Techno-illiterate columnist continues his call to dump Macs in schools for Windows ‘compatibility’

“Woe unto anyone who publicly questions the efficacy of Macintosh computers. You will be set upon by the cult of Mac users. They will call you names. They will tell your boss that you should be fired. They will write long letters and e-mails detailing the history of home computers. I know this because last week I wrote a column supporting the Sarasota County school district’s decision to phase out Macs and replace them with PCs,” Rich Brooks writes for The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

“The column did not criticize Macs, but pointed out that with 97 percent of the home computer market going to PCs, phasing out the Macs was a no-brainer. Nevertheless, this seemed to offend the Mac cult. Since the column appeared last week, I have received roughly 700 e-mails from such faraway places as Great Britain and Australia chastising me for even suggesting that the school district made the correct decision… Some asked the publisher to end my journalistic career,” Brooks writes. “Other than the personal attacks, the e-mails contained several common threads. Purchasing computer equipment for a school district is a matter of public policy, not personal preference. If more than 95 percent of the students with home computers operate on a PC platform, it makes sense for the school district to use the same platform.”

“And it’s more cost-effective for schools to maintain one type of computer platform. Writing that Macs should be phased out of the school system is not an attack on Macs or Mac users,” Brooks writes. “Even so, I doubt that I would ever buy a Mac. I’ve seen what owning one can do to people. And I don’t want any part of that.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Mr. Brooks is confusing quarterly market share with installed base; two very different measures. Market share figures for the last quarter are not an indication of how many people are using different platforms. The Mac platform has about 10% of the installed base. It only stands to reason that 10% or thereabouts of Sarasota’s students have a Mac at home. Teachers should be using cross-platform applications, so that all students can participate fully. How cost effective is it to standardize on a single platform that also happens to be most susceptible to virus, worm, and other attacks that can render the entire installation unusable? Why standardize on Windows when studies show that Mac installations require far less technical support? Mr. Brooks is wrong on this issue. Teachers, educators, school board members, IT professionals and any business or individual who is making a Mac/PC decision have a valuable resource online in John Droz’s Mac vs. PC website here.

Related MacDailyNews article:
Techno-illiterate columnist advocates dumping Macs in schools for Windows ‘compatibility’ – December 01, 2004
Windows XP Service Pack 2 causing major headaches on college campuses – August 24, 2004
More people use Apple Macs than you think; 8-12 percent of homes use Macs – March 31, 2004
Pennsylvania school district’s PCs infected with virus; their Macs unaffected – October 01, 2003
Montana school district’s Windows computers offline due to worm; Macintosh computers unaffected – September 03, 2003
More schools experience Windows virus, worm problems while Macs just keep working – August 22, 2003
A tale of two school systems: Windows schools crippled while Mac schools unaffected – August 21, 2003


  1. He’s got a point about all the hate mail though. Windows sucks big time, and we Mac users should spread the word positively, instead of attacking people whom we disagree with. I know windows trolls do the same thing, but we should be a cut above, just like the platform we use.


  2. I already wrote him, but The problem is that so many mac “faithful” get upset and threaten and swear and generally act like idiots and we look more like a “cult” than happy consumers.

    so says I, Buffy, highpriest of the G4 =P

  3. just forget him he seems too stubborn and unwilling to change his viewpoint. Is this page turning out alright on other people’s browsers, on mine it has a large white gap between the title and body, and the body itself is one large hyperlink. (I am using Panther, latest version of safari on an 12″ iBook.) If this website is an indication of their “computing knowledge” then I think trying to persuade them otherwise would be futile.

  4. Figures. I wrote the guy pointing out the inaccuracy of the column. I was touting the advantages of a cross-platform system for everyone to use.

    And although there are some Mac Zealots out there who sound like idiots when they emote about the platform, this dude is obviously just doing what most Mac-ignorant fools do. They just brush off the emails with the “oh, they’re just a crazy cult” response. Look, if you bashed TiVo, do you think you would get some angry emails of TiVo users who think you gave wrong facts? “TiVo users are just a cult. I don’t know why they have a problem with me saying that VCRs are the better way to go.” How about picking Ford over Chevy? Cingular over Sprint? California over Florida?

    His journalism is lazy. Unfortunately, with most lazy journalists, they’re also arrogant and unable to accept that they’re less than perfect.

  5. “just forget him he seems too stubborn and unwilling to change his viewpoint.”

    He doesn’t have to change his viewpoint, but he should know enough about the subject to make valid arguments. So he has either not researched his subject, or he really is on a platform crusade. (The very thing he accuses of the Mac crowd.) The facts are against him on everything he said.

  6. > His journalism is lazy. Unfortunately, with most lazy journalists, they’re also arrogant and unable to accept that they’re less than perfect. <
    A pith of wisdom hits the nail on the head ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  7. We all know there are a lot of “lazy” tech writers out there who may or may not be on an Anti-Mac crusade… and everytime something disparaging is written about our platform of choice… a flood of emails ensues from the “Mac-Cultists”….

    But how do you answer someone making ..This particular point ??

    Anyone ??

  8. Caesar, in response to your comment:

    What, exactly, IS the right response to “F- you F- you F-you…?” Is there truly something to be learned there, aside from how NOT to get a real point across?

  9. whatever, everyone will get by in the end, and i dont think this guy is a tech writter; hes just some opinion dude, and i wont fault him for that. everyone has an opinion, his just sucks.

    i take issue at being called a cult member though. you can argue why the school should adopt a windows platform but resort so unfounded categorizations because your position is weak. and by the way, your son is on crack, there is no way kids stay after school to write papers because the computer at home is different from the one at school.

    did i just make an unfounded categorization? perhaps. but then im not a professional and i sign things “yankees suck.” so if your comparing yourself to me, ditch the wirting thing and become a rubish collector

  10. At least this guy can claim some ignorance to the facts about Macs, what is MDN’s lame reason for DUMPING OSX FOR LINUX as your server?!! FSCKIN’ HYPOCRITES!!!

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