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:
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.
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...)