mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Baltimore County schools losing Macs..

I stumbled on this article in the Baltimore Sun about how Baltimore County is getting rid of Macs in it's graphics labs.

Many of the teachers aren't happy, since Macs have a big presence in the graphics industry and students won't be familiar with them. I'm not sure how big a concern that really is - MacOS is pretty easy to pick up, and my guess is many students will go onto college and get experience with Macs before they enter the real corporate world.

Still, I think it's a good idea to expose kids to as many platforms as possible, and I think the Mac is a great platform for education.

But my biggest beef was with this quote:

Students and staff can share information efficiently if everyone uses compatible equipment. "All of this can happen only if we're all on the same operating platform," said schools spokeswoman Kara Calder.

Huh? Issues with sharing files between Mac and PC has gone away years ago. Macs will run MS Office and files can be shared between mac and pc versions with no problem. Macs also include the ability to make PDF's natively, which can be read on any PC with Acrobat Reader. And if you are using the machines for graphics work, your files will be readable in the PC and Mac versions of whatever program you are using (Photoshop, Quark, ect). I can't think of any file that would open on an OSX machine but not on a Windows machine - especially not something in a high school environment.

I can understand that supporting two different platforms can be difficult - I'm one of the few people where I work who knows anything about Macs, and I don't know all that much, and PC's are cheaper to buy (although I would argue that they tend to break more). But at least be honest and don't blame compatibility, a problem that hasn't been an issue in the Mac/PC debate in years.


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