Forming a Summit Mac User Group
In 1993, plenty of support was available for users of Apple Macintosh computers in Summit County. One had the choice of using Macs or IBM-compatibles at the library. All the elementary schools had Macs. The middle school used Macs for educational programs developed by Cathy Brabek. When I visited her facility, her students were happy engaged and computer literate.Colorado Mountain College had a Mac lab in Breckenridge and offered courses in Macs.Since then, the county has standardized to machines that use Microsoft Windows, thereby eliminating Mac support at the library.Three members of the school board insisted that the lower schools replace their Macs with Windows machines, CMC eliminated its Mac lab and its Mac curriculum.Windows became a requirement for attending web courses. I convinced the CMC director of distance learning that students and instructors could communicate using different computer platforms. The next semester, the requirement disappeared from the catalog, then reappeared until I protested again. When I took a web course in astronomy last summer, the instructor used a Mac and easily communicated with the Windows users.The authorities could justify standardization on Windows. Macs were more expensive than the IBM-compatibles, and after Apple’s chief executive officer Steve Jobs resigned, Apple had lost its technological edge.Then Jobs returned to Apple’s helm. The top-of-the-line Mac now contains two 2.5-gigahertz IBM G5 processors. The G5 was the first 64-bit microprocessor. The cheaper iMac has been upgraded to the G5. It comes in a space-saving flat screen with all the electronics in a slim compartment behind it. Two even cheaper Mac minis are available, and Apple offers a choice of three laptops in different sizes. These machines, powered by G4 processors, have processing speeds greater than one gigahertz. All current Macs support the Unix-based Mac operating system that is more powerful, reliable, and friendly than Windows. It is almost immune from the hacker attacks that plague Windows users. Apple has regained its technological lead. So where can Mac users turn for support? Apple provides excellent software maintenance advice over the telephone. Authorized hardware maintenance is available in Edwards and there are comprehensive Apple stores in Cherry Creek and Littleton.Although I am not a professional computer guru, I trouble shoot Mac problems for senior citizens in the county. However, Macintosh users might be feel more comfortable if they were to form a Mac User Group for mutual support and information interchange. Such groups already exist in Colorado Springs, Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins, among others.We have been offered a meeting place for the group in Frisco. Any interested Mac users should contact me by e-mail and supply a brief description of their hardware and software configuration. Owners of laptops will be particularly welcome if they bring them to group meetings for use in presentations and tutorials.
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