“Apple is evil,” I tell the man tapping his iPad to retrieve my son's information at middle school registration.
His bushy eyebrows furrow. No they're not. They're great! They practically gave the district iPads for every grade, student, and even all the admins. And next year we'll be going digital with most textbooks, he said enthusiastically.
You think Apple is giving away iPads because they support education? I inquire while filling out my check to the public school to which we already pay ever increasing taxes.
Again his brow furrows and a frown is perceptible between his heavy peppered beard and thick mustache. I know the kids come home and ask their parents to buy Apple. But they should. It's a great product!
And a lot more expensive than most comparable phones, pc's, and tablets out there. If Apple is supporting education, why are they charging parents, and everyone else they're not giving their computers to, 30-50% more? I'm now in the position of having to buy both my kids Macbooks and iPads so they can do their homework. And the topper— Apple will saddle us with yet another monthly connection bill.
He sits behind a long folding table, between two women, one of three men in the auditorium of 50 volunteer parents. His arms are folded across his protruding belly, expression—an indulgent grin, the kind where it's obvious he's tuned me out. He's a diehard Apple fan, one of Steve Job's faithful followers, a blind believer.
I used to be a diehard Apple fan. My father gave me my first computer, a desktop PC (whose brand I don't recall) back in the late 70's. Monitor and PC were one unit, matte gray screen supported only a text interface with bright green type, in one size only. It was hard to use, kept losing my files, freezing up, shutting down. Then along came the Mac. I started with the llc and fell in love with the UI's ease of use; the stability of the OS; the selection of exclusive programs for graphic and marketing pros. In fact, Mac's marriage with Adobe virtually invented today's desktop publishing with software such as PageMaker, Illustrator and Photoshop, originally only for Macs until the 1990s.
I was a Mac fanatic all the way through the G4s, until I could no longer afford to get ripped off. The advent of the Adobe suite working seamlessly on Macs made it easy for businesses to take their marketing efforts in-house. By the mid 90s freelance gigs were harder to come by, and clients expected consultants to have the latest technology (like their in-house departments boasted). Maintaining my Mac systems—the high priced software combined with the continual investment in extended memory needed to run it was costing me practically as much as I was making. Even after Adobe opened their platform, and offered their software to PC users at a third of the price for Macs, I was loyal to Apple.
Moved from graphics to mostly creative direction and content writing at the turn of the millennium. Needed a laptop for quick communication with clients and couldn't afford what I needed to even run Photoshop on a Macbook. Got a Toshiba, with more memory, faster clock speed, great graphics card...etc. Photoshop was $355 less than for the Mac. By the early 2000s I'd replaced most all the software I had on my Mac with their PC versions that worked seamlessly on most any computer we had, and I've had no need to buy Mac products since. And we save a hell of a lot of money!
Business knows when they sell to children, they have a customer for life. This is particularly true with electronic tools. Kid learns at school how to create reports on a Macbook with iMovie. iMovie is Apple's proprietary software, and can only be used on Mac platforms. I have a choice of many video editing products for Windows/Linux/Firefox that are more powerful than iMovie, starting at just $49. We have no need of iMovie, yet for the kids to function in school they must have both formats, or at least Mac available at home to work on projects outside the classroom.
To date, the new Macbook base model is priced at $2200 for just 256GB of hard drive space and a quad-core 2.3 GHz Core i7 processor. Compare that to the $1500 Asus G75VW gaming laptop featuring the same processor, six times the storage space, and a 17-inch screen with 1920x1080 resolution. We have three laptops, and four PCs in the house. We don't need, and I don't want to get back in bed with Apple. Their 'discounts' to our schools, accepted by admin without a clue, once again, leaves parents paying the bill.