Want to convince your employer to buy you a TiBook?
I, like many Mac users, am frustrated with having to use Windows based personal computers in the workplace. At home I have the new flat panel iMac with the SuperDrive and an iMac DV 400SE. My "work" computer is a Windows laptop that causes me constant pain when it decides to freeze or refuses to do what I want it to do.
One of the prime functions of my laptop is to construct and present PowerPoint presentations. A few years ago my PowerPoint presentations were fairly simply and straightforward. Today they include audio and video, which are somewhat taxing to create, let alone present, on a Windows laptop. So I began creating PowerPoint presentations on my Mac only to find that once they were created, the PC laptop had a great deal of trouble playing the video and audio. So I was then forced to reduce the size of the video to accommodate the laptopis capacity and power. I remained frustrated with this situation because I knew if I had a TiBook I would not have to compromise the content of my presentations.
I decided that I needed a TiBook and that I was going to get one; to simply ask, however, would surely meet with a resounding "no," so I began to plan a strategy.
I would "show" my boss what I could easily do with a Mac compared to the PC. I would explain the difficulties of performing the same tasks on a PC, as well as show him results that are not possible with a PC.
My first project was to convert a sales training video from VHS tape to a QuickTime file. I transferred the video from a VCR to my DV camcorder, connected the DV camcorder via FireWire to my iMac, transferred the raw video into iMovie, edited the video and then saved the movie as a QuickTime movie. After copying the file to disc, I created a label for the CD with a graphic from our Web site and sent the disc by courier to my manager. Needless to say he was impressed.
Did I let my manager know I made the movie on a Mac? "Yes."
Did I ask for a TiBook yet? "No."
A number of months later I was asked to prepare a "how to make a PowerPoint presentation" presentation for a national sales meeting. All the sales reps across the country were to be there, some of which were also going to present other topics. One of the other presenters was constructing a PowerPoint presentation on "how to prospect sales using the Internet." His intention was to present "live and connected" to the Internet illustrating how and where to prospect for sales leads. He knew that there was a chance that the hotel where we were staying may not be able to accommodate the required Internet connection, so his backup plan was to screen capture the desired sites and build a "static" presentation. After much difficulty and no success to capture the site screens, he phoned me to discuss his problem. I told him that my Mac was easily capable of screen captures and that I would be more than happy to e-mail him the screen captures if he would give me the Web site addresses. I captured approximately 40 screens, which he ended up using because the hotel could not provide the Internet connection that he needed. His presentation went very well, with each page of his presentation displaying the blue apple of Mac OS X in the top left corner. After his presentation he let it be known that I had helped him with the screen captures and "advised" that I had helped him with my Mac.
For my own presentation I decided to incorporate a QuickTime movie of 45 different JPEG photos. I initially built the .ppt file and then saved it as a QuickTime movie. It looked great running on my Mac, but when I transferred the 300 MB file to the PC it would not run properly. The solution, as always, was to down grade the visual size of the QuickTime movie, and it ran fine after reducing it by half. Prior to the start of the meeting, I ran the movie, which was only part of my presentation, for my manager. He was so impressed with the movie that he asked me to run it as the meeting participants arrived. I connected my laptop to the projection unit and ran the movie on the large screen. (It looked great.)
Did I tell him that only in PowerPoint for the Mac can you save as a QuickTime movie? "Yes."
Did I ask for a TiBook yet? "No."
At the end of my presentation to the audience, which included the President of our company, our President thanked me and proceeded to tell the attendees that "they" were going to ask me to coordinate and assist with all future PowerPoint presentations.
Later that day my manager thanked me for my contribution.
Did I ask for a TiBook? "Yup."
The next month the funds were approved, but the company CEO asked that the IT department be consulted. Sensing that "my plan" may fall apart, I stressed to my manager that I could run the company e-mail client using a Windows emulator. I then re-stated the benefits of the Mac OS and the software that I could use to assist in our sales efforts.
Being very unfamiliar with what the IT manager would be concerned with, I posted a note in one of the forums at The Mac Observer. The response was great and gave me insight on what to expect from our IT manager. The advice that I was given was that my IT manager would likely be more concerned about whether or not the Mac was going to cause his department more work.
Armed with this knowledge, I knew how to handle the situation when it came time for me to speak to the IT manager. My conversation with him went very well, partially because his concerns were indeed about software installations, maintenance and reliability. I told him that I was completely capable of software installation and could maintain the laptop with no involvement from the IT department. He thought that this was great and asked if I could send my Windows laptop back because it was needed elsewhere in the company.
This was written on my new 800 MHz TiBook G4.
Isnit that a happy story?
[Editoris Note: You bet it is!]