I’d say every 18 months, I have a conversation with folks in my office regarding macs versus pc’s. Today’s discussion revolved around our front end developers and that maybe it might make more sense for them to use two computers at their desks, 1 mac and 1 pc. In a large company like mine where we have adopted the Microsoft way of Enterprise management, nothing makes an IT Director groan more loudly than another employee asking for a MacBook Pro.
I’m sorry Apple, but when it comes to enterprise equipment, you’re not exactly known for being easy to manage centrally. None the less, the good manager in me agreed to listen to the arguments, assertions, and qualifying statements about why our front end developers should be considered different.
There were a couple points that stood out to me. The first point was what turned into a 15 minute discussion regarding fonts and how some fonts are Mac only fonts. Last I checked, which was a long time ago, there’s only a few fonts that have this issue, and the only I could come up with off the top of my head during the meeting was Helvetica, which I think even now has a very close counterpart on PC’s. None the less, the real issue that was exposed was that there was a communication barrier between designers creating Photoshop files and what fonts they used and the expectations of the front end development team.
At the end of the day, designers shouldn’t be using fonts that aren’t easily transportable or require a significant license purchase in order to use. That might sound short sighted, but it’s my opinion. Designers: make sure your front end developers can use the materials your giving them. Else, I will mandate that everyone change unknown fonts to Comic Sans. If that doesn’t stop it, nothing will!
Another point that stood out was a reminder that Apple has done a really bad job (or good job, depending on who gets paid) on providing support for virtualizing the Mac OS X platform. We’ve tried to get it installed on a vm server and have not had any substantial luck. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve done pretty good at mucking with it enough that the base linux system seems to work, but no luck getting the GUI to work. Just another shining example of the severe lack of enterprise support in Apple products.
Anyways, the end result was, they’re going to continue to use PC’s for their day to day operation and when needed, we’ll provide a Mac Mini.