My Turn

Everybody Wants to Use the iMacs

Dec. 1, 2000 - Mari Hersh-Tudor

My Turn is Low End Mac's column for reader-submitted articles. It's your turn to share your thoughts on all things Mac (or iPhone, iPod, etc.) and write for the Mac web. Email your submission to Dan Knight .

At my daughter's tiny elementary school, they have a computer room with both Wintel and iMac machines. Students have to learn both operating systems and pass basic tests. My daughter's latest report card stated that she knew the Mac OS well, but not Windows. Upon questioning, she replied that everybody in her class was in the same situation, because "nobody wants to work on those machines. Everybody wants to use the iMacs." Seems the iMacs are not only "cool," but easier to learn. And this is in a situation where almost all of the students (including my daughter) have access to a Wintel box at home, but not a Mac.

And now for the Evangelism. My first Mac was a prototype in the early 80s, when I was dragged kicking and screaming into a beta-testing session in the campus computer lab to test this new operating system the students were working on. Seems it was a visual thing, and they needed an artist-type to test it on. We thought that little trash can was just the coolest thing we'd ever seen. I'd love to say that I never looked back and have been a Mac fanatic ever since, but when my Graphic Design instructors asked for a Mac lab, they were told, and I quote, "Computers are for Engineers, not for bunch of painters." My how the times change.

In the intervening years, unable to afford a computer of my own, I have begged time on every Mac I could find. My position here as a designer uses, unfortunately, Wintel boxes, because this is one of those benighted places you read about where Macs are anathema. Well, you can probably see this coming, but when they upgraded the design office here so that we were entirely computer-based, I couldn't talk them into a Mac, for all the obvious reasons. The result? My system, in the last year and a half, has crashed an average of once every three months, needing a complete wipe-and-reinstall. I have lost I can't remember how much important data to the Gates Demon. I and the Geek Squad spend most of our hours trying to coddle the Wintel box into working. Even now, my system crashed in September, and we had to upgrade to - horrors - Windows 2000, which can't run half the software I rely on every day.

Not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, I did the only thing I could do to keep myself sane. I sent in the papers this morning for a PowerBook for myself. I don't care if I have to get a loan to do it. I now await with bated breath the arrival of Warrior PowerBook Xena on my doorstep next week. 500 MHz of Gates-kicking OS-envy. A way to get my job done - and play, too.

And in a few months I'll be saying hello to Docking Station Gabrielle and all her little Amazon peripheral friends. Now if only there was a Xena game for the Mac, I'd really be in heaven.

Mari Hersh-Tudor
<campus shegeek>
Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Adjunct Faculty
Clinton Community College

If a webmaster cries in her cubicle, does anybody really hear?

This was originally posted on EvangeList. It is published here with the author's permission.

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