It is Friday of Memorial Day weekend so I am going to go a little off topic and, for non-MAC users, this may be a bizarre post. But, I am likely speaking for many MAC lawyers who have a federal regulatory practice. My case involves D-TRADE – an export licensing system at the Department of State. As the new system has been rolled out in recent weeks, some of us expected that the vendors used to design the new system would make it PC as well as MAC-friendly. Was it too much to ask? Alas, it seems so.
You see I recently transitioned from a large law firm and started my law and public policy firm with a few close friends. After much gentle, and not so subtle persuasion, we decided to use MACs in our office. That’s a talk for another day. If you are a PC user, you will likely never understand. Anyhow, when I went to use D-TRADE for the first time from my MAC a few weeks ago I learned that I was out of luck. It does not support MAC. The State Department DDTC technical folks were helpful enough. I sent them an e-mail. They rather quickly advising that they were aware of the problem, but it seems that it was not imminent.
Bootcamp is an option. For you PC folks, Bootcamp allows MACs to run Windows on MACs. But the reason I switched to MAC was to get away from Windows and most Windows programs. It defeats the purpose of switching. So, like an exhibit at the Smithsonian, I dusted off the PC and have it running in a closet in our new firm just to submit documents to the federal government.
Out of fairness to the State Department, it is not just D-TRADE. Many agencies have the problem and several Congressional Committee are aware of it and looking into it. But, as with everything with the federales, it will take time.
A recent article in a local paper gave me an idea. When I worked in the Congress with a senior Member who used a MAC, only a few other Members used MACs. That is changing. And with the advent of the iPad even more so. According to the POLITICO, the iPAD has made a big presence on the Hill with Members of Congress and staff. Indeed, I have seen many walking around with the device. Maybe it is a good time to remind my representative and Committee chairs with government contract oversight about “MAC discrimination.”
While having Apple as a client on this matter would be great, I may just do it for free.