The late Douglas Adams once said, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly past.” It is in this spirit that I present the latest Mac Life.
Before I go on to alienate more of the Low End Mac readership with my complaints about the Mac and Mac users, I have some unfinished business to take care of. Two weeks ago, I asked for your comments on Macintoshes in the workplace. The response was very interesting. Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who emailed, and I hope you understand that I cannot deal with every specific enquiry.
As I noted in the original articles, Macs are more common in offices than many people in the media realise. (Sometimes I wonder if these journalists need some form of mental health assessment when they suggest that no-one uses Macs for work – while they type the very same article on a Mac and then hand it over to the graphics and prepress staff, who also work on Macs.)
OS X and Techs
Nevertheless, Mac OS X seems to have opened a lot of workplaces up to the Mac OS. Why? It seems that the tech propeller-head fraternity are taking it more seriously because of the NeXT and BSD Unix underpinnings.
Martin Sørensen, who works in a large IT company in Denmark, writes: “The reaction to Mac users is more like wonder than hostility, and the ‘respect’ has grown among the Linux people after OS X came in.”
This is telling in itself, as it’s exactly the same way that Linux began to steal a march on Windows NT – not because of corporate policy, but because tech-saavy developers and system administrators installed it, often without even bothering to ask for permission.
One response, which was to become familiar to me as I read through my email about Mac Life, was how many people have bought an iBook or PowerBook and bring it in to work, rarely using the machines provided by the corporate body.
The following is from one correspondent who declined to give his real name: “We are a Unix shop, a large collection of Suns and a couple Windows machines for testing. Sadly, Suns that can only display 256 colors are no fun to work with at all, so I bring my iBook in every day. It’s my workstation.”
Education and Science
Jeroen Diederen, from the chemistry department at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, brings news of the Mac’s following in higher education and science.
“Everybody there uses a Macintosh for their daily work, i.e. writing articles, theses, making posters for scientific meetings, etc. It is a strong intellectual environment where these Macs show up!”
My, my, aren’t LEM readers a cosmopolitan, well-educated, and international lot?
Staying with education, Louise Farant, as French teacher in Canada, uses an iMac, even though her school is now all Wintel based.
“I use an iMac because I just about threw my last PC off the cliff into the river at the back of the house. Damn, the best the thing that bloody thing ever did was crash, and it did so with alarming regularity and tenacity.”
Lousie also moonlights with secretarial work for her husband’s law office, again using the iMac.
The Classic Mac OS
Still, good news for owners of Low End Macs – it’s not all Mac OS X. David Dekert uses Macs in the newspaper publishing industry. Big deal, you say? Well actually it is. I don’t know if it’s because he is in the US and I’m in Europe, but over here if you threw a rock into a room full of newspaper prepress people, it would be hard to hit one that wasn’t using Quark XPress. His paper, on the other hand, uses a suite of publishing and writing tools called DTI, and I have to say they look rather good.
On the subject of Mac OS X, David has this to say: “One day we’ll move to OS X, but only when DTI releases software to run on it and we can rewrite all the scripts that make our world run. But it’s really DTI we’re wedded to, not Macs.”
As good a point as any to finish on. It’s the tools. If the PC had got there first, we’d probably all be using Windows, but it didn’t. The Mac did, and let’s hope it keeps on keepin’ on.
Keywords: #maclife #macsatwork #macsinteworkplace
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