PDA

View Full Version : The Mac attack: No sympathy here for teachers polishing Appl...


MacBytes
Dec 1, 2004, 04:20 PM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: The Mac attack: No sympathy here for teachers polishing Apples (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20041201172034)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

Mudbug
Dec 1, 2004, 04:21 PM
in case, for some reason, after the incredible barrage of email this guy's going to get he decides to remove his email address:

Rich Brooks can be reached at rich.brooks@heraldtribune.com.

Have a nice day. Send him a note, won't you? :D



or two, or fifty, or...

tace
Dec 1, 2004, 04:27 PM
Wow, in Florida even this guy can pass of as a journalist. I have seen 5th graders (OK not the AL,GA,FL,AK,SC,MS ones) write better articles than this.

And before you critize me, here is a background, I went to school in 3 of these Southern states including FL.

Jerry Spoon
Dec 1, 2004, 04:38 PM
It isn't often that I read a simple and unresearched article on these links. This is probably only the second time and I hope it is again several months before I read another.

1macker1
Dec 1, 2004, 04:42 PM
Maybe it isn't the schools.:)
Wow, in Florida even this guy can pass of as a journalist. I have seen 5th graders (OK not the AL,GA,FL,AK,SC,MS ones) write better articles than this.

And before you critize me, here is a background, I went to school in 3 of these Southern states including FL.

What type of disk do Macs use that PC's don't?

brap
Dec 1, 2004, 04:44 PM
But with PCs locking in 97 percent of the market, deciding what kind of computers to use in a school system is a no-brainer.
That made me laugh out LOUD.

Which is bad, because my housemate is about 8 inches away, and alseep.

spice weasel
Dec 1, 2004, 04:59 PM
Okay, putting aside the Mac vs. PC thing for a moment, what kind of moron buys a computer for his kid before bothering to check what kind of computer the school uses? And I don't buy the interoperability problems he claims he had. How many of us use Macs at home and PCs somewhere else (or have friends with PCs) and share files with no problem?

Even if the school used PCs and he bought a Mac, he would still be a moron for complaining about it.

emw
Dec 1, 2004, 05:02 PM
I'm assuming he'd badmouth anyone driving a BMW or a Mercedes as well, as they've got such a small market share.

bennetsaysargh
Dec 1, 2004, 05:06 PM
grr, this makes me mad, and i feel stupid for even responding to this, but here it goes.
they use different software, yes, but different disks? no. i've never encountered a problem when transferring things either way. not only that, but why do you buy a computer for a kid, and not consider the platform difference? kids are spoiled these days, i wish i could get a new computer for the beginning of the school year :rolleyes:

StarbucksSam
Dec 1, 2004, 05:07 PM
This guy clearly did not do his research. It must have been a slow news day too; he posts five year old news. Things have changed a lot since 1999, especially with compatibility. It's a LOT better these days. The fact that he doesn't know that, and that this is so clumsily written just shows what a ... fool he is.

StarbucksSam
Dec 1, 2004, 05:10 PM
I just sent him an e-mail:

Dear Mr. Brooks,

I read your latest article on incompatibility between Macs and PC's and I must say that it is utter garbage. I'm sorry to be rude, but it was not researched and very clumsily written. Why would you write about five-year-old news that has no relevance today. If you had done your research, you'd be aware that compatibility is MANY times better today than it was five years ago between the two platforms. Please learn a little before you start "busting" on schools that use Macs. They are far more stable and they are excellent for a school or home system.

Thanks,

Sam

quagmire
Dec 1, 2004, 05:12 PM
This is a preview of my email I am going to send him.


Let say Mercedes(just so happens I hate mercedes as well as windows) has a 97% marketshare for luxury/performance cars. While BMW has 3%. Mercedes's blow up, break down, and require alot of maintenance. While BMW's do not blow up, some do break down but, nothing is perfect right? Now which one do you want to own. The high dominate marketshare mercedes or the low marketshare BMW?


PS: The I hate mercedes as well as windows will not be there and was just there to show you people my point of view.

balconycollapse
Dec 1, 2004, 05:27 PM
I bet this guy goes to bed at 8 oclock. What a dolt. The article sounded like it was written by a child.

the_mole1314
Dec 1, 2004, 05:51 PM
Can't wait for him to check his in box tomorrow.... :D

shadowfax
Dec 1, 2004, 05:59 PM
Wow, in Florida even this guy can pass of as a journalist. I have seen 5th graders (OK not the AL,GA,FL,AK,SC,MS ones) write better articles than this.

And before you critize me, here is a background, I went to school in 3 of these Southern states including FL.AK? Alaska? that was random.

... or did you man AR, Arkansas... the state i was born in? your education's definitely showing through! :p

neonart
Dec 1, 2004, 06:05 PM
If the vast majority of teachers [EDUCATORS!] tell you that the best platform for your child to do school work is the Mac platform, what kind of cheap uninformed fool goes the other way?

There are more so its better. Thats it. Thats this moron's reasoning. Hopefully his kid does not grow up with the same ideals. I could see him now..."Well more and more kids are doing drugs, I guess it's good then."

I hope this is the last article this uninformed, incapable loser writes. Fire his editor too for letting that crap out.


He better get some good anti-virus for the barrage of hate mail he's getting for this one! :eek:

rjfiske
Dec 1, 2004, 06:08 PM
From the conclusion of my rather copius reply:

Seriously Rich Brooks... I mean no disrespect, nor do I wish to sound angry (90% of communication is non-verbal after all). But ... to quote a shall we say more enlightened member of the press:

"Since any reasonable person would choose a Mac over a PC, Apple's market share does provide us with an accurate reading of the percentage of reasonable people in our society."
- Roger Ebert

Mainyehc
Dec 1, 2004, 06:14 PM
This guy is... I have no words to describe it. He doesn't even try to praise Windows, or the PC, or anything. He shamelessly bashes the Mac, admitting he hasn't even tried to use one. The first time I did some severe product bashing in these forums was AFTER playing with some HD players, only to find they were too crappy for daily use. Why should these so-called journalists act any different?? First, you do some research. Then, even if you're not right, or did insufficient research or whatever, you can do all the bashing or praising you want. Sheesh!! Such morons!

Anyway, let the flaming begin :p

And what about... FLOPPY DISKS??? ROTFLMAO!!!!!

Not even my PC-using friends use those anymore... They all use CD-R/RW and flash drives. Seriously... I couldn't believe what I was reading. I can easily convince in 5 minutes the most skeptical person that Macs ARE compatible with PC's as far as file transfers are concerned. I talk to them about USB, Firewire, flash drives, etc etc etc, and the only points in which I fail to convince anyone (and honestly, I won't try to because I would be lying) are pricing and memory. The only thing I usually say is "2004 is not a good year to buy a Mac. Wait for 2005 or even 2006, by then, they'll be better value", which is the same as saying "Wait for the new Powerbooks and updated iBooks", or "Wait for a cheaper and better spec'ed iMac G5" (no, the FX 5200 Ultra won't cut it for much longer)...

I'm going to sound kind of like the devil's advocate, but here it goes: Macs are too darn expensive for the average, and even the semi-professional user (like graphics design students like me). It's amazing how slow my iMac G5 1.8GHz was before I put some more RAM in there (1GB), and how fast it became after that. The difference seems even bigger now that I removed it (it was defective and had to be replaced, I'm still waiting for the store to have them in stock again, and I'm starting to get a little desperate here :(). But you know, 1GB sticks of RAM aren't exactly cheap... I bought a €2,050 ($2,735) computer, and had to spend an additional €280 ($374) to make it usable :eek: Do I regret it? Not a single bit, because I made the switch a few months before things started to get really bad on the Windows side (and I never used XPee anyway), so now I don't know and never knew what it feels like to have your PC turning into an even bigger POS because of viruses and ad/spyware... It cost me a lot (of cash), but I'm happy :D

I honestly hope that IBM solves their issues with the G5, and that some of those millions of iPod users out there finally become switchers, so Apple may one day lower Mac prices... I already know so many people that would buy a Mac in a heartbeat (and ironically, only one of them has an iPod, but he already knew how Macs are great anyway) if they were not only cheaper but also came with more memory, and even some other people that would buy them if there were enough in stock. Not everyone is willing to wait patiently some 2 months for their computer to arrive, and some eventually end up buying PC's... :(

rjfiske
Dec 1, 2004, 06:17 PM
Things have changed a lot since 1999, especially with compatibility.

Actually, I see his point slightly. I've never ever been able to get spyware or viruses that I receive on my PC to work on my Mac.
;)

bennetsaysargh
Dec 1, 2004, 06:22 PM
Actually, I see his point slightly. I've never ever been able to get spyware or viruses that I receive on my PC to work on my Mac.
;)
oh darn! i've always wanted one of those, but no one makes a mac version! :D

Mainyehc
Dec 1, 2004, 06:24 PM
oh darn! i've always wanted one of those, but no one makes a mac version! :D

Be careful what you wish for... What about that "halo effect" thing...? :p :rolleyes:

jettredmont
Dec 1, 2004, 06:47 PM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: The Mac attack: No sympathy here for teachers polishing Apples (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20041201172034)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

1) Even five years ago (late 1999, to save you the math) Macs didn't cost $900 more than the equivalent PCs. Unless he was getting a massive discount through his "job" (that bugs me ... he didn't get a discount through his job; he got it through the company he worked for ... unless his job entails giving himself discounts on computers!), there's simply no way that he would have been spending that much on a Mac. Today, of course, it's often cheaper to get a Mac than a high-end Windows computer, although the bottom has dropped out of the low-end box-o-crap Windows PC market, so the differences there are large (still not $900, though, as they regrettfully don't pay you a hundred bucks to take away Windows machines, and the eMac is still only $800)

2) "Apple makes one system for its Macintosh computers. The other is called a PC system." Um, no. The other is called either a "Windows Machine" or an "IBM-Compatible" (not so much anymore). "PC" is a generic term, which encompasses machines running everything from Windows to Linux to Mac OS to whatever the Apple II ran.

3) "They have similarities, but are not compatible. Macintoshes -- or Macs -- use different programs and different disks." Again, absolutely false. They are incredibly compatible these days, although less so than before. They do run different programs, although any one program has a decent chance of existing on both platforms, and most programs at least have equivalents across the divide. And disks? Granted, Macs tended to format floppies using their own format back when they used such things, but you could always get a Mac to make a Win-compatible disk, or a Windows box to read a Mac disk, with considerably less trouble than having your kid stay after school several days a week to get his homework done.

What a moron. Already wasted too much thought on this buffoon.

mmmdreg
Dec 1, 2004, 06:54 PM
hahhaa obviously he's got no clue. I pity him for the email he's going to get though.. I wonder if he'll set up a junk filter to delete everything containing "mac" or something =).. even if it checked for "moron" it'd probably get most of it ;)

rikers_mailbox
Dec 1, 2004, 06:56 PM
aahhh. . it's always so satisfying when some idiot writes a completely moronic article, and then we procede to flame that person. I'm expecting a follow-up article from this half-wit in a few days to clear up some of his statements. This is the level of work that makes a boss notice sub-par performance.

I think I'll send this dude an e-mail, just to add to his bad day tomorrow. :D

tech4all
Dec 1, 2004, 07:00 PM
There are two basic home computer operating systems. Apple makes one system for its Macintosh computers. The other is called a PC system. They have similarities, but are not compatible. Macintoshes -- or Macs -- use different programs and different disks.

In other words, files and work created on a Mac are not easily transferred to a PC.

Not compatible? So if I create a file on my Mac, it's gonna be hard to tranfer it to a PC? Well let me see I just did something like this today. Got a Photoshop file, burned it to a CD. Went to job. Put CD into PC. Opened file wonderfully. Plus I've transfered tons of files between my Mac and PC via a network seemlessly. This guy is really making himself look ignorant :rolleyes:


Just saw he was talking about floppy disk. Not sure about those. But comon, even PCs come with CD burners.

Macmaniac
Dec 1, 2004, 07:04 PM
You've got 500 new messages:
Title:
Mr. Brooks, why are you so dumb?
OMG MACS RULE
Educator who says otherwise
Do your research buddy
Where did you go for your journalism degree
Research, research, research
Get a mac dude......
Mr. Brooks, why are you so dumb?
OMG MACS RULE
Educator who says otherwise
Do your research buddy
Where did you go for your journalism degree
Research, research, research
Get a mac dude......
Mr. Brooks, why are you so dumb?
OMG MACS RULE
Educator who says otherwise
Do your research buddy
Where did you go for your journalism degree
Research, research, research
Get a mac dude......
Next 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

hardchemist
Dec 1, 2004, 07:09 PM
Rich,

Software standards bridge the gap between the PC and Macintosh computers.

Any disk generated by a mac can be read by a PC and vice versa.

Current Micro$oft office programs generate interchangeable files.

A jpeg is a jpeg by any other name.

Adobe .psd files are cross-compatible.

In other words, I'm struggling to figure out what incompatibility you are talking about...

The only thing you get on a PC that you don't get on a Mac are a few more programs (there are only 10,000+ written for OS X) and LOTS MORE VIRUSES AND WORMS AND TROJAN HORSES!!!

I work on a PC all day long. I'm a manager at Lockheed Martin, and the company is completely in bed with Micro$oft technology and Dull computers except for servers (where downtime is really a factor), and the various art and layout departments. I love coming home and working on my G5 Powermac, things just work so nicely - no crashes, no virus attacks, no perpetual patches and security threats. And it gobbles up multi-media like you wouldn't believe.

Oh - and the US market is more like 6% for Mac desktops, and much higher (in the teens) for laptops.

Sorry you feel the way you do about some teachers wishing to grant their students a glimmer of what Windows will be in the future (a Macintosh today).

Chris Adams
M.S. Chemist
Florida

MacSA
Dec 1, 2004, 07:20 PM
Is he seriously referring to floppy discs? lol :eek: When did you last see a piece of software come on a floppy disk lol.

Surely, some of the misleading innacuracies in that article are bordering on the libelous/slanderous ;)

b.k.jackson
Dec 1, 2004, 07:21 PM
Here's what I wrote - I get too wound up sometimes :)

From: b.k.jackson@mac.com
Subject: The Mac Attack...
Date: December 1, 2004 8:18:05 PM EST
To: rich.brooks@heraldtribune.com

Hi Rich -

It was with interest that I read your article "The Mac attack: No sympathy here for teachers polishing Apples" posted November 27. 2004 at 12:00AM (http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041127/COLUMNIST09/411270337).

In your article I believe that you made several factual mistakes - and some pretty egregious ones at that. I was hoping that you might follow up your article with some corrections, or at least publish some responses that you'll get from the (sometimes rabid) Mac user base.

I think the first one is a major misconception that many PC users (you admitted "I have always used PCs so I don't really know if Macs are indeed superior") have is issues of compatibility. You state "In other words, files and work created on a Mac are not easily transferred to a PC." I'm wondering what files you're talking about? Most major businesses use Microsoft's Office Suite for their basic word processing, spreadsheet, and email functions. Microsoft has always provided comparable (and fully compatible) versions of office for the Mac (1) - I'm not sure if you realize that the Mac was the first major platform that Microsoft wrote application software for (2). There are over 10,000 programs developed for the Mac (3) - and the majority of these are cross-platform. I believe that your statement wasn't based on facts, but more of a "feeling" you have since you don't seem to understand the how compatible the two platforms are. I recently finished my MBA with no compatibility issues what-so-ever with my professors or fellow students - and I don't run into them communicating with my colleagues and customers in my job in the telecommunications arena.

The next statement I'd like to touch on, "But with PCs locking in 97 percent of the market, deciding what kind of computers to use in a school system is a no-brainer." is a what I'd call a no-brainer - no serious thought went into coming to that conclusion. If you use that type of thinking, then there's no reason to buy a BMW for your next car - since it clearly doesn't have the market lead in car sales (4,5). If you look at the laptop market then Apple's market share is even higher than the number you so quickly cited - Apple leads Sony and is only slightly behind IBM (6).

Computers are tools to teach critical thinking, problem solving, and skills - regardless of the platform. If the children in the school are going to become programmers then you're doing them a huge disservice by relegating them to a monopolized environment; in the IT and telecommunications industries (not to mention rocket science (7), biology (8), and super-computing (9)) Unix is the prevalent operating system - not Windows. Did you know that Macs have a BSD Unix layer as there underpinnings?

I think your article was well intentioned but flawed - you tried to write about something that you admit you have no knowledge of. Perhaps you can do some investigation, or perhaps even contact Apple for a press-loaner so you can try it for yourself and then write about your experience instead? You may find that you're pleasantly surprised - you might not want to give it back.


Brian Jackson
--
b.k.jackson@mac.com
http://www.brian-jackson.net

(1) http://www.apple.com/macosx/applications/office/
(2) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=ad951bad-3e3b-4f32-a081-72072a869d17&displaylang=en
(3) http://www.apple.com/macosx/applications/
(4) http://daringfireball.net/2003/07/market_share
(5) http://www.economagic.com/em-cgi/data.exe/aama/t4s6
(6) http://www.rocsearch.com/samples/Worldwide%20Laptop%20Market.pdf
(7) http://developer.apple.com/business/macmarket/riacsnasa.html
(8) http://forgetcomputers.com/~jdroz/refs/MacWoosScientists.html
(9) http://www.computerworld.com/hardwaretopics/hardware/story/0,10801,96933,00.html

Mudbug
Dec 1, 2004, 07:51 PM
I'm glad to see you all taking this in the light in which it was presented.

oohhh, if only he were canadian, and in charge of releasing the iTMS there... we'd rip him apart.

Nermal
Dec 1, 2004, 07:53 PM
Here's what I wrote - I get too wound up sometimes :)

That's a good message. It's not a flame, and you link to the facts :)

Superhob
Dec 1, 2004, 07:54 PM
Here's a copy of what I sent him.

Mr. Brooks,

I just read your article about the schools deciding to swtich to PCs and the teachers wanting to keep the macs. I have been using a mac and a pc for a while now and I've never had *any* compatibilty issues between the two. All the most common file types such as word documents, excel spreadsheets, etc are completely compatible between the two systems. You really need to do some research before you write such an article demonizing macs like that.

Also, I recently bought a new mac laptop for $949.00 and there are brand new mac desktops starting at $799 (see www.apple.com.) with the educational discount.

I believe you owe apple computers an apology and in order to maintain your journalistic integrity you should print a retraction of the misinformation included in your article.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email.

Macmaniac
Dec 1, 2004, 08:13 PM
Before the US invasion of Iraq Sadam Hussein held a presidential election. He got 100% of the vote. So since it appears that 100% of Iraqi's like Sadam then we as the rest of the world should like Sadam, this is this guys thought train. "Heck if everybody is doing it why not join?"

mgargan1
Dec 1, 2004, 08:28 PM
here's my letter to him, and the edititor:

To whom it may concern:

This article is a disgrace. It was very hard for me to me to read what Rich Brooks had to say. The fact that Brooks used information from 1999 in an article from Nov. 2004 is very poor journalism. That would be like writing an article today about how great the dot-com stocks are, and how we should all invest in them. To say that Macs are not compatible with PC’s is just absurd and I for one use a Mac at home and a PC at school. I transfer files back and forth all the time, I also have a wireless network with both Mac and pc's sharing files cross platform. I seriously doubt, however that when Brooks was thinking about this article he did any research this topic.

As for the usefulness of Macs, the Mac has been used in every single major motion picture made in the last 10 years, the Mac platform is in pretty much every music studio across the country, finally... the Mac is an excellent machine for education. They are far more reliable, they have zero vulnerability, and everything that can be done on a pc can be done on a Mac.

Now, I'm not saying that everyone should be using a Mac, what I'm saying is that this journalist is horrible, and should write a rebuttal article immediately. Such writing will portray Herald Tribune as a very poor quality place to receive news.

Thank you for your time, and I hope that you fix this horrible piece of writing.

Mike Gargan

macnulty
Dec 1, 2004, 08:41 PM
Dudes & dudettes get a grip, this is why mac users are viewed as nut jobs or cultists. The article was so poor what value is there in responding to it, the guy didn't take the time to write a cogent article for his opinion.

Kagetenshi
Dec 1, 2004, 09:52 PM
mgargan, what email address did you use contacting his superior? This is definitely something that said superior needs to be CCed on.

~J

neonart
Dec 1, 2004, 10:52 PM
mgargan, what email address did you use contacting his superior? This is definitely something that said superior needs to be CCed on.

~J

Connelly, Mike
mike.connelly@heraldtribune.com

Executive Editor

(941) 957-5213

nagromme
Dec 1, 2004, 11:04 PM
You NEED to teach children using what they will be using in the real world. What they will be using in the future is not something that exists today--it will likely be a version of (for now) Windows. Macs may be better, but Windows will be the majority for some time all the same.

So, how to do you give kids TODAY the closest thing you can to where Windows will be in 5-10 years?

Obviously, you teach them on a Mac.

StarmanDeluxe
Dec 1, 2004, 11:06 PM
You rock.

neonart
Dec 1, 2004, 11:38 PM
Dear Mr. Connelly,

In the article "The Mac Attack: No sympathy here for teachers polishing Apples" Rich Brooks has made your newspaper look horrible. Was this article even viewed by an editor? Here are some comments made by Mr. Brooks that display lack of professionalism, zero knowledge of the topic at hand, and show that no research of any kind was done prior to its writing:

"There are two basic home computer operating systems. Apple makes one system for its Macintosh computers. The other is called a PC system. They have similarities, but are not compatible. Macintoshes -- or Macs -- use different programs and different disks."

The two different operating systems he refers to are Windows (currently XP) and the Mac OS (Mac OS X). There is no operating system called a "PC System." They use programs that are coded for each OS, but most of those programs are fully compatible between platforms. Take Microsoft Office and the Adobe suite of creative software. All 100% cross platform compatible. Different disks!? How is that? Are CD's or DVD's proprietary? Are USB and Firewire drives OS specific? Obviously Mr. Brooks had no concept of what he was writing about. Funny thing is his article basically lays that out as the base for what he has to say:

"If nothing else, Mac users are passionate about their computers. They believe Macs are easier to operate and don't require as much maintenance.

And Macs are better for graphics and videos -- or so I'm told. I have always used PCs so I don't really know if Macs are indeed superior."

How can anyone write anything about something they have never used, tested, experienced, or even considered! That's like you and I, Mr. Connelly, decide to write articles about how horrible it is to live on Mars, or to be women. No base and no information on the subject equals one poorly written pile of papers.

"That process of copying projects and files to a floppy disk and using the stored files at home and work is similar to what happens millions of times a day at offices throughout the world."

In 2004!? Please tell me your company does not use floppy disks. How does that portray that your newspaper is in sync with technology? A guy that uses floppies in 2004 is writing about computers! Why not speak of his skills with a typewriter?

"But with PCs locking in 97 percent of the market, deciding what kind of computers to use in a school system is a no-brainer."

Solid conclusion clearly based on well investigated facts... the way all important purchases should be made. Buy whatever most people have. Why think? But clearly Mr. Brooks is so smart according to himself:

"Thinking back to that initial meeting in the high school library, I see now that for all their postulating about technology, the teachers really didn't understand its applications in the educational environment.

Sure, they could write programs, create Web sites and surf the Internet, but they didn't realize that computer technology is a tool to use at home and school."

So these qualified educators are a bunch of idiots that could write code, create websites and the like. Yet they knew nothing compared to the ultra savvy, floppy using, buy whatever the masses have, Mr. Brooks. Amazing.

A disgrace to your newspaper and a disservice to the readers.

Kagetenshi
Dec 2, 2004, 12:14 AM
My own contribution to the flood:

Subject: Issues with November 27 article
Date: December 2, 2004 1:13:06 AM EST
To: rich.brooks@heraldtribune.com
Cc: mike.connelly@heraldtribune.com

A few days, a column of yours ("The Mac attack: No sympathy here for teachers polishing Apples" , http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041127/COLUMNIST09/411270337 ) appeared. Being based solely on information half a decade out of date, information current when the dot-com bubble was riding high and Clinton was in the end of his era, its relevance is immediately called into question.

Your inability to differentiate between market share (the percentage of all computers sold in a given year sold) and installed base (the percentage of computers currently being used) is alarming; a good primer for why this is an important distinction is available at http://www.osviews.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1122 and a look at what the Macintosh installed base was in '99, the fateful year the seeds of this article began, at http://www.lowendmac.com/musings/statistics.shtml .

Moreover, your assertion that your son was unable to do work both at school and at home due to the limitations of the computers involved shows a marked dearth of research; with a negligible amount of investigation, it would have become obvious that unless the homework at your son's high school was vastly outside the norm, it would have primarily involved word processing documents which are trivially transferable from Windows to a Macintosh and only slightly less so the other way around (and not through fault of Apple's, I assure you).

Briefly, at the bottom of the first page, you touch upon the entire purpose of the article. Abandoning briefly your ad pomum attacks, you spend a grand total of six amazing sentences on-topic. The peace is not to last, though, because moving on in your condemnation of the Macintosh, you unleash a coup de grace by…

…Admitting that you have never used a Macintosh! My, well, aren't you the authority on them! I feel so much better knowing that we are in the hands of an expert.

The confusion between market share and installed base continues, along with the assertion that the Windows choice (incidentally, PC stands for Personal Computer, of which group every current Macintosh save the XServe is a member; x86 is the more correct identifier, though now x86-64 is beginning to spread. Windows-compatible is an acceptable alternative.) is a "no-brainer". Reassuring that the perpetuation of a monoculture is considered a no-brainer ( http://www.sdtimes.com/opinions/guestview_113.htm and http://www.detnews.com/2004/technology/0402/16/technology-64754.htm , among others). The third alternative of having both is completely ignored, despite being the obvious optimal choice.

But wait, you cry! In their professional careers, the kids will all be using Windows!

Well, that might be true. If none of them ever want to go into biology/neurology ( http://www.apple.com/science/profiles/cellsignaling/ ), aeronautical engineering ( http://www.apple.com/science/profiles/colsa/ ), medical lab work ( http://www.apple.com/science/profiles/roederer/ ), or programming ( http://developer.apple.com/business/macmarket/brightech.html ), to name a few.

"[C]omputer technology is a tool to use at home and school." Your words, yet you fail to understand them. At home, you likely have a box of tools. Do you have, inside, a single hammer that you use on everything from nails to screws to wire to wood in need of cutting? Advocating the crippling of the learning experience is no small matter. With a Macintosh monoculture the experience is suboptimal, but at least experience there can, if properly taught, be ported to Unix, Linux, BSD, and many other systems in use in the professional world. If one is only taught on Windows, where can one go from there?

I am greatly disappointed in the quality of this article (as you may have noticed), and hope that this is not indicative of the overall quality of Southwest Florida's Information Leader.

~J

backspinner
Dec 2, 2004, 02:45 AM
What a wonderful thread...
...what a bad article.

J-Squire
Dec 2, 2004, 03:10 AM
Mr Brooks,

I wish I could bring you some form of relief amongst what I am sure has been your most controversial article in recent times. Unfortunately, I too use an Apple computer and, although I wish I could let it slide, I felt it would be good to bring to your attention some more accurate information on the topic of macs in the classroom - just in case you are planning on doing a follow-up article now that you are a bit more enlightened on the benefits of using a mac.

My main objection to your article was the comments you made against those teachers who were of the opinions that macs would be of more benefit to students than windows computers. I understand that you thought that the argument of "lack of compatability" was sufficient to back up your comments, but by now I am sure you have been made aware of the advances Apple and Microsoft have made in compatability.
I would have to say that these teachers had actually put more thought into the pros and cons of using windows machines than you have. First and foremost, I would bring to your attention the issue of productivity in the classroom. The fact that PCs are far more susceptable to viruses and spyware means that the system is often held hostage to hacker programs that slow down the system and also cause it to crash. This is compounded by the fact that windows is a far less stable platform than the Mac OSX, due to issues with third party hardware, and poorly writted software. All this leads to serious issues in uptime (the amount of time a computer is working properly) as students are constantly requiring service and support for their machines. Believe me, I have been part of a windows laptop rollout in an education institute, and spent more time without a computer than with one.
Going hand in hand with these issues is the cost of servicing such problems. This is a direct cost to the school, and in the end, the students and their families.

Apple computers have been shown to be FAR less susceptable to viruses and hackers, as well as based on a rock solid operating system. These factors lead to a far more productive classroom environment (along with the fact that macs are much more intuitive to use), as well as lower ongoing costs.

Thanks for taking the time to gain a broader knowledge on the options available to educational facilities when choosing an I.T solution. I hope that those who are lucky enough to use a mac have not been too hard on you in response to your comments.

Cheers,

Jeremy Gale

loneAzdgari
Dec 2, 2004, 03:24 AM
Hello,

I read your article regarding the change of platforms of Macs to PCs
in your state and just couldn't help but comment on it. I think your
article was one of the most underesearched and clumsy articles I have
read in the last 6 months. If you had done 5 minutes of browsing on
Apple's site or even done a few google searches you would have found
that simple disk incompatibilities are a thing of the past between
Macs and PCs, and Macs have recognised floppy disks and CDs formated
for the PC since the format was invented! As a reporter for a Mac
website I may have a slight bias towards Macs, but I certainly believe
that they are better than anything the PC platform has to offer. You
made no attempt to defend the PC platform in any way than quote a 97%
market share dominance. That is a defence of a monopoly, not a real
defence.

I expect you'll probably be sick of the number of emails you have
recieved on this matter. So what I am going to suggest is that you do
some research for your next article rather than use your outdated
prejudices as a basis.

Thanks,

Conrad Quilty-Harper

--
News Reporter, Inside Mac Games

http://www.insidemacgames.com/


There's my contribution to the flame war! Yehaw I feel good!

Iroganai
Dec 2, 2004, 06:33 AM
iMac G5 will impress him!

the_mole1314
Dec 2, 2004, 08:00 AM
Don't forget guys, the 97% is bloated by Wintel guys who include point-of-sales locations at Walmart or other places that use Dells or such. I really hope Apple releases their point of sale stuff they use for the Apple Store.

neonart
Dec 2, 2004, 08:07 AM
iMac G5 will impress him!

Forget that! We should buy him some eMachines from 1999 with windows ME!

backspinner
Dec 2, 2004, 09:34 AM
Forget that! We should buy him some eMachines from 1999 with windows ME!
yeah, let's raise some money. after all a PC is very cheap, didn't he say it himself?

tace
Dec 2, 2004, 01:30 PM
AK? Alaska? that was random.

... or did you man AR, Arkansas... the state i was born in? your education's definitely showing through! :p

My education is definitely showing through. Afterall, being dropped in the middle of deep south from a much superior European education system was enough of a shock for me and my teachers. Sorry, I had one letter wrong, but I assure you I had the best World Geography scores of anyone in my high school.

Back to the point, if I wrote such a lousy article when I was in College, I am sure I wouldn't have gotten away with it.

Macattack15
Dec 2, 2004, 09:34 PM
Be patient its longggggggggg....

I know that your gonna get alot of the childish members of the mac
community sending you hatemail and though this is over the top I would
like to just correct some things that most Non-mac users commonly
misconceive, you didn't mention what Version of the OS that the school
was using but seeing that your experience takes place five years ago I
would suspect some version of Mac os 7-9 and although the Pre-OSX OS'
have their shortcoming's your article makes it seem like the OS hasn't
progressed at all since then. A few Corrections:

In your article you state that Macs and PC's use different disks and Programs,
Both mac and PC use the exact same media that is transferable between
Mac and PC, Yes macs Can read floppies, five years ago macs could read
floppies these floppies are transferable between mac and Windows.
Although Macs don't have floppy drives you can by them separate, and
with the advent of CD-RWs, DVD-RWs, and Disk-on-Key systems that can
all carry much more then the 1.33 megs of a floppy. there really is no
need for the floppy, I am a senior in high school, and have used macs
at school and a PC at home and have never had a problem transferring
files between them at all. Macs use different Programs, why yes they
do! but although you cant run mac programs on the PC, you can run the
entire Windows OS on the Mac! Also Programs written in code such as
Java will run on all OS' unless it is written in Microsoft's Java
which is a non standard Java language that goes against what the open
source community has been trying to do, but thats how Microsoft works.

In Your Article you make it seem like all offices use PC's, well many
do, but with increasing numbers more and more are using macs, The
Macintosh TCO or total cost of ownership is 36%- 45% less then a PC,
there are no Virus' , Spyware, *Adware, Malicious Code, or Gaping
Security Holes in the Mac OS that leaves it open to these attacks All
of this proves compelling reasons for business' to start using Macs
instead of PC's.

Marketshare

Yes windows has 95% Marketshare but thats also because thousands of
companies produce PC's while this proves more people use PC's it does
no way mean that the Windows OS is Superior or more secure then the
mac OS and because apple is the only company making macs and there's
not very many of us the service and support for there computers is
phenomenal! and they can control the way the Software works with the
hardware, unlike the Windows OS in which Microsoft can not predict the
way windows will work with all the different variations of PCs and
combinations of motherboards and processors and graphics cards
providing the need for drivers and updates and patches and holes and
vonrabilities and the fact that the new ram you bought may not work in
your motherboard and your computer will crash (like it doesn't do that
enough already!)

"And he probably has a lot of company in the school system, but not
outside of it."

I'm not going to even answer that because by now I'm sure your inbox
is full of 3,000 emails from mac users supporting those teachers who
"could write programs, create Web sites and surf the Internet, but
didn't realize that computer technology is a tool to use at home and
school." yes computers are a tool for home and school and the mac
provides the most compatibility.

"I see now that for all their postulating about technology, the
teachers really didn't understand its applications in the educational
environment." Macs are superior in the Educational environment, the
Business environment and even the home environment. what can the PC do
that the mac can't do, or do better? Word, They have Word for mac and
even Microsoft has admitted that the mac version of Word has more
features then the Windows version of word! what else? games, most
students don't play games in school, and thats also why there are
consoles like the Xbox, of which I own, the gamecube or the PS2
Programs Specifically designed for business' chances are that those
programs are available for the mac and if not you can just run Windows
inside of OSx and use the programs that way!

Again you mention Marketshare. Windows has 95% Marketshare so schools
should use windows right? No, why not? *Well because the mac is what
windows will be in five years, almost all aspects of windows was:
either stolen, or copied from the Mac OS, The GUI interface, mac, Even
Microsoft word was written by apple. Frankly teaching kids Mac OS X
Panther is like teaching kids Microsoft Longhorn Except Longhorn won't
be out till 2007! Exposé, a mac windowing feature, has also been seen
in longhorn in some form, The graphics subsystem in the mac quartz,
and quartz extreme has been seen in windows Longhorn as Avalon and
Avalon Glass, Metadata searches will be available in tiger in 2005,
and 2007 in longhorn. So I don't see why students should use windows
when they could use macs and be prepared for the Future of Personal
Computing.

I think its time to try out the mac, I'm positive you wont be
disappointed in fact I can strongly say that you will like the mac
better then the PC, I was challenged to take the leap 2 years ago, and
I have never Looked back. In Closing "if teachers find that the new
PCs at school aren't compatible with the Macs they have at home, they
can always go out and buy a PC for home." I'm sure that they won't
need to.

sockeatingdryer
Dec 2, 2004, 09:36 PM
As a tech journalist for our paper, I was very offended. This man violated writing. I wrote him a letter yesterday... I saw it a few minutes after it was put out, though.

Dear Mr. Brooks,
I don't know whether to laugh or be offended at the tripe you just put out as news.
I laugh due to all of the mistakes you made, and I'm offended, because as a fellow journalist (specialising in technology), you obviously made no research and inadvertently made a confession of ignorance when you wrote "I have always used PCs so I don't really know if Macs are superior."

Here are some examples:
1) "There are two basic home computer operating systems. Apple makes one system for its Macintosh computers. The other is called a PC system. They have similarities, but are not compatible. Macintoshes -- or Macs -- use different programs and different disks."

- Are you living in 1994 still? Linux is a viable alternative to the bloated Windows, making OS #3 at least. I'm not even counting the different varieties of Linux, either. Also, both OSs are compatible, even networking together. Macs cannot use a "different disc," unless there is this new wonder alternative to the hard disk. Yes, by default Macs use a different format on the internal HD, but Mac OS X reads MS-DOS formats in external discs (yes, Windows uses an antiquated HD format), just like Mac OS 9 & 8 did. Also, please note the plethora of major software players that have Mac and PC versions of the same app available. (Including, your assumed favourite, Microsoft Office) Also, Mac OS will read the MS-DOS format of floppies, that is, if you're still stuck in the past far enough to have not moved to some sort of USB drive.

2) "But with PCs locking in 97 percent of the market, deciding what kind of computers to use in a school system is a no-brainer."

- Yet, amazingly the #1 seller in Computers (Top 25 sellers) at Amazon.com is the Apple iBook. Continuing that list, 4, 8, 10, 14, 15, 19, and 22 are all Macs. This is battling the myriad of PC manufacturers in that list. Without going completely down the Top 25-selling Electronics list, the top 3 slots are taken by the iPod and iPod Mini.
Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report all mention "Apple" somewhere in every issue for the past 9 months, particularly after writing features on the iPod simultaneously on the same week (I would know, I have the issues right beside me). The iMac G5 is the most advanced desktop home computer, and the PowerBook G4 takes the Laptop slot, according the NY Times. The iMac continually gets rave reviews.
The "97%" you just quoted includes cash registers, kiosks, etc. In home, office, school computers, that market share is much higher. Those thousands of unit being sold by Apple alone (not counting such vendors as Amazon.com, Best Buy, CompUSA, etc.) have to be going somewhere. Please point me in the direction of a sub-$1300 64-bit PC, please.

3) "In other words, files and work created on a Mac are not easily transferred to a PC."

- A file is a file. It will be the same set of binary code to any machine. It doesn't matter what OS you are using. What matters is the software you created the file with. But I've already addressed that.

4) "And Macs are better for graphics and videos -- or so I'm told."

- Because Mac OS (the OS you think of as inferior and incompatible) utilises an engine called "Quartz Extreme," which takes the graphics work off of the CPU, and onto the graphics card, using the CPU to take on the other tasks. Yes, they are decidedly superior.

5) "If nothing else, Mac users are passionate about their computers. They believe Macs are easier to operate and don't require as much maintenance."

- What does a blue screen look like? What about contracting a virus? What is it like installing anti-virus software? You mean to tell me the only disk utility that comes with Windows is "scandisk?"
Mac OS X utilises UNIX these days, which is the most stable OS technology available.
The Homeland Security Department labelled Microsoft Internet Explorer a national danger, even a weapon. It has come close to doing that to Windows. Most system maintenance is done 'invisibly,' which means that it isn't really needed. That alone makes things easier to operate. An international ergonomics council recently deemed Mac OS X the easiest, most intuitive OS. Mac OS X incorporates more open-source technology; in that respect it is second only to Linux, which itself is open-source. The fact that the teachers are rallying against replacing the Macs might speak for itself.

Those are only a few examples of your innumerable mistakes. You used no facts to back up what you said. You relied on very, very old opinions about Macs that were considered ignorant even then.

You need to look at http://www.apple.com/macosx

Chris Uppole
MacWeekly, featured in the newspaper Lee County Ledger.

I was not completely spot-on in verbiage, I'm sure, but when you're seeing red, you know... :mad:

shadowfax
Dec 2, 2004, 10:02 PM
My education is definitely showing through. Afterall, being dropped in the middle of deep south from a much superior European education system was enough of a shock for me and my teachers. Sorry, I had one letter wrong, but I assure you I had the best World Geography scores of anyone in my high school.

Back to the point, if I wrote such a lousy article when I was in College, I am sure I wouldn't have gotten away with it.hah, no offense... it was, you know, a joke.

nsb3000
Dec 2, 2004, 11:45 PM
This is sad, considering this is my only local daily paper!

This is what I wrote him:

Rich,

As a regular reader of your column, I was really disappointed to see that you considered something that was based on a rather one-sided interpretation of a scenario which is five years out of date to be worthy of publishing.

You would have done a service to your readers by noting that today, the operating systems have come a long way in terms of being interpretable. As an example, today any Microsoft Word file can be opened an any PC, regardless of whether it is running Mac OS or Windows, without any special software. You just put it on your disk and move it. It is really that simple.

Further, it is completely hypocritical of you to, on the one hand, state that you never even consider buying a Mac for your son at home, than assert that teachers should fork over cash to replace their home computers with PCs.

You like PCs better, ands that it is your oppioion, and that is fine. But if you want to arguer that the district should replace their Macs with PCs, you should at least do your readers the service of backing up your claims with actual facts, of which there are many to support your position. What you did in stead was state your opinion , your unwillingness to consider others, and your misinformed reasons for holding the opinion you do.

I hope you hold your self to a higher standard in the future.

faustofernos
Dec 3, 2004, 03:11 AM
Dear Mr. Brooks–
I read your article about schools needing to "switch" from Mac to PC. Your information is flawed on many levels, and your conclusions are illogical.
The simple fact is, when it comes to compatibility, most modern computers of any kind are already compatible with each other.

The majority of elementary and high school work involves writing papers on Microsoft Word (or any text manipulation program). How files are saved, and how fonts are used (for example) determine compatibility.

Microsoft word has the ability to export your file as a rich text format (HTML, etc..), which allows ANY relatively current computer to use the file, open, modify it and save it.

Also, you don't need to use a floppy disk at all, because you can easily email the file that would be stored on a floppy disk.
Do the math: an average floppy disk holds 1.4 MB of data. The average email attachment can be as large as 8MB. Why would anyone choose to use a floppy? The convenience of accessing your email and downloading your current project file is easy enough to do. (just email yourself the file)

My personal opinion is that what we see here is an example of generational ignorance. Most parents today did not grow up using computers, and do not use computers for any task on a regular basis. I bet you know someone who's VCR (do they even know what a DVD is?) clock blinks because they don't know how to set it. Parents are threatened when the schools use any technology, methodology, or ideas that are not 100% the same as theirs. The jobs of schools are to educate our children, not to create carbon copies of their parents. Schools are here to teach people how to think for themselves.

The simplest solution is to stick with whatever computers the schools are currently using. The internet has made compatibilty a non-issue. Simply put. any computer that can access the internet, can share files.

Your choosing to flaunt your ignorance in print is amusing, but in the end the people who pay for your mistakes are your children. Do more research before you write your stories.

Sincerely
Fausto Fernós

mcarvin
Dec 3, 2004, 06:38 PM
Regarding your article, "The Mac attack: No sympathy here for teachers polishing Apples", I would like to offer the following criticisms and attempt to correct some inaccuracies.

"...I have always used PCs so I don't really know if Macs are indeed superior."
- Kind of makes your opinion moot. My former Logic and Reasoning professor would have given me an "F" if I said, "I've never had grapes, but I'm going to write an article saying they're awful." I mean, you just stated that you're not qualified to make the arguments put forth in your piece.
- But you do get points for not mentioning that until the end of the piece. Never let responsible journalism get in the way of a poorly-formed opinion.

"...files and work created on a Mac are not easily transferred to a PC."
- While that might have been a valid point in 1999, such is not the case anymore. Products like MacLink are no longer needed to convert files between platforms.
- Using CD-R media has also helped obviate the former problem. Macs read PC disks natively and CDs burned from OS X can be read natively on a PC.
- Email is pretty ubiquitous.
- If the context of that argument is predicated on that high school presentation five years ago, it would have been beneficial to you to do research on the current state of affairs.

"But those office workers have an advantage that many students do not have: The computers at their offices run on the same software as their home computers."
- Had you been bothered to research this you would have found out that Microsoft publishes Office for Macintosh, except MS Access. Even more surprising would be that Word and Excel were initially Macintosh-only products.
- For the sake of argument, we'll say that not everyone can afford a license to MS Office for Mac. Apple supplies a program called TextEdit which can open Word documents and save them back to a Word-friendly format.
- Microsoft also sells VirtualPC for Mac, which allows Macintosh users to run Windows programs in a real Windows interface. I find it indispensable when I need to test web pages on IE/Windows.
- Is choice a problem? I could do my job on a PC, but I choose not to and I still play nicely with the Windows world.

"Dropping another $900 on another computer was never given serious thought."
- I agree with you on Apple's high price point. However, the quality present helps offset that.
- In three years, you probably could have sold that Mac for about that much. Macs tend to have a 5-year life-cycle, as opposed to the 3-year life-cycle generally experienced in the PC world.
- Given Windows' track record of viruses/spyware/vulnerabilities., maybe spending $900 on security isn't a bad idea. It certainly sounds sensible enough.
- How much does your local shop charge to fix problems with Windows, not to mention the loss incurred by downtime? Or do you just buy a new PC?

"They believe Macs are easier to operate and don't require as much maintenance."
- A valid point. OS X is based on Unix, which is well-known for its security and reliability.
- OS X has had 2 instances in the last year where system vulnerabilities were exposed and quickly repaired. However, both of those vulnerabilities required user intervention to complete. I'm not sure the same statement can be made about Windows.
- The recurring praise I hear from new Mac users is "It's so easy!" I realize that's purely anecdotal, but I'm not the journalist here.
- Superintendent Norris is also going to realize the true TCO involved very soon. I'd like to read an article from you regarding the number of PCs which are unusable while awaiting some form of maintenance, causing students to share PCs or have some other kind of hindered access.

"So you'll have to excuse my lack of sympathy for teachers who are complaining about the plan to replace all the district's Macintosh computers with PCs."
- And I'll excuse the quality of your reporting. I've read plenty of pro-Mac/anti-PC and pro-PC/anti-Mac articles over the years, but they were based on research and were relevant to the then-current state of affairs.

Thanks,
Michael

CaptainCaveMann
Dec 3, 2004, 08:26 PM
Just wait untill that guys new computer isnt working anymore because of all the viruses and the crap ware he gets on there. What about if schools switched to pc's? I honestly dont think they would because if so many million computers in schools are connected to the internet hmm think about it thats a huge risk financially because all those computers are gonna get crap on them like viruses and such and then what? What happens when 10,000,000 computers across the united states are experienceing a multitude of problems and have down time and may have to be replaced and also the time it takes to do the updates and maintenance on all those windows computers. I really doubt that would ever happen schools need reliability.

nsb3000
Dec 4, 2004, 02:22 PM
So it is not up on Macbytes yet (I just submitted it), but Rich Brooks as posted another article (http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041204/COLUMNIST09/412040376") in which he responds to the more than 700 emails he got.

Update: A new thread to discuss this article has been created here (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=99889).

neonart
Dec 4, 2004, 08:08 PM
In Strongbad's famous words: Unsubscribe me! Take me offalist!

Seriusly folks, if you receive this paper, simply write a polite letter to Mr. Brooks, Mr. Connely, and the subscriptions desk and tell them you would like to NOT receive their newspaper based on Mr. Brooks poorly written article as it shows lack of professional journalism from a newspaper.


But there's probably like 3 people that get that paper anyhow.