Hi Dean,

Our CLAS - Center for Learning Assistance Services, was faced with this
exact dilemma about two years ago when the lab needed to be upgraded. We
had a committee of English faculty who are our prime users at that time for the
developmental English lab component with wordprocessing. Since no
additional software was being considered, it was basically a
MAC vs PC issue.

At that time, the cost between a Mac and a PC was greater to the point
that more PC's could be bought for a set amount than for the Mac. The
other consideration for us was technical support. Our district pretty much
provides technical support for PC's so we couldn't really count on their
assistance if we chose to have a Mac lab. We also do not have an
on-campus computer technician so unless there were some staff in our own
program who was willing to devote a lot of extra time to maintain it, we
had to rely on the technicians from the district. Another consideration in having a mix is finding staff and student assistants who
know both or one or the other. I personally find it much easier to
concentrate on one platform.

Given these considerations, we didn't have much choice two years ago but to
buy PC's with a Novell network system. Technically, it is very different from our
previous stand alone PC lab. We are now in the process of acquiring
CD-Rom pentiums and need to buy software. We need to decide how to check
out the CD's to the students or whether we will use CD changers or a CD
tower. We are considering internet access but want to proceed cautiously.

We still have three Mac SE's and one MacII. We probably will not buy
additional software for those computers. We recently sent all of our
Apple II's and GS's to another college for their continued use so we are
pretty much phasing ourselves out of the use of Apples.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Patti Dozen