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View Full Version : Aaaaargh! Do I feel a PC purchase coming on?!?



Granny Smith
14th June 2007, 04:54 PM
Until now I have resisted valiantly, but I fear I may be fighting a losing battle. The kids are bringing home work that they've started at school, on PCs. Mostly it's been fine: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc, files transfer seamlessly and painlessly from Mac to PC. But this afternoon we hit a snag. They're using a Microsoft app called Publisher. (I've had a quick look and it seems like a total dog's breakfast, but that's beside the point.) My problem is: how can the kids (if indeed they can) bring home Publisher documents and work on them on the Macs here, and take them back to school?

decryption
14th June 2007, 04:56 PM
No dice unfortunately - there's no app I'm aware of to read Publisher files. If you had an Intel Mac, it'd run swimmingly in Boot Camp/Parallels

Sidebar: Ewwww Publisher. Surely they could teach the kiddies something actually useful out in the real world (no-one uses Publisher) like InDesign or Quark.

Joe90
14th June 2007, 04:58 PM
Resist!

Muzza_77
14th June 2007, 05:03 PM
My experience is that you can't, unless someone knows of a converter. How about a mac mini?

Granny Smith
14th June 2007, 05:07 PM
No dice unfortunately - there's no app I'm aware of to read Publisher files. If you had an Intel Mac, it'd run swimmingly in Boot Camp/Parallels

Sidebar: Ewwww Publisher. Surely they could teach the kiddies something actually useful out in the real world (no-one uses Publisher) like InDesign or Quark.

Bugger. Time to sweet talk the other half and see if i can get an Intel Mac in the house. Probably a MacBook (now THERE'S a couple of grand not in the budget ...). But the basis of a tentative deal already thrashed out is that if I get ANOTHER new Mac I have to get rid of at least one (and preferrably three) of the older ones. So this is a decision I cannot make lightly ... the kids' education be buggered; I want to keep my Macs!

And as for Publisher, yes, you're absolutely right - it's a dreadful piece of kit.

rtc
14th June 2007, 05:12 PM
Virtual PC (or another emulator)

girlbunny
14th June 2007, 05:16 PM
Publisher needs to be banned. It is useless for all publishing. Try taking it to Desktop publishers and they will reject any .pub file. I know this because I was the only person willing to touch them for a while in one small city. I eventually charged triple of what it cost for me to create the file. Finally I did what every one else did and stopped accepting .pub files.

There is NO program that handles .pub files on OSX. If my kids came home with .pub files I would be having a discussion with the school. Publisher is not an industry standard program. Publisher is for home users to make a child's birthday invitation that will be printed out on the home bubblejet.

Industry standard programs are Quark and InDesign and in some towns and cities outside the main centres Corel Draw is a standard.

fiark
14th June 2007, 05:18 PM
With an Intel mac you get the best of both worlds, tell your partner you are getting two computers for the price of one.

MrJesseRoss
14th June 2007, 05:30 PM
I thought I was so awesome knowing how to make Publisher things.

I guess I'm not :(

hiredgoon
14th June 2007, 05:41 PM
haha. publisher.

do they use word perfect at school too?

jimmy
14th June 2007, 05:41 PM
Having seen Microsoft office run on my dads Intel imac its only a mater of time before i upgrade to an Intel mac. I think the base model imac with edu discount and some extra ram(if you install it yourself) would come in at around $1500.

anyway i would recommend staying away for virtual PC. More hassle than it is worth.

Good Luck

Jimmy

gmask1
14th June 2007, 05:43 PM
Publisher needs to be banned. It is useless for all publishing. Try taking it to Desktop publishers and they will reject any .pub file. I know this because I was the only person willing to touch them for a while in one small city. I eventually charged triple of what it cost for me to create the file. Finally I did what every one else did and stopped accepting .pub files.

There is NO program that handles .pub files on OSX. If my kids came home with .pub files I would be having a discussion with the school. Publisher is not an industry standard program. Publisher is for home users to make a child's birthday invitation that will be printed out on the home bubblejet.

Industry standard programs are Quark and InDesign and in some towns and cities outside the main centres Corel Draw is a standard.

I find it amusing that you think discussing things with schools would make any difference. As far as industry standards go, that's about as far away from some schools as humanly possible. For one, at a uni level courses can be chaired by steering committees of corporate bodies (like my course was), so you learn what they want you to learn. At a primary school level they can't even get their internal affairs in order - I've had to learn three student reporting apps in four semesters, so that I can teach my Mum how to enter her reports. Lord only knows what they teach at high schools these days.

Then there is the finger pointing game - the teachers are using the software and hardware supplied to them, the IT teaching programs aren't their own, point fingers at everyone else. Many schools have a 0.5 resource or less to keep the networks and systems running, let alone take suggestions or teach the staff (not their job anyway, point fingers at DOE).

As far as I'm concerned, Publisher is a low-end desktop publisher on the same level as Pages. Both fit the requirements to be called Desktop Publishing apps, even though neither will ever be the next Quark or whatever pro-DP-bandwagon you'd prefer to leap on. In part, I'm glad that kids learn something about page layout, even if they don't use and 'Industry Standard'. Kinda like teaching first year IT uni students COBOL really.

sanjay
14th June 2007, 05:44 PM
as a now owner of a G4 ibook and a G3 ibook, i gotta say im happy to be back in the world of mac but im a little ashamed at the snobbery in this thread.

Publisher is, admittedly, a very basic program, but I love it. Its fantastic for making quick birthday cards, flyers, paper aeroplanes (im serious!), banners, calendars, business cards, books, pamphlets, even rudimentary web pages if you need something quick and nasty in a hurry...

If i may ask, granny smith, how old are your kids? and why does everyone think they should be doing Quark and InDesign? god damn, thats a steep curve for any young student to have to face.

if you got the room, a P4 tower can be had for as little as $100 these days, second hand...hell, i got an ultraportable dell x300 with pentium m processor for only $320 on ebay the other day.

its really not that big a deal, having a PC when you are a long time mac user, just as it is no big deal for me, a PC user of the last 12 years, to have a couple of macs in the household. as steve jobs said at 1997 macworld, apple winning does not have to mean microsoft losing.

rtc
14th June 2007, 05:45 PM
anyway i would recommend staying away for virtual PC. More hassle than it is worth.

So would I. But the suggestions here posed to the actual problem have so far been:
- try virtual pc
- shell out for a new imac
- yeah i agree publisher sucks

Which of these three is the most useful do you think?

VPC (as with any emulation) is only a half-arsed solution, but this is the exact situation it is best for: when you're covered with all but that one pesky app.

If you've already got a hidden agenda for getting a new mac, fine, do that. It will be the best solution.

If not though, the only two suggestions I can offer are "try virtual pc after deciding whether you want to after sussing out the price of it and a windows bundle", and "yeah I agree publisher sucks". This second piece of advice, I'm trying to point out, is relevant and appropriate, however doesn't exactly solve the problem posed in the opening post.

rtc
14th June 2007, 05:47 PM
sanjay and gmask1, contratulations to you both on two of the best posts i have seen here for quite some time.

I too don't think much of publisher, but again that's hardly the point.

step_andy
14th June 2007, 05:58 PM
Virtual PC (or another emulator)

I have a brand new legit copy of VPC 7. Send me PM if you are interested.
:o

Granny Smith
14th June 2007, 06:00 PM
Well, the past hour has just proven to me what a first-class resource MacTalk is. In just 60 minutes I've received info about desktop publishing options, PCs vs Macs for low-end apps, and a series of well thought-out responses to the current dilemma. Thanks one and all - your thoughts and advice are appreciated, and I think I can see a way through this issue that'll keep everyone concerned happy and civil and talking to each other for the foreseeable future.
Now, if I can just convert the kids' school to Mac ... !
Cheers.
GS.

dev_enter
14th June 2007, 06:05 PM
Why don't your kids just finish their Publisher work at school? Surely there can't be so much of it to justify spending money on a new machine or more software for home.

sanjay
14th June 2007, 06:07 PM
makes me wonder actually...

...in primary school, we used macs day in day out - the only reason we bought a PC at home was for compatibility with both of my parents' workplaces (what a mistake that was, windows 3.11! ugh), then one day we walked into the computer room and half the computers were macs, half were PCs...

...another year passed on and, gosh, even more PCs, until all the macs disappeared but for 3 or 4 imacs in the library (playing nanosaur at lunchtime! :D)

fast forward to high school (few years ago for me now) and we're exclusively using PCs. id gone to a posh private school and in the primary school there...guess what adorned their computer labs...those wicked G4 imacs with the LCDs!

so why the sudden transition to PC when students went from the primary to the secondary school? and what happened to the mac...once upon a time, the education industry was the only thing keeping their head above water...and now theyve abandoned it...

denwol
14th June 2007, 06:12 PM
Have you seen the prices for industry apps for schools. It is not a viable option for the few who want to learn how to use them. At least Microsoft have offered schools a licencing agreement which is affordable.
It all comes down to money, and mac hardware and software has nothing to offer schols in this dept (sadly).

sanjay
14th June 2007, 06:14 PM
in conclusion - its more apple's fault than microsofts that students are learning the way of windows...but lets not get too OT :p

Shatter
14th June 2007, 06:15 PM
With an Intel mac you get the best of both worlds, tell your partner you are getting two computers for the price of one.

But you need OS install disks and MS Office too.

forgie
14th June 2007, 06:50 PM
in conclusion - its more apple's fault than microsofts that students are learning the way of windows...but lets not get too OT :p
Yep, it's pretty much Apple's fault. MS spend a lot of money ensuring that schools use their products - they understand that students will one day be professionals, and they'd like them to already know how to use MS products! Apple have their edu discount, but they have seem to have dropped off the radar insofar as bargaining with schools and trying to push their products in that way.

It wouldn't surprise me if MS actually don't make much money off their edu deals - they would be relatively happy selling software at cost price if they know that they are excluding all the competitors.

grfxninja
14th June 2007, 06:53 PM
idebar: Ewwww Publisher. Surely they could teach the kiddies something actually useful out in the real world (no-one uses Publisher) like InDesign or Quark.

I have to disagree here. Yes Publisher is a godawful piece of software, but for some unknown reason everybody seems to use it! We have clients coming in almost daily wanting to print from a publisher file that their 14 year old kid did for them.
A Printers nightmare...

decryption
14th June 2007, 06:54 PM
I know in Victoria, Microsoft software is free for schools (they just pay the cost of the media), thanks to a deal between the State Government and Microsoft.

When all the software is free, and the desktops heavily subsidised, it's a no-brainer to go with a Microsoft solution.

jubilantjeremy
14th June 2007, 07:22 PM
Only one other person has suggested this, but I think it's worth repeating : You can get a p3 windows pc, with a monitor, keyboard, mouse and xp installed, for about 150 bucks.. Maybe less... That's gotta be an ok deal!

- Jeremy

dev_enter
14th June 2007, 07:58 PM
But then you'd have to get Office as well, and Publisher doesn't come with the cheap Student Teacher Edition.

sanjay
14th June 2007, 08:38 PM
would you actually pay for publisher? i like it...but my answer to that question is no..
...if you catch my drift...

Complexated
14th June 2007, 08:40 PM
I know in Victoria, Microsoft software is free for schools (they just pay the cost of the media)

I only found this out today while hanging around in the tech's office. He was soooo happy to finally receive his collection of very dodgy looking, handwritten-on copies of Vista and Office 2007 that he assured me were legit!

BTW, the cost is $6.50 per DVD - don't know where they're getting their media from...

Many schools don't have the bucks for the "industry-standard" programs. But we make do with what we've got. GIMP instead of Photoshop would be an example of real practice in many govt schools. And honestly, I'd rather have a passionate, knowledgeable and helpful teacher than In Design any day.

denwol
14th June 2007, 08:52 PM
osx is also free for vic govt schools but no other mac software is, so for publisher and the like (reporting software) we install bootcamp and use the free ms software on that.
Hopefully apple continue the work and extend further than just the operating system to pages and keynote as well. Perhaps one day we will be able to get final cut pro.

mwot
14th June 2007, 09:18 PM
I know in Victoria, Microsoft software is free for schools (they just pay the cost of the media), thanks to a deal between the State Government and Microsoft.

When all the software is free, and the desktops heavily subsidised, it's a no-brainer to go with a Microsoft solution.

a friend of mine is a die-hard computer nut. he has never - NEVER - paid a cent for the Windows OS of any flavour. they've all been *ahem* pirated copies.

well, now he works in the Vic edu system as a network admin ... so he still pays nothing for the Windows OS he runs at home, apart from the cost of the media ...

smart, MS. he'll never go to Mac when free, easy software is on the offering.

Complexated
14th June 2007, 09:33 PM
so he still pays nothing for the Windows OS he runs at home

Yeah, I'm pretty sure there's no Vista disc sitting in the technician's office this evening.

On a more topical note, I'd get the full story from the school before buying a new computer. You'd be surprised of the "Chinese Whisper" effect that occurs via kids between teachers and parents. Maybe the kids just wanna play some games they copied from their PC mates.