If you know who rules school computer sales, you have a pretty good idea of what formats are likely to be favored by school software writers and you enjoy a sort of indirect, peer review among the brands vying for your school technology dollars.

Trouble is, it can be devilishly difficult to separate truth from hype when you look at the claims and counter-claims offered by manufacturers, resellers, and market research outfits.

Gateway 2000, the South Dakota-based manufacturer of Intel-standard PCs, claims to be overtaking Apple as the number one supplier of desktop and portable computers to the education market. Yet Apple...

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