Majority of Sam Houston State University students eschew Apple Macs

“While nearly every college student can operate an Apple iPod with their eyes closed, the vast majority of Sam Houston State University students are unable to log in to an Apple computer on campus,” Andy Rhodes writes for The Houstonian (Sam Houston State University Student Newspaper). “Though Apple has found overwhelming success with its sleek music storage devices, when it comes to computers the opposite is quite true on this campus and many others across the nation. In order to access the Apple Macintosh computers on the SHSU campus, students must acquire a “Mac Account” through Computer Services. Yet due to low demand, most students never bother to get one.”

“The fact remains that most students have no use for the flashy visuals and complicated graphics programs that Apple’s Macintoshes are so famous for carrying. They may be more appealing to the eye, but Macintosh computers have yet to produce any real educational or basic functional value for the majority of college students,” Rhodes writes.

Rhodes writes, “According to Computer Services, students call in for help with their Macintoshes overwhelmingly more often than for PCs. Based on the number of Macs versus the number of PCs on campus, students seem to experience much more difficulty in operating the Apple system as opposed to other more standard systems. ‘We definitely receive at least two to three calls a day for help with the Macs,’ Kaleb Cuevas, sophomore psychology major and Computer Services employee, said. ‘It’s usually because of something like the operating system messing up. But it’s often because of user error too.'”

Rhodes writes, “More often than not, students and even faculty turn to PCs simply because they are easier and more practical to use. According to Cuevas, PCs could be described as more business based than the Mac, with an emphasis on typing-based programs such as Word. With the majority of college students’ assignments focusing on word-based projects and papers, the PC logically provides a much better means of producing their work. ‘PCs are more user friendly,’ Cuevas said.”

“It may seem that Macs could be done away with altogether after finding that most students on-campus do not even use them. However, many courses and majors at SHSU require students to use programs only available on Macs,” Rhodes writes. “Because of their editing and design capabilities, Macs are king in the world of art. Many courses and projects in the art department require the use of programs and capabilities only available on Macintoshes, giving many students a big incentive to pick the Macs over a PC. ‘I think they’re a lot better,’ Chris Pry, junior mass communications major said. ‘They’re more user friendly for Photoshop, and they process things a lot faster.'”

“In addition to having better applications for students to use, Macs also may be easier to access than other computers on campus. Since many students do not have Mac accounts or avoid using the Macs, those who do have accounts have a much simpler time finding a computer to use,” Rhodes writes. “Having Macs on campus seems to have created a catch-22 for students and faculty alike, as some struggle with simple tasks while others cannot complete any assignments without them. So as Computer Services continues to deal with Mac complaints and photography majors continue building their masterpieces on exclusive Mac applications, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will keep getting richer off students buying iPods and universities purchasing bittersweet Mac computers.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Macaday” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Most people are much more familiar with Windows than Mac OS X. Most people who really try Mac OS X and who are able to divorce themselves from ingrained Windows thought processes choose Mac OS X. Those who don’t, won’t, or can’t do so, understandably can’t operate Macs effectively and stick solely to Windows. For just one example among many, it takes people a little while to understand that Mac programs don’t quit when you close a window. Some concepts are quite alien to Windows-only users.

Windows-only users “choose” Windows because that’s all they know. Most Mac users have been exposed to Windows at work/school. Most Windows users simply have little or no experience with Mac. In our experience, people who have used both Mac and Windows overwhelmingly and quite tellingly choose Macintosh. Mac users have made a conscious technology choice and are therefore better informed. You don’t see a lot of Mac OS X users switching to Windows, that’s for sure.

Macs are different than Windows. Macs are also much better than Windows, but only those who have used both OSes understand that fact. The rest will continue to ignore Macs, and even spout ignorant comments such as those seen in the article referenced above, unless they get a chance to properly use a Mac. The Apple retail stores are helping. Positive Apple Mac reviews are helping. Dissatisfaction with Windows security problems is helping. Switchers are quite effective in helping, too. The ability to run Windows on Macs will help immensely (embrace and extinguish). It’ll take time, but many will eventually come to understand, appreciate, and choose the Mac platform. We believe that process is accelerating today.

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  1. well… this makes Sam Houston Sutdents sound like idiots. Perhaps their student population is the problem, not the computers. When a Computer Services employee says “the operating system ‘messes up'” that send a clear signal they have no idea of what they speak.

  2. “…most students have no use for the flashy visuals and complicated graphics …”

    My Mac is too flashy, please help me.
    I’m confused, it’s too complicated.
    There’s no “Start” button to shut down!
    (Yes, I’m really a university student, what are you implying, that I’m stoopid??
    Why I otta…get a Dell…

  3. This article is a steaming pile of howdoyoudo.

    It’s clear from the limited info given here that Sam Houston’s IT dept makes Mac users jump through hoops even to use the computers. But, I have a few questions:

    “two or three” Mac calls a day for a student body of HOW MANY thousands?

    What version of “Mac” operating system are they using?

    How many Macs, how many PC’s are we talking about?

    And finally, what huge percentage of PC’s are FLAT OUT NON-FUNCTIONAL on any given day?? I’ll bet it’s big.

    Anyway, it sounds like the college should just buy ’em all a bunch of typewriters if that’s all they use their PCs for… it seems like their students have a problem with anything more advanced.
    “PC’s are just easier to use”?, No, typewriters are.

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