3.1277 Apples: idea, device, and corporation (137)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Fri, 6 Apr 90 22:56:12 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 1277. Friday, 6 Apr 1990.

(1) Date: Fri, 6 Apr 90 16:52:09 EDT (14 lines)
From: Peter Shillingsburg <SHILL@MSSTATE>
Subject: Re: 3.1262 expensive Apples (172)

(2) Date: Fri, 6 Apr 90 07:26 CST (57 lines)
Subject: Apples in Education

(3) Date: Fri, 6 Apr 90 12:19:00 EDT (43 lines)
Subject: Apple computers

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 90 16:52:09 EDT
From: Peter Shillingsburg <SHILL@MSSTATE>
Subject: Re: 3.1262 expensive Apples (172)

Comment on Goerwitz political objections to Apple products
I have a friend who refuses to use a rice cooker because its
manufacturer sold computer components to Russia (in the old days).
The cooker did a great job and seemed to me innocent of ideological
inclinations. I own and use a Mac because it does what I want it
to (or because what I want was shaped by what it does, I'm not sure
I care which is right). Righteous indignation has its place, perhaps,
but just how effective is RLG's proposal going to be in righting wrongs,
and how much will it cost in ineffecient or second rate computer solutions
to boycott Apple products?
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------63----
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 90 07:26 CST
Subject: Apples in Education

After 7 years working full-time as a computer programmer, I took a
"break" to teach English Composition at the local university. Although
the university provided three user rooms filled with Zenith PCs, each
including word processing software, none of the English Composition
instructors required that students word process their papers. "What#!?,"
I thought. Therefore, I announced during the first day of class that
students must learn to use the word processor and that all papers must be
accompanied by a floppy disk; otherwise, I would not accept the paper
(International students that I've taught--Japanese, Chinese, Czech--are
like sponges, eager to learn any and everything. American students, in
general, respond to three stimuli: money (which I don't have to offer),
sensory numbing videos (which I can't produce), and force (my only option)).

A problem arose when some of my students asked whether they could use
the Apple computer that their parents had purchased during their high scholl
(school) years to word process assignments. What a dilemma! Here we have
a student whose parents were conscientious enough to get a computer for their
kid. How can I tell this student that his/her parents, who probably
chose Apple on the advice of some high school teacher (need I comment on
the average American public school teacher?) who probably doesn't know
that any other computer besides Apple exists, didn't make the best decision?
I didn't. Instead, knowing that most students at state universities view
a degree as a ticket to a high-paying job, I told these students that they
must learn a word processor that runs on MS-DOS machines because most
businesses use IBM-compatibles, not Apples.

My standards might seem harsh, but please allow me to explain my
reasoning. If I allow these students to continue with their Apple computer,
my other students, who were "forced" to learn on an IBM-compatible, will
become more marketable in the long run. Is that fair, especially when the
Apple students had parents who cared enough (or could afford, granted) to
get their kid a computer in high school? I think not.

In general, I would NEVER recommend an Apple computer for several

-- Apple does not allow competition, which leads to higher prices;

-- Most businesses do not use Apple computers;

-- Technically, Apples are very inefficient machines (they waste a lot
of horsepower generating those pretty pictures);

-- Apple's management is currently in disarray. I wouldn't be surprised
to see another debacle on the order of Ashton-Tate Inc., maker of
DBase IV, occur at Apple;

-- Much more software exists for IBM-compatible machines than Apples.

Jeff Bowyer
University of Nebraska at Omaha
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------57----
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 90 12:19:00 EDT
Subject: Apple computers

Apple computers, as anyone who has been in touch with any sort of
newspaper in the last ten years will know, have tried to
sue/garrotte/hang upside-down in a vat of warm marmalade/tickle
teasingly with feathers/etc etc . anyone who uses the word or
logo "Apple" (proceedings currently underway for a copyright
problem in Genesis... y'know, that book by some religious geyser
about 2'K' years ago.... I am training to be a Yank so I have to
get the lingo goin', dudes....)

The latest gem is actually that they are currently in conflict
with the hilariously named (we British are so wacky) Beatle
Apple Corps..... the reason being that Apple computers promised
the hippy fellows not to get into music or creative stuff and
Apple Corps promised not to get into computers, and the comp.
chappies are currently interested in Musical Instrument Digital
Interface stuff (I hate acronyms.... horrible creepy crawly

But the thing that made me smile was the way the Independent on
Sunday reported it. I quote;

"...Apple computers plans to market a MIDI (a type of
musical synthesiser".

Wonderful, the British press, innit? Knows its stuff... I wonder
if either of the fruits could sue the paper for libel about the
nature of the product....

Anyway, it of course throws open the debate upon whether music
computers are "Creative" and encourages the usual techno-whiz vs.
Luddite squabbles.

Still, you 'ave to larff, bless them. I will stick to eating
bananas in future.

Nice talking at you...