Professor angry over assignment

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Joined: Feb 5 2006
Posts: 36

Hi everyone,

I'm back at school after 13 years as an IT guy because I want to be an educator now. Well, my college makes me take this Microsoft Office class on Windoze computers. (And no, they didn't exempt me from it despite my 13 years of IT work). One of the assignments was to write a FAQ about college and then format it. First off, I was very tempted to use Pages or even MacWrite Pro as my word processor. After grudgingly accepting the fact I had to use Word (well, at least Word for OS X isn't as bad as Word 6, not quite Word 5.1 but acceptable I guess), I wrote the following as one of my questions:

--start

What kind of computer should be used on campus?

The only clear choice is an Apple Macintosh. A Macintosh runs the world’s most stable and elegant operating system, Mac OS X. While it is possible to purchase Microsoft Office for the machines, the only component worth buying is Excel. Keynote is far superior to PowerPoint, and Pages is the best alternative to Word on the market. Pages also doubles as a substitute for PageMaker. AppleWorks provides a paint program better than Paint, and includes a drawing program as well that essentially is a poor man’s version of Adobe Illustrator. Included with every Macintosh is the iLife suite, which includes iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iTunes, iWeb, and Garage Band. iPhoto is the best digital photo manager available, and iMovie is considered to be the top choice in video editing. Macs also come standard with the Safari web browser and the iChat instant messaging client, which is fully compatible with AIM. Apple’s mail client is simple yet effective, and is much easier to use than Outlook Express. Popular software such as Adobe Photoshop and Quicken is also available for the Macintosh. Highly recommended for any audio enthusiast is Sound Studio by Felt Tip Software. Anyone interested in running Windows-specific productivity software such as Microsoft Access should purchase a copy of Virtual PC, which allows Windows XP to be run on any Macintosh, albeit somewhat slowly. Those who need a database, however, should look at FileMaker instead of Access. Many may complain about the lack of computer games for the Macintosh, but this is no concern, as computer games have been in a state of decadence for quite some time now and have also been found to be bad for your social life.

Computers running Microsoft Windows are too vulnerable to spyware, viruses, and poorly engineered software to be considered as a choice for college students. In addition, the largest manufacturer of Windows-based computers, Dell Computer, has been known for poor technical support and quality of computers as of late.

--end

Although I got my points for completing the assignment, the professor basically said that I was wasting my time writing all this about the Mac platform, as she thinks it has no future anywhere in the real world, save for movie production. She also said it was not a good way to respond in a college FAQ, as no college student would "want to be left out in the cold". Did we all of a sudden forget that some people actually like computers that don't crash every five minutes? Or the fact that a Mac comes with more software that college people (the typical young ones who aren't old people starting new careers like myself) may actually like? (iPhoto and Garage Band to be specific).

Yes, a Mac trojan horse made big news recently. But the last major trojan horse I can recall on the Mac was CPro141, which I think was around 1993. 13 years with no trojan horses is pretty good.

I just thought I'd share this story. It's a shame some people don't realize just how nice it is over on the Mac side. Having to use Windows for this class really makes one appreciate the Mac platform...and makes you realize that even the Lisa is more stable. (I'm tempted to complete my assignments on it...it sits patiently in its original box in my basement just waiting for me to plug it in again...)

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coius's picture
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Joined: Aug 25 2004
Posts: 1975
been there, seen that.

And I have a dad that still thinks that way :/ so it is not that new for me. I still keep my goal about preaching the WORD (get it? Word as in data?) about apple. I have converted a few people, but my dad is probably the hardest one I am going to experience.
i had a teacher back in middle school that thought that I had an unhealthy mac addiction (i just got and owned my first mac laptop [we had apples at home since I was born] and used it heavily) and that was the year windows 98 came out.
My teacher was going back to school to work on getting her degree in social studies teaching (she was a math teacher) and the night before she had to turn in her final paper, she had gotten a virus that wiped the drive. She came to ask me what to do. I told her to ask for an extension on it and drop the computer off at my place, and being as a computer hobbyiest, i would try to recover it (something I am VERY good at) By the next day, i had recovered most of he files, and handed them to her on a zip disk.

Needless to say, about 2 months after that incident, she called me and had me come set up her new (well, used) 8100 with 32 MB memory and 80MHz CPU. I drooled over it (i still had a centris 610 at the time. it was about '99 that I got my blueberry imac) and she loved it.
All it really has to take is a major catastrophy to make a life changing decision. Today, she volunteers in the only mac department at the highschool, and I still keep in touch with her. She is soon going to be buying the iMac intel (under my suggestion) as soon as the second rev comes out (i don't count the speed bump as the 2nd rev Tongue )

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BDub's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 706
It would be much more convinc

It would be much more convincing if you had spoken about compatibility. Like it or not, Windows is the dominant platform on consumer workstations, and it does no good to segregate yourself from all the other people you want to share documents with.

Quote:

A Macintosh runs the world’s most stable and elegant operating system, Mac OS X.

It runs a BSD kernel, which is pretty cool, but hardly unique. For a desktop system, it's pretty good. Elegant is a matter of taste.

Quote:

While it is possible to purchase Microsoft Office for the machines, the only component worth buying is Excel. Keynote is far superior to PowerPoint, and Pages is the best alternative to Word on the market. Pages also doubles as a substitute for PageMaker. AppleWorks provides a paint program better than Paint, and includes a drawing program as well that essentially is a poor man’s version of Adobe Illustrator

If you need Excel, Excel for the Mac is nice. You offer no basis for any of your claims here. You could have talked about the cost to purchase them (where Pages and Keynote stand out nicely) and mentioned that Appleworks is free on consumer line machines, which is what most college kids are going to go with. Saying that the drawing portion of Appleworks is anywhere near Illustrator is laughable, IMHO. Why not just stick with saying that the Microsoft Office suite, the industry standard for day to day business documents, is available and supported on the Mac? There's an educational discount available on that too.

Quote:

Included with every Macintosh is the iLife suite, which includes iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iTunes, iWeb, and Garage Band. iPhoto is the best digital photo manager available, and iMovie is considered to be the top choice in video editing. Macs also come standard with the Safari web browser and the iChat instant messaging client, which is fully compatible with AIM.

iPhoto is a matter of opinion again. I think it's slow and bloated. If you consider iMovie to be a top choice in video editing, you should try one of the professional tools like Final Cut Pro. iMovie is a toy, nothing more. iDVD, iTunes, iWeb and Garageband are all likely irrelevant to what the machine is being used for. Safari is a decent browser, and iChat is a decent client, but decent browsers and decent chat clients are both available for free on Windows. Neither of these is a selling point. iLife is not a bad little software bundle, but it is a consumer level bit of software and probably irrelevant to what you're doing.

Quote:

Apple’s mail client is simple yet effective, and is much easier to use than Outlook Express.

Or, if you purchased Office with the educational discount, you've got Entourage, which is a great mail client.

Quote:

Popular software such as Adobe Photoshop and Quicken is also available for the Macintosh.

Your best supporting point. Cross compatibility is the key here. Don't brag about Quicken for the Mac too much though. I've no first hand experience, but from what I've heard the Windows version is one of the pieces of software that's actually better on Windows.

Quote:

Highly recommended for any audio enthusiast is Sound Studio by Felt Tip Software.

Great little application, I love it.

Quote:

Anyone interested in running Windows-specific productivity software such as Microsoft Access should purchase a copy of Virtual PC, which allows Windows XP to be run on any Macintosh, albeit somewhat slowly.

Great point. I've heard a couple incompatibilities, but only from people trying to do fairly high end stuff.

Quote:

Those who need a database, however, should look at FileMaker instead of Access.

Why?

Quote:

Many may complain about the lack of computer games for the Macintosh, but this is no concern, as computer games have been in a state of decadence for quite some time now and have also been found to be bad for your social life.

Reliable source please? And what games? Why not state instead that many of the top titles are ported over with a delay. That means that we tend to get only the best of the games after a lot of the problems have been hammered out. Still, a Mac is not what you want if you're in it for the games.

Quote:

Computers running Microsoft Windows are too vulnerable to spyware, viruses, and poorly engineered software to be considered as a choice for college students. In addition, the largest manufacturer of Windows-based computers, Dell Computer, has been known for poor technical support and quality of computers as of late.

I'd say 'have a poor security record', but it's a valid enough point. Poorly engineered software can happen anywhere, but there does seem to be a lot of it on Windows. You might have tried to stress that Apple has good support, instead of putting down the other support.

You've got some good points, but it reads like a rabid fanboy rant. The ideas aren't separated up as well as they could be, reasons aren't given backing up your claims, and you seem to work off the assumption that the entire world should just switch right now.

Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I'd have given it a bad mark too.

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Jon's picture
Jon
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
Re: Professor angry over assignment

macplus512a wrote:

I was very tempted to use Pages or even MacWrite Pro as my word processor. After grudgingly accepting the fact I had to use Word (well, at least Word for OS X isn't as bad as Word 6, not quite Word 5.1 but acceptable I guess)

In a CS course I had a few years ago, we were supposed to either use the lab machines with W2k (called NT 5.0 at the time) and MS VS C++ 6, or buy our own copy. I, instead, loaded a used $5 copy of BeOS 4.5 on a spare P-133 and used the included IDE to write my C++ at home. One minor change (the declaration for stdio.h) and every one of 'em would compile on VS. I saved alot of money, and time fighting for lab machines. The main reason I switched to my own setup though, was that a lab computer froze while writing a project to a Zip disk. I restarted the computer, and the Zip disk was history. Dang beta-OS testing. Smile BeOS was loads more stable, and functioned smoother on a P-133 than W2k on a P2-333. Go figgur.

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
Mac vs. Windows

Need some ammo? Check this!

dan k

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