The Apple Harvest

The Annapolis Valley Apple Harvest is in full swing here in NS but the apple harvest to which I’m referring is an apple of a different variety. In the first few weeks of term, I am noticing an exponential rise in the number of Mac Laptop users amongst our students. In a very unscientific way, I would say that well over half of the students that are coming to our reference desk or working here in the library (especially first year students) are using Mac Laptops.

I would love to hear from Slaw’ers at other institutions to find out if they have noticed anything similar. I have spoken to a few students and the number 1 answer as to why they have a Mac is that they got tired of their clones crashing and/or viruses. I’ve also postulated that the popularity of iPods is starting to result in an increase of Mac laptop purchases. Mac devotees have long proclaimed, to anyone who would listen, that Apple simply makes a better computer. Now that Mac has enabled users to easily transition their work from Mac to PCs and back again through compatible software, the barriers to Mac usage are falling. I am interested to see if this trend continues over the next few years and to see the implications at institutions that have primarily supported clones (courts, universities, law offices etc,.).

Have Slaw’ers noticed any similar trends at universities, law offices, gov’t offices , or just in general, with regard to Macs and PC clones usage?


  1. I don’t know about the rest of the people in my office, but I did buy one for myself. These are my main reasons for purchasing, influenced by other people I know who are using Macs; I do not own an iPod:

    – My macbook pro is lighter and slimmer than my old Toshiba, so it is easier to carry around at conferences (although I have to take care when using it on my lap since the cooling system is on the bottom and it can get hot if not perched appropriately).

    – I am interested in working more with photographs, audio, and video and felt this would be better than buying new software for the PC.

    – Seeing Al Gore and others give presentations with the Keynote software quite impressed me. Since I want to delve more into speaking, I thought it would be good to learn.

    – I want to challenge myself by learning how to use another system.

    My set-up was not inexpensive for me; however, there were EXCELLENT deals this summer for students. That may be a contributing factor to the increased proliferation!!

  2. I’ve noticed an increase this year at Santa Clara University, where I attend law school. I see a lot more undergrads with Mac laptops, and the small number of Mac-using law students has doubled or tripled. However, the overall numbers at the law school are still low. The big barrier for law schools is the dominant exam software, SofTest by ExamSoft, which only supports Windows. ExamSoft has certified the software with BootCamp, but while some law schools allow students to use SofTest with BootCamp, others do not.

    You’re probably well aware of the SofTest issue, so I apologize if I’m covering familiar territory.