Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007...8:06 pm

Macs in a PC dominated school district

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Cathy Nelson’s Professional Thoughts blog post made me think about using an Apple computer in our school district. In Cathy’s district, they ask Mac users to purchase a service contract out of their own pocket with Apple. It seems school districts must not be able to negotiate service contract with vendors unless they are based on hundreds or thousands of units. I really do not understand how this works. However, if I was Apple, I would make a deal with schools that would at least match their competitors. Maybe they do and I do not know about it

It has been a real treat for me to use Apple laptops in our district. I have used an Aluminum PowerBook for years, and upgraded last year to a MacBook Pro. I only sent the Al PowerBook back once to have the latch replaced. It was covered 100% using the warranty. Carrying a laptop to workshops, in and out of the school house, and running it basically 24/7 and it never hiccuped. Prior to purchasing the Apple, I used laptops from Gateway, Dell, IBM, and a couple of what I call off-brands. I have never really had any major issues with warranty covered issues with laptops. Call me luck. Sure, I have fried memory and reformatted hard drives. But nothing to really cry or whine about. My major nightmares have been with operating systems. Do you remember the constant reboot and re installation of Me. OMG, don’t get me started. My mother has an HP desktop with Me still running on it. She has a nice Dell laptop with XP on it , likes her desktop for Internet and email because it is connected to her printer. I understand why she like it. She uses her laptop at her lake house, or on the road as she travels. It is too much trouble unplugging the printer and Internet Ethernet cable. I need to set up a wireless network for her. I love my Apple AirPort Extreme. It works like a dream. That is what I need to give her for Christmas. I would have to buy a 802.11g Wireless Notebook PCMCIA Network Card, Ethernet Card.

When I read about Cathy’s school system “maintenance agreement”, I would like be interested to find out if that covers EVERYTHING. Batteries also haunt extended use of laptops. Mine seem to last about two years. Warranties do not cover batteries- as far as I know. Laptop screens are not covered if you drop the laptop. So, what does a maintenance agreement cover? What would it need to cover? There is no way they would pay of updating OS X or iLife or iWorks.

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1 Comment

  • Thanks for the comment. I was just issued a Dell 2 days ago as a new employee in the district. I’m going tomorrow to request the MAC instead. I hae used both iterfaces in my 22 years, but never really had a choice in the public school. My only chance to work with apple equipment came from home and grad school. I even became a pc person thinking if i was forced to use it in my job i should use it at home. But this Christmas I went back to the mac side, and am LOVING my MacBook Pro. My response to the district today was that i’d be willing to pay that cost, and I seriously doubted I would have to use it since MACs don’t break down…got a twitter of laughter from that!! But the small group agreed. Go figure.

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