Macs vs. PCs in Schools

Discussion in 'Community' started by coolocity, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. coolocity macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2002
    Central New York
    Well, I'm just going to start off by letting you guys (and gals) know I'm back. Haven't posted in a while - was getting situated at college.

    So August comes, and I purchase my 17" widescreen iMac which I love, get used to my first mac machine over the course of several weeks. Move in day comes and I stash it in it's box and bring it here... to a Thinkpad University.

    Now, I like the Thinkpad, I think it's great way for people to learn, but shouldn't we have a choice? A lot of people try my imac and tell me how much more they like OS X as opposed to Windows - which they have been using their entire life. Shouldn't they at least offer a choice, or go one step further and make these students learn both? This is a big tech school, and even the Operating Systems class barely touches on the Mac OS. I have met plenty of mac users here who either brought their macs, or left them at home due to the lack of space or the fact they were being supplied with Thinkpads (might I add we are forced to purchase.)

    The computer labs here aern't any different, they are filled with PCs. Apparently last year we were promissed a mac lab, it is yet to be seen.

    I'm really starting to hate how uniform they are trying to make everything here.. but I will contine to post.. here, on my iMac, which is sitting comfortable on top of my IBM Thinkpad. :D

    - John
  2. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    It's sad that universities and schools look at the purchase price above any other considerations with computers these days.

    Apple has, admittedly, been lagging in going after the educational customers. Hopefully the new price drops we're seeing will continue with the rest of the models and Apple can start to take back some ground.
  3. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000

    dell has become the new educational computer for these times in the schools i have seen in california

    they are not bad machines, but it's getting to the point where everything is going dell and the company apparently gives the schools in the local district some sort of amazing deal

    for the same price point, they can get emacs which have os x and are more durable than the dells

    at least the junior college photoshop/illustrator lab has G4s
  4. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    We just put in an order to update our lab of aging B&W G3s with eMacs. I'm really looking forward to moving to OS X in the lab! :)

    With the state budget being what it is right now, PowerMacs were out of the question...maybe three years from now when these are due for a refresh...
  5. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i think part of the problem with california state funded schools like the uc system, state system, and the california community colleges, is that besides the lack of funding, there are huge administrations who get paid well, too well, and don't understand the moving target of high tech

    as a computer science teacher in my volunteer job, i have to weigh the modern moves of xp and os x along with the tight budgets of some of my students who are still stuck with windows 95

    this field changes slower than is represented by the computer marketers who make each slightly modified model look like the next great computer or the next great operating system

    serial going to usb going to usb2/firewire is just a marketers way to make us have to buy new peripherals which often still work perfectly, but not with the new gear we just bought

    those emacs will totally kick the tar out of the blue and white G3s so you will do fine even though you don't have G4 powermacs

    maybe by the time you refresh your machines again, if it's like my college, you will be ready for G6 towers!'s the diet...i have stalled out with ten poiunds to go and have been like this for months...i have to get out and exercise
  6. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    It's going slowly. I haven't lost much, but my girlfriend and I have been working out much more regularly (weights 2-3 times a week, running 2-3 times a week). We're up to 5 or 6 miles on our runs...we need to get to 10 or so to be ready for the half marathon we're running in January. :p
  7. ninjachild macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2002
    i think (opinion only) that one of the major reasons we don't see more macs in campuses is not only the price point on the computers its also on the other things that universities need, which dell will sometimes win the bid (for the whole campus) and acts as a sort of reseller for any technology you need to get (epson projectors, sony monitors etc. etc..) it's all on a big list that is the bids for the state (what you pay as a school)

    I work in the IT dept of a little school and whenever we need anything (be it projectors all epsons, the replacement bulbs, sony LCD screens) you are buying it all through dell.

    we do not get another choice of vendors because dell has won the state bid for this year (and as long as i can remember and before that it was gateway )

    no you want to talk about horrible P.O.S. the gateways are hands down,

    i mean at least my work machine boots up now.

    but i think that can effect what your seeing as far as trends in education,

    cheaper is better and dell's are pretty cheap.

    the above is all opinion
  8. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i worked as a dell warranty tech, but we also covered compaq and apple inc and i was quite surprised to see dell techs doing apple warranty work

    i think in reality, only apple certified techs should do apple based work

    it was a huge mistake in the computer industry when compTIA with its 2,600 member companies dropped the apple A+ technician it's only recognized by apple and does not have the member support of dell, microsoft, ibm, hp, sony, toshiba, cisco, novell, adobe, oracle, etc...

    it's a shame and it hurts the speedy warranty work that used to be a given in the industry for apple A+ technicians

    i hope apple can join the family of computer companies again and have their techs recognized as professionals
  9. mrpepsi macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2002
    My problem with getting Mac's into my school are people who know just enough to get themselves in trouble.

    First of all my school board ALWAYS goes lowest bid, no matter what my objections. Before I was able to convince them to move to dell, we delt with local vendors. One of them bragged about spending 5 dollars for a keyboard and 35 for a motherboard... When I complained to him about some of the problems we were having he said, "You get what you pay for." If the computer wasn't completely down, he wouldn't replace the parts, a loophole in the warranty. So we just have to deal with it when our systems won't automatically shut down, and you have to do the 5 second power button hold because the motherboards were made out of toothpicks. Not to mention the fact that the cpu fans last all of 6 months before the bearings freeze up...

    Then when I try to get a Mac through the administrative process I'm left explaining why I'm spending so much money on a system that is "only 867MHz".

    Then there is the problem with licensing. We would have to re-purchase thousands of dollars of licenses for software we already own, to get our student's apps legally on the Mac.

    Not to mention teachers, who oddly enough, don't want to learn anything new...

    By far probably, is the budget constraints that we are under. Sad as it is, it often comes down to, keep a teachers aide, or keep computers running. Administrators feel that computers cannot make up for lack of personal involvement that comes from teachers and thier aides. It's a hard hair to split...
  10. ninjachild macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2002
    if you only learn this in your time in education,
    than you are done,
    this is the best lesson to learn,

    teachers want to teach, they already learned everything:rolleyes:

    no offense to any tech savvy teachers,
    but everytime someone(a teacher) tells me they know computers i can pretty much tack on an extra hour for de-learning them all of their bad habits....

    kind of ironic.
  11. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i teach computers and you are so right

    i work in the IT field and the teaching thing is a volunteer gig and full time teachers are busy with dealing with day to day hassles with job and administration so they get behind on the tech learning curve

    that is why a computer science graduate is so full of myths by the time they graduate and silicon valley usually hires non cs people who studied computers on the side on their own time for the love of it...therefore knowing cutting edge vs forty year old theories and dead computer languages:p
  12. mrpepsi macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2002
    I feel both of you. College was a joke to me. When I got there I knew more than they could teach me. Not to say that I'm some sort of uber geek, but I had a passion for technology so I tinkered, read, and tried everything I could. I'm about to start working on my bachelors degree and it's painful. I've visited campuses and sat in on classes...they are teaching theory only, old theory at that. I've talked to some graduates who didn't know the first thing about setting up a network, but yet where I live, they can get a job that I can't get simply because of thier degree.

    So i guess I'll just have to sit through boring lectures about things that have nothing to do with that I can get a job I'm already qualified to get.

    Meanwhile I work on my certifications... If there is a back end to the technological revolution, it would be Oklahoma. It's quite frustrating. My age combined with my lack of formal education leaves me with no alternative but to accept low pay and poor job security.

    I'm not bitter...really. ;)
  13. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    maybe in oklahoma one can get an IT job with a degree and no real knowledge

    but in california, especially northern california and silicon valley...all they care about is if you know the cutting edge stuff

    if you have a degree or cert, i have some of both, they say, "fine"

    but it is a super, super, super cutthroat business these days in silicon valley and northern california and they want to make sure their IT people are the world's best so one has to know their stuff...degrees and certs alone, which is usually the case, get nowhere

    in three years in this business, i have met only one person with a cs degree...and he was with a failed so he was flushed out

    the people i know and meet are all self taught super geeks in this field...many without degrees

    within two hours of my house, i can list a small group of people who either work full time or live full time near me and none of them have degrees

    steve jobs
    paul allen
    shawn fanning
    steve wozniak (got degree much later after being worth millions)
    larry ellison
    several founding members of sun
    mike dell
    bill gates

    the last two do not live in the bay area but have homes here and frequent the areas or the silicon valley campuses of their companies

    so a cs degree and or certification is not what this industry was built on...

    it's about innovation and knowing your sh**

    learning old theory is good for a degree and certs also look handy on a wall, but whatever you do, know your stuff

    and those people who get hired just because they have a degree...well, if they don't know anything in the real world, they will be out of work really fast in the valley of silicon

    i know i have pounded this point over and over, but there is nothing more true about IT/ is so fast moving, it does not wait for theory or college

    why do you think filo and yang dropped out of stanford of all places?...billions were waiting for them and were not sittng there waiting forever...they saw the need to strike and they hit it big...six months later and they might have lost out
  14. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.

    It's not any better in California, trust me.[​IMG]
  15. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    wow, that is so cool

    i wish i could even run one mile without getting winded
  16. voicegy macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    San Diego City Schools committed to Mac

    I'm happy to say that our school district (7th largest in the United States) is continuing their commitment to Apple. The platform still remains our largest installed base, and we'll have a relationship with the company for years to come.

    Our District Wide Application program that will replace all of our HR, Finance and Student Information Systems with new software and technology will be web based, and that is what we insisted upon when going shopping for vendors to take care of our dual-platform environments. Our Apple reps continue to work out the best deals that they can for purchases, and our Business Operations Department understands and supports Return On Investment and Value Added over the long run.

    So, soon enough, we'll be at the point where when it may LOOK like purchasing a Mac up front is "more expensive", the added value from Apple and the philosophy behind that value will be communicated to our schools and understood. We may be on a Microsoft Train in many areas of my department (Information Technology) but the Mac has its place in the classroom and is firmly entrenched.:)
  17. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    Re: San Diego City Schools committed to Mac


    take that micheal dell:p
  18. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    Re: Re: San Diego City Schools committed to Mac

    Indeed. I'm always happy when I see local K-12 teachers with iBooks.

    Hopefully lots of the teachers/grad students passing through the EdTech program here will keep on using Macs in their carreers. :)
  19. Performfreak macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2002
    Cedar Falls/Des Moines, IA
    UNI's computers

    I'm pretty happy with the amount of Macs we use over here at the University of Northern Iowa. While the regular computer labs on campus are all PC (dell/gateway) all of the computers in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts (my department, I'm a saxophone major) are still macs. We have an all G4 tower lab in our main music building to which we have connected keyboards and music editing peripherals, which is nice. Also, we have random computer terminals throughout the music buildings that are imacs. Plus all of the professors use macs over there as well. Macs are better for music, enough said, and I'm glad they realize that. It's nice over here :)
  20. rugby macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2002
    I'll weigh in here as I'm a certified teacher turned IT person. I work in a 95% Mac district, I manage our OS X Servers for web/email/Mac Manager/ whatever comes along. We have some Dells where we need them, but unless the application calls specifically for Windows we go Mac. We are a fairly large district (5 schools and 1 District Office) and have about 1000 Macs more or less.

    Our reasoning for staying Mac is simple; ease of use and longevity of product. Last year we finally got rid of our IIe's and it wasn't because they didn't work. It's because we got so many new iMacs that people didn't use the IIe's anymore. This year we finally are getting rid of all Pre-PPC computers, again not because they don't work, but because we have replaced them with more eMacs.

    We have a tech department of 4 people, one Tech coord who manages us, I take care of the networks, email, web, District Office comps, and the Middle school. We have a lady who does all our filemaker stuff, and another guy who mananges printers and the elementary schools. Thats it. 4 people vs 1000 computers and downtime for any computer is LESS than 24hrs. If it's a hardware problem, then we get the teacher a loaner. Our response time is usually 60 min or less, depending on how busy we are.

    I know I've been rambling, but my point is this; we couldn't be as good as we are if we have 1000 Dells. There's no way.
  21. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    good point

    as a pc tech, i like the fact that people have pcs so i can make money and buy mac stuff...he he

    but from what i have seen with macs and schools...i live in a very sparsly populated district which stretches from southern california (san luis obispo to san cruz) to silicon valley...there are no tech departments on the mac side

    the teachers and students take care of their own machines...they are literally that reliable and it's amazing

    it's not so much the hardware but the great operating system

    i have yet to defrag my ibook which is three years old and i have never had to use third party utility software in the 23 years i have been using apple products

    with my pc at home, i have to do maintenance wizard on it and reinstall windows and all that crap...i have windows 98 and as much as i don't like it, it's much more manageable than windows 2000

    windows xp, which is really windows 2000 second edition under all that gui, is a step in the right direction, but any mac os is still far superior and thus the reason a mac tech is a very rare thing where i live

    all mac techs, and mac service shops i know have to make money on the side fixing pcs:p
  22. wake up Jobs!!! macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2002
    Miami, Florida
    Finally a topic I can truley speak about! The Miami-Dade county school system has been buying new DELL PC's for the last 2 years. Last year at my middle school in my 8th grade year, we had heavy use of computers in my Newspaper class. And every week, atleast every week, the network was down, viruses were infecting the computers, and the internet was persistantly down. for the last 4 and a half weeks of school are computers were down all over the school preventing are teachers from entering our grades leading to late report cards. In a weeks time , we would have to get the techie to come into our classroom to fix the computers, mostly to no avail. Now in Highschool, we have the same dell pc's all over the school, consistantly crashing, and not even working. In our library we have 32 computers for internet use that havent even been turned on in 4 weeks because of persistant network problems, and besides that, there are like 5 computers in there that have white papers taped to the screens saying " do not turn on, crashes on startup". When will these stupid corupt schoolboard members learn. it seems like I need to write a letter to the superintendant.

  23. scem0 macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2002
    back in NYC!
    My theory on Mac vs PCs in schools is that schools should purchase both. THey both have their advantages and disadvantages, and they both should be learned. There is one, yes one, Mac at our school. A powermac lab would be awesome, or an eMac lab for that matter. My middle school had a lot of macs, and then Michael Dell's daughter transferred to our school, and he donated 2 labs of new PCs, so now my old school is all PC. Macs are a lot better for education is many ways, but the same goes for PCs. Schools should get both.
  24. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i also think both is a good idea

    i just don't want the government agencies and school districts become billboards for dell computer

    as much as i have found problems with dells, i have also found problems with other pcs, too

    and in all the ratings i have seen in magazines in the past couple of years, dell is number one more than any other pc maker in quality and satisfaction

    maybe being a dell warranty tech and seeing all the problems made me not trust those machines too much
  25. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I'm going to a community college in Orlando, FL and just as summer term was ending, the school implemented a bunch of Dell machines because the administration system runs on Windows. I can register for classes using Macintosh and Internet Exploder, thank goodness.

    On the other hand, our Graphics Technology department and Digital/Multimedia programs run on Macintosh exclusively and won't change unless those markets move en masse to Windows. That's not that likely to occur anytime soon.

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