AMITIAE - Monday 19 October 2015
Cassandra: Changing Times - More Macs in the Office
By Graham K. Rogers
A few years ago we had a couple of the G4 PowerPCs here as part of a project I tried to set up. The money for those came from a World Bank program. However someone cancelled the CRT iMacs I had asked for and the project was dead. It turned out to be a benefit for me as I was able to learn the basics of OS X: the G4s came with System 9 as standard and could boot into OS X 10.1.
What I liked particularly about the G4 was the way the side would open and hinge down to expose all the insides. I learned a lot there too. The G5 would also open to expose the clean design of what was inside - perhaps even tidier than the G4 - but the panel was not hinged. It had to be put somewhere while work was being carried out. I later had a G5 at home on test for a couple of weeks and a friend commented on the inside: so clean; unlike the untidy wiring of most PCs.
At the university, the idea of Macs was so unusual that I was asked to introduce computer engineering students to the platform. The idea was that, even if they only used PCs, they might as well know about other operating systems. By the same token I also introduced them to Unix using a collection of Silicon Graphics computers bought and hardly used.
I had tried a few years back to persuade the (then) head of Computer Engineering to buy some Macs, especially as they could boot into several operating systems, so would be economical in that area. He always laughed, so I gave up in the end. Last year, the Computer Engineering Department set up a lab (with government help) that has several Mac mini computers for a Computer Forensics program.
Next year, the same department will purchase enough machines for an undergradaute lab. "They can boot into several operating systems, so would be economical in that area", I am told. I have also been asked to prepare an outline for teaching OS X to students unfamiliar with the operating system.
Computer Forensics Lab
These latest Power Macs to arrive were at bargain prices, particularly when compared to online sources, such as Mac2Hand, where quoted prices are reasonable up to a point. The two machines that were bought last week, became three, when the department technician, who has never used OS X joined that little club and the device arrived this morning.
I now teach some classes where every student has a Mac; and my colleagues are beginning to catch on.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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