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Master Chef vs. Living Cookbook

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Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 14
Location: East Arizona

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:49 am    Post subject: Master Chef vs. Living Cookbook Reply with quote

Which recipe software do you use for home cooking? Elaborate please.

Some Concerns are:
....converting other recipes
....compatability with operating systems (as upgrades come out)
....longevity or market share
....finally ease of use
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Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Kenosha, WI

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I currently use Living Cookbook, but I have some of the same concerns.
I like living cookbook, but I think the license is too restrictive. (You can only use it on one machine)

It's got decent exporting features and can convert other recipes.

Master Chef is very popular, but old! And has not been updated in years.

I'd like to find software that's cross-platform so I'm not stuck having to use Windows and can export into more standard formats.
I looked a little bit at Cookware Deluxe but the evaluation version didn't let me do much so I couldn't decide if it was worth it. Sad
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Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 14
Location: East Arizona

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The recipe software issues are alot like CAD software issues. If you put hundreds (thousands for CAD) of hours into a piece of software with data that you plan to use for 20-30 years, will it be there for you? Companies that use CAD expect to be able to utilize them forever, kinda unrealistic, but I don't blame them.

You can print out recipes and file them, similar to CAD prints, but what if you want to make alot of changes? I would prefer to keep my info in electronic format. There will be changes in ingrediants, cooking processes, etc... as time goes on; electronic is the easiest to edit/keep.

The original software that you start out on will probably get damaged at some point in time, the replacement isn't so much an issue if the company is still around to give/sell you one; the later is an issue. How many CAD softwares/companies have come and gone?

So if your software company goes out of business and the next big operating system is coming out around christmass 2013 and your stuck with an old dieing P4 because it's the only system that your 1500 recipes works with (drooling to buy that new P15 computer); what do you do? You hope to high heaven that the next "big thing" in recipe software will convert your old files so you don't go insane typing them into yet another program. That new software might convert the old market leader files, but it's a crap-shoot.

I guess my underlying issue is that these recipe software companies can come and go. I have similar issues with other types of software but with something like excel and word I am not as concerned about due to the amount of users; if MS goes under there will be another company with software that will work with current files within a couple months if not already. Anyway, companies that retain major market share do good, as we have all seen MS do very well.

Moving On:

Living Cookbook is rated as easy to use with many features not available for under a couple of hundred $ from thier competitors. So LC beats MC on bells and whistles but MC has a bigger market (I'm guessing the biggest). LC is $30 and MC is around $20. Master Chef seems to get updated once every two years and a new one was recently released, just for your info Mr. Geek.

Anyhoo, now that I have though a bit about this problem I may have a solution: DOS is one of the first operating systems and it is still working with every version of Windows, I am not sure about it's compatability other operating systems. I assume that every new MS-type operating sytem from here-on out will be DOS compatable. Before MC there was a freeware program that was DOS based and I believe it had the most users of it's time called MealMaster. Yeah, it's old and non-windows based but if I'm right about DOS, it would have longevity.

The only other solution I can think of is to find a database software that creates a universal format of file that will work with any new dbase software that is created in the future. But with this you are getting away from features that make recipe software, well, recipe software (easy to deal with recipes).

Oh, my current situation is about 30 text files of various categories that are becoming hard to remember where everything is. Recipes don't fit into categories nicely and recipes that are suppossed to be linked aren't.

If you have read this far, I commend you and look forward to your comments.
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Joined: 23 Sep 2005
Posts: 16
Location: Duxbury, Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having worked for a software company for a while, I can understand the concern. Having a longevity of "20-30 years ( Shock ) may never be something anyone can count on in that business sector - consider that WordPerfect was the standard for more than 10 years and was unseated in less than two years by Mssr. Gates' Word when it appeared on the scene... and there are other movements afoot right now that may soon have the same effect on Uncle Bill's own software, although he has, thus far been successful at quashing nearly every attempt to do so...

Recipe software inherently has a lot of problems - scaling is almost always incorrect or inexact as some recipes require a different ratio to be observed as the recipe is being scaled, and most commercially available software is just not that complex...

My father, a German engineeer, was fascinated by all the progress computers have brought about, but up to his last breath in 1998, whenever he really wanted to be 100%, positively, absolutely sure, he still reached for his slide rule, calculator and notebook. I am an executive chef, albeit with an inherited analytical bent, and whenever I want to be 100%, positively, absolutely sure, I reach for measuring cups, spoons, scales, calculators and notebook/paper/pen. Like a good scientist, after I have reached my personal comfort level in assuredness, I will then transcribe my findings to whatever recipe program I may be using.

Generally, however, I regard the current state of recipe software as "in flux" and not up to the task of taking over, 100% reliably and accurately, from cook books, personal recipe cards, notes and that elusive factor, "human intuition."
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Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All we need is a standardized open format and all programs could use it. I've been working on some web based cookbook software but it will be a long time coming. So far the formats I've seen leave a lot to be desired. I'd like to have the format set up so it could be loaded easily into a database for easy measurment conversion as well as conversion for the number of portions. This is all old stuff but I also want it so that you could print a shopping list but also have the ingredients in the description. Here lies the complexity. The format itself would have to define variables for the ingredients so that when ever someone mentions them in the instructions the value would be changed depending on the portions/measuring system. For example if I write in the instructions that I should add 1lb of potatoes then I change to metrics and double the protions the instructions should read add 1kg of potatoes.

Anyway most of this is done in the software but the recipe format has to support it as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:22 pm    Post subject: Vista ready program Reply with quote

I need some cooking program that can read MC files and runs on Vista.

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