which folder to copy the files to. The manual tells you to create the folder by hand before starting the install procedure, which I didn’t do in favor of creating a new folder with Super Boomerang when I was in the Save dialog box. The StuffIt installer program is not smart enough to ask for the second disk (I suspect that StuffIt Deluxe-based installers would be quite a bit more intelligent), so you have to insert that disk, run another installer, and make sure to select the correct folder again. It is important that you follow the instructions, though, since the Forms folder and the Instructions folder must be located in the same folder as the MacInTax application. Although this process is a pain, I hear that earlier versions of MacInTax required the user to create all the folders in the proper hierarchy and copy all the files manually into the right folders. The installer is an improvement over that sort of process.

The installation process isn’t done yet, though. To achieve MacInTax’s excellent screen display and accurate printing, you have to install a bunch of fonts, basically various sizes of Geneva and Courier. Softview includes a copy of the Font/DA Mover, but they never mention what you should do if you use Suitcase II or Master Juggler and don’t wish to copy the fonts into your System file. And while the manual does state specifically which sizes you will want depending on which printer you use, it’s too bad that this has to be done manually at all. My feeling is that if an install program should be complete and not force you to run two programs on two disks or install fonts by hand. So while I certainly didn’t have any problems with the installation, I found it a time-consuming, relatively tedious process. Perhaps Softview will switch to StuffIt Deluxe next year and fix up the installation process.

If you don’t have a hard disk, get one. If you want to install MacInTax on floppy disks, the manual includes specific instructions on how to do so. You will end up with a special startup disks with the appropriate fonts, a MacInTax Program disk, and a MacInTax Instructions disk. The manual assumes that you have two floppy drives, which isn’t necessarily true. If you only have one drive, I suspect that installation is possible, but the manual won’t help and it won’t be a pleasant experience.

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