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zefi
2nd December 2004, 09:04 AM
I've come across yet another article that states that Mac are only really good at graphics and video work. I was surprised that one of my own friends thought this way too, then again she had a bad experience with a mac - she was unable to eject a CD from a mac.

The article in question is No Sympathy for teachers polishing Apples (http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041127/COLUMNIST09/411270337) It deals with the current debacle in Southwest Florida where there is a plan to replace all the Macs within the district to Windows based PCs. And Rick Brooks discusses personal experiences of not buying a mac 5 years ago for his son because Windows PCs have a 97 percent market share (I debate those figures), so it really is a 'no-brainer'.

I really don't understand what this journalist is getting at... that we should have a homogenous or create a homogenous experience for students, where Windows PCs are used at school because its more likely to be the type that is used at home. Macs are for video and graphics professionals, so they don't really belong in an academic setting. This seems to be the message getting through.

I wonder what your thoughts are, I am not bashing this article but I'm quite disturbed by the "old myths" being churned out yet again. Macs have come along quite a fair way since 5 years ago and they are incredibly compatible with Windows PCs in my experience and on paper. I use my mac for everything, and I'm a law student!

I also think there is something underlying a lot of these criticisms, why be different? Why do macs have to look, act and behave differently? Why can't they be like every other PC out there?

Feel free to agree or disagree

-Zefi-

MacNut
2nd December 2004, 09:32 AM
I couldn't agree more. I used a wintel machine for years before having to use an imac in my last job (not graphics but communications).

I quickly got a G3 imac which I still use 5 years later and have just purchased an emac (the imac is now my wife's).

I use the mac for everything. Family newsletters, holiday DVD's (Photo slideshows and Movies etc). I never did those things as well on my PC's and with .mac everything is accessable to family and friends instantly no matter whether they have a mac or are in the enemy camp.

I wonder if most of those journalists may not have even used a mac?????

tranp
2nd December 2004, 10:06 AM
Macs not good for education?! I grew up using macs at school and still use them at uni from time to time. The interface on Mac OS has always been much more user friendly compared to Windows. There were compatibility issues in the past but nowadays these have all disappeared. People who say they are inappropriate are just ignorant / misguided. Why did Apple release a model specifically for the education market then if they are so inappropriate??

eyeLikeCarrots
2nd December 2004, 10:14 AM
Its bollocks...

Here at the Uni of Tasmania we have 6 labs.. and 3 of those are of mac's with Panther...

I was wintel all the way when I started, now I've become mac platform whore :-D

I use the Win machines when I have too... and for gaming at home. But as much as possible now I'll do my work on a mac...

I'll admit that I do most of my work in a *nix shell so is somewhat about what prog I am using for the term emulation. Putty on the wintel is an old favorite but the look and feel or Terminal with a nice transparent backgroud is just too nice...

hawker
2nd December 2004, 11:32 AM
Biggest load of garbage I've ever read. Macs are by far the best computers for schools, yes they are good at graphics and video, but they led the way with CAD programs, electronics programs, and then bang, word and word processing were easy as.

I still remember using LC475's and LC575's at school. Hell I have an LC575 just over the otherside of the room. Dam does it have some awesome Games!!!

But that's okay, if they want to use PC's good luck, I will be the one standing in the corner watching the IT people lock the computers down and try and get rid of viruses and spyware!

PyroVesten
2nd December 2004, 01:12 PM
Well there's two sides to this debate, both with very legitimate arguments.

I won't say much, but this is my two cents..

In order to form a clear opinion about which is 'better' to use in schools first you need to establish if the computers are being used for the purpose of educating people to use computers and software from word processing, database management, the internet and general software/hardware or if they are being used as a tool to educate about school subjects.

Side one would argue that if they're being used to teach people how to use computers and how they work, (lets believe the figure of 97% for the sake of argument) then 97% of people who use MACs at school will end up owning/do own/working with a PC so teaching people on Macs would be futile. The flipsde of this is that if the computers are being used purely for education purposes then Macs are virus-unfriendly, schools buy the all-in-one units which is a lot simpler, easier and more user-friendly than PCs and they also perform a lot of tasks more efficiently than a PC would.

jeremy
2nd December 2004, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by PyroVesten@Dec 2 2004, 01:12 PM
Side one would argue that if they're being used to teach people how to use computers and how they work, (lets believe the figure of 97% for the sake of argument) then 97% of people who use MACs at school will end up owning/do own/working with a PC so teaching people on Macs would be futile.
Not at all. What's the point in educating people to be rigid about the software they use so they can't even adapt to alternatives? If 97% are really using windoze at home then that is a good reason to use alternatives in education so at least students will be be more or less broadminded about what they use in the future as adults. There's no value in teaching something at school that kids can sit at home and figure out themselves, like how to use windoze. So macs are one platform that'd be good for this. If stuck with intel machines though, Linux is another good choice.

But no way, that is stupid if we just have kids using windoze at school only because it has a monopoly.

hawker
2nd December 2004, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by jeremy@Dec 2 2004, 01:44 PM
But no way, that is stupid if we just have kids using windoze at school only because it has a monopoly.
All valid points Jeremy. I guess it comes back to user preference, I've been taught on both platforms, and let me say from the offset, I perfer using the computers that work all the time. How many times have you walked into a Windows room and been told "computers x, y, z" are out of service, due to viruses, disks stuck in the drive etc etc etc

Damian
2nd December 2004, 02:10 PM
Education vs Training comes to mind:

Are schools just to train kids in brand xyz of anything? Or are they about teaching thinking, problem solving and using available tools (including any kind of computer)?

I have serious concerns about the legitimacy of 'education' when it comes down to a particular brand of anything.

Next we will be hearing that brand A of cars (or calculator, whatever) has the highest market share, therefore all training should be in this model? Come on!

So what do you train them in - Win2000, WinXP? Both are widespread in the outside world along with a fair sprinkling of Win98/ME/NT (if you don't believe me go look at your web logs). A kid in say year 9 now will most likely have to face Longhorn by he time they get out of school. Each Windows variant has quite different interfaces/ways of doing things. Training is too narrow - education is not.

On a broader scale I also worry about the "standardisation" mentality. To me this almost guarantees a stifling of creativity. One of the wonders of computers over the last 15 years or so has been the diversity and enormous creativity that has occurred.

Speaking as someone who has been involved in a lot of computer support in education I have no doubt the the wonderous 'total cost of ownership' is a furphy. I have yet to see a valid calculation that includes the real cost of Windows - all the software/infrastructure involved in virus/trojan/spyware and the accompanying patching processes (and prior testing before rollout). It takes lots of time/effort and money. Not to mention the time wasted by users due to infections/machine slowdowns/crashes. How do you cost that?

Not to mention the included software - a Mac comes with a quite useful basic set of software. Turn it on and go. Windows does not.

Damian

jeremy
2nd December 2004, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by Damian@Dec 2 2004, 02:10 PM
Speaking as someone who has been involved in a lot of computer support in education I have no doubt the the wonderous 'total cost of ownership' is a furphy. I have yet to see a valid calculation that includes the real cost of Windows - all the software/infrastructure involved in virus/trojan/spyware and the accompanying patching processes (and prior testing before rollout). It takes lots of time/effort and money. Not to mention the time wasted by users due to infections/machine slowdowns/crashes. How do you cost that?
Not to mention that when organisations such as Telstra have considered the uptake of Linux, Microsoft will do anything to make them stay so in the end these installations comes at a cost to Microsoft. Obviously because as soon as one corporation does it, it'll appear viable to all the others. However, one can only wonder how long Microsoft can afford to do this for. Certainly not forever.

But some other flaws in this guy's article. One, he talks about the use of floppy disks as though people still use them. These days floppy disks are useless. They are essentially 20 year old technology that's totally unreliable. Since the floppy disk, there's never been a removable medium that's been so standard. Ah well there is; optical disks and they have a standard iso9660 file system anyway. But for the purposes of accessing files from home and at school, the net is the main tool for doing this and there are no issues with compatibility (i.e. if the school provides access to files through a http site you can use it on anything that supports a web browser). But that's a minor point really.

He talks about his son having to stay after school to finish work on a Mac. Well diddums! In the past kids had to go to the library because they didn't have the books they needed at home. These days you can just look up the info you need on the web. But still some kids prefer to go to the library, stay back at school or whatever. They find they can work better that way.

But his fundamental flaw is how he assumes that even with PCs with Microsoft Windows at both home and school, students will be able to work on everything at both home and school. Unfortunately that doesn't work with commercial software. There are licensing issues. You can't expect people to buy licenses for everything bit of software so they can finish something at home. So as long as we use commercial software, there are always going to be things that can't be finished off at home.

On the other hand, if you use open source software, you can give the kids a CD to take home.

OziMac
5th December 2004, 11:05 AM
To me, the whole point is that technology, in whatever form, is a tool - the means, not the end.

Technology can be the means to getting your work done faster. Similarly, it can be the means to providing you with education, in whatever form.

When technology itself becomes the subject of qualitative training (in contexts outside IT, as is the case in most primary and high schools) then something is desperately wrong with the pedagogical technique these people think they're using to educate their kids.

The only respect in which it should matter what platform is being used for teaching kids is when considering which platform most effectively allows the teacher to educate the students. Be it Windows or OS X or Linux - whatever suits the particular purpose - nothing else should matter as much.

Anyway, those are my two cents on the actual subject matter - the aggressive flaming response to Brooks (as noted in Macrumors and his 'response' article) has been appalling and has simply fueled his ignorance and misconception of the issue - the flaming and threats have achieved nothing but make this guy more self-righteous about his 'superior' point of view

Just like the completely unecessary bagging of Bill Gates for (heaven forbid) doing something good like donating so much of his money to charitable causes, this sort of thing simply reinforces the notion that Mac zealots are irrational psychos rather than normal people passionate about a great product.

Dare I say that that's not the case, but I sure would like it to be.

jeremy
5th December 2004, 12:52 PM
That may be true to an extent, however, any decent tool needs some form of education to use effectively (you don't pick up a pen and straight away know how to write, likewise, you don't pick up a hammer and know how to drive a nail [you can try though you might end up with a sore thumb]).

Though specifically, the GUI is quite intuitive and I personally didn't need to be taught how to use it. I think that is true of most kids as well. Most of the IT stuff they teach in school is pointless when it can easily be picked up. Though while the GUI can be self-learned, there are many advanced things that you may learn from using it over the years which may be specific to each OS. So once users get really familiar with one interface, they get lazy and they don't want to change. In some cases the new interface may even be more intuitive. Therefore I still think it's beneficial if education were to introduce people to various alternatives.

Furthermore, the most efficient tools aren't always the most intuitive and easiest to learn to begin with. When I talk about user-friendliness, I like to make a distinction between what's easy to learn and what's good to use. I taught myself the command line interface in Linux when I was 14 years old. When I first looked at the thing I felt totally lost. But after a while I found that it to be one of the most effective ways of managing my system (with modern features such as tab completion I found that I can manage files a lot faster than dragging and dropping with a GUI). Even then I wouldn't recommend that all users should learn it. But it goes to say that intuitive and efficient don't always go together.

Disko
5th December 2004, 12:59 PM
well, he's responded...
http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll...IST09/412040376 (http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041204/COLUMNIST09/412040376)

Currawong
5th December 2004, 02:03 PM
I'm not sure which is worse, the nonsense in his article or the nonsense in the replies he got.

Atomac
5th December 2004, 02:23 PM
Before I make any comment I would like to set some context. I am an educator. I love Macs and consider everything else inferior, so I am biased.

Any argument for the use of PCs in schools as they are the platform most common in work places is a complete falacy. The operating systems and technology that we use now are not the same as those that will be used in ten or even five years time. By the time children now in year one reach year 12 it will be completely different. If they use a Mac they are using software and technology which is cutting edge, they are also learning to be learners in technology, they are gaining the skills to handle the changes in technology. Just think how many of us Mac users and asked to fix problems on the platform that we don't use. Imagine a Windows user doing the same.

The argument that children need to have home to school compatibility and therefore need to have at home what they have at school is also a falacy. The cross-compatibility of computers has never been better, as nearly all computers have CD burners or USB ports for use with flash drives there are no issues with regards to transfer of data.

Sadly, a large number of schools have PCs and use these for word processing only, and then only for their allocated lab time. I say sadly, because a computer should be a tool for enhancing learning. In the early days when we have one BBC or Acorn in the classroom and used programs designed with as instructional tools it was discovered that maximum educational benefit came from the discussion and problem solving around the computer. Nowadays we have the software for our students to be creative, to choose to use technology as a means of expression as they might choose a pen or a pencil.

The author of the article is the one that has missed the point.

Macs cost less to run in schools. Macs come with more creative software. Macs are easier to use. Macs crash less often. Macs require less techical support and have more uptime. Macs have little or no malware.

From my experience working at an Apple Reseller recently I can assure you that in Australia a large number of schools who either used to use Macs or have never used Macs are looking at them again. Buying a couple of machines to do video, being impressed and then buying more and more.

The limiting factor that needs to be remembered is that the people who make the decisions in schools often don't know about technology. You have the technician who may have used a Mac years ago, or may never have seen on. The teachers who in general don't know USB for ADSL or DV from DV. You also have the school board or finance committee who are even more clueless. Unless there is a person on the inside pushing things along it is very unlikely the school will buy Macs in the near term.

Education departments are often bars to getting Macs into schools. They may get a committee to draw up the minimum requirements that they have for computers purchased. It may look something like "Pentium or Celeron X Mhz, 15 LCD, 3.5 Floppy etc." often it looks nothing like a Mac.

AusMac
5th December 2004, 02:37 PM
It all boils down to cost and the excuses made to account for the economic decision.
A true educational facility will offer a bit of everything..

One school principal said to me; "There is no need to spend so much on computers, Apple have priced themselves out of the market." I just looked at him and said; "so you'd deny the pupils the chance to learn both languages?"

Getting back to excuses.. (http://www.macminute.com/cgi-bin/wwwthreads/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=politics&Number=208947&page=&view=&sb=&o=&vc=1#Post208947) it does not matter what it is they are trying to hide about the truth, they sure always seem to mangle the truth in the attempt

OziMac
5th December 2004, 02:46 PM
[offtopic] I'm curious - what comment are you passing on that particular post about the Kyoto Protocol?

AUSMUG
5th December 2004, 03:34 PM
My family & I have always used Macs, so back in 1999 when my son was at primary school and under a new government grant his school was getting computers for the first time I was delighted to see they were all iMacs. I approached the headmaster and after talks set up a website for the school with password protected realms for students, teachers & office staff. The headmaster insisted first I get permission from the education department which I did. In fact I was appointed as a mentor under a new government scheme by the Western/Central department head in Parramatta.

After this I then networked their computers and upgraded all their OS's to the latest version and even implemented online qizes, tests etc all configured to automatically mark results. They got connected to the web and never looked back. My son even became the defacto support guy because he knew more than any of the teachers even though he was only about 11 at the time. Everything I had done for them was FREE!

The trouble came about 18 months later when the education department became a partner with some large PC based consultancy firm. After this they spoke to the headmaster and came to an agreement. I received a call to see the headmaster. When I got there I was told to remove the website and that my services would no longer be required. Despite my requests he wouldn't tell me why. A few days later I found out from the president of the P&C that they had organised a deal with this consultancy company to take over all aspects of there network. Part of this deal was a yearly payment of $500 to the school as long as no other outside people were contracted for work. Now nearly 5 years later his old primary school still doesn't have a web site. Education is more about money now rather than trying to do what's best for the students and that's the mentality of this corporate world, it's all about show me the money. Headmasters are now glorified accountants looking to raise funds rather than teachers at a lot of schools. Quality of education isn't a consideration.
:angry:

OziMac
5th December 2004, 04:55 PM
Yep, that's a disgrace Ausmug - and I certainly hope that was $500 per student, because $500 period is pittance compared to what you did for them.

Your description of the headmasters seem pretty apt - because like all good accountants (no offence) this one paid no heed even to the best commercial deal, but simply outsourced for some token amount of money and no entreprenuerial risk whatsoever (and I know that's a big call coming from a lawyer ;)).

AUSMUG
5th December 2004, 05:16 PM
Getting back closer to the original thread for a moment.

My son now goes to High School and when he started in 2000 it was a Technology High School with 1200 students (down from 1500 2 years earlier). The trouble was it was PC only. Apart from this my son while great with computers has totally illegible handwriting due to lack of fine motor skills a result of him being born premature at 24 weeks. From day 1 I fought for him to be allowed to use a computer rather than have a situation where none of the teachers could read his work and his marks were suffering as a result. After 2 years of being refused by the school I took iot upon myself and had him assessed at Westmead Hospital and they confirmed the problem and agreed he should be eligable as a special needs student. Now the school totally changed their attitude and became excited because now they would be eligable for extra funding for a special needs teacher.

I bought him an iBook, wireless card, AdmitMAC software to let him use the schools Windows 2000 Server, and installed a pile of usefull programs. He uses Mathematica 5 for Students for maths while the rest of the class use plain calculaters, Office X for english, history, geography, science ( while the rest just get photocopied sheets to fill out because they have no text books) and Dreamweaver MX, BBEdit, Flash MX, Photoshop, Filemaker etc for Computer studies.

He's managed to fit in fine copying files backwards and forwards between his network mounted home drives and his actual imac drive, can print to any of the schools networked printers plus with the mobility offered by wireless can wander anywhere within the school with full access to his drives and the internet. He is even able to access his personal email via webmail (I run my own servers at home). If at any time he needs to do something that he can't do on his Mac like making an Access database in computer class he just uses one of the schools PC's.

This year 2 deaf students (brothers) that came to the school saw what he was doing and are now doing likewise. One bought an iBook like my son the other chose Powerbook laptop. Apart from these 3 kids the only other person using the wireless network is the schools Systems Admin guy while the rest of the school relies on the schools wired network.

Now since my son sarted in 2000 the school has gone downhill rapidly (not his fault) with it's student numbers dropping from 1200 to just over 500, The headmaster was replaced by a lady who says that while education is important in her opinion designing a new school uniform and making it compulsory is far more important (she said this publicly at a parent teachers night). As a result of the student numbers dropping they no longer get enough funding to maintain their computers and it got to the point they lost their funding as a Technology High School. They applied and got funding to instead become a drama/music specialist school. Got in some special teachers with the money they got and built a dance studio complete with sprung floorboards , mirrored walls etc the only trouble being only 4 students enrolled in the course. Teachers are disheartened and at the end of this year 50 are leaving (obviously a lot of these will be replaced) which says little for teachers confidence. They no longer try and this year alone my son has sat through 40 -50 DVD's being shown in class rather than teach eg Clockwork Orange , Gone in 60 seconds, Terminater 3 etc. Mind you the kids aren't complaining but I'm not impressed as he did his School Certificate this year.

The school network is always under attack and at any one time over 1/2 the computers are down being virus cleaned, having updates and patches run. But guess what my son doesn't care because when their network gets infected they shut down all the wired network at the router level but their schools systems admin always leaves the wireless network open. My son and his friends are often the only kids able to do any work at all in their classes and are always finished way ahead of anyone else with their work and get to play online as they still have internet access as welll. 8 out of 10 times I go to the schools office I find their computers are down, around half the time the rest of the schools PC's are down. Yet my son and his mates Mac laptops just keep on workiing. That says it all for me as far as what environment is better suited for the education market. :D

p.s. sorry for the long post.

AUSMUG
5th December 2004, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by OziMac@Dec 5 2004, 05:55 PM
Yep, that's a disgrace Ausmug - and I certainly hope that was $500 per student, because $500 period is pittance compared to what you did for them.

Your description of the headmasters seem pretty apt - because like all good accountants (no offence) this one paid no heed even to the best commercial deal, but simply outsourced for some token amount of money and no entreprenuerial risk whatsoever (and I know that's a big call coming from a lawyer ;)).
That was for all the students not each. They may have got what they deserved but the students deserved better.

OziMac
5th December 2004, 05:22 PM
Wow, don't apologise - very illuminating post. Hope your son pulls up through HSC okay despite the apparently shocking administration. :)

the_OM
5th December 2004, 09:15 PM
I'm wondering how many replies the Journalist gets to his follow up piece? I think that the second piece would probably enrage more people than the first.

I always find it amusing when a journalist criticises apple, because you always know in the next article that they write that there is going to be something about the all the fanatical and crazed apple fans out who emailed them.

zefi
5th December 2004, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by Disko@Dec 5 2004, 12:59 PM
well, he's responded...
http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll...IST09/412040376 (http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041204/COLUMNIST09/412040376)
I agree that sometimes some mac users need to be castrated from using e-mail. But are we really 'cultists', that is quite a strong word and I think its deplorable to use that sort of shtick. Cults have been extremely harmful to some individuals, taking away their livelihoods, eroding any sense of self and circumventing freedoms.

To compare a dedicated pack of computer enthusiasts with a phenomenon as a cult, in my opinion is completely unprofessional. I obviously see we (journalist and I) digress on points as to which is a better computing platform, but in the end its quite a frugal exercise in 'metaphysical hairsplittings'.

Mac users need to be a little bit more tactful when responding to these sorts of articles. And in return, I think the media needs to stop referring to us as brainwashed individuals, we all made the choice to switch. No one forced us.

tRiKsTa
5th December 2004, 09:31 PM
I read the article in question written by Rich Brooks. Sure he makes the point that if 95% of people are using PC's in that particular state then it makes sense to go with the trend rather then buck it. Although to say PC's are better then Macs for educational purposes is untrue and misleading.

In his followup article, Mr. Brooks accused Mac users of missing the point, and then pointed out the statistic I wrote about above. He then finishes by saying:
"I doubt I would ever own a Mac.... I've seen what they can do to people and I don't want to be a part of that." Well buddy, now it's just your PC-elitest smug attitute that's going to get your inbox spammed with discruntled emails from us Mac users.

Oh, and the fact that your article was clearly objective journalism... pfft...

Ronin+Scissors
5th December 2004, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by AUSMUG@Dec 5 2004, 05:16 PM
Clockwork Orange
I shouldn't make light of such an unfortunate situation, but I'm sorry, Clockwork Orange, either the book or the film, is a spectacular text (in the broader sense of the word) to analyse in either English or logic/philosphy/whatever-it's-called-these-days.

That said, it is rated R in Australia, at least according to IMDB, so you could blackmail your headmistress into buying Macs, if you were so inclined... :P

-Ronin with Scissors

zefi
5th December 2004, 10:10 PM
Just finished reading the article, and really all his professional integrity flew out the window with this line:


Even so, I doubt that I would ever buy a Mac. I've seen what owning one can do to people. And I don't want any part of that.


Now really...

moo
5th December 2004, 10:14 PM
Wait till you see what the NSW Department of Education has in store under its new Technology for Leaning initiative

"the current mix of ICT facilities across schools needs to be standardised."
from
http://www.det.nsw.edu.au/reviews/futuresp...spapers/ict.htm (http://www.det.nsw.edu.au/reviews/futuresproject/issuespapers/ict.htm)

you know what that means don't you???

Snowy28
5th December 2004, 10:45 PM
Originally posted by moo@Dec 5 2004, 11:14 PM
Wait till you see what the NSW Department of Education has in store under its new Technology for Leaning initiative

"the current mix of ICT facilities across schools needs to be standardised."
from
http://www.det.nsw.edu.au/reviews/futuresp...spapers/ict.htm (http://www.det.nsw.edu.au/reviews/futuresproject/issuespapers/ict.htm)

you know what that means don't you???
Mac's in all NSW schools?

zefi
5th December 2004, 10:45 PM
AUSMUG that was a truly awesome post and I'm amazed and appalled by it all. I think the current attitude of putting money before education, is just a symptom of the current Government's attempt to privatise education.

Its what I like to call 'Microsofting' our children's future, stifling creativity at the expense of just getting by. We shouldn't stand for this outrageous apathy towards education!

AusMac
5th December 2004, 10:56 PM
Originally posted by OziMac@Dec 5 2004, 02:46 PM
[offtopic] I'm curious - what comment are you passing on that particular post about the Kyoto Protocol?
No comment other than what I stated .. A pile of exuses designed to hide the truth.. Did you read the replies to the original post in that thread?

Back to topic AUSMUG .. I sympathise .. I have been in teaching circles all my life. Yes I am also the son of a teacher. The whole point is that deals are done at the top and grassroots always misses out.

icant
6th December 2004, 01:27 AM
Originally posted by eyeLikeCarrots@Dec 2 2004, 11:14 AM

Here at the Uni of Tasmania we have 6 labs.. and 3 of those are of mac's with Panther...

I was wintel all the way when I started, now I've become mac platform whore :-D
I was at University of Tasmania from 1995 to 2000. In 1994 to 1995, it was almost all Macintosh. Then several labs were converted to Windows. Off the top of my head: Law, Humanities, Math, the Library, and the general use computer lab beneath the library. So were the computers used by some of the secretaries in the Medical department. One of the old Mac labs was reopened at the Undercroft due to popular demand.

I don't blame them -- the 1996-2000 years as you know, were horrible years to use Apple products. And actually Windows NT and Windows 2000 were really good platforms -- stable, super fast, and they actually had decent web browsers.

I've never been to the Computer Programming Dept, so I don't know what that was like. Anyway, I'm glad to know that current students have some access to Macintoshes.

jeremy
6th December 2004, 08:44 PM
Originally posted by Currawong@Dec 5 2004, 02:03 PM
I'm not sure which is worse, the nonsense in his article or the nonsense in the replies he got.
Or the nonsense he wrote in his followup?

I'm sure he would have got some mindless drivel (it's typical on the net that there will be at least some immature response from slashdot types and the like). But calling mac users a cult and inferring that they are diseased from owning macs.... I don't know!

Funny how he responds to the floppy drive thing though. Some people may be still using them, but they're becoming more and more uncommon. I know macs don't have floppy drives anymore but it wouldn't surprise me if PCs don't either. Certainly, they're just a disaster on school networks since they jam up and fail. I don't think I'd count on getting my floppy disk out in one piece on the school computers that I remember using. Not to mention that carrying them around carefully in your bag is enough to damage them.

LCGuy
7th December 2004, 12:01 AM
Macs themselves are great for education, they're reliable and easy to use. The problem is that some people don't know how to use them. They try to think like they think when they use Windows, which just doesn't work when you're on a Mac, just like how thinking like how you think when you're on a Mac doesn't work when you're on a PC. As you know, at university i run the main Mac lab, and about 90% of all the problems i fix there are user error. Unlike the machines in the Ipex labs, these Macs are always maintained regularly (by me), and always run extremely well. When the Ipex labs get shut down for reimaging or repair, the Mac lab is usually always open and ready to go with quick and reliable machines that run like a dream. When i first started my job, that lab was horrible. Sure, they had nice machines, but they weren't maintained, because nobody knew enough about them to maintain them, and therefore not many people liked Macs. However, as soon as i arrived at the scene, the machines started getting looked after, and now run very well. People now like Macs, now that they use Macs that work. A computer is like a car, really. No matter what you have, whether its an old XD Ford Falcon or a brand new Enzo Ferrarri, if you don't look after it it will be a piece of crap. Just like how it doesn't matter whether you have an old 286 or a new Dual 2.5 Ghz G5. If you don't look after it, it will be a piece of crap.

Ozi
7th December 2004, 05:13 PM
sorry to restart this topic, but...




...heres a very funny take on the whole debacle! (http://www.crazyapplerumors.com/archives/000360.html#000360)

Exocet
7th December 2004, 05:39 PM
I've grown up with PC's. I had an AMSTRAD 286 since when I was old enough to remember. Moved onto a 486DX when I was about 7, and then a Celeron 300MHz in 1998. In the year 2000 I started at a Mac-only school, after coming from a school which had used PC's exclusively.

I hated it. I could not stand OS9, it was slow, it was ugly, it was useless.

Then in 2002 we got some OSX machines and I haven't looked back since. The entire school is now running OSX, and the network is excellent. Good security, good support, good stuff! I'm a huge zealot now, and keep my Circa 2002 Wintel for gaming only.