The Texas Christian University was in the process of getting rid of Macs on campus in 1998 when Chancellor Michael Ferarri, who came from a university that only used Macs, arrived to save the day. Actually, Dick Rinewalt, chairman of computer science, said neither IBM-compatible nor Mac computers could ever be banished from campus because students need the experience of both platforms to be prepared for careers after college, according to the
, the TCU campus newspaper.
For whatever reason, Macs are gaining ground at the school. English department chairman David Vanderwerken attributes an increase in Mac users to Ferrari’s personal preference and said his department has an equal number of Macs and IBM-compatible computers, according to Daily Skiff reporter Chrissy Braden.
Ferarri said students have needs and preferences for both Mac and IBM-compatible computers, so both platforms are needed at the university. Plus, the computer science department switched to platform-neutral Java software, which runs on both computer platforms, three years ago.
“We emphasize developing software rather than just learning it,” Ferrari told the paper. “So it’s essential to us that our graduates have exposure to every platform, because that’s what they’ll have to deal with when they get out in the real world.”
Richard Bonner, a sales development executive, told the Daily Skiff that faster speed, lower prices and innovative technology have helped to increase the popularity of Macs.
Steven Ogden, a technology specialist at Office Depot, said he had not noticed a decrease in IBM-compatible computer sales since Apple heightened its competition. IBM-compatible computers offer more software than Macs, but he isn’t aware of an industry that would need an IBM-compatible rather than a Mac computer, he told the newspaper.
Bonner said that there’s always a threat for one computer company to be dominated by another, though he thinks Macs are in a safe position because the creative community relies on them for high speed in running things such as 3D programs.
“Ferarri said there are still some people at TCU who think the school should have only IBM-compatible computers, but he thinks Mac users on campus find that platform environment much more suitable for teaching and learning in their disciplines,” reporter Braden wrote. “Bonner said Macs are number one in the education environment and are continuing to gain new ground.” (Thanks to MacCentral reader Domenico Bettinelli for the heads-up on this one.)