Apple Is a Leader

January 1999 – The following letter was sent to the technology coordinator and members of the school board of the South Kitsap (WA) School District in response to Macs Under Fire in South Kitsap (WA) School District. A few clarifications have been added between [brackets].

January 25, 1999

Good Day,

As a Network Administrator for a heavily Mac-based organization, I was particularly disturbed to hear that your school district was implementing an anti-Macintosh policy.

Apple’s Macintosh has always been a few years ahead of the rest of the [personal] computing industry, with the first Graphical User Interface and 3.5″ floppy (1984), the first dual monitor support (1987), the first CD-ROM drive (1991), the first 32-bit OS (1992), the first graphical web browser (1993), the first RISC-based personal computer (1994), etc.

I tell you this to address the oft-recited rationale for moving to PCs from Macs: That we should teach our children the tools they are likely to use in the business world. First, since our children will not enter the business world for years to come, it is impossible to teach them using the exact tools they will encounter then. We can only hope to expose them to the best, most innovative technology available to give them the framework for understanding and using new technologies later in life. Secondly, since Wintel does lag so far behind the Mac, I can tell you from experience that my Mac experience from high school in the late 80s best prepared me to use Windows 95 and 98. I actually had less trouble learning Windows 95 coming from a Mac background than did some of my cohorts who had used DOS and Windows 3.1.

Apple continues to lead the industry in important paradigm-shifting innovations, making Apple, and by proxy the Mac platform, extremely relevant. Succinctly, where Apple goes, the rest follow. As an industry watcher, I can tell you that this basic truth is unlikely to change anytime soon.

I would hope that you fully investigate the Macintosh as an excellent tool for instruction and learning. Further, I would hope that you not be swayed by the ignorance and myth so easily propagated about the Mac by those who should know better. Keep in mind that if organizations believe those who would tell them that the Mac is dead, and base their policy on that belief, they help create a self-fulfilling prophecy. If instead the organizations investigate all options and solutions, and keep an open mind about technology, they will make better decisions and Apple will continue to thrive.

Should you have any questions regarding the Mac or if I can be of any assistance to you in implementing an intelligent Macintosh strategy for your district, do not hesitate to call me at 301-863-6686 x1024.

Michael Skinner
Network Admin.
RBC Incorporated
44423 Airport Rd Suite 200
California, MD 20619

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