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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

1st Time Mac Owner...Shunned


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hcmitchellr

 
Member Since: Feb 07, 2007
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After spending many months debating over which laptop to buy, I finally decided on a brand new black Macbook. Its design is top-quality, but was not the deciding factor.

I have spent 14 years in computers/IT. Seven were laptop related including over a year as Technical Trainer of Apple Repair Techs (G3 – first gen G4 days). It was my first introduction to Macs since the Apple II and even though I learned to appreciate the new OSX, I still wasn't driven to buy one of my own.

Fast forward and I am back to working as a catch-all from system repair to network administration for a large corp. I support thousands of users, local and remote, and have noticed the expected boom in Mac use (more later). First, there was the typical “Advertising Division” that was thrilled that I was more than happy to provide their staff with new Mac setups. Not because I thought Macs would work better, but because I believed the staff would work better with the systems they preferred.

Time passes and Macs pop up in the hands of employees from VPs to Field Reps. I get calls and visits from people all over the world eager to talk to the new “Mac Guy” (which I am little more than a novice) in hopes of solving various issues with their use of a Mac within the company. Simple research solves most of their problems. Some issues are harder (especially since I do not have access to a Mac) and I develop an email list of users willing to test things I send them. Everyone is happy even though not everything is solved. Nothing infringes on my daily Windows/PC duties and work-life is grand...

Until I came to work with a new Macbook.

Now “Mac Guy” takes on a whole new meaning. Somehow I am now the guy trying to sell Macs and all my knowledge and experience with Windows is scrutinized. I have been instructed to halt any support, of any kind, to Mac users, which I do not understand considering they provide the tools for people who use their own systems and never tell them not to buy/use a Mac.

I bought this Mac partially because I wanted to be able to better support those users. Another reason was that my time working with Apple gave me insight of their goals and Apples future. That and following the future development of Windows pretty much told me to prepare for a Mac boom. Not a Mac “Take Over”, but enough of an increase where Macs were no longer pigeonholed to isolated tasks or users. In short..you work IT...you will sooner or later see a Mac. Personally, I prefer to know what I can about things before they fall in my lap.

I do not sell operating systems. I don't sell computers. I provide or repair the tools people need in order to do their job. Funny how walking in with a device sporting a fruit can skew ones image. You would think I walk around the office wearing bluejeans and a black turtleneck.

Personally I am very happy with my Mac. It has proved to be an extremely useful tool. Recently, it allowed me to recover a Regional VP's data from a hosed drive that would blue-screen any Windows PC it got near and halt recovery-tool CDs. Its design is truly a work of art and with the new Intel build, its like eating my cake and having it too. I have much to learn (and re-learn), but even that has been enjoyable.

Well..sorry for the ramble-rant, but I was wondering one thing.

Am I off in my belief of the “Mac Boom”? It would seem at least an unbiased thought as it has never been anything I wanted to happen. It just seems like like a logical development when all factors are considered.
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Kash

 
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Well, if Apple sales numbers are anything to go by, it seems as though the Mac Boom isn't as far fetched as one might think.

In fact, Apple sold several MILLION computers this past year mainly due to the transition to Intel. So I would have to say several million more will be sold in 2007.

Heck, in the past couple of weeks I've seen both hardcore Windows users and the technically illiterate either switch or at least show serious interest in doing so. Macs are getting very popular, which will spur competition (cough: Vista :cough), which is of course, best for us, the consumer :black:
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xstep

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcmitchellr View Post
Am I off in my belief of the “Mac Boom”? It would seem at least an unbiased thought as it has never been anything I wanted to happen. It just seems like like a logical development when all factors are considered.
Stats suggest Apple is really gaining market share. To call it a boom might be a bit much. Perhaps we're just at the start of a boom. I hope so because this lopsided MS Windows advantage is NOT good for the industry.

As for you being asked not to support Mac users.

For the internal Mac users I would suggest you ask them to give constructive feedback to their management that they do require support. Their management should demand that their people have proper support. It is good business. If some have the ear of VP's and up, then ask them to use that relationship. Sounds to me like some brain washed MS Windows drone is on the attach against Macs. Or perhaps your boss just thinks it is not part of your job. Your 'catch-all' phrase suggest Macs would be covered.

As for outside users. Supporting them is always at your discretion. As long as it doesn't impact your day job, then go at it. I would suggest you don't make it easy though as that is your kindness people can end up abusing.
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karudzo

 
Member Since: May 27, 2006
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I am also in IT. I showed up to a Microsoft technology center in TX with my MBP, wondering if I would get flack. I had a lot of web work to do at night so decided to take it with me. Out of 8-10 people that went, I found that another person had brought their MBP as well, which he had just bought.

We faced a little flack from the Microsoft reps, but by the end of the week, 2 of them were wanting to buy Macs, not due to any "selling" by us but just observing the great form factor and OS.
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eric

 
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funny, a few days back i was talking with one of our administrative support people who handles our enterprise wide alerting system which has for years been unix based and is just in the last few years supporting windows more and more.

we had a conversation about macs after i brought them up when we both had a good laugh about the fact that this alerting application which is rock solid in unix tends to be pretty unfriendly with windows.
it was basically the semi-innocent "well, i'm certainly glad that i don;t have to deal with this nonsense at home anymore ... now when i deal with windows issues, i'm getting paid for it."

well we had a good long talk while troubleshooting the issue at hand. he asked a lot of really good questions about OS X and the newer mac hardware and i get the feeling he may be thinking hard about buying a macbook pro or a mac pro for his home use.

so, if i can't convert the die-hard wintel support people, at least i may be able to sway some of the long time unix users who may still be windows users at home.

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Carol247

 
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You're preaching to the choir here! We experience all levels of "judgement" as we sport our Apples before people. You on the other hand have it much harder as it is your work (life) and people depend on you while those above you make "strange" decisions. Isn't it weird how people will react to our good intentions? You just want to be able to provide adequate help and that's what you're hired to do.

Very nice post and I wish you the best as you try to help people in both worlds.

Also, welcome to the forum. You'll find lots of excellent support and understanding here.
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Brown Study

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcmitchellr View Post
I have been instructed to halt any support, of any kind, to Mac users, which I do not understand considering they provide the tools for people who use their own systems and never tell them not to buy/use a Mac.
Someone in IT may feel threatened, or perhaps, most of the department. It takes far fewer people to keep a plant full of Macs running than it does a plant full of Windows machines. Perhaps the department wants to stop, then roll back the influx of Macs before it gets out of hand and it has less to do.

Welcome to the forum!
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DeathtoToasters

 
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Well my whole philosophy is this:

"If the front door is closed, the back door is most certainly open"

In another words here is what I would do. (Please keep in mind that I am a P.I.T.A. and non-conformist)

I would wait till the people who were really giving you the trouble were around. Please keep in mind that I am saying this not as a 'joke' to play on someone, I seriously mean it for people who might be looking over your shoulder.

I would run parallels with a few programs on it. Keep it minimized. When someone walks by who you need to 'mis-direct' bring up parallels in full screen mode.

Just say that you are running XP on MAC hardware. If they are ignorant enough to give you serious crap about having a mac...they don't deserve to see the mac desktop.

That is the way I see it :tusks:

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"The Heavens will run red with Blood, but in the End, As Always, Thanos will Stand Triumphant!" - Thanos
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ped

 
Member Since: Jan 21, 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown Study View Post
Someone in IT may feel threatened, or perhaps, most of the department. It takes far fewer people to keep a plant full of Macs running than it does a plant full of Windows machines. Perhaps the department wants to stop, then roll back the influx of Macs before it gets out of hand and it has less to do.
I think it has more to do with fear of a new OS they know little to nothing about becoming something they need to learn.

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kaidomac

 
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Wow, nice post

I hear you. I work in IT and I've certainly noticed a small "boom" in the Mac segment. I think there are two reasons for the boom - 1, they are trendy right now (like iPods) and 2, they fufill most user requirements and can run Windows if they can't. I think it may be one of the few trends that catches on though...there was the PDA trend a couple years ago, now I hardly see anyone with one. But with Macs, you can run Windows if you want and still have a nice-looking computer. Most users need Microsoft Word/Office, Internet access, and Email. Plus some apps to play with photos and whatnot. Macs are zero-maintenance, powerful (especially on the Intel chips), and easy to use.

I think the iPod had a lot to do with the boom. They patented the right design - it's incredibly simple to learn and operate on a daily basis. Last year Apple made the switch to Intel and enabled users the option of running Windows natively or virtually, with the promise that their computers are as easy to use and as nice to have as their iPod music players. Who uses iPods mainly? Kids. Where do kids go? School. What do kids use at school for computers? Laptops. The Intel-based Mac laptops are incredibly popular on the campuses I've been on. For me personally, I can use Parallels to support Windows 95/98/2000/XP/Vista as well as DOS, BSD, and Linux. When work calls up with a tech support question, I just load up the appropriate version of Windows in Parallels. Or I can pop open my Unix developing environment virtually to test out a new distribution. I also use Windows for test-downloading programs to see if they're good or not without screwing up my main system.

At any rate, I've unwittingly become the one-stop Mac tech support for my friends/family/work/school groups, so I hear you loud and clear!

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cazabam

 
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It is both amusing and dismaying to see otherwise normal people react to things they only have a tenuous grasp on. For instance, I am a Windows developer by trade, but I run no Windows machines at home. In fact, I've been a die hard Linux and *BSD convert for many years. When it came to discussing my new laptop with a colleague, the discourse went something like this:

me: "Well, I've run one unix laptop or another for years but I still find that for a full time 'just works no tinkering' machine I need something more user friendly"
him: "You're running XP or something?"
me: "No, I wanted something unix based so I got a Mac"

It should be fairly clear that I primarily looked toward the Mac as a 'user friendly *nix machine'. That's why his response took me by surprise:

him: "Oh, your a Mac-head. Well, I don't want one and I won't buy one whatever you say so don't even try to start selling me one ..."

and off he went.

Oh well.
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Daddy Elmis

 
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I think Apple is hitting a convergence point where they are becoming a "lifestyle" company. iPod, iPhone, iMac, etc. Everyone is willing to drop $200-$400 on an iPod, so getting a Macbook or iMac is the next step. Certainly the Intel move has helped a lot, but also the prices have gotten reasonable if you compare them to similarly equipped name brand PCs. And the architecture of the iMac is unrivaled.

I think corporate users will set the market, and I see no signs of that changing from Win; however, the arts and personal markets may indeed bring Apples share up considerably (which probably then means the rise of Mac viruses).
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Those hard headed Windows people have the attitude that says "I don't need fun and simplicity, because I am smart enough to do it the hard way."
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slashjunior

 
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I really do think there is going to be a big boom in Macs. So many of the "Mac myths" such as them being more expensive, not as compatible etc etc are becoming less true. Before the Intel Macs I would have liked a Mac, but it would have been impractical and a cost that I couldn't justify and more of a fantasy if I had lots of spare cash floating about. However, when I was in the market for a laptop a couple of months ago, the MacBook was a serious contender, and I have been very happy with my purchase, one that I use regularly wherever I am. Also being able to run Windows as well influenced my decision, although I was so impressed with OS X I have actually seen no point in installing Windows XP on my MacBook. The only 2 programs I miss on Windows are foobar2000 (as much as I love iTunes, foobar2000 is just so much more customisable) and Windows Live Messenger. Oh and uTorrent, I haven't found something as good as this on the Mac yet. xTorrent looked promising until they started charging for it.

Taking the plunge has also gave me the confidence to consider trying Linux, probably not as a full-time OS like Windows or Mac OS X but something to mess around with.

I am by no means anti-Microsoft, they have done a great job with Vista, even though there has been criticisms it copies OS X, and XP isn't a bad OS either. It would be great to give Microsoft some serious competition, so both Microsoft and Apple come up with some really great products.

Also, one thing that is bugging me. In the Keynote, Steve Jobs showed a quote that said people are serious about their software make their own hardware. Now I understand this is true in the sense of hand in glove experience, however, Apple do not make their hardware, like the processor, RAM, HDD...all made by seperate companies. What's to say that Mac OS X wouldn't be just as stable or maybe more so on other hardware configurations. I think this is one area that is hindering Apples growth. Only did the iPod become hugely successful when iTunes was released for Windows. Linux is stable and can be installed on many systems, only difference it Apple has that simplicity to them and could really damage Microsoft's market share as big companies such as Dell start shipping machines with OS X or giving the customers a choice. Apple got into problems by remaining closed, it became hugely successful with the iPod by opening up a bit, and I think the same can be said of OS X. It has got the product, it just needs more distribution channels, giving yet another reason for people to switch and for software developers to create more applications for Mac.
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Apple do not make their hardware, like the processor, RAM, HDD...all made by seperate companies.
With that definition, no car manufacturer makes their own cars :black: Toyota, Ford, everybody, uses many external companies to make hundreds of components!
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