What is it with Macs disappearing from schools?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sehnsucht, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Sehnsucht macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2008
    Call me crazy, but it seems like Macs have all but disappeared from all but the most well-funded educational institutions. When I was in a public elementary school 1994 - 1999, there were probably four PCs in the whole school. Everything else that was a computer was an Apple II, beige Power Mac G3, or (later) an iMac. Now, I recently revisited my old elementary school and was saddened to behold an array of Dell Inspirons where the Macs had once sat. I've been to many other places and it's Dell, Dell, Dell. :eek:

    Now I've graduated from high school and am taking college classes at a technical school. Dell, Dell, Dell. My studies require heavy use of Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Dreamweaver, which the Dells can hardly run. Now I'm having to put up with this all day:


    Let me guess. "Cost-prohibitive." :rolleyes:

    So who's with me? :cool:
  2. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    Well, I've certainly seen this kind of unfortunate trend of Macs getting replaced with Dells and whatnot in high schools and lower. However, I haven't gotten always gotten that impression in colleges and universities. Anecdotally, my college's computer science department has close to 10 times as many Macs as Windows PCs, and I'd say roughly half of the departments overall are highly Mac-centric.
  3. rust.puppet macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2008
    Ashtabula, OH
    heck yeah, kent state ashtabula is all dell, when i was in elementary shool we had the original imacs [[sim city and oregon trails lol]] now they have pretty much vanished, im going to go out on a limb and say ive only seen one mac in this entire town since 1998 and it was a student a month ago at kent with their white macbook.
  4. Ashmanspice macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2009
    my uni or college is full of dell computers or cheaper looking versions, uncool :eek:
  5. opeter macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    Well, a friend of mine has a graphic studio, where he recently made the switch to PCs. The old G4 worked fine, he said, but he had to make a future-proof plan. And that didn't involve to buy new Macs, since they are to expensive. 100% of all their clients is working on PCs, so there should be no problem for them. Macs are too expensive in Europe. Too sad.
  6. Ashmanspice macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2009
    to be fair why would you spend much more money on macs when you can have a pc that will do what you want (even though it may have an added side affect of stress), but for personal use not sure I will own another pc
  7. dylanbrown macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    Our School has always had Dells! When I made the switch to Mac in Feb 07, I realized how crap they were (and how crap Windows is too!).

    Seriously, our School got gutted of all the old PC's, and got Dells fitted about a few years aog, crappy "Optiplex" towers which aren't even in production. If they had considered the Mac - they probably wouldn't be in the situation they are in now and having to gut out all the Dells and replace them with Fujitsu Seimens and IBM Think Centers (Those things are horrible and so loud!)

    All the old PC's (And the ones before that) are now sitting on the Theatre stage, about 300 of them.

    In school, we are also limited to 100MB drive space (Yep - I know 100MB!), because the teachers like to keep all their pirated music and pirated software on their directory, it means we get limited to the amount of drive space we can have - ridiculous! Windows struggles to boot quickly and takes around 8 minutes.

    The computers in school are beyond a joke, I don't know how stupid they are, but by using Mac's they wouldn't have to replace the computers every 2-5 years!
  8. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    Berklee College of Music
    It's a bit unfortunate. I've been using my Mac and often thought "If our school was using Macs, they'd be able to do some really cool stuff with this." It's not that big of a deal, because I just use my laptop at school instead of the crap Dells, but, meh. I remember we had old Apple computers in Elementary school, but haven't really seen them since. Hell, the art teacher in my school is a Mac user and used her 2000 iMac up until last year because they forced her to get rid of it. BS if you asked me. It did the job just as well as the 3-month old Dells (they replace the Dells once every two years), but for whatever reason, that's not good enough for our school.
  9. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    When I went back to my old high school and was a substitute teacher, I swear ALL of the Macs were gone and replaced with Dells. That's what happens when you have accountants making those decisions.

    At least we had Macs in journalism school. I was too dumb to know it then, but damn they're nice computers. Sadly, a LOT of newspapers are switching to PCs for some god-awful reason. A rep from the Associated Press came by to show us how to use some of the AP Exchange features and whipped out some HP laptop. I wanted to kick her in the pants and send her back to Atlanta.

    The only hopeful thing I can see is in a few years, maybe schools will figure out to hook up WiFi and let kids do almost everything on a notebook. There is NO GOOD REASON to lug around 50-pound books when every textbook I used in high school would fit on a DVD, maybe even a CD. Then the smart parents can buy MacBooks and the people who think 1+1=3 will buy HP. :)
  10. umgoblue2008 macrumors regular


    Dec 6, 2008
    Just graduated from the University of Michigan (April '08). For the four years i was there (2004-2008), they always had an even split of Macs and Dells. Each of our residential halls had both, and our special computing sites/student unions had hundreds of both (iMacs and Dells).
  11. umgoblue2008 macrumors regular


    Dec 6, 2008
    I think in my four years at UofM, they've changed Macs and Dells at about the same rate. I mean i doubt you'd want to keep any computer for more than 3 years at a university,
  12. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    It's about money. Those dells costs 400e and lowest Macs (Mac Mini) is 599e. And because Windows is the most common platform everyone knows how to use it, OS X isn't. Would take too much time to teach kids to play with 'em. We have about 10 Macs in our school and they are in the art and music classrooms. All others are PCs.
  13. Arne macrumors regular

    May 14, 2006
    the school I went to (in germany) is completely mac-equipped. they use mac minis in the computer rooms now and iMacs in their offices.
  14. BlackMax macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    When I attended University of Maryland UMCP the computer labs were filled with Mac or NeXt stations with some SUN Sparc stations mixed in, but I believe it has since changed.

    I'm guessing many schools have moved to IBM clones because of their lower cost structure, but at the rate tuition has gone up these past few years they should be able to afford Macs.
  15. Srai-W macrumors regular

    Oct 10, 2008
    Classic II

    That was my computer in high school... All my friends had what whatever windows was out then and I was using a Classic II. Felt like a freak, but was damned easier to use and more stable even back then. Only problem is I didn't have a printer. Hmmm... That was a few years ago now!!! :eek:
  16. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    It can be difficult for decision makers to justify up front costs when they do not (cannot?) calculate the hidden costs such as the TCO.
  17. ChrisN macrumors 65816


    Aug 27, 2007
    Demarest, NJ
    My elementary school just made the switch to PC and my dad and I keep asking why and we can only assume it was cost efficient but it was a shame to see the kids screw up the iBooks.

  18. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
    My school (University of Illinois Urbana Champaign) uses mostly Dells with either Linux or Unix on them. Works fine for me :D
  19. Sehnsucht thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2008
    :eek: That's exactly what I was thinking! My tuition here is $1,500 for one class alone, but some classes cost more. Given the hundreds of students here, they should have a budget of at least a million dollars each semester from tuition payments alone. But like someone pointed out, accountants order the computers. :mad:
  20. PurrBall macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2007
    Having worked with the IT department at the local high school, I can totally see why they are not happy with the Macs. Over the past few months, over a dozen Hitachi DeathStars in the iMacs and MacBooks have died. These machines are all less than a year old. Ironically, the PCs seem stable as a rock.

    I don't think that in the current economic mess it's viable for a school to replace their aging hardware with a new Mac. They can build a PC for $400-500 that will last at least 3 years and can then be easily upgraded. The Macs are having to be sent to Apple in less than a year. The only reason they have them I hear is because the MacBooks are part of a state program and the iMacs they were able to get a huge discount on.

    It's really sad, but these sort of problems are causing Apple to leave a huge part of "their" education market.
  21. chewietobbacca macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007
    From an IT and engineering perspective its simple:

    a) PC's and Windows are more compatible with more software and hardware, meaning it is not only cheaper to buy the actual PC itself, but you have greater access to software you need! Try convincing an engineering school that all their programs and needs will run on Mac OS X and you'll probably be laughed at

    b) PC companies like Dell and HP have always been able to mass produce PC's on the cheap, and can offer these + monitors at far cheaper prices than Apple is willing to

    c) Microsoft has programs like MSDN that are heavily integrated with many schools (as an engineer, I received free legit copies of Windows and other programs during my undergraduate time) and it surely nudges them in that direction

    d) The server capabilities and network integration of computers to the school is far more advanced on Windows and PC's. In many ways, its the same as enterprise: Macs are ironically more P in PC now (more personal) than PC's are, which is great if you're using one at home. But in a giant computer lab? You'll need the IT infrastructure for servers (such as users logging into access their data, etc.), security, remote desktop connections, etc. - all of which Windows (on PC's) has long had, due to their experience in enterprise, which Macs do not have right now.

    It's an uphill climb if Apple wants to do it, but Apple has shown no deep attempts at the enterprise and business sector, and until then, it will have a hard time getting entrenched in schools outside of personal use computers
  22. cm3k macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2008
    The High school I go to in the North East has all MACs. Actually, we have the new 20inch iMac's. It's really great to work with these computers everyday in class.
  23. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    EPIC LOL! Yeah, I remember growing up in a private elementary school, and what were there? Apple LCIIIs in the computer lab, and they stayed there for... lemmie think.... I know we were still using them in 2004. We suddenly got a few PCs in '03, and, well... compared to the oldies, they were an upgrade.

    But yeah, then in my visual communications class, I used a low cost eMac, and it still packed a punch - in fact, that's the reason why I'm getting a Mac next week.

  24. fifthroot macrumors member


    Aug 7, 2008
    Can't speak for schools, but for corporations, PCs are cheaper than Macs when you line them up performance-wise. Additionally, more IT personnel are experienced support Windows than they are Macs. Maybe in the years to come this will change...but I thought the same thing several years ago and not much has changed.

    I manage a team which produces eLearning, videos, animation, etc. We use both Macs and PCs for our work. While we all have our personal preferences (Mac for me), the applications we use function in the same manner on both platforms and performance is comparable. The only difference I see is that the Macs so not encounter the occasional font issues that PCs sometimes have, though this happens maybe once a month given our production workload.

    There is more to consider than just sticker price when a company or an educational institution purchases computer equipment. There's support staff, there's software, depreciation, etc.

    Most of your technical schools are going to favor PCs. Also know that most schools go for the company that is offering computers on the cheap. If Apple isn't offering discounts for educational institutions, schools are going to go for the less-expensive alternative. There was once a time when Apple put a lot of money into educational programs -- providing hardware and software. However, they seem to have determined that doing so was less lucrative and they have reduced their participate a great deal.

    Therefore, you tend to see Macs in schools less and less.
  25. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Jan 17, 2008
    IT people aren't idiots, they know what the whole picture looks like.

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