HI, looking for some advice from the mac users here.

I recently got a side job supporting computers in a church office. There is also a k-8 school filled with macs that I had nothing to do with until last week. The wants to upgrade it's computers(the macs thye have are 5 years old). They are also considering going to PC's, so they have asked me to price the cost of switching entirely over to PC's. But the teacher currently in charge of maintaining the macs is bent on staying with macs.

The software they want to use is out there for both platforms, basically this comes down to OS X vs Win XP. The teachers main concern is stability. She claims she never has problems with the macs and is under the impression Windows will do nothing but crash and never work for her. She is about all the school has when it comes to IT, but she is also a teacher, she does not want to waste class time troubleshooting.

As for me, I have limited mac knowledge, but I am not a diehard Microsft person either. Part of me says "if it's not broke, don't fix it" If macs work for them, fine let them stay with macs. Another part of me says, PC's are out there, like them are not, almost any job now ideas will require the use of one.

So, in an educational enviroment, is a mac still better than a pc? I'm looking for pros and cons of using macs in such an enviroment. Or if anyone has witnessed the conversion of macs to pc, how did that go?


All Macs come loaded with software ideal to the classroom, iMovie, iPhoto, Garageband and Appleworks to name just the obvious ones.
They are also easy to network, virus free and, as your friend points out never crash.
All of these points make the Mac perfect for a school situation where troubleshooting time is often not available - especially when they already have software licences available.
Add in the cheap price of the new Mini and the existing knowledge on site and I'd clearly recomend that they stick with the Mac.
Of course, if the existing Macs are old G3 iMacs the price of new monitors and keyboards will add to the cost of aquisition, but that cost would incur with PCs too.
You can get more info from Apples education site: http://www.apple.com/education/


I would stay with the Macs. Aside from my personal loyalty to the brand, the arguement may be made that cross-platform diversity is a great idea. Let's say that a virus is brought into the lab, and it wipes out the entire Windows community. You at least have a lab of Macs there that others may use, and the internet may be used, and so forth.

Plus, you are at great risk of alienating your instructor, and she is the "customer" in this case, correct?

OS X will feel different than OS 9 to the lab, but it will work just fine... if not even better.

Now, if you price cost out the PC's, there will be in initial lower cost to get started, but the support costs... license upgrades, antivirus protection, server licenses, downtime... they will factor into the overall cost, and you should see the PC's be more expensive down the long run.

As long as you are out there thinking of things, and you mention that you are not die-hard Microsoft, you might consider a Linux server that will run Samba for your Windows people, and netatalk (or Samba too!) for your Mac people, and really cut down on licensing support costs. With VNC, you can remote manage a lot of the machines too!

Let us know if you want to go DEEP on getting this going. WOuld like to help. And if I miss on this thread, please message me to get my attention back.


Thanks for the replies.

Christian, feel free to go as deep as you like on this matter. As I said before I'm a PC guy with little mac knowledge. I've been doing some research in my own, but am also very interested in the opinions of the mac experts.

I wish I could find a way to be more detailed, but basically it comes down to:
1. Why is a mac better than a pc?

2. What are the negatives of a mac?

It is my opinion that there is no such thing as a perfect solution, there is a negative to everything. I am trying to compare the pros of a mac against the pros of a pc, and the same for the negatives.

Cost: I never had a doubt that pc's would not be more expensive.

Lastly, what about a hybrid? Another option they discussed is doing some pc and some macs. I don't think it is a good idea, teach kids one thing in the classroom, then they go into the lab and have to use a different interface seems bad. Though they have mentioned possibly just limiting pc's to just the school office.

Thanks again.

Mac is the way to go, as far as school situations go. I work for a printing company and years ago when we were doing calendars for them, somehow my email address got into the school system computers and someone was trying to send out viruses.....but luckily for me I had a mac, so if I tried to download one of the emails, it would not affect my mac. So, to answer your question, Macs have a less chance of getting a virus, plus they are very user friendly. My niece used a Gateway for years, then it crashed (so did all the others that her grandmother bought for the family years ago, 4 in total, none working. I got her an older imac for a great price, and she loves it. Got my parents an imac (and they had no computer experience what so ever), and they love it. I work on a mac at work (g4) and have an emac at home. I've been a mac person for over 11 years now and I would never use a pc. Just do your research and then you will have your answers. Good luck.