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medea
Dec 12, 2002, 04:06 PM
ONE of the first Australian universities to adopt Apple in its computer science faculty has dropped the Mac from its teaching programs.
The University of Western Australia (UWA), which began teaching IT courses on the first Macs in the mid-eighties, claims the cost of Apple hardware was the reason for the decision.
Traditionally strong in education markets, Apple has been coming under increasing pressure from PC vendors like Dell.
"There was nothing about OSX we didn't like, we just couldn’t really afford the hardware costs," said the UWA’s senior lecturer in computer science and software engineering, Chris McDonald, who is also chair of the university’s Teaching and Learning committee.
Dr McDonald said a recent review indicated Apple hardware was going to cost the university around two and a half times the cost of a PC per seat.
"We just decided- and it was a sad decision – that we should be totally PC throughout and have each one running NT or XP and Linux," he said.
Dr Macdonald also said despite Apple OSX being a good introductory platform for first year students, it did not make sense for the university to recommend students buy a Mac if they were not going to be used in second or third year.
"I think if we had an infinite amount of money we’d probably still have Macintoshes - probably even half of our equipment would be Macintoshes," he said.
At the University of Wollongong, which was also one of the first Australian unis to adopt Macs in computer science, a decision was taken three years ago to scale back Apple to multimedia applications, said Les Ohlbach, operations manager for Wollongong’s Department of Informatics.
“The uni hasn’t got totally out of Macs but the presence has been reduced to education in graphics in creative arts and multimedia graphics in computer science,” he said.
Mr Ohlbach said improvements in the Windows operating environment and PC hardware have increased PC usage. However, he said Macs would not disappear from the university. “The Mac stuff is not under threat, it has just gone into a more specialised niche,” he said.
“If anything is under threat in the long term, it’s probably Unix – not as a multi-user system but on individual workstations.”
At UWA, Dr McDonald said in the mid-nineties, the university made a move from Unix to Linux in both teaching and research for the same reason it has dropped Macs.
“The primary motivation was the hardware costs. We preferred using PCs, which are of course deathly cheap at the moment,” he said.
“We could run two operating systems on them without requiring a dedicated Sun SPARC to run Solaris and something else.”
In contrast to Wollongong and UWA, the University of NSW put in a new Mac lab last year with 20 machines, primarily for teaching human computer interface. However, according to human computer interface lecturer Daniel Woo, the university is also working on software development courses using Apple’s Cocoa environment.
Although not in mainstream courses yet, he said work is being done by thesis students using Apple’s Project Builder and Interface Builder tools, both of which were derived from the NEXT technology spearheaded by Steve Jobs after he initially left Apple.
The computer science department’s administrative systems run on Apple, Dr Woo said.


Well that certainly sucks for Apple, as well as all the students and faculty of UWA,
it's amazing that Apple keeps their prices so high even for the EDU circle, perhaps Apple should make a little donation to this university.....

[edit] article from http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,5666136%5E15306%5E%5Enbv%5E,00.html

cr2sh
Dec 12, 2002, 05:16 PM
where'd this article come from?

AmbitiousLemon
Dec 12, 2002, 06:03 PM
thats such bs. we have seen time and time again that apple computers do not cost more than pc. having lived and/or worked in schools my whole life i must say that this sort of thing has nothing to do with cost, it has to do with pc zealots getting in charge of the department. i have seen it happen time and time again. a school that has long used macs and whose staff loves the macs hires a new IT person who hates macs and within a year or two all the macs are thrown out and some lame excuse is iven (cost, does not prepare students for the buisiness world, etc)

dricci
Dec 13, 2002, 12:49 AM
Darn, I guess I was a little too late finishing my site (http://www.pctomac.com). :(

BenderBot1138
Dec 13, 2002, 07:14 AM
Someone in the dictatorship of that University likes PC's better, so decided to justify the passion by changing a University's policies. It's sad the people who are administrators have so much authority, but who ever said Universities where Democracies.

By far, Universities are horrific examples of radical thinking. This radical thinking quite often manifests itself as absolute power, that has corrupted its user absolutely. I think it would sufice to say, that if what I wanted to do was affected by a universities choice of computer, and I needed to become familiar with Apples, I would opt for another University.

:cool:

mymemory
Dec 13, 2002, 08:03 PM
Let me tell you that the teacher is right:

1. Macs are more expensive.
2. If you want to teach how to fix a computer get a PC, not a Mac.

BenderBot1138
Dec 14, 2002, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by mymemory
Let me tell you that the teacher is right:

1. Macs are more expensive.
2. If you want to teach how to fix a computer get a PC, not a Mac.

That's the most honest thing I've ever read about the reliability of PCs and Macs.

:cool:

beamso
Dec 15, 2002, 03:26 AM
How is their decision not justified? They said that the hardware costs were going to be greater if they stuck with Apple. Apples are a lot more expensive in Australia than they may be in other places.

AmbitiousLemon
Dec 15, 2002, 03:38 AM
Originally posted by beamso
How is their decision not justified? They said that the hardware costs were going to be greater if they stuck with Apple. Apples are a lot more expensive in Australia than they may be in other places.


Although the price of Apple computers over seas is marginally higher than it is in the United States, the plain fact of the matter is that the price difference is not significant. Furthermore the price of Apple computers has been falling dramatically in the past several years. If the university could afford to purchase Apple computers in tthe past why not now that they are so much cheaper? Furtehrmore Apple is well known for its educational discounts. No I am not talking about the lame discounts they give students, but the promotional deals they offer schools purchasing Apple products. The Apple commitment to education is strong, and if cost was a concern Apple always can amke deals.

but most importantly, Apple computers are far cheaper to manage. If simple costs is all we are concerned with then the plain fact of the matter is that you save money by purchasing Apple. The costs associated with maintaining a Wintel system is many times higher.

But mostly it is simply form experience that we should know that this is all ************. Decisions such as these are not made by groups of peopel analyzing all of the pertinent information. Typically deciosns such as tehse are made when a pc zealot takes charge of the IT department and decides on his own to get rid of all those silly looking macs.

If you think that this is in anyway justified I am afraid you have been brainwashed by the same 'Apple sucks' mythology that allows microsoft to continue holding the world by the balls.

beamso
Dec 15, 2002, 03:37 PM
How wasn't the price difference significant? They quoted twice the price! It's not a maclot, not a pc zealot, it's plain and simple someone looking at the bottom line of purchasing hardware! Nowhere were maintenance costs noted.

Mac prices may be dropping, but PC prices are dropping far more.

AmbitiousLemon
Dec 15, 2002, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by beamso
How wasn't the price difference significant? They quoted twice the price! It's not a maclot, not a pc zealot, it's plain and simple someone looking at the bottom line of purchasing hardware! Nowhere were maintenance costs noted.

Mac prices may be dropping, but PC prices are dropping far more.

i am sorry but this is wrong. price computers. its simple. just configure a mac and a pc. the price difference is non-existent. it is easy to buy into the myths and simply say macs cost more buut when you go and compare prices you see that that myth is just that—a myth.

furthermore if you are worried about cost then you should consider maitenance. macs cost less to maintain and administer. furthermore macs have high resell values and are useful longer. so you dont have to re-purchase as often.

i am sorry friend but you simply do not know the facts.

beamso
Dec 15, 2002, 05:19 PM
Read the article again. The person quoted mentioned nothing about maintenance costs (as you are pointing to). The person was quoted on hardware costs only. The AUD $3415 I need to buy a Powermac (sans monitor) would allow me to buy a superior PC desktop with a flat screen monitor.

AmbitiousLemon
Dec 15, 2002, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by beamso
Read the article again. The person quoted mentioned nothing about maintenance costs (as you are pointing to). The person was quoted on hardware costs only. The AUD $3415 I need to buy a Powermac (sans monitor) would allow me to buy a superior PC desktop with a flat screen monitor.

you are right they dont mention maintenance costs. that is the point. the claim macs are more expensive but they are ignoring the whole fact that pc's cost far more after you buy them.

as for the initial cost. if you configure a ac and a pc to match each others specs there is no difference in the cost. there have been many many threads here at MR where people have done just that. go out and price laptops, you will find macs are actually cheaper. and also remember that a school typically doesnt purchase high end machines. look at the original imac that apple sells to schools. schools can purchase the thing for less than $500USD. And the imac is going to far more capable a computer than any $500 pc.

but really what i have repeatedly been saying that even if the macs were more expensive initially you save money by purchasing them because of maitenance costs. the school is ignoring this fact. if they were truly interested in saving money they would be getting rid of pcs. this is simply the act of a pc zealot who has decided that he doesnt like macs and doesnt want to have to support them. if you worked in education you would already know all of this. i have watched it happen. the same ignorant explanations are always given:

macs cost too much
apple is going bankrupt
macs dont prepare students for the real world

beamso
Dec 15, 2002, 05:35 PM
My point was that business typically does not look at cost over time, rather than at that point in time. Therefore, initial outlay, therefore, hardware costs.

How exactly are they cheaper in maintenance costs though? Additional software or something?

The laptops are reasonably competitively priced, but not desktops.

I'd imagine the uni would buy Powermacs.

AmbitiousLemon
Dec 15, 2002, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by beamso
My point was that business typically does not look at cost over time, rather than at that point in time. Therefore, initial outlay, therefore, hardware costs.

How exactly are they cheaper in maintenance costs though? Additional software or something?

The laptops are reasonably competitively priced, but not desktops.

I'd imagine the uni would buy Powermacs.

typically universities purchase imacs (original). unless apple gives them powermacs. apple frequently gives my university powermacs. however all the offices and staff tend to use imacs unless they have been lucky enough to get one of thsoe free powermacs.

there have been many of these independent studies bt i thought this one the most appropriate since it is an australian study performed by an australian university.

Melbourne University counts the savings with Apple

SYDNEY 12 June 2002.

A study from technology research company, Gartner has found Apple Macintosh computers to be up to 36 percent cheaper to own and run than competing PC products. The study utilised Gartner's Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) methodology, which takes into account the direct and indirect costs of owning IT infrastructure. Direct costs include all hardware and software costs for desktop and mobile computers, servers and peripherals as well as upgrades, technical support and annual depreciation. Indirect costs cover the costs of end-users supporting themselves and each other, end-user training time and non-productive downtime.

The report compares the TCO for the University's Mac environment with its PC environment. It also compared the University's Mac environment with similar sized PC installations around the world. The research was conducted at Melbourne University in the Faculty of Arts which included 4676 Apple computers and 5338 Windows based machines. The relevant cost comparisons were $ 14.1 million and $ 18.9 million respectively. Apple systems cost just $ 1953 per year to support, Gartner found, compared with annual costs for Windows based machines of $ 2522.

Apple Computer Marketing Director, Arno Lenior, said the findings illustrated how medium to large sized organisations like Melbourne University could save time and money by investing in Macs over PCs. There is a perception that Macs are more expensive than PCs but this report proves what we've long believed - Macintosh is the most cost effective and efficient platform available, said Marketing Director, Apple Computer, Arno Lenior.

In examining direct costs, Gartner found that Macs required less technical support and the hardware and software costs were lower. Gartner found that this translated into direct savings of 25 percent over similar sized organisations using personal computers. University of Melbourne IT staff were able to manage more Macintosh systems per person servicing 30 Apple computers for every 23.2 Windows based computer. Macs are designed to be easy to use. The report highlighted this, proving that Mac users at the University required less formal training and didn't rely as heavily on technical staff as PC users. When something did go wrong, the technical staff solved the problem faster on Macs than PCs, said Lenior.

The Gartner report found that the Mac's efficiency and ease of use resulted in additional indirect savings of 43 percent. When combined, the Total Cost of Ownership for Melbourne University's Macs was 36 percent lower than similar PC environments elsewhere. Perhaps even more importantly, when questioned on how they felt about their networks Mac users at the University were happier than their PC counterparts.

see also

University confirms Gartner findings: Macs are cheaper _ and less trouble
posted on Jul 2, 2002 2 Jul 2002, Alex Summersby

Rower_CPU
Dec 15, 2002, 08:02 PM
Budgets are very tight right now everywhere, and it's unfortunate that people take such a short-term view.

In my lab, for instance, we are replacing PowerMac G3s with eMacs. Our budget only allowed for about $1300 per machine, so we couldn't afford to get new desktops and flat-panel monitors like we could in our PC lab.

I'm confident that the eMacs will serve us well for the next 3+ years, but I really wish the budget had allowed for something a little more "future proof".

beamso
Dec 15, 2002, 08:07 PM
I'd say that laptops were reasonably competitive, but not desktops.

Strangely enough, Gartner distanced themselves from that report.

http://www.osopinion.com/perl/story/18338.html

pantagruel
Dec 15, 2002, 10:03 PM
hmm its cheaper to keep mac's? next year will you be able to buy a new pc that will still run all the programs youve been using for the past couple of years or will you be forced to move into an entirely new system if you want a new computer? of course not.....I know understand that educational departments are going to be "exempt" from the whole os x in 2003 thing but come on. Aside from that, if this is a big university in austraila then they should be able to afford the best equipment, I mean thats what students go to big universitys for, the best, and they are going for second rate with the pc's and that shouldnt be acceptable, what about the students that already started their studies on macs and now this year will move to pc's? that would suck:eek: