[X4U] Flushed his toilet

Ronald Steinke ronsteinke at mac.com
Wed Jan 24 21:10:56 PST 2007

On 24 Jan 2007, at 14:32, Christopher J Collins wrote:

> We do what we have to do and learn what we have to learn to support  
> our clients to help them achieve what they want to achieve.

I loved this line in your reply. It speaks volumes of truth.

However, it avoids the issue of this (becoming more frequent) situation:

Our local school district used to have many Macintosh computers  
installed in the classrooms and school libraries. As the price of PCs  
lowered, the district started buying them instead of Macs. Often,  
this was presented to the district as a "package deal" which included  
all the software to operate the new machines.

One glaring discrepancy was that there was no additional software  
offered in the package that would give the students and teachers the  
same productivity levels that they had had with the Macs. Additional  
scholastic software packages had to be bought for the PCs. The second  
discrepancy was that the district would have to hire at least one  
full-time PC tech for each school to support the new PCs and the  
techs would not be able to service Macs.

It was never asked of the teachers and other staff whether they  
wanted to change to PCs or not. They were simply informed that they  
would lose their Macs during the change-over to the new machines and  
have to learn how to manage them on their own. Most of their  
information came from the newly hired techs and was provided on a  
"first come, first served" basis.

As things progressed, all the Macs were removed from the district and  
more PCs were purchased in "package deals". The PC techs were finding  
themselves swamped with repairing, upgrading, and replacing machines  
more and more frequently AND trying to make time available to be able  
to instruct the staff in how to manage their new machines. The techs  
approached the district offices and requested more techs be hired to  
take some of the workload off their shoulders. The district has now  
hired at least two techs per school at a cost of more than $65K/year  
per tech.

After all the salary and equipment costs, the district now says that  
there isn't enough money in the budget to be able to afford new text  
books for the students and we have to continue using books that were  
printed in the 1970s.

Today, the techs tell the teachers that they have to be put on the  
calendar for an open day to get their PC(s) fixed. One library had  
four out of six PCs down at the same time on a Thursday and couldn't  
get a tech to look at them until the next Tuesday. This sort of thing  
is a normal operating procedure for our school district now.

The choice of PC over Mac is not always possible due to other  
influences. Most of the PC techs in our district that I am acquainted  
with will not try to learn to service Macs because it would put them  
out of work and they readily admit that to me. For them, it is a  
matter of having a paycheck at the end of the month.

I know that it is a tremendous simplification to blame all this on  
PCs, but if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it. The old Macs were  
trudging along without any problems that couldn't be fixed by the  
room teacher, no need for another high-salaried tech, and the machine  
rebooted and back in business before the day was over. If newer  
machines were needed because of improved software, it was never  
contemplated to upgrade the Macs, just replace them because "the  
whole world is using PCs and you need to use the same kind of  
equipment in our schools" (quote by one administrator who doesn't use  
any computer for his office work, his secretary does his typing from  
a dictaphone).

End of rant.

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