The latest discussions on Usenet have focussed on the new Macs, but a number of them have taken an interesting twist. Some think the Mac LC, which won’t be available in quantity until early next year, will be Apple’s new education computer in that it has decent speed, color support, and a relatively low price tag. The idea of the LC, these people think, is to replace the Apple II line (probably the strongest 13 year old computer system around, even still) and regain some of the education market lost to low-cost PC clones. That would seem to be the point behind the LC’s otherwise unsupported 020 Direct Slot, since Apple has announced two cards for the slot, the Apple IIe emulation card and an Ethernet card.
Apple recently announced its plans to ship single and a dual-floppy LCs – these machines will not come standard with hard drives – to educational dealers, and these machines (at an academic discount around $1300) should help answer criticisms that the LC is too pricey for the education market.
One way or another, the LC is a color machine that, with the addition of a $200 card, runs the many Apple IIe educational programs, making it an important player in the K-12 market. In addition, the built-in AppleTalk networking capabilities allow a school to set up a networked lab of floppy-only LCs and get around not having many hard drives by running software over the network (assuming that the Apple IIe software can run over a network). Apple has always been popular with the education market and many educators were upset with the previous pricing on the Macintosh line. We hope that the new Macs, particularly the Classic and the LC, will restore Apple to the good graces of the educational market. After all, it’s getting harder and harder to get by without some knowledge of computers, and computers are like languages – best learned when young.
Adam C. Engst — TidBITS Editor
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