“An excited Claire S. Le Goues ’06 purchased the 12-inch, aluminum Macintosh (Mac) Powerbook computer using funds from her summer job. But Le Goues, a computer science major, didn’t earn the money for her new machine by slaving away at an investment banking firm or scooping ice cream for whiney children,” Matthew S. Lebowitz reports for The Harvard Crimson.
“Last summer, Le Goues made the 25-minute drive each day from her home in Cortlandt Manor, NY to a research lab in Hawthorne, NY, where she worked from nine to five as a programmer for International Business Machines (IBM). IBM is one of several producers of personal computers (PCs) that use the Microsoft Windows operating system. These Windows PCs are the main competition for Macs… it was the actions of a fellow IBM employee that finally convinced Le Goues to make the shift last summer,” Lebowitz reports. “One of her co-workers brought a Powerbook with him to work each day, insisting on using it for his work despite the fact that he was employed by the maker of a competing product. ‘I saw that level of devotion, and I was like, ‘Okay – that’s really convincing to me.””
Lebowitz reports, “Le Goues also says that Macs do not require the type of intense security measures that are necessary to protect a Windows PC. On a Windows PC, ‘You have to have all these spyware detectors and run an antivirus program every three days,’ she says. ‘It’s a lot of nonsense.’ She describes these measures as ‘voodoo’ and asserts that ‘there are no viruses for Macs.’ Evoking the image of a full-screen error message familiar to many PC users, she says, ‘There’s no blue screen of death on the Mac…It doesn’t freeze—nothing, it just works.'”
Lebowitz reports, “According to statistics obtained from Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Computer Services (HASCS), only 32 percent of computers purchased by the Harvard community through the university’s discount computer purchase program this year were Macs—less than half of the number of Windows system purchases. However, Mac usage has been on the rise in recent years. Total purchases of Apple systems increased by 1 percent in Fiscal Year (FY) 2003, 11.9 percent in FY 2004, and 14 percent in FY 2005. A longitudinal examination of the current senior class further elucidates the rise in popularity of Macs among Harvard students. In the fall of their freshman year, only 9 percent of the class of 2005 owned Macs. But by this fall, that number had more than doubled, to 21 percent.”
Full article here.