Pioneer Australian University drops Apple from IT

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by medea, Dec 12, 2002.

  1. macrumors 68030

    medea

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Location:
    Madison, Wi
    #1
    ONE of the first Australian universities to adopt Apple in its computer science faculty has dropped the Mac from its teaching programs.
    The University of Western Australia (UWA), which began teaching IT courses on the first Macs in the mid-eighties, claims the cost of Apple hardware was the reason for the decision.
    Traditionally strong in education markets, Apple has been coming under increasing pressure from PC vendors like Dell.
    "There was nothing about OSX we didn't like, we just couldn’t really afford the hardware costs," said the UWA’s senior lecturer in computer science and software engineering, Chris McDonald, who is also chair of the university’s Teaching and Learning committee.
    Dr McDonald said a recent review indicated Apple hardware was going to cost the university around two and a half times the cost of a PC per seat.
    "We just decided- and it was a sad decision – that we should be totally PC throughout and have each one running NT or XP and Linux," he said.
    Dr Macdonald also said despite Apple OSX being a good introductory platform for first year students, it did not make sense for the university to recommend students buy a Mac if they were not going to be used in second or third year.
    "I think if we had an infinite amount of money we’d probably still have Macintoshes - probably even half of our equipment would be Macintoshes," he said.
    At the University of Wollongong, which was also one of the first Australian unis to adopt Macs in computer science, a decision was taken three years ago to scale back Apple to multimedia applications, said Les Ohlbach, operations manager for Wollongong’s Department of Informatics.
    “The uni hasn’t got totally out of Macs but the presence has been reduced to education in graphics in creative arts and multimedia graphics in computer science,” he said.
    Mr Ohlbach said improvements in the Windows operating environment and PC hardware have increased PC usage. However, he said Macs would not disappear from the university. “The Mac stuff is not under threat, it has just gone into a more specialised niche,” he said.
    “If anything is under threat in the long term, it’s probably Unix – not as a multi-user system but on individual workstations.”
    At UWA, Dr McDonald said in the mid-nineties, the university made a move from Unix to Linux in both teaching and research for the same reason it has dropped Macs.
    “The primary motivation was the hardware costs. We preferred using PCs, which are of course deathly cheap at the moment,” he said.
    “We could run two operating systems on them without requiring a dedicated Sun SPARC to run Solaris and something else.”
    In contrast to Wollongong and UWA, the University of NSW put in a new Mac lab last year with 20 machines, primarily for teaching human computer interface. However, according to human computer interface lecturer Daniel Woo, the university is also working on software development courses using Apple’s Cocoa environment.
    Although not in mainstream courses yet, he said work is being done by thesis students using Apple’s Project Builder and Interface Builder tools, both of which were derived from the NEXT technology spearheaded by Steve Jobs after he initially left Apple.
    The computer science department’s administrative systems run on Apple, Dr Woo said.


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

    [edit] article from http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,5666136^15306^^nbv^,00.html
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
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    Location:
    downtown
    #2
    where'd this article come from?
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
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    down in Fraggle Rock
    #3
    thats such bs. we have seen time and time again that apple computers do not cost more than pc. having lived and/or worked in schools my whole life i must say that this sort of thing has nothing to do with cost, it has to do with pc zealots getting in charge of the department. i have seen it happen time and time again. a school that has long used macs and whose staff loves the macs hires a new IT person who hates macs and within a year or two all the macs are thrown out and some lame excuse is iven (cost, does not prepare students for the buisiness world, etc)
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2001
    #4
    Darn, I guess I was a little too late finishing my site. :(
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    #5
    The ugly beast surfaces again...

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

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

    :cool:
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    mymemory

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Location:
    Miami
    #6
    Well, well...

    Let me tell you that the teacher is right:

    1. Macs are more expensive.
    2. If you want to teach how to fix a computer get a PC, not a Mac.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    #7
    Re: Well, well...

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

    :cool:
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #8
    How is their decision not justified? They said that the hardware costs were going to be greater if they stuck with Apple. Apples are a lot more expensive in Australia than they may be in other places.
     
  9. Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
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    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #9

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

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

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

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

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #10
    How wasn't the price difference significant? They quoted twice the price! It's not a maclot, not a pc zealot, it's plain and simple someone looking at the bottom line of purchasing hardware! Nowhere were maintenance costs noted.

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

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
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    #11
    i am sorry but this is wrong. price computers. its simple. just configure a mac and a pc. the price difference is non-existent. it is easy to buy into the myths and simply say macs cost more buut when you go and compare prices you see that that myth is just that—a myth.

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

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

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #12
    Read the article again. The person quoted mentioned nothing about maintenance costs (as you are pointing to). The person was quoted on hardware costs only. The AUD $3415 I need to buy a Powermac (sans monitor) would allow me to buy a superior PC desktop with a flat screen monitor.
     
  13. Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #13
    you are right they dont mention maintenance costs. that is the point. the claim macs are more expensive but they are ignoring the whole fact that pc's cost far more after you buy them.

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

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

    macs cost too much
    apple is going bankrupt
    macs dont prepare students for the real world
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #14
    My point was that business typically does not look at cost over time, rather than at that point in time. Therefore, initial outlay, therefore, hardware costs.

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

    The laptops are reasonably competitively priced, but not desktops.

    I'd imagine the uni would buy Powermacs.
     
  15. Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
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    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #15
    typically universities purchase imacs (original). unless apple gives them powermacs. apple frequently gives my university powermacs. however all the offices and staff tend to use imacs unless they have been lucky enough to get one of thsoe free powermacs.

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

     
  16. Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #16
    Budgets are very tight right now everywhere, and it's unfortunate that people take such a short-term view.

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

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

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #17
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Location:
    here and there
    #18
    hmm its cheaper to keep mac's? next year will you be able to buy a new pc that will still run all the programs youve been using for the past couple of years or will you be forced to move into an entirely new system if you want a new computer? of course not.....I know understand that educational departments are going to be "exempt" from the whole os x in 2003 thing but come on. Aside from that, if this is a big university in austraila then they should be able to afford the best equipment, I mean thats what students go to big universitys for, the best, and they are going for second rate with the pc's and that shouldnt be acceptable, what about the students that already started their studies on macs and now this year will move to pc's? that would suck:eek:
     

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