By Caroline Schneider
On Oct. 5, America looked on as news stations were flooded with stories on the death of Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple and one of the CEOs of the company. Tributes were made to him everywhere from CNN.com to Southpoint’s Apple store.
Tributes seen at Apple stores may have flowers or candles, but at Northwood, Betsy Kreutzberg, the librarian, made a small poster tribute for Jobs to display at the library entrance and a smaller paper tribute for Jobs displayed on the cover of her laptop.
“All the kids have Apple laptops so I thought that they needed to be aware that the creator of that had died,” said Kreutzberg of why she made the tributes.
Every student in Chatham County is given a school issued Mac laptop at the beginning of the school year that they are to use throughout the year in each of their classes. This is because Peggy Dougless, the previous technology director of Chatham County schools, steered it so that everybody had a Mac.
Apple is also doing its part to make sure that they’re well known among today’s students.
“Apple is kind of the king of educational software,” said Principal Chris Blice. “They’re pursuing that, so they’re making good deals for school systems.”
Junior Brooke Jackson is a Mac user and an iPod owner.
“The Mac is easier to use for me and it’s really fast,” Jackson said, supporting her choice for a Mac over a PC. “It just works better and it has neater things on it than a normal computer does.”
Jackson isn’t the only one who sides with Apple in the well-known Mac vs. PC argument. Blice also owns a Mac laptop, and he remembers when he made his switch from a PC to a Mac.
“When I first came to Northwood, I was a PC person,” Blice said. “I had a PC laptop that [the county] bought me, and the hard drive fried itself about a year ago. They gave me one of the student laptops to use temporarily while they ordered a new one, and after I used it for about a month, I called them up and said I really don’t want the PC anymore… I love it.”
Not everyone feels the same way as Northwood’s principal, however.
“I’m not a big Mac fan,” admits Northwood’s technician, Mike Love, with a laugh.
Love owns a PC instead of a Mac, an Mp3 player in place of the better-known iPod, and even a Droid opposed to the similar iPhone. But Love defends his choices with logic related to his profession.
“With a regular PC computer, I can go to a parts store and put something together. But with a Mac, everything is so proprietary… it has to be Mac, everything has to be Mac… [to] go home and build a Mac would be very hard. Mac’s not very flexible.”
But despite Love’s rationalization, Apple is still one of the world’s leading technology companies.
Seventy eight percent of Northwood students own apple products other than their school-issued computers.
Jackson said that her favorite Apple product is her iPod, as the technology that makes her able to listen to music wherever she goes has changed her life.
“[I use my iPod] every day, for hours on end. When I’m doing my homework and before I go to bed,” Jackson said.
One of the most distinguishing things about an iPod would be its connection to the well known iTunes, which, according to the website is “a free application for your [computer that] organizes and plays your digital music and video” and makes it almost effortless to find and download music online.
“It’s ridiculously easy, you just type in whatever artist you want, and you just buy [the song you want] and it’s in your folder,” said junior Alex Waddell.
“It puts all the music in one spot and I can just click on the box and get rid of whatever music I’m not into right now and whenever I feel like listening to it again I just click on it and its right back into my iPod,” Waddell said.
And as students of the future continue to use their laptops, listen to their iTunes and fixate on their iPhones, they will always have Jobs to thank for that.
“He was a visionary guy that I think has done an awful lot to change the face of how we use computers, and he will be greatly missed,” said Blice.