Jaguar: Time to Stop Pussyfooting Around
Subject:   Why many mac users are relectant to switch
Date:   2002-08-03 04:06:53
From:   djfern
Okay, I think I can shed a little light on this issue, being a graphic designer and knowing enough people doing similar work.

First of all, I've switched. I switched WAY back on the day it came out. My problems have been few, but I am admittedly a lot more tech saavy and adventurous than your average mac creative.

5 reasons why folks I know haven't switched from os 9:

1) Many are still using 8.6 or 9.xx. They are suspicious, almost superstitious folks who believe if they're computer is running well, and their software is up-to-date enough to get through the printer's, then there's really no reason to learn how to drive again. They're comfortable, busy and don't have the time to learn something new, even if it is remarkably better. These are folks who learned their trade using wax machines, knives and paste-up boards - they know little about their macs and like it that way, as long as it works.

2) Costs. Upgrading to OSX does mean for most people, buying a new machine, a requirement that Apple obviously had in mind. Though most would love new machines, they often don't have the power to do this themselves, and need to either convince a purchaser or justify for themselves spending 10-12 grand on new hardware and software. My experience with older designers, like late 30's and up, is that they use their macs until they are obsolete. Then they go all the way with new gear to last them another 5-7 years.

3) Quark is the publishing industry standard, as much as it drives me nuts. Though it works fine in classic mode (though much slower), the fact that it is not yet carbonized and that some major publishing industry leaders have expressed concerns about OS X, are both reasons why people will hesitate. No one i know actually LIKES using os 9 in classic mode, and until they can go ALL OSX, they'd rather not bother.

4) The folks I know doing video and TV / documentary work are a particularly suspicious crowd, probably stemming from the voodoo needed to make legacy AVID systems work right. Though most of the people i know are now using Final Cut in some capacity (and loving it), again, they're familiar with os 9, are busy, and won't switch till they have to. That and many of they're little plug'ins and one-timers aren't available on os x, or will take a significant amount of time to regather and get they're systems configured the same way as in os x. That time and bother alone is a reason to stay with what works.

5)Finally, and I think this is a biggy, many artists and creative folks doing higher to high end work really are waiting for the holy grail. We're well aware of the discrepancy in speed between macs and pcs and have been waiting and will likely wait until Apple releases some next-generation, kick-ass, compelling hardware. ipods and itunes alone won't do it.

And to wrap up, I suspect that Apple already knows it has the creative market pretty well tied up. It is focussing on exciting those customers about the future and putting it's real energy into the consumer market where it stands to make the largest short-term gains. The creative fields will fall in line over the next few years as software makers (and Apple) give them more compelling reasons to upgrade.


Full Threads Newest First

Showing messages 1 through 3 of 3.

  • Derrick Story photo RE: relectant to switch -- Consider This
    2002-08-03 09:06:15  Derrick Story | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    Your points are excellent, no doubt about it.

    I provided Mac support for a full service communications department for 9 years, so I'm well aware of the voodoo involved with these types of users. (This is also where I learned to hate Quark and its rotten business practices.)

    The idea I continue to reject is the "all or nothing" concept. I think it's good business to set up a Mac OS X workstation or two and bring them online. See what they can do in your particular environment. Use them for your Photoshop work, to create your Flash animations, for Illustrator jobs, etc. If they're on the network and contributing, as they can in so many ways, then the switch can be an evolutionary process instead of revolutionary.

    You could manage the costs of upgrading applications as your budget allowed. There are many low cost alternatives too, especially for personal use, that we are gathering up to write about. Those articles will show you that you can have tons of power for little $$$.

    I'll say it again: a little ingenuity goes a long way.
  • Why many mac users are relectant to switch
    2002-08-04 00:51:33  geertdeg [View]

    Your 3rd reason makes sense! Although I hate Quark and there ridiculous custumer support and expensive updates, I couldn't convince many users to use InDesign. That's the great problem: if everyone should be prepared to use InDesign, no one in the graphics industry should hesitate to make the switch.
    I'm working for an advertising agency and we just can't deliver our InDesign-files to the printers, they simply refuse it! Some print shops or service bureaus use beige G3's to make films or plates, InDesign simply runs too slow on this hardware. And why should they replace their old G3 for those few InDesign users? Our only solution is to export our work as a Certified PDF-document to get it published. But the real problem with this is that is almost not editable by the print shop (and most of the times most clients do last-minute correction, which require access to the layout application). It's not as simply as many people think: we can not simply choose a print shop or service bureau who accepts InDesign files; sometimes our clients choose the print shop and service bureau.

    I said it already elsewhere: most print shops are just too lazy to learn a new OS and InDesign, which is the better application than Quark XPress. There's also another last reason for the graphic designer to stay at OS9: when Adobe carbonized Acrobat, they didn't do the same for the important Distiller-application. The Enfocus PitStop plug-in - which is used for Certified PDF - also doesn't work when Acrobat is running in OSX native mode. It's amazing how many users here consider the OS9-stayers as old-fashioned people, but we really have just no other choice to stay at 9.
    • Why many mac users...not all OS 9 old fashioned
      2002-08-05 07:55:08  ethanbrand [View]

      >>It's amazing how many users here consider the OS9-stayers as old-fashioned people, but we really have just no other choice to stay at 9.

      I don't believe *all* OS 9'ers are old-fashioned. Many have legitimate reasons for staying where they are. But there is also a crowd that refuses to go for many just plain stubborn reasons. Those are the old-fashioned ones.

      Yet, there is a bottom line to be considered. This post thread mentioned people who don't have the time to switch because their work demand won't allow it. Do you think that will ever change? So why not do as Derrick suggests and get just one workstation up and running for everyone to tinker with? Those who wait until they are forced to switch, and everyone will at some point if they are to stay Mac, are going to be put in a tough situation. One test workstation could help alleviate the pains of a forced transition.

      As the nails go into the OS 9 coffin, everyone has to realize that they will one day have to switch. You can do it cold turkey in the middle of an important project (hard), or you can do it over time, figuring out the nuances of what you need to do along the way (easy). The choice is yours.