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  • Newsletter #395 Preview: Do Macs Make Sense for Business?

    June 24th, 2007

    From the very first day the Mac appeared, the critics said it wasn’t a serious personal computer. The graphical user interface meant it was just a plaything for the rich and restless, and that you couldn’t get any serious work done on it. That was the function of the real computer, the one that you manipulated with text commands.

    Of course, that argument didn’t sit very well when Microsoft adopted many of the same interface niceties. Maybe it was a pale imitation of the original, but the basic concepts, requiring keyboard and mouse, were still present and accounted for.

    Yet even when so-called business computers came with point-and-click interfaces, somehow the Mac was still relegated to the category of a toy. It didn’t matter that graphic artists embraced Macs for such chores as desktop publishing, digital artwork and movie special effects. You see, a real business computer was supposed to be used for spreadsheets, and databases and that sort of thing. Sure there was Mac software available that could carry out those functions as well, but Apple did an extremely poor job of making its products affordable for companies that needed to order them by the hundreds or thousands.

    That and other strategic missteps left a bad taste in the mouths of even devoted Mac users who, by the mid-1990s, deserted the platform in droves, along with some software publishers. Yes, the Mac wasn’t in a good way when Steve Jobs took control of the company he co-founded a decade ago.

    Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.



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    4 Responses to “Newsletter #395 Preview: Do Macs Make Sense for Business?”

    1. Dave says:

      Yeah, now those IT support types continue to block the way… response to help line from a recent call: “we don’t support Mac,” no problem as I will use Windows on the Mac. “Didn’t you hear me? I said we don’t support Macs.” But it’s Windows man! “No, it’s a Mac. And we don’t support Mc.” Ok, thanks, bye.

      15 minutes later on a second call… Can you help me configure my PC? Yes, thanks. In five minutes, my Mac was accessing the same web site flawlessly… and they don’t even realize that they do support Macs.

    2. Tom Cooper says:

      I manage the computers for a small law firm; we have 20 users total, including lawyers and staff. We have used Macs since before I arrived in 1994. There were some dark days for using Macs in that environment, but today things couldn’t be better. We run our own file servers, web site, mail server, customize our own databases, and use most of the industry standard legal tools such as Office products. We use almost no outside help. (Hardware problems and occasional system issues.) We also use several graphic and video programs to create visual aids for cases we handle. The Mac is superb at most of the things we use computers for. The ideal computer these days for most law office users is the Mac Mini, which easily handles the routine work in a legal office in a small and inexpensive package. Apple has given some attention to the legal market, but not a lot. The iphone has the potential to be an excellent addition to our technology if it integrates well with our office systems (support for imap email accounts; the AT&T network is good enough; syncs easily with calendars and contact lists). So I give a resounding yes to the claim that Macs make sense for business. We even allow individuals on the dark side who can easily integrate with our network, printers, and most software. Oh yeah. And we listen to Gene Steeeiiiiinberg, the Mac Nightowl. Yeeeeooooow. Don’t even think about changing that dial.

    3. I manage the computers for a small law firm; we have 20 users total, including lawyers and staff. We have used Macs since before I arrived in 1994. There were some dark days for using Macs in that environment, but today things couldn’t be better. We run our own file servers, web site, mail server, customize our own databases, and use most of the industry standard legal tools such as Office products. We use almost no outside help. (Hardware problems and occasional system issues.) We also use several graphic and video programs to create visual aids for cases we handle. The Mac is superb at most of the things we use computers for. The ideal computer these days for most law office users is the Mac Mini, which easily handles the routine work in a legal office in a small and inexpensive package. Apple has given some attention to the legal market, but not a lot. The iphone has the potential to be an excellent addition to our technology if it integrates well with our office systems (support for imap email accounts; the AT&T network is good enough; syncs easily with calendars and contact lists). So I give a resounding yes to the claim that Macs make sense for business. We even allow individuals on the dark side who can easily integrate with our network, printers, and most software. Oh yeah. And we listen to Gene Steeeiiiiinberg, the Mac Nightowl. Yeeeeooooow. Don’t even think about changing that dial.

      Thank you Tom 🙂

      Peace,
      Gene

    4. Similar to Dave’s story, except they told me that what I was doing on my Mac I couldn’t do on a Mac. 🙂 Now I don’t even tell them it’s a Mac; I just say it’s Windows XP and the support folks are much happier.

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