Tag Archives: mac

Colleges switching from PC to Mac en masse?

apple-pc-mac-people.jpgIt’s not just Wilkes University that is contemplating an institution-wide switch from Windows machines to OS X machines running both OS’s under Boot Camp.

At Princeton University, 31 percent of students’ computers connected to the campus network in fall 2006 were Macs, compared with 10 percent in 2003-4. Similar gains have been reported across the country. In fall 2006, 20 percent of freshmen at the University of Virginia owned Macs, compared with 3 percent four years earlier. At Dartmouth College, which has historically had strong Apple support, the numbers are even higher, with 55 percent of freshmen last semester reportedly using Macs. […]

n 2006, two colleges separately took the unusual step of switching to Mac lab environments with the dual-boot option: Wilkes University, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and Bemidji State University, in Bemidji, Minn. Both began purchasing iMacs to gradually replace their existing PCs over a several-year upgrade cycle, and some other state institutions in Minnesota are following suit. Already, other colleges across the country have begun contacting the IT directors behind the shift as they consider whether going Mac-only makes sense for them as well.

The article also points out that Penn State has been thinking about this as well, but “any talk of switching to a single platform is off the table” because of the sheer size of the university and the multiplicity of computing needs among students and faculty there. That seems right; the whole point is not to lock oneself into any particular format but rather to invest in the technology that is going to work the best for the longest amount of time for minimal cost. Which is a pretty good argument against being a “Microsoft campus”.

I’ve noticed an uptick in new Mac users around my college as well, including our president. And the parents of a lot of the prospective students I’ve met this year have said they’ll be buying their kids Macs once they get to college. And the IT people are laughing less and less when I mention us doing an institutional switch…


Filed under Apple, Educational technology, Technology

Some short tech updates

My two weeks of poring through tenure and promotion portfolios, and writing recommendation letters for those up for tenure or promotion or annual review, are finally over with. It actually ended up being two weeks + 1 day. And those portfolio reviews, far from being dull, gave me tons of material that I would love to blog about — and never can. Oh well.

So I’m going to get back on the posting bandwagon slowly, starting with a three little tech-related  mini-posts.

maple-95.png1. I have finally got Maple 10 up and operational on my Macbook running  Leopard.  As I have written about before, this has been an issue from the day I installed Leopard. And it’s been an issue for many others as well, judging by the number of search engine referrals from queries like “Maple 10 Leopard FUBAR” or something similar. For some reason, the advice given in this email actually worked, although I had to do some serious searching to find and replace the license file. But it’s all good now, and not a moment too soon, as I will need Maple for both my sophomore-level courses this semester.


2. Praise be to the saints who operate WordPress.com, where this blog is hosted. They just upped the free storage space amount 60-fold, from 50 MB to 3 GB! My choice to switch from a self-hosted WordPress blog to a free WordPress.com blog is looking better and better each day.

dress_mac_01.jpg3. My mom and dad got us a .Mac membership for Christmas. I put it on our Amazon.com wish list as one of those items that I was kind of curious about, didn’t really want to pay for, but wouldn’t mind it if somebody else bought it for me. So now I have it and… now what? I’m having a hard time figuring out what I am supposed to do with it that I can’t already do using pre-existing services. Mail? I have GMail for that. Groups? The Mrs. uses them but sticks entirely to Yahoo Groups. Online photo sharing? Flickr. Backup services? Time Machine, which I now have working as well (although I can definitely see the good behind network backups). So that leaves, er, what exactly? Web page authoring?


Filed under Apple, Computer algebra systems, Social software, Software

Possible fix for Maple 10 and Leopard

After getting some pretty lame advice from Maplesoft before, I emailed their tech support again regarding the Maple 10 vs. Leopard issue. (Namely, that Maple 10 dies a quick death every time I try to open it in Leopard.) This time, I got back some advice that actually seems to work. Here’s the text of the response email:

Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) is not currently supported by Maple. There are
plans on adding support for this OS to a future version of Maple, but
this does not include Maple 10 or Maple 11.

Users with Maple 10 and Leopard may find they need to edit the
info.plist file which is part of the Maple 10.app package. In order to
do this ctrl+click on the “Maple 10.app” and select “Show Package
Contents”. Then open the “Contents” folder. Open the info.plist file
with a text editor and search for “1.4+” and change this to “1.4*”. Save
this file and try to start Maple 10.

Note you may have to change the permissions for the “info.plist” file,
“Contents” folder, and “Maple 10.app”. You can do this by ctrl+click on
each file, “get info” and at the bottom in the section “sharing and
permissions” ensure that all users have “Read & write” access to the

I did all the stuff mentioned here and Maple 10 did actually come up and try to start. Unfortunately, the last advice I took from Maplesoft on this issue was to uninstall and reinstall the software, which means I am missing my license file — and Maple won’t run on any system without one. So I need to get a copy from the guy at school who is in charge of the licensing. But it looks like this solution is at least getting the program to start.

It’s still hard to believe, though, that a software company as big as Maplesoft — and which has a massive user base with highly diversified platforms in use — simply doesn’t support OS 10.5. That’s kind of lame.

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Filed under Apple, Software, Technology