(For those new to the column, Forward Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs — or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A Forward Migration Kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as photography, optometry, etc.)
OHCO, a Chinese herb company and herbalist located in Evergreen, CO, is a bastion of Macs. In fact, they do all their tasks on Macs and have since the 512 came out, according to OHCO’s Hannah Hayes.
“The OHCO office is 100 percent Mac,” she said. “We are an extremely computer reliant company. Communications, research, page layout and graphics work, Web design with hands-on updating, record keeping and accounting. We are now getting into Web streaming video for instructing our retail outlets and the end user. What don’t we do with this platform? Maybe driving home after work.”
OHCO, Colorado’s first micro-herbery, was established in 1993. Its three main products are Cold Snap (which “protects you from invasions and cast out any unwanted guest”), OHCO Motion (which “maintains” the relationship between your “Chi” and circulatory system), and Stomach Chi (which “works to improve the ability to take in and process ‘food’ physically, emotionally, and mentally”).
Hayes, who has a Cube on her desk, prefers the Mac platform because “I have always been the type of person who chooses the road less traveled.”
Jeremiah Elfers grew up with Macs and enjoys them because they’re simple and customizable. He feels that the Mac is appealing to the eye. Not just what you see on the screen but the entire presentation has a lot of style, Elfers said. Besides, it’s nice to see a smiley face when you turn on your computer, he adds.
Barbi Springer prefers her PC at home, although she will be getting her son a Mac because of its video capabilities. And Martha Izzo “just keeps praying for computer literacy.”
Donn Hayes is OHCO’s “high touch/high tech” person. He has practiced Oriental medicine since the early 70s. He’s also the company’s sysop (system operator) and has been working with the Mac platform from the beginning. Hayes considers Windows a “clunky copy” of the Mac interface.
“As OHCO has grown, the Mac platform has expanded to meet our needs with a minimum of expense and hassle,” Hannah Hayes said. “Donn has been able to carry the technical side of things, thereby eliminating the need for a dedicated IT person.”
OHCO started out with a simple AppleTalk network and a single modem network Internet connection using a software router. As their speed needs grew, they shifted to a combination of 10baseT and 100baseT Ethernet, and added ISDN connections for Internet access.
“Donn says he has seen other companies spend much, much more money and time upgrading and replacing Windows based systems and getting much less capability in the process,” Hayes said. “We just can’t imagine doing what we do with another platform.”
The gang at OHCO has already seen a difference with OS X. It was installed on the day it was released in an attempt to utilize a more fault tolerant operating system on their server machine. The server runs FileMaker and a calendar software along with file sharing, backup, and document storage needs.
“Our old hardware/software mix was fine but we were getting too many failures for Donn’s taste,” Hayes said. “We upgraded the hardware for the server to a 450MHz G4 tower and installed OS X with the plan of upgrading to OS X Server upon its release. Until FileMaker releases an OS X version, we wanted to try FileMaker running in the Classic environment. All is running well. We had to do a few workarounds insofar as file sharing was concerned, but it is VERY workable now and we expect all of this to be corrected with OS X Server. NO crashes since the install, at least so far.”
Donn Hayes said he’s testing OS X on his main computer (a 450 MHz dual processor G4) with mostly good results. He’s seen a few driver conflicts here and there and some interface changes to get used to, but thinks OHCO will be shifting everything over to OS X by fall.
“I am most happy with the stability,” he said. ” I do think there are some speed improvement tweaks that can be made and can hardly wait for a native version of Final Cut Pro.”
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