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February 12, 1985 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-02-12

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The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, February 12, 1985

Page 5

A year later, Macintosh sales are boomng

2,000 computers sold at University

Next time you pass a bulletin board
or Kiosk notice the numbers of fliers at-
tached that were composed on a com-
puter. Chances are good that most were
made on one machine - the Apple
As computers become more com-
monplace at the University, the Macin-
tosh seems on its way to becoming the
most dominant, if not visible, force in a
growing market.
HELPING the Macintosh's
popularity is the fact that University
faculty, students, and staff can buy one
at a substantial 40 percent discount.
Just over a year ago, Apple Com-
puters began offering the discounted.
Macintosh as part of its nationwide ef-
fort to market the then-new computer
on college campuses.
Since that time, University students
and employees have gobbled up almost
2,000 Macintoshes, not to mention those
bought by the engineering college and
the computer center.
"A lot of people are buying them for
course work, and others as a
graduation present to themselves,"
said Virginia Geren, the supervisor of
University Photo Services, which orders

the computers.
FOR APPLE, the discount allows the
company to get a foot-in-the-door with
college students who will comprise a
large share of the future computer
"It's a great opportunity," said
Conrad Mason, coordinator for the
University's Microcomputer Education
Center which is handling the computer
sales. "Without the discount, a lot more
students would be priced out of the
Students like LSA junior Roger How
say they wouldn't have purchased the
Macintosh if it hadn't been for the
reduced price.
"I SEE IT as an investment," How
said. "I would have waited otherwise.
The discount made my decision
How is not alone. "I like the Macin-
tosh - it's the new technology - but it
was the half price the University of-.
fered that was the immediate reason 1
bought it," said LSA junior Chuck Nof-
Nor is Apple alone in offering bargain
prices to entice the potentially lucrative
college market. Zenith has also been
selling its personal computer to
University faculty, staff, and students
at a discount.
LAST YEAR University Cellar, who
is handling the Zenith sales, sold 375 of
the computers, according to Geri
Dillingham, the store's marketing
"The Zenith has been, so far, the
most popular (computer)," Dillingham
said. "We also carry another line, but
with the discount prices, (the Zenith)
computers are the most attractive
package for students."
Since the start of the Apple deal, local
retailers have voiced their opposition to
the program, saying that the University
may be out of its element by selling the
THOUGH not all retailers are upset
about students receiving the discount,
most are upset that faculty and staff
are included.

"I applaud them selling to students,"
said John Fitzgerald, manager of the
Complete Computer Center. "It's
everybody else I'm worried about."
Jeff Inwood, owner of Computerland,
echoed Fitzgerald's sentiments: "Why
should an accountant at the 'U' hospital
get a discount on a computer?"
INWOOD, who owns five computer
stores, said his Ann Arbor store sells
fewer Apple computers than the other
four locations. He also said his East
Lansing store suffered comparatively
low Apple sales because of a similar
program at Michigan State University.
Although Ulrich's is not directly af-
fected by the discounts because they do
not sell Apple computers, store
manager Tom Musser says he is op-
posed to the practice in principle.
"It is not an appropriate business for
the University to be in. The University
is an educational institution - tax-
exempt, publically supported,"
Musser said.
He also expressed concern over the
possibility that the University would
begin selling other brands of computers
at discount rates, a concern which, ac-
cording to Elaine Didier, director of the
Microcomputer Education Center, may
be well founded.
"WE SPONSORED the computers we
did because they're high quality.
machines that are both appropriate for
use in higher education and have
enough capacity for many uses,"
Didier said.
"If another company comes along
with a quality machine at an ap-
propriate price, we'll consider spon-
soring it."
University Cellar is currently looking
into the possibility of expanding the
computer discounts, Dillingham said,
but no plans have been finalized.
Editor's note:
The Computer Page will be a weekly
feature of the Daily, appearing every

Daily Phot by DAN HABIB
This Macintosh is used as a terminal at the Union computing center. It is one of the thousands currently in use at the


Owners explore

With the growing number of Macin-
to$hes on campus, it's not surprising
that the computers' owners are getting
together to learn more about the
"It's a high-tech, cut-throat, dog-eat-
dog world out there," said LSA fresh-
man Roy Harvey, a Macintosh owner,
"and a user's club could by just what
some people need."
HARVEY, ALONG with engineering
junior Jeff Miller and some of their
friends,' started a Macintosh user's
group called MacTechnics last April.
"We realized this was an exciting
machine, but we would need some help.
So we started this group," said Miller,
the group's presidedt
The group organizers met while
waiting in line to order their computers
'through the University.
"I was the first person in line on the
first day you could get the discount,"
said Harvey, who is also editor of the
MacTechnic's newsletter.

IN SEPTEMBER, the group num-
bered only five. It has since grown to
over 150 members. Miller said both the
student and University interest in the
group awas greater than he had an-
"We mailed stuff around, posted a
few flyers, talked to some people (and)
this thing blew up in our face," Harvey
One reason for the high membership,
Miller said, could be the semi-monthly
newsletter. "It's highly technical, prac-
tical and very useful."
MacTechnic has no official af-
filiation with Apple, nor does the group
expect the company to sponsor them,
Miller said.
2EMBERS ARE given access to the
group's 20 volume software library.
Most of this software is obtained
through a nationwide organization
called Compuserve, Miller said.
Compuserve members develop the
software and allow others to copy it
without having to buy it.

Mae's potential
There is a hotline number for late- "Somebody already familiar wi
night emergencies for MacTechnics computers isn't going to need a user
members, and they are eligible for a 10 group," Miller said. "But we do ha
percent discount on Macintosh disks at special interest groups so people c
an area store. get involved in what interests them."
Harvey said the $16 membership fee MacTechnics considers itself more
is cheaper than most user's groups. a community group rather than
"But then, they provide bumper University organization, Harvey said
stickers and T-shirts. We're still "We have a lot of non-students ...
working on that." can see younger people getting involv
WHILE THE group includes people of too," he said.
all skill levels, Miller said the majority Though Harvey and Miller a
of members are computer novices, pleased with the group's success, th
which he attributed to the fact that the are looking for new blood to run Ma
Macintosh is a computer for non- Technics and are planning elections
programmers. March to pick new officers.

. I

Lower prices due for
computers, upgrades

MTS Happenings
Chalk Talk: Introduction to Editor Patterns, 12:10 p.m. - 1 p.m., 1011
Lecture: Introduction to Pattern Matching, 3:30 - 5 p.m., 165 Business
Lecture: Introduction to Tell-A-Graf, Part II - Tell-A-Graf Files, 3:30 - 5
p.m., 165 Business Adm.
Chalk Talk: Editor Pattern Examples, 12:10 -1 p.m., 1011 NUBS.
Lecture: Introduction to Pattern Matching - Part II, 3:30 - 5 p.m., 165
Business Adm.
Workshop: Tell-A-Graf, 1:30 - 3 p.m., 141 Business Adm.

Officials at Apple Computers in
Cupertino, California gave the
University new prices for the Macin-
tosh computer Friday, but University
officials say they are still working the
prices out and hope to release them
today. The new prices will reflect a
drop in retail prices which occurred last
The lower prices will affect the
memory upgrade for the 128K Macin-
tosh and the price of the 512K computer.
The current price for the memory
upgrade kit is $770, and the 512K Macin-
tosh sells for $2545 through the Univer-
RALPH RAIFORD, manager of
University stores, said the new prices
will be "in line" with the new retail
Local retailers received their new
prices as early as January 23 when the

retail cost of the memory upgrade
dropped $300 to $700 and the retail price
of the 512K computer fell from $3195 to
$2795. University prices are expected to
make similar drops.
University officals while pleased that
price reductions are finally occuring
have been frustrated that the new
prices are so slow in coming.
"WE'RE AT their mercy," said John
Cannell, business manager of Michigan
Media, "we aren't going to force them
(Apple) to do a damn thing." '
Cannell speculated that the rdelay,
may be the result of confusion within

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