My School Techs hate Macs...

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by kevin49093, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. kevin49093 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Location:
    Colorado
    #1
    I've just started my teaching career (fifth grade writing) out here in Colorado. Our school has a variety of macs for the students to use. Nothing fancy, but mac nontheless. (mostly iMacs) I just got wind today of the fact that the tech people for the district hate Macs. I guess they say they are not easy to fix and you have to actually drive to the schools and repair them on site, unlike PC which can be remotely worked on.

    I know this is a load of crap, but a teacher asked me to get together a variety of points (pro and con) for the continued use of macs in the school.

    Right now they are running os9. The new portable ibook lab has osX, but the tech guys said thy didn't want to load it because it's no good!

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #2
    I think they're lazy and if they (and their supervisors) knew more about Macs, there would be fewer of them because they'd have a lot less to do.

    Right there is a cost justification for having Macintoshes. :)

    Networking, especially wireless, is easier, although it's gotten simpler on Windows lately. Troubleshooting was easier but with Mac OS X, there are a whole new set of issues. The equipment costs more but it breaks down fewer times.

    Timbuktu Pro and Apple Remote Desktop both allow someone to check systems from far away. With Timbuktu, you can even use Windows on either end. :)

    Virus problems will be fewer and most likely, security issues will be as well.
     
  3. voicegy macrumors 65816

    voicegy

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    #3
    yawn

    Honestly, it's just pure lazyness and ignorance on the admin. side. They think we're "fanatics" and that Apple makes "toys." Same old same old.

    Tell 'em that the 7th largest school district in the United States (mine, San Diego Unified) has an ongoing commitment to Apple and IBM, showing that both can live quite happily together.

    The best web site out there for this ongoing issue is right here:

    http://macvspc.info/

    Enjoy!

    Scott
    Information Technology Liaison
    San Diego City Schools
     
  4. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #4
    You can remotely manage macs using a free program called VNC (virtual network computing). It lets a PC (windows, unix/linux, even pocketpc, and palmos!) access and control a mac(OS 8-X)remotely.

    It's freely downloadable at the AT&T Labs at Cambridge
     
  5. mymemory macrumors 68020

    mymemory

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Location:
    Miami
    #5
    The best solution...

    Install a new sys software, all the soft that you want to use, maek a disc image and burn that thing on a disc.

    If the computer ever give you any problem just install the image again. That is the best solution with computers at schools.
     
  6. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #6
    at least they HAVE macs...our school is like 90% pc's and it totally sucks and the computer teachers hate me because i'm a mac user
     
  7. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
  8. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #8
    Re: My School Techs hate Macs...

    They are lazy; not willing to investigate, but rather stay within their comfort zone no matter which solution would be best for the users or even them.
    I'm the tech director of an Illinois school district. When I came on board there was a push to go to PC's. I wanted a job, and frankly didn't care. But what I DID do was form the tech committe and ask all of the questions that needed to be asked. I said to drop phrases like "PC's are better" and "Everyone uses Windows" and come up with the REAL answers. I had 7 folks on the committee, 5 were adament about getting PC's. 18 months later the issue was dropped and we signed on as a Mac school for the forseeable future. I don't have time or space here to go into everything that was discussed, but I'd be glad to talk on the phone to anyone who has to face the brick wall. My first suggestion is to join the tech committee, and gain the confidence of an administrator AND school board member. I don't mean LIE to them, I mean have some conversations and prove to them you're intelligent or at least passionate with reason. Once you analyze the REAL facts including the impact on learning, integration concerns, productivity studies from independents, impact on test scores, etc, any SANE person HAS to agree. With 5 of 7 folks who started as PC-ers, ALL seven are now happily and productively Mac users. The site http://macvspc.info is and excellent start, but look for the sites and papers that deal with the imact on learning. Meanwhile, tell your tech people they should be ashamed of themselves for trying to guide the school where THEY want it to go, and not in the direction it would benefit the KIDS. That's why they are there, not to run their own kingdom, but rather to give their BEST to the faculty, staff and above all the students. If you have a room full of 386's or LCII's, you DON'T bad-mouth the equipment under any circumstances. I would fire them.
     
  9. DarkNovaMatter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2001
    #9
    Hi kevin- I didn't think there was that many people from Colorado on these boards..... Question: What school district is it? If its St. Vrain then I can understand why the techs are complaining (well not that there is anything against macs). For St. Vrain the techs that were in the tech lab (Skyline) were always cranky arrogant ***'s. Another thing is they expect to run 3D apps on macs that only have 128 meg of ram or less- and sad to say there is no PM G4's there :-( . They would sit there and do the most technical thing that would only require a extensions turn off and a reboot. Course there is a hatred for macs here (damn the yokels), its simply that nothing has been upgraded unless its a bond (to give you perspective- the powermacs are the beige towers with 233 G3's in them), simply if you have the machines that can run X and have enough memory in them (atleast 256 meg) tell the techs that its BSD Unix and that their grandmothers can even use it and not to complain soo much :)
     
  10. kevin49093 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Location:
    Colorado
    #10
    It's actually Jefferson County that I work for. I guess they did go a bit over budget last year for technology! Oh well...

    I guess it just seems like the problem isn't with the Macs, but with the people huh.

    So can anyone tell me how easy Apple Remote Desktop and Timbuktu Pro are to use? Are they both something that our Tech guys should be able to learn quickly?

    Thanks so all your help guys!
     
  11. Steradian macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose
    #11
    wow

    that sucks ubergeek, im lucky, my schools PeeCee teacher likes macs. He has more problems with his 30 computers then the schools 200+mac's do it's quite funny when you think about it.... O yeah hey Kevin ask them (administrators) weather or not they are aware that teachers can get X for free, then tell them that teachers opinions DO matter. Im the T.A at my school for the Tech Admin guy. I run around and troubleshoot all the problems that teachers encounter, as well as do the upgrading of the systems, as well as do RAM upgrades, upgrade the firmware in the switches etc. When i work the Tech he is constantly not listing to the needs of the teachers and treating them like second class citizens cause thier not computer literate....oy. I understand your fustration the tech guy that i T.A for is the teacher replacement for the older more experianced one who was fired beacuse my district ended all thier contracts...</rant>

    OS X on a bondi imac may be bear but it's no reason to get peecees, i once did 32 bondi macs, to OSX 10.2 in 1 day :)
     
  12. DarkNovaMatter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2001
    #12
    Ouch, seems like more Colorado schools are going over budget or doing something to their budgets. St. Vrain was the one on the news that was having the debt problems ($12 million I think) and none of the parents wanted any of the programs cut ( THANK GOODNESS!). The teachers took a 7% pay cut (and the raises they just got or almost got) and the administrators were sappose to take a 7% cut too but they didn't want to (funny considering they were the ones handling the money that dissappeared, and the teachers had already accepted the cuts). What made it worse was it was the Friday before XMas break and the admin. 's wouldn't take the break, meaning the teachers had to wait to see if any deal or the admins take the deal because they wouldn't get their paychecks unless the deal went through (checks were from the state that time). The admin's decided to take a lesser pay cut (thanks to the guys in the gov. who negotiated with them),its sad considering it was money that kids raised for band and other stuff. I forgot about the OSX free for teachers- see if that gets them nibbling at it, if not be the pain in their sides and make sure you get what you need- if not they might try a PC on you or complain all the time. Good Luck!
     
  13. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #13
    I'll stop, but I wanted to say one more thing...
    You shouldn't HAVE to tell them. This info is available if they want to look. It sounds like they won't to me. Who's ever in charge of these folks needs to take control and have a little heart-to-heart. Whether PC or Mac (And I have had people that bad-mouthed PC's, but no more) they need to concern themselves with getting any equipment working properly, setting up regular checks, training folks properly on how to use it, and suggesting to the director on different courses of action to improve the systems.
     
  14. robMaurizi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #14
    TimbuktuPro

    Kevin- I'm running TimbuktuPro on my G4 here at home, and on my PowerBook that comes with me everywhere... There's really nothing to learn about it-- Fire it up, make a connection (IP address or domain name), and, if you're a recognized user on the machine you're connecting to, you've got a window that's the other machine's screen.

    I use it primarily when I don't feel like being in my home office, but need to be in my home office :)

    Another cool feature (not sure if it's in ARD) is the ability to motion capture what you're doing on the remote machine. This makes creating QT training videos a snap!

    Netopia offers a 30-day trial version if you'd like to give it a shot... www.timbuktupro.com

    Everyone else's advice here seems sound, too... Make those lazy m$-phillic fools wake up and see the light!

    Good luck!

    -Rob
     
  15. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #15
    Let me put it this way. A couple of years ago, I went to a customer site to install a new printer and such. They also needed to connect to other machines with Timbuktu over their network. I had heard of the software and read the information on the company's website. 15 minutes later, I was connected to another machine. It's easy.
     
  16. chibianh macrumors 6502a

    chibianh

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2001
    Location:
    Colorado
    #16
    Jefferson county? may I ask which school?

    As for going over budget, the whole damn state did. They're in a deficit! And to think, just last year there was a surplus.... tsk tsk tsk.
     
  17. voicegy macrumors 65816

    voicegy

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    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    #17
    Er...you're not alone there. A majority of states are in the same situation...some worse. In fact, all but 7 states face budget deficits.

    My state's shortfall (California) is bigger than the total annual budget of more than 30 states!

    The reason for the shortfall: a faltering national economy, fallout from Sept. 11, an energy crisis the state spent $6 billion to fix and the collapse of the technology sector, which put thousands of dot-com workers out of their jobs.

    Last year, California took in more than $10 billion in capital gains taxes from dot-com workers cashing in their stock options. Not anymore.

    So, you can IMAGINE what this is doing to education budgets...it's scary times around here, that's for sure.

    That's why you (the original poster) should also push the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) issues with your colleagues in regards to Macintosh machines. Overall, over their lifespan from initial purchase to eventual discard, the initial cost makes the machine CHEAPER over the long haul.
     
  18. kevin49093 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Location:
    Colorado
    #18
     
  19. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #19
    Another way to look at your problem is that your job is to teach the best way you can, and the job of the district tech people is to support you. If you have a reason to use Macs, say so.

    It's not up to you to make them happy or teach them how to do their job. Let them grumble if they don't like their job. Just keep insisting that you get what YOU need.

    I helped set the policy at the school where I volunteer. Teachers get the platform they can best use (which is usually the one they are most familiar with) because that's ultimately what's best for the students. And when I have to keep them all running, my Mac preference takes a back seat.
     
  20. Chrisnorth macrumors member

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    Mar 18, 2002
    Location:
    Yukon, Canada
    #20
    Schools, techs, and Prices

    Here in the Yukon, most of our schools are set up with very nice Macintosh labs. The High Schools tend to have both Mac and PC labs.

    Lately, however, I've noticed small changes that do not bode well. For example, all the school offices recently received new computer systems, and no they weren't Macs but Dells. I see this as "the thin edge of the wedge." Gradually introduce PC's in areas where you can and eventually, replace the lab computers as well.

    Why is this happening? It's hard to say, but my guess is that the tech department is staffed with people who have all received college computer training that focussed on PC's almost exclusively. Therefore some are bound to have preconceived notions and prejudices about computing platforms that are hard to break.

    Also, although PC's tend to be more problematic over time, tech departments often rely on disk imaging to deploy computers and correct problems with work stations. Having a standard PC disk image that can be loaded on any individual PC cuts down on their work load. Managing another set of software tools to troubleshoot Macintosh problems is seen as duplicating work already done.

    Teachers, for the most part, are not that well versed in computer technologies and tend to take what the techs say as gospel. This is the root of the problem, at least here.

    One other problem with Apple, at least outside the U.S., is their pricing. Whereas many manufacturers will set pricing according to markets, Apple seems unable to follow suite. Due to the lower Canadian dollar, the eMac starts at $1549 here, and the iMac at $1999.00. The base G4 starts at $2399.00. Canadians on average earn less than their U.S. cousins. This makes Macs VERY EXPENSIVE!
     
  21. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #21
    At least Apple is aware of the problem. That's why they still work the education market and include Canada in programs like the free Mac OS X for teachers.
     
  22. Chrisnorth macrumors member

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    Mar 18, 2002
    Location:
    Yukon, Canada
    #22
    Pricing

    The OS/X for teachers is a great start! Now we need some relief on the hardware side. Of course Canada is really small potatoes for a company like Apple, but a world market view is important. Microsoft recognizes this with their recent focus on India and China. Let's face it, next to China in ten or twenty years, everyone else will look like small potatoes!
     
  23. chibianh macrumors 6502a

    chibianh

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    Nov 6, 2001
    Location:
    Colorado
    #23
     
  24. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #24
    Re: Pricing

    the ten for teachers program and the apple store for education are great...also when you still have the chance, get iLife and Keynote for US$15.
    i was drooling yesterday because i saw the first newest mac on campus yesterday...the red flower on the eMac box was the most amazing thing i have ever seen and it seems as if the computer teachers are finally listening to me ;)
     
  25. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #25
    Re: Re: Pricing

    Tell more. Are they really starting to mix Macs in with the PCs or was this a one-time fluke? Who got it - a teacher? What subject?
     

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