PDA

View Full Version : Lost Another One to Windows


MacBytes
Dec 28, 2005, 08:32 AM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Lost Another One to Windows (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20051228093237)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

Eidorian
Dec 28, 2005, 08:46 AM
99.9 percent of computer users in the corporate world are just that, computer users … they’re not geeks like most of us. For the most part, they don’t even enjoy using a computer. How could they? They use PC’s after all. They may know that the CD tray is not a cup holder, but they don’t know much more … and they’re not interested either.Good Lord that's so true. Still, I have a job and people think I'm smart just for knowing how to run Windows update and defrag a drive.

Seasought
Dec 28, 2005, 09:14 AM
Every time I start reading a an article from Macsimum News I always end feeling like the rest of the article (which includes really in-depth, relevant information) is hidden somewhere I can't access.

I was hoping for a bit more from this guy as far as the length of the article goes. I read the his other article, "North of Northeast: Brave New World?" and I like the way he writes.

We all know that Macs win cost of ownership competitions all the time, but if the corporate world can’t find qualified technicians to support them, what are you going to do?

Maybe I'm too idealistic, but I see the upcoming Intel switch as bringing Macs more into the forefront and introducing the concept of actually using them en masse in a working environment as a feasible option.

Anyone else have any thoughts on that?

fixyourthinking
Dec 28, 2005, 09:46 AM
Every time I start reading a an article from Macsimum News I always end feeling like the rest of the article (which includes really in-depth, relevant information) is hidden somewhere I can't access.

Personally, I think a lot of Macsimum News is fluff or regurgitated. Dennis never has been one to take a stand ... just read his Christmas message to get a glance at what I mean ...

Maybe I'm too idealistic, but I see the upcoming Intel switch as bringing Macs more into the forefront and introducing the concept of actually using them en masse in a working environment as a feasible option.

Anyone else have any thoughts on that?

The hardest thing for Apple to overcome is the stigma of popularity and stability. I run a storefront that is part of a PC Repair Shop ... you can't believe how many people have never seen a Mac, thought Apple was out of business, think NOTHING is interchangeable between OSes, etc etc ... a lot of corporate leadership has the same opinion of Apple ...

revenuee
Dec 28, 2005, 09:52 AM
Maybe I'm too idealistic, but I see the upcoming Intel switch as bringing Macs more into the forefront and introducing the concept of actually using them en masse in a working environment as a feasible option.

Anyone else have any thoughts on that?

I'm elitist; i like having the "i'm better then you" attitude because i use a Mac
God willing i won't have to work in a corporate environment and won't have this issue, unless apple all of a sudden goes belly up and the entire photo.video.graphics world switches to windows

Currently i work for my University Union Newspaper, since we don't have autonomy (only editorial) we are funded and administered by the same powers as all other services on campus, we are the LAST service to be running macs and the **** for brains IT woman, who can't administer a toaster nevermind a network, would LOVE us to switch to windows. Luckily we played the "industry" card and we are getting a few news macs into the office to upgrade our EVER aging computers, so the IT "professional" can go fix the other windows machines and we'll be happily plugging away on our macs till the mid morning hours like we do every week.

Further, most of the Profs are either running some version of *nix or OS 9 macs. The multimedia people all run OS X, and a few of the better funded science researchers run OS X with a Darwin license and X windows (or whatever it was called) and run on the research stuff they need.

ibook30
Dec 28, 2005, 10:13 AM
I think the authors points about getting more technicians trained on macs are strong. If Apple would push the idea and send some machines (grants) to vocational schools it would increase awareness of the platform.

But, until the businesses out there have a need for mac techs, it will only be novelty training.
So how do you convince a CEO to push for a new platform? by showing how much money can be saved- less down time for workers, less $ spent on IT dept, and a generally happier group of employees!

d_and_n5000
Dec 28, 2005, 10:19 AM
They may know that the CD tray is not a cup holder
Whaddya mean that the the CD tray isn't a cup holder?

Well, he made some good points. IT people gotta make a living too, using PC's will only give more IT people jobs...

greatdevourer
Dec 28, 2005, 10:33 AM
There's a reason why IT admins hate anything but Windows - if they used summat else, then they'd probably be out of a job. At the very least, the IT team can be cut down to one person per 1000

fixyourthinking
Dec 28, 2005, 10:45 AM
There's a reason why IT admins hate anything but Windows - if they used summat else, then they'd probably be out of a job. At the very least, the IT team can be cut down to one person per 1000


Techs laugh at that ... but I experience it first hand ... through an almost opposite criticism ...

I work with a larger (mom and pop) PC repair shop to do their Apple work ... hardly ANYTHING comes in for me to repair ... if it does, it is usually repair due to abuse, neglect, user error ... I depend more on sales for income.

The owner tells me all the time ... we need to get billable hours up (so we can make more money from the Apple side) I would estimate I get about 40% of all Apple business in my area (Upstate & Greenville SC)

However, on the PC side ... I would estimate 75% of all customers come in due to viruses, another 20% due to hardware failure, and +/- 5% for user error or neglect.

XNine
Dec 28, 2005, 10:51 AM
Yeah, IT techs love windows only because it keeps them employed and busy. A lot of IT departments only get paid when they are fixing something. So, giving the current track record of crashes of my work PC compared to my home Macs (about 500 to 1), if everyone did switch to Macs, a lot of IT guys would be out of work. CEO's would be happy with all the money they'd save on not hiring more than a couple of people to maintain everything.

Then again, that comes with Cocoa programmers. Lots of companies, just like mine, have their own development team for special applications that no one else makes for the market. So then they'd have to hire someone who knows cocoa, not .net.

Interesting article.

Seasought
Dec 28, 2005, 10:52 AM
IT people gotta make a living too, using PC's will only give more IT people jobs...

It's a terrible conundrum though. Keep poor software in use so as to keep jobs available to people. I'm much more an advocate of Heinlein's "Specialization is for insects" kind of thinking, but that's just me.

Imagine the work that could be accomplished if a significant portion of problems with the tool (PC) were resolved.

mklos
Dec 28, 2005, 11:13 AM
I think the authors points about getting more technicians trained on macs are strong. If Apple would push the idea and send some machines (grants) to vocational schools it would increase awareness of the platform.

But, until the businesses out there have a need for mac techs, it will only be novelty training.
So how do you convince a CEO to push for a new platform? by showing how much money can be saved- less down time for workers, less $ spent on IT dept, and a generally happier group of employees!


You are so right here! I'd love to be a Mac Technician. But since Apple has opened retail stores, unless you work for Apple directly, then there's not a ton of places to be a Mac Technician. There are training courses, but they're extreme expensive ($1000+). I wouldn't really need to take any courses. Heck, I could probably take and pass the AppleCare Certification Exam(s) and become an AppleCare Certified Tech, but still, there's not a lot of places to become a Mac Tech.

Currently, I work on PC's, which isn't really what I want to do. Basically all I do everyday is removed spyware and viruses, and usually run a repair of Windows.

ibook30
Dec 28, 2005, 11:51 AM
You are so right here! I'd love to be a Mac Technician. But since Apple has opened retail stores, unless you work for Apple directly, then there's not a ton of places to be a Mac Technician. There are training courses, but they're extreme expensive ($1000+). I wouldn't really need to take any courses. Heck, I could probably take and pass the AppleCare Certification Exam(s) and become an AppleCare Certified Tech, but still, there's not a lot of places to become a Mac Tech.

Currently, I work on PC's, which isn't really what I want to do. Basically all I do everyday is removed spyware and viruses, and usually run a repair of Windows.

I'm basking in the warm glow of righteousness,,, thanks mklos !

But I gotta give credit to the author - he made these points clear.

Like you - I feel the effects of a PC dominated world - professionally. It would be exciting to see more macs around the office, and getting IT on board would help. But as many others have pointed out, IT depts will not be the ones to recomend Apple. It's gonna have to come from the top.

Perhaps Apple should send their free machines (grants) to CEO's first and get them hooked at home, then get the tech training fired up!

Eidorian
Dec 28, 2005, 12:22 PM
I have two jobs.

One is being a Mac technician and handling software/hardware. FileMaker 6-8 seem to give us the most headaches. UNIX headaches so up with permissions too.

The other one is being a Windows technician at a hospital.

I feel much more knowledgeable at my Windows job. You just KNOW what's wrong with Windows. When a something is REALLY wrong on a Mac it's something REALLY bad.

iBS23
Dec 28, 2005, 12:43 PM
You just KNOW what's wrong with Windows. When a something is REALLY wrong on a Mac it's something REALLY bad.

I find that's changing somewhat. It used to be that most Windows problems were somewhat simple to solve. These days it seems like there are more and more problems that you just putter with for hours on end with no real progress made until you either "stumble" upon the solution or get sick of messing with it and do a clean install.

Eidorian
Dec 28, 2005, 12:47 PM
I find that's changing somewhat. It used to be that most Windows problems were somewhat simple to solve. These days it seems like there are more and more problems that you just putter with for hours on end with no real progress made until you either "stumble" upon the solution or get sick of messing with it and do a clean install.Luckily, I've only had to do a few clean installations. We get the occasional spyware outbreak and quarantined file. Norton Corporate has cause us the most headaches.

We've also rooted out what applications just go bad when they're updated and what machines we can and can't install Windows service packs on.

It feels like I'm just a janitor since spyware seems to be the biggest issue. We're stucking using IE since all of our medical web applications LIVE on ActiveX. I have FireFox 1.5 on a few test machines.

IanF0729
Dec 28, 2005, 01:19 PM
Our IT employees are idiots. I know more than them with no certifications. Anywho, spyware is the biggest problem with our company. What's worse is that they decided to sell their soul to Dell and buy us crap machines. I'd like to know how they want me to write queries to analyze terabytes of data with 256mb of ram, personally. But since spyware became so bad on our corporate computers they deicded to take away all rights including:

Access to any control panel applet (I can't change wallpapers without hacking the registry or even change the resolution on my monitor).

Access to Internet Explorer (although I use firefox and it still works).

Access to view our system clock (I have to use Outlook 2003...remember 256mb of RAM).

What's odd, though is that we are sill allowed to access the explorer, and since explorer and internet explorer are practically the same application we can still access the internet without any problem.

:rolleyes: Got to love our IT department...they also still expect me to manage all of the computers in my area too..

::venting ended::

hob
Dec 28, 2005, 02:08 PM
It's a terrible conundrum though. Keep poor software in use so as to keep jobs available to people. I'm much more an advocate of Heinlein's "Specialization is for insects" kind of thinking, but that's just me.

Imagine the work that could be accomplished if a significant portion of problems with the tool (PC) were resolved.
I've not heard that quote before, but it does make sense. Without sounding too big-headed, anything I apply myself to - I usually get a good understanding of. I couldn't be one of those people who just "use" computers - I have to know its inner workings too.

So from my perspective I can't understand how anyone would ever not want to delve deeper into their computer. In the same way I can't understand people who out-right reject Macs (or anything else for that matter) - as soon as I saw one, I realised it was better, for me. I recon half of my mates are only anti-mac because they've bought their machine already - a kind of "make me bed and lay in it" mentality.

I feel much more knowledgeable at my Windows job. You just KNOW what's wrong with Windows. When a something is REALLY wrong on a Mac it's something REALLY bad.
That reminded me of a friend who said "at least on windows [vs. mac os x] the error messages are informative" - my response: "what error messages?" :rolleyes: :D

hob
Dec 28, 2005, 02:11 PM
...they deicded to take away all rights including:

Access to any control panel applet (I can't change wallpapers without hacking the registry or even change the resolution on my monitor).

Access to Internet Explorer (although I use firefox and it still works).

Access to view our system clock (I have to use Outlook 2003...remember 256mb of RAM).

What's odd, though is that we are sill allowed to access the explorer, and since explorer and internet explorer are practically the same application we can still access the internet without any problem.

How do they think that will help? It's that RIAA mentality - anyone who WANTS to be malicious will find a way around it. Anyone who knows what they are doing, like you and me, will get pissed off because of the restrictions, and the average "user" wouldn't even think to alter any settings!

IanF0729
Dec 28, 2005, 02:16 PM
Yup - they know I'm an avid Mac user too and they dislike that.

In response my desktop wallpaper reads "I think, therefore iMac."

But you're right. I'm lucky if I can get people on my team to log into their computers properly since they hardly speak English or read. Yeah Texas! We teach literacy.

They're not all bad, but when I need to call a tech to install a printer (which took him 45 minutes) on a new hire's computer. I know they're hindering my productivity.

On the bright side I just got promoted to another part of our company so I won't have to deal with this crap anymore.

Some_Big_Spoon
Dec 28, 2005, 07:13 PM
Ever see the ratio of admins needed for a windows house vs. a linux house, or windows vs. unix, or windows vs. mac? You're looking at 2, 4, 8 times the number of tech monkies to do that same number of boxes. Of course they're going to push for windows.

There's a reason why IT admins hate anything but Windows - if they used summat else, then they'd probably be out of a job. At the very least, the IT team can be cut down to one person per 1000

chatin
Dec 29, 2005, 02:49 AM
Virus and root kit propagation is hitting critical mass. With so many seriously infected machines running Windows, that this OS is just not going to be a workable option in the future.

:rolleyes:

Eidorian
Dec 29, 2005, 08:42 AM
Virus and root kit propagation is hitting critical mass. With so many seriously infected machines running Windows, that this OS is just not going to be a workable option in the future.

:rolleyes:But, but Norton's Protection Racket 2006 makes it nearly workable! :rolleyes:

SiliconAddict
Dec 29, 2005, 11:09 AM
I find that's changing somewhat. It used to be that most Windows problems were somewhat simple to solve. These days it seems like there are more and more problems that you just putter with for hours on end with no real progress made until you either "stumble" upon the solution or get sick of messing with it and do a clean install.

If you know where to go and have the right training you shouldn't need to stumble onto a solution. One of the best sites online is www.eventid.net
You simply paste the event error and away you go. That and Google are my two biggest tools. Instead of spending hours fixing a problem its more like minutes. The one big thing Windows has going for it is resources. There are so many Windows resources on the net that a simple Google search will bring about a solution if not several solutions to a problem.
I've seen shops who are setup in a way where you don't need more then one or 2 techs for 1,000 systems. These are shops where the system is locked down (And when I say locked down I'm talking not even being allowed to change your wallpaper.), where SMS 2003 server is implemented, where antivirus software is linked to a parent server up in the sky so its always up to date, where most of the software packages are bundled into an SMS installer package, and where every desktop has XP's firewall turned on. With a well planned environment Windows is a perfectly acceptable OS. That's the problem though. Most CIO's are here to save a company money because IT isn't their core business. As such they come along and implement half***ed solutions that results in more headaches then actual solutions.
Putting a Mac in an enterprise environment doesn't guarantee that problems won't arise. Even with a Mac environment if you don't have a well thought out plan in place its still going to be chaotic. Just less so then a Windows environment. (As an example how many people do I hear screaming on MR every time Apple releases the Mac equivalent to a Service Pack?)

PS - If Apple really wanted to be smart they would get CompTIA to put Apple+ classes in their certifications alongside their current A+ Security+, Network+, Linux+ cert programs.

mkrishnan
Dec 29, 2005, 11:16 AM
But, but Norton's Protection Racket 2006 makes it nearly workable! :rolleyes:

They should hire two salesmen to go around door to door, and say things like, "I would hate that something should happen to your computer." Preferably, one of them should be named Vinnie, and the other should be missing a finger. :)