My 12-year old started 7th grade last week - at a new charter school specializing in science and technology. Despite all the wonderful things I'd heard about the school when it opened last year, I was appalled to discover, when I visited, that the school's laptops are all PCs - either because of an unfortunate decision by the school's original director (who's no longer there) or because that's what someone was willing to donate. Now that classes have started, I'm realizing all the ramifications of their in-house PC-use. Homework is accessed through a program called "GoCourse" - which has only a partially functional online interface - and a fully functional downloadable interface accessible only to Windows users! Homework assignments - as well as email attachments sent out to students and/or parents - are generally in .docx format - also not readily accessible to MAC users. And the worst of it is that they've convinced my kid that his computer (a very nice little 14" iBook) is inferior to their Pieces of C*** because it can't readily deal with the stuff they're sending him. (Someone has also convinced him that his MAC is inferior because it doesn't have all the nifty virus protection their PCs have!!! ) The school's programming courses also seem to be Windows-based . . . I know I'm not going to be able to get the school to switch to MACs - unless someone is willing to donate 5 dozen of them to the school! But I would like to have a coherent response when my son comes home and tells me he wants to toss his iBook and get a PC laptop instead. I could also use whatever shortcuts anyone might be able to suggest to make accessing my son's homework a bit easier. I've already downloaded a program to convert the .docx files to .rtf format - but audio files remain a problem. The kid needs to record words for his Chinese class - and the best I can come up with is to record in garageband, save to iTunes, and then convert to a Mp3 (or similar). Anybody got a better idea? I can, if I have to (and obviously not inexpensively), set up a Windows platform on the iBook . . . Anyone have any thoughts on this? (The iBook is a 1.33 G4, currently running Tiger.) Homeschooling, by the way, is not an option!