I have taught/lived in a mixed platform world for a long time. I remember the Platform Wars of the 1990's when IT departments were afraid that Apple was going to go "belly up!" I know many teachers who had Windows forced on them by these characters who insisted that kids needed to "learn computers" on the same systems that businesses used and that they would find in the "real world."

What bothered me about these guys (usually there were men) was their arrogance. Most really didn't know what they were talking about and had a very narrow perspective, as can be the case with technicians.

As a result of having moved around, and pursuing my own interests, I am comfortable on Windows, Mac, or Linux. They all have their strengths (and weaknesses.) Given a choice, I will choose a Mac over the others every time. I love the fact that OSX is Unix and rock solid, as they say. Then there is the fact that so many Open Source Applications have been ported to OSX.

Apple has always done a great job integrating their hardware and their software. Many people claim, with good justification, that Apple is primarily a software company. iMovie has done more to get kids producing video than anything other program. Its tough to beat GarageBand for podcasting. Then there is iTunes and Quicktime etc., etc...

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Our IT guys look at my macs with either revulsion or fear. It's funny how sanctimonious many of these guys and other upper sdmin people get about the "issues" with mac. My favorite is when they say that they are difficult to maintain! So far, any issue I have ever had, I have found a solution on the internet. It really struck me the other day when I robbed so donated PC's of their RAM and installed it in the G3 B&W towers that I just got. The PC was difficult to get into and the RAM was in a difficult spot to reach (kind of like the oil filter on a VW), then I pulled the latch on the G3, opened it up and viola!, everything was right there layed out in aneasily accessible way! I guess ignorance breeds contempt!

Enough of the chest beating though. I am really looking forward to sharing tips and tricks for maximizing the potential of these great machines. Further, I am hoping to inspire teachers to go peruse the surplus holdings and dig out those discarded Macs that so many school systems seem to be jettisoning!

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