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Networking (Apple) Businesses Apple Hardware

Using Macs In The Work Place 593

Posted by Hemos
from the should-be-more-support dept.
Kelly McNeill writes "It's been said that bringing a Macintosh into a corporate environment dominated by Windows-based PCs is not an easy task. Once you cut through the corporate red tape, then get through ignorant IT staff you still have to connect and gain access to all the services on the network. osViews editorial contributor Kevin Ledgister took on this challenge and passed the test with flying colors."
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Using Macs In The Work Place

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  • Hosting (Score:2, Funny)

    by suwain_2 (260792)
    I don't think the IT people realized that by "bring my Mac to work," he actually meant "Host a website that's going to be Slashdotted on it."
  • Tee hee hee (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CGP314 (672613) <CGP&ColinGregoryPalmer,net> on Monday October 13, 2003 @12:25PM (#7199671) Homepage
    then get through ignorant IT staff

    Wouldn't the IT staff be the ones who want to make the change to Apple?

    Whoops! I forgot, the problems with Windows ensure permanent employment for techies.
    • by clifyt (11768) <sonikmatterNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday October 13, 2003 @12:38PM (#7199804) Homepage
      "Whoops! I forgot, the problems with Windows ensure permanent employment for techies"

      Hell yeah man!!!

      Do you think we would PURPOSELY kill our employment? Back when I started at my job, they were considering switching to the PC from Macs. I convinced them that was the right choice.

      Now I don't have to worry that this was the right choice as its the right choice for me. I stay employed and they think I'm doing something because I'm running around like a mad man keeping my office together and now that we are a M$ office, I have put 3 other techies to work to help me out.

      With the Mac office, it was ONLY me and I was doing nothing most of the day.

      I do however run 2 OS X machines at home...I don't have the time to deal with PCs except for gameplay there (waiting to see how well Quake runs on the G5s before I switch up and finally get rid of my last Win Box and move it to being another Linux box....)

      No Macs For Businesses!!!!
    • Re:Tee hee hee (Score:3, Informative)

      by cK-Gunslinger (443452)
      "+5 Funny," my ass. I have started to believe this "joke" to be entirely true. You cannot imagine the amount of resistance some company's IT show when you start mentioning replacing some of the Windows boxes with Linux and running Samba. (No one needs a Win2k server and Backup Domain Controller for a ~10 PC, closed-net lab) The only defense they have is that they can't support it. And when you tell them that you don't need theer support, you can handle it, they get extra defensive. Interesting, and sad
      • The only defense they have is that they can't support it.

        That was code for "we'll be happy to support your Linux system as soon as you send us on a two week training trip to Las Vegas"
      • Re:Tee hee hee (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ScuzzMonkey (208981) on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:50PM (#7200461) Homepage
        In my experience, when I've told someone I can't support something and they tell me they'll just handle it, it almost inevitably turns into my problem anyway. Most people who assume they can 'just handle it' are geniuses who run one or two boxes at home and don't have a clue at the issues they're going to run into in a corporate environment.

        Standards are sucky things if you are looking for the most efficient way to perform a particular function in an organization, but they are a necessity if you want to run a smooth and cost-effective operation overall. Would it be best if I could give our people who do graphics Macs, and run our website off Linux, and provide the accounting department with the latest and greatest version of Excel? You bet, they would all love it. But then I'd have to staff the FTE to keep up with three different systems' worth of problems and patches and interoperability quirks and maintain up to date expertise in all of them. And presenting THAT bill to management would not go over well.

        I've tried running open systems for people who think they can 'just handle it' and it has never, ever been worth it in the long run. Whatever efficiencies they imagine they are bringing to their own personal job, it has always come at a larger cost to the organization as a whole than any individualized savings have been worth.
        • Re:Tee hee hee (Score:4, Insightful)

          by cloudmaster (10662) on Monday October 13, 2003 @03:33PM (#7201322) Homepage Journal
          Funny, I support a graphics department tht uses all macs. Our web and file services all run on Linux boxes. Our non-graphics workstations are all windows 2000 machines. Supporting 3 platforms isn't hard, because I chose the best platform for each particular job. So, I'm wasting less time trying to shoehorn one "standard" into several niches that it won't do well. I do it all, gasp, by myself. Then again, I'm doing this job because I like doing it, and I think I'm pretty good at it. I guess that the typical IT employee doesn't like wasting his time learning stuff, and would rather be playing Quake or keeping his MCSE certs all up to date.

          That said, *never* will I let a user bring in a system of their own choice under the "I'll support it, don't worry" guise. If they wanted to spend their time as a sysadmin, they wouldn't be doing something other than working as a sysadmin. It's a job, not something to be done "in your spare time"...
        • Re:Tee hee hee (Score:5, Insightful)

          by shotfeel (235240) on Monday October 13, 2003 @04:23PM (#7201773)
          Would it be best if I could give our people who do graphics Macs, and run our website off Linux, and provide the accounting department with the latest and greatest version of Excel? You bet, they would all love it. But then I'd have to staff the FTE to keep up with three different systems' worth of problems and patches and interoperability quirks and maintain up to date expertise in all of them.

          That's the attitude that baffles me. Instead of giving the users the best tools to do their jobs better and faster, give them all the same tools so IT can do their job better and faster. Is that really a cost effective way to operate a business?

          Sounds like a construction company where the carpenter, the plumber, the electrician, and the painter are all given the same basic set of tools and told to build a house.
      • That you DO end up supporting it. I'll relate a couple of my experiences:

        One was working for a small department at a large university. They couldn't afford a proper tech support staff, instead all they could afford was one .25 FTE student (me). Now, everyone except one woman used Windows PCs. It wouldn't really have mattered what OS they used, all they ever did was type things in Wordperfect, check e-mail and websites, and manage student data via telnet to the SIS mainframe.

        Now, it happens I do know about
    • In a building with 500 users, 50 or so of which are Macintosh users, there are 3 technicians. 2 are Windows technicians, 1 is a Macintosh technician. The Macintosh technician is constantly putting out fires whilst the Windows technicians play Red Alert II through the afternoon.

      Point is, Macs take a lot of tuning, too. And they are not designed for ease-of-support as they are for ease-of-use. So Windows software may crash more, but when a Mac crashes, it crashes hard. In my experience.

      ========

  • by xanderwilson (662093) on Monday October 13, 2003 @12:26PM (#7199686) Homepage
    supress this article ASAP? Everyone has to use Windows. It's important. For our economy. Or something.

    Alex.
    • by skaffen42 (579313) on Monday October 13, 2003 @12:31PM (#7199736)
      Don't worry. Slashdot is doing a pretty good job of suppressing the article. :)

    • supress this article ASAP? Everyone has to use Windows. It's important. For our economy. Or something.


      Don't worry. Even the article author is running Windows - he's using VirtualPC. I fail to see what is interesting about the fact that you can do all your same stuff if you just continue to run Windows.
    • Clearly anyone who would try to be an Apple user on a Windows network is subversive and dangerous. The current monoculture must continue, lest the very fabric of America be destroyed.

      I suggest government hearings where we bring these Apple users into the bright light of day, and expose them for the anti Micr... um, American scum they really are.
  • by farrellj (563) * on Monday October 13, 2003 @12:27PM (#7199687) Homepage Journal
    And I have had no problems, really. Once you get the TCP/IP stack on the Mac going, and Netatalk on the Linux server, they are just like another node on the network...they can access the internet, and print, and store files on the linux box.

    ttyl
    Farrell
    • It's a shame this is an article about using Macs in the Windows office, instead of a Linux one.
    • Once you get the TCP/IP stack on the Mac going? Netatalk?

      You are probably talking about Mac OS 9 or earlier. The name of the game at this point is Mac OS X, now in black fur with its 10.3 version (aka Panther). No need for Netatalk (no need for AppleTalk at all) and TCP/IP is there, in fact the backbone of OS X communications.

      Merging a Mac OS X Panther computer in ANY corporate environment today is easy. Just plug and play. You can even store your user directory in a Windows server, like any PC user. TCP/
      • I was talking about my past experiences, not what can be done today. Of course OS-X makes it so simple, but as far as I am concerned, it has always been simple, as long as open source software has allowed the intergration of both environments...just plop a Linux Server into mix, and it becomes easy.

        ttyl
        Farrell
    • by macwhiz (134202) on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:01PM (#7199956)

      netatalk? How quaint :)

      With Mac OS X, there's no need to go running netatalk; OS X will speak NFS just fine -- or, if you don't want to go that far, there's always FTP and/or SSH. If you're in a mixed environment, OS X's SMB support is good enough that there's little point in running netatalk in addition to SAMBA.

      If you want to see stuff run really slick, install CUPS on your UNIX boxes. Watch all your systems, Mac and traditional UNIX, use SLP autodiscovery to self-configure printers.

      A big part of allowing Macs to be easy additions to one's IT environment is simply using actual standards, instead of "Microsoft standards." Generally, Mac OS X does an excellent job of supporting standards that have RFCs associated with 'em. For instance, OS X plays great in an LDAP directory environment. If you're using Active Directory, OS X can still be made to work -- but as with any non-Microsoft OS trying to use a proprietary Microsoft "standard," it's going to be awkward.

      It's not that Macs are hard to put into an IT environment. It's that a lot of IT environments have been designed using protocols and tools that only work well under Microsoft OSes, because Microsoft designed them that way. If Ford came out with a car that only worked with a special Shell gasoline, you shouldn't blame Mobil for not being able to fill your tank.

      • ...but as with any non-Microsoft OS trying to use a proprietary Microsoft "standard," it's going to be awkward.

        And this is becoming untrue. As of the latest Panther build, Mail.app supports Exchange. Granted, it seems to use Outlook Web Access, but I still have access to all of the folders that people who pay much more for "Outlook" see. Address Book and iSync are supposed to support syncing with an Exchange server as well, but I have yet to get this to work.

      • "netatalk? How quaint :)"

        My home network is NFS-based but I run netatalk just for older computers (guests, usually).

        I don't run Samba because... I've never had a Windows computer in my house.

        --Richard
  • by tulmad (25666)
    And they're generally the worst part of it. With Samba now (and going to 3.0 soon), you can basically do whatever you need on a corporate network with OS X. The only problem that remains is Exchange. Even though MS supposedly updated Entourage to deal with it, Exchange support still sucks. Of course, if you're lucky enough to have a company with a Citrix server, there's a native OS X client for that.
    • With Samba now (and going to 3.0 soon), you can basically do whatever you need on a corporate network with OS X.

      Samba on OSX is great -- if you need to share documents. You cannot launch most any file (or even drag & launch it) from a SMB-mounted drive because whatever bits the OS uses for file identification does not get saved on a Windows filesystem. Even the documents are harder to use -- one can only access them from within the pertinent application, no click-to-open. Very unMaclike.

      Microso

    • Arrogant users are far worse than ignorant IT staff.

      Sorry, but it is the businesses network, their site, hence it is their rules.

      If you want a laptop where I work you get a nice shiny new laptop - of the companies choosing.

      Why do IT departs demand and are right in declaring what is and is not permitted?

      Support.
      Licensing.
      Security.

      Those are the big 3.

      I don't care if someone things product A sucks, hell I might agree. However as soon as exceptions are made to the rule for one person it starts a downhill
    • Of course, if you're lucky enough to have a company with a Citrix server, there's a native OS X client for that.

      Really? YOu can have ours... I hate it. Since migrating our legacy, reliable, functional application to a delivery via citrix we have heard nothing but complaints. It is unreliable (sessions hang for no reason), and just plain slow. Plus we've had various issues with Terminal Server profiles becoming corrupted (at random) that keep users out of their (business critical) Citrix app.

      Frustrating?

  • by Raven42rac (448205) * on Monday October 13, 2003 @12:27PM (#7199700)
    The author appears to have done zero research into how to get a Mac talking on a Windows network, if he had done maybe 1-2 hours of research, he would have saved himself 2-3 weeks of grief. Instead of not having any clue on how he got it to work, he would have known exactly how to set things up how he wanted. I don't get it, why spend the money on a Mac if you are not prepared to do any research on how to make it do the things you need to do? Would you buy a car without knowing whether or not it came with an engine? Or if that engine would play nice with your gas? I ordered a 12" Powerbook and I am going to make damn sure I can make it play nice with any other boxes/servers that I may have to interact with (Windows, Linux, other Macs, etc.) by the time it gets here.
    • by loosifer (314643) on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:08PM (#7200018) Homepage
      The sciences have a saying:

      A month or two in the laboratory can often save an hour or two in the library.

      This seems to be doubly so. Here's my computer corollary:

      A month or two of hacking can often save an hour or two on Google.

    • <Blatant plug>
      http://train.apple.com/ [apple.com]
      </Blatant plug>

      :-)

      --Paul
    • The author appears to have done zero research into how to get a Mac talking on a Windows network, if he had done maybe 1-2 hours of research, he would have saved himself 2-3 weeks of grief. Instead of not having any clue on how he got it to work, he would have known exactly how to set things up how he wanted. I don't get it, why spend the money on a Mac if you are not prepared to do any research on how to make it do the things you need to do?

      BLEEP BLEEP! Warning, the preceeding was a TECHNICAL point of v

      • He doesn't have networking experience, that's what the IT department is for. Seems to me like they were completely unable to do their jobs.

        Spoken like someone whos never had to admin a large number of users. They picked a standard platform, Windows on Dell. They know about that platform. They have Dells with windows on them that management has bought for them. They can use them as testbeds. I generally hate and despise windows, but the only "unusuable" Dell Laptops I've run into over the years are

        • He doesn't have networking experience, that's what the IT department is for. Seems to me like they were completely unable to do their jobs. Spoken like someone whos never had to admin a large number of users.

          Close, How about: Spoken like someone who's never had one of the user's he was admin'ing be forced to get their own equipment.

          They picked a standard platform, Windows on Dell. They know about that platform. They have Dells with windows on them that management has bought for them. They can use th


  • Ignorant IT staff?

    We here on the IT staff are exceptionally bright and well-informed. And don't you forget it!

    What is a mac, anyway?
  • My company specializes in Business Process Optimization (E-Integrate LLC.) [eintegrate.net] We use macs for nearly all of our programing, movie making, and Oracle database development and administration. As a company, we are trying to move solely to Linux and OSX. There have only been a few tasks where windows is still needed and those are slowly diminishing such as Oracle JDeveloper development and terminal services connections. Each month we are expanding our employees to have mostly powerbooks, however, I am still for
  • Full Text (Score:5, Insightful)

    by coolmacdude (640605) on Monday October 13, 2003 @12:35PM (#7199767) Homepage Journal
    Contributor: Kevin Ledgister
    :: Open Content

    "It's been said that bringing a Macintosh into a corporate environment dominated by Windows-based PCs is not an easy task. Once you cut through the corporate red tape, then get through ignorant IT staff you still have to connect and gain access to all the services on the network. osViews editorial contributor Kevin Ledgister took on this challenge and passed the test with flying colors."

    For the last two years, I have had to use a Dell laptop at work running Windows 2000 in a mid size company with 300-400 employees. After suffering through several complete rebuilds, blue screens, as well as dealing with patches and security upgrades, I decided that enough is enough.

    I ordered the brand new 12" PowerBook on my own and decided that this would be my daily computer to replace my Dell. Quite a few people were curious at this silver beauty compared to the generic charcoal laptops on their desks -- and some even said that their next system will be a Mac too.

    As I've come to learn however, integrating a Mac into an all PC world is not without its challenges.

    IT Ignorance

    The first challenge was dealing with an IT department that was completely ignorant of the Mac platform. Although they were helpful and curious about the Macintosh, they really couldn't offer much help so I was on my own. At my place of employment, they use Active Directory and after doing a lot of reading on the subject, I realized that it was not going to be the easiest transition.

    When my PowerBook arrived, I immediately plugged a network cable into it, but for some reason, it was not being assigned an IP address. I checked all the settings and they were correct. I even plugged my laptop into a router outside of our network and it worked fine. But inside our corporate network, I would only get a 169... number which meant that I wasn't getting one from the network server.

    I downloaded ADmitMac from Thursby hoping that it would help connect me to the laptop but that required a valid IP address as well so I still was left out in the cold.

    Frustrated, I connected my PowerBook using the phone line by my desk and dialed into our corporate network, which was slow, but at least I could browse the Internet and check email to our Exchange servers running Outlook for Windows under Citrix. No one was able to help explain why this was happening. Not Apple, nor our IT department.

    Ups and Downs

    After two days of this, I got disconnected again from the phone connection but iChat stayed active and I was still getting messages! I opened up the System Preferences and suddenly I had an assigned IP address. I ran to the IT department asking for an explanation for what they did, to which they replied, "Nothing."

    So now I had high-speed access to the network but not all was solved.

    I still couldn't browse network shares and I tried joining our Active Directory domain using Admit Mac but it wouldn't let me join. So, I fired up Virtual PC, installed Windows 2000, and asked an IT person to join Win2k to the domain and it worked. I was also able to browse the network using a Citrix client but this was still hokey.

    Little did I know that ADmit Mac didn't work because I didn't have rights to join a computer to the domain. But a week after I got all this up and running, I accidentally chose the Connect to Server function when I meant to go to a folder and Voila! I could see network shares!

    I don't know when this happened but I could now browse through the servers and mount them on my desktop. I ran back to IT again asking if they had turned on Services for Mac, which I had asked them to consider. Again they said that no changes were made to the network at all.

    Another unsolved mystery perhaps but I didn't care. No longer would I need to go through a Windows interface for network share
    • Re:Full Text (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Shadow99_1 (86250)
      First I will say thanks for reposting the article as I couldn't conenct.

      Now for my comment on the story:

      Dude you were usign a Dell what did you expect performance-wise? If you'd had a good PC you'd have been able to have more than 4 apps open (I use up to 10 at once on my home PC) without a hitch... And you wouldn't have had to shell out the extra cash for a Mac...

      Heck if you were unheppy with windows you could have gone linux... Going Mac just seems like the worst choice in this situation...
    • Re:Full Text (Score:3, Insightful)

      by notque (636838)
      I'm sorry, I completely forgot that an I.T. department that does not have Macintosh computers on their network are required to know why your powerbook would not get an I.P. address.

      Silly me.

      • If they're competent, they would know whether or not they have set their DHCP service up properly - or at least be willing and capable of checking when the question arises.. Of course, in my experience, that's often way too much to ask of IT.

  • A MAC IN AN ENTERPRISE
    Contributor: Kevin Ledgister
    Posted Oct 12, 2003 - 04:10 PM

    "It's been said that bringing a Macintosh into a corporate environment dominated by Windows-based PCs is not an easy task. Once you cut through the corporate red tape, then get through ignorant IT staff you still have to connect and gain access to all the services on the network. osViews editorial contributor Kevin Ledgister took on this challenge and passed the test with flying colors."
    ---

    For the last two years, I have had to
  • by kevinbr (689680) on Monday October 13, 2003 @12:36PM (#7199783)
    I am an IT architect who has for the last 10 years simply plugged my Mac into any LAN where I work. TCPDump allows me to sniff what network range is in use, then ping for an unused IP, and away I go. When support staff walk around, just unplug and look innocent. 99% of corporate security is LAX and allows anything. I keep virtual PC for Project and Visio. Afer staff see me, there is a flood of portables that then appear when the users figure out that can use their nice sleek powerful home portable as opposed to rigid old slow corporate junk. And yes, now with OS X, I can connect easier to Windoze servers. With OS 9 I used DAVE.
    • by connorbd (151811) on Monday October 13, 2003 @12:55PM (#7199908) Homepage
      Okay, I'm calling shenanigans on this one. If you're an "IT Architect" (presumably that means you have substantial decision-making capability in your organization -- if I'm reading this correctly you're actually working as a contractor) you should know better than to be bringing outside hardware onto a company network.

      I'm a Mac man myself, I sympathize... but even though you're using a Mac (more secure), you're compromising network security. If you were my employee I'd write you up at the very least.
      • Actually, you need to get out more.

        If he's a contractor, or a 1099 person, then the company cannot provide him with the tools he needs to do his job. This includes a computer, a phone, or even a permanent work space. Them's the rules. Check with the IRS.

        • If he's a contractor, or a 1099 person, then the company cannot provide him with the tools he needs to do his job. This includes a computer, a phone, or even a permanent work space.

          This is true, but the key there is permanent. I did a lot of 1099 work for a game company (showing my age here) porting PC games to the Commodore 64. They couldn't give me any of the above named items directly, but I was allowed to use someone else's cubical, phone, and computers. The IRS doesn't unilaterally ban access to comp

      • Right. But it's perfectly ok to bring those IT-approved company-owned laptops in and connect them to the network.

        The ones that were home for the weekend.

        And connected to AOL accounts.

        And contracted Blaster.

        That's right. You should write this asshole up for compromising network security.
      • Okay, I'm calling shenanigans on this one. If you're an "IT Architect" (presumably that means you have substantial decision-making capability in your organization -- if I'm reading this correctly you're actually working as a contractor) you should know better than to be bringing outside hardware onto a company network.

        And I'm calling bullshit on you. Contractors normally provide their own equipment. In some cases it's illegal to do it any other way.

        I'm a Mac man myself, I sympathize... but even though y

    • Before you grab an "unused IP", you should check whether they have a DHCP server and use it to get a dynamic address if they do. Otherwise, you may be grabbing an IP address that has been assigned to a computer that is turned off or is for some other reason currently off the network. Plus, if they have a DHCP server, it may eventually assign the address to someone else if it doesn't know you're using it.
  • by anothy (83176) on Monday October 13, 2003 @12:38PM (#7199801) Homepage
    *ahem*
    It's not always the IT staff that doesn't want the Mac in the door. I'm Director of Information Technology for a good sized company with offices on three continents. We were recently spun out from what is essentially a government lobbying body. It's all Windows, top to bottom.
    Or it was. When we had to replace the Exchange server that was part of our former parent, we got an XServe. We've now got three, in two locations. About a third of our U.S. based employees use Macs, and that percentage is growing.
    Tomorrow, I have to meet with the CEO and explain what the hell I'm doing (I'm hoping this article and posts will save me some research!). I'm assured by the CTO that he's open minded about it, but just thinks it's really "odd" and wants to know why. I hope that's the case.
    It's not always the IT folks that're "ignorant". I know more Macs mean lower admin costs and greater reliability. And I know what having Unix workstations means to the R&D work. But some of the upper management has doubts... mostly, I suspect, because they'll need to explain it to the board, who's likely to be even more conservative.
    Oh... and all our internally-developed software is Windows-only as well. The new CTO has already agreed that we're changing that. And we've got budget to ditch the few IE dependancies on our web site.
    Sometimes we get to move in the right direction.
    • I work at a company that makes PCs that use Microsoft OS'. Macs don't even get their head round the door, but our IT staff are hardly ignorant, and I keep hearing how they are running Linux in the data centre and want to use it on the desktops too. Unfortunately, there are too many PC-specific applications in use to make it anything but a long-term goal for them.

      I'm not talking about MS Orifice, Graphics, Scientific apps, the ones we have open source replacements for, but boring call-centre applications, f

  • I fully agree that until recently it was a pain to get a Mac on a NT domain. It required flaky 3rd party hacks, and you still had to screw with AppleTalk somewhat if you wanted to print...

    Now with OSX thanks to FBSD and Samba, it's not too big of a deal. (Its still not perfect .. but its useable with out having to sacrifice a sheep )

    I do admit we only have a few Macs, but I'm sure having a lot wouldn't be that much different.
  • by xrayspx (13127) on Monday October 13, 2003 @12:51PM (#7199881) Homepage
    Let's say you're running a network of 160 desktops. 20 of those people would like to bring in their personal laptop, a Mac, Ipaq, etc. You then have to consider the security of the other 140 desktops. Corporate IT will be held responsible if YOUR personal laptop screws their network. YOU will not. So if someone "slips something by" Corporate IT, and it screws something, is virus infected, not locked down, then it is suddenly their problem to fix.

    Can't always batter the Braindead IT Department. Companies have standards for a reason. I can't trust that J Random Developer knows how to secure his shit. In fact, I would always, 100% of the time, bet that he doesn't. After seeing some of the poorly maintained, hacked 10 ways from sunday developer desktops I have, my default policy would be to say "no".

    • Incompetent IT staffs use standards as a tool to beat the business side of things into submission. The IT staff exists to service the business, not the other way around. A competent IT staff will have a diverse set of standards capable of meeting needs and working culture of the business. That means a heterogeneous desktop environment.

      An incompetent IT staff attempts to standardize on a single platform across all computing environments. That reduces IT costs and makes life easier on IT. It invariable rais

  • by mac-diddy (569281) on Monday October 13, 2003 @12:52PM (#7199884)
    We've been using radmind [radmind.org] to deploy OS X to our entire group for over a year now. The best part is, we have a single 10.2.8 image that can boot all of our hardware ( old school iMacs to Dual G5 to new 15" laptops ) and is used by everyone including managers, developers, and support staff. Since applications are done as overloads, people can choose what software they want ala cart.

    As the system administrator for the project, that best part is I can roll back any changes. Say, if apple were to release a bad update, I could just remove the overload and everyone would be back at say, a working 10.2.7.

    Let's see you do that with windows.

    • Not a problem at all.

      Active Directory provides facilities for the distribution of software to workstations and users based on policy. Users can choose what they want off of the list which displays in "Add/Remove Programs". All system updates can be deployed (and rolled back if needed) using SUS. Not only that, I have full control over every single machine within the domain, and restrict or grant access to nearly any part of Windows on a per-user or per-computer basis.

      Remote Installation Services gives me
  • We have some macs mixed in with our windows machines. We also have Linux and a few legacy os2 and dos machines. And yes, you can get them to play nice together. For a while, at least. Then you make some little "harmless" change on the network that one os likes and the rest hate, and suddenly your nice and peaceful network is a chaotic mess. And tracking down those problems can be pure hell.
    Just because it works great on day one doesn't mean it'll still be great on day 100.
    That's the main reason our IT dept
  • For the last two years, I have had to use a Dell laptop at work running Windows 2000 in a mid size company with 300-400 employees. After suffering through several complete rebuilds, blue screens, as well as dealing with patches and security upgrades, I decided that enough is enough.

    In all honesty, if your company PC suffers like this, your IT department is to blame. [anecdotal evidence warning:] I've been using Win2k for over a year now at work, and I do a large amount of *dangerous* work (editing severa
    • [anecdotal evidence warning:] I've been using Win2k for over a year now at work, and I do a large amount of *dangerous* work (editing several large files, running 30+ applications simultaneously, writing I/O programs, allocating GBs of memory, etc) and have yet to have my box become unstable or crash.

      I'm doing the same sort of thing (Win2k, 512M RAM, running SPSS with data files of about 400M to 600M). The system gets flaky sometimes, particularly if I leave it running overnight. Sometimes, though, it

    • Same goes for me. I have used my WinXP box for heavy development for weeks without rebooting. Same goes for all other developers I know. It is a common misconception among Mac users that Windows is constantly suffering from blue screens and rebooting. The mantra "My computer used to crash constantly yada yada, but now I have a Mac and yada yada..." will take some time before it goes away.
  • What makes this story newsworthy? There aren't any interesting technical details, it's just the account of one guy who bumbled through putting his Mac on the company network. Good for him.

    I'm also not impressed by the knee-jerk bashing of the IT department that doesn't know Macs. The IT department's job is supporting hardware/software the company owns, not whatever the employees could ever want to have. Neither the author nor Apple could say why his Powerbook wasn't getting an IP, but for some reason only
  • But you would have a hard time bringing a Windows box onto any of my networks. They're just not allowed anymore.
  • I can't believe the play this article is getting. First it was on MacSlash and now it is on Slashdot. I can't see that it offers any useful information. The author does little to explain how he did anything, mostly because he had no idea what he was doing. The general consensus on MacSlash that this article does nothing to help other people get Macs running in their own place of work. I agree!
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel&johnhummel,net> on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:14PM (#7200057) Homepage
    In the company I work for, while there are certain standards of computers and operating systems, most of the time these "standards" are a "follow these if you want assistance" type.

    In other words, if you do not have a Dell computer with Windows 2000/XP on it, the IT staff does not want to hear from you.

    At the same time, they really don't give a care what you use on your desktop. Which, since I work for a company that does a lot of security work, actually makes some twisted sense. We have people running around the place running everything from Windows to GNU/Linux to OpenBSD (which is the OS of choice for our penetration testers), as well as quite a few OS X users.

    So how does the IT staff handle this? Well, the first part, as I said, is if it's not the "official company approved stuff", they don't talk to you about it.

    On the other hand, everything else tends to work because they system is set up to follow most open standards. They follow the DHCP proper configurations (and, if you've ever worked with Windows DHCP, you know there are ways to make it so that UNIX based machines will not be able to fully work within the environment depending on what settings you mess with). The Intranet runs on the https port, and they don't have any javascript/flash or anything that would prevent somone who's connecting via a slow VPN link and just using Lynx to log their hours to have a headache.

    I've read the stories of the "well, if so-and-so brought that kind of machine into the building, we'd fire them!", then those same companies complain of rampant viruses because of their monoculture.

    To a man with only a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But for those places which have the "this is the Support System - you can run whatever you like, as long as it a) has antivirus, b) you don't try to get around the firewall, and c) you don't bug us to support your weirdness", the employees are emplowered to get whatever tool they need to get the job done. Part of the company's system is 0% interest loans to employees to buy their own computers, which encourages them to buy their own stuff and use it for work (such as my Powerbook, or my Pen-Tester's BSD laptop, and so on).

    It seems to work in my company, and except for 1 quarter in 30 years, we have yet to not make a profit. And we don't worry about the IT staff except when we have to.
  • is that you need to make all your corporate applications run on your mac. Not so much a hurdle as a brick wall.
  • by pmz (462998) on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:28PM (#7200223) Homepage

    Adopt Macs. Fire ignorant IT staff.

    Windows administrators are the Model T mechanics of today.
  • "Wow, look at me, I bought a computer and plugged it in. I am so l33t!"
  • I've worked in mixed platform environments for quite some time. My current workplace is about 85% mac, most of which are OS X desktops. The network OS is Win2k. Everybody gets along just fine, network shares behave reasonably and sharing files is fine between users since we make sure to have equivalent versions of desktop apps.
  • Why I Switched. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by viper21 (16860) <scott@iqfoundr[ ]om ['y.c' in gap]> on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:39PM (#7200330) Homepage
    As pointed out in the posted story, I think my largest issue with windows machines, and with linux machines, is the sheer amount of labor required to get from point A to point B. On windows everything crashes, or the hard drives mysteriously get corrupted, or the current version of the driver for my video card somehow conflicts with something which causes an instant blue screen 20 minutes (exactly) into my computing session. (Don't forget the creative sound card 'helper' that freaks out and eats all of your system memory when it gets bored).

    On the linux side, which I love and use for all of my server applications, things just aren't user friendly enough for an office workplace as a deployed solution. I wouldn't ever expect a system administrator to have any interest in troubleshooting my linux box. The flaw here lies in the obscure methods for installing software, what happens to that software once it is installed, and how the heck to run that installed software when it doesn't show up in a dock menu somewhere.

    Prior to OS X, I hated the macintosh platform. The kludgy way things had to be done, the strange finder, the weird apple icon that was the bitbucket for everything on the system. I just couldn't stand how hard they were for me to use. But now, ever since they did the whole Mac+Unix thing, I have been quite curious but cautiously hesitant at throwing down the big dollars for a substantial desktop machine. This is the point of the story when I have to employ Apple to create an envoy of 'trial macs' to rent out to users to experience what life is like with OS X compared to windows or linux.

    I recently changed jobs from a Windows NT/2000/XP/Whatever house, to a mostly Mac Only shop. In the interviews I was quite interested as I met and chatted with the system administrator about their infrastructure, etc. I was immediately very happy that I would have a day to day opportunity to goof around on OS X while working. I do mostly web and database development, which doesn't tend to be platform dependent.

    After the first day of using OS X at work, I fell in love with it. That's all it took. A whole entire day where I could focus on work and my tasks at hand without having to even think about the operating system--except for how cool it was. Everything from the standard Terminal App, that allows you to select text, hit Command+C to copy it, then Command+V to paste it in another app, to the slick way I can download and compile most linux/unix based apps that I need to run on my system, made this OS the OS of choice for Getting Work Done. Things just worked the way I expected them to when I expected to.

    If I hadn't been given the opportunity to spend an entire day working on an Apple, I probably never would have taken the plunge and purchased one. Yeah, they're damn sexy. But the price point alone scared me away from trying one. You can get the equivalent PC for half the price. You just can't get the experience. I'm telling you, Apple needs to build more apple stores with "Try it for a day" cubicles available for check out. Come in, sit down, and see what it is like to work on a Mac for a day. It really would change minds. A lot more than demo machines in CompUSA playing the new lord of the rings video on that 23" panel display.

    I still use Windows at home for things like games, or when I get really bored with having a computer that doesn't randomly die on me. But, to be honest, I don't think I have turned that computer on in 2 months. I use Linux on my dedicated web servers and love those machines to death. The real deciding factor here is the fact that OS X allows me to focus on work instead of the strange things I have to figure out how to fix with my OS.

    It isn't without bugs, and my system hangs every once in a while. Maybe once every 2-3 weeks. Nobody is perfect. But for those people who label themselves as geeks, I really think that OS X is the way to go when you want to get down to business. I don't think I could live without it. Just sit down somewhere and give it a try. It is different, but sometimes different can feel good.

    When do you think I can get my own Switch commercial? :-)

    -S
  • My Dell is a 1 GHz unit with 512mb ram but I didn't like running more than three or four apps at once because the performance became sluggish

    Gotta wonder if there's something shady about the way their IT department configured the Dells. This hardware should be more than enough to run a dozens apps, even if some are outlook, project, etc. Makes me wonder how things would look with a clean install of 2K or XP for comparison.
  • by Frums (112820)

    For what its worth there is one Mac in our organization. I have it, and I am the SysAdmin. Most of the workstations are Windows (mix of versions) a few are Redhat Linux, and the servers are a mix of Redhat Linux (app servers) and OpenBSD (IS systems).

  • I did it. And in 4 easy steps:
    1. Purchase Macintosh
    2. Take out of box and set up computer
    3. Turn Macintosh on.
    4. Set Up Networking controls.

    I don't see what's so hard about it.
  • It's sad...for now at least...that so many people in the IT world know all this. For us, it's a "yeah...I've seen this article or one like it a dozen times in the past month or two". All very good points are made. But the problem, or problems still exist. We still have to get all this knowledge to Corporate America. And even once that's done, we have to convince IT Directors that this is the way to go. There are many reasons they would fight this...they're still going on what they know about pre-OS X Mac te
  • THIS GUY IS AN IDIOT (Score:4, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@NosPAm.gmail.com> on Monday October 13, 2003 @02:12PM (#7200691) Homepage Journal
    > I even plugged my laptop into a router outside of our
    > network and it worked fine. But inside our corporate
    > network, I would only get a 169... number which meant
    > that I wasn't getting one from the network server.

    ifconfig --renew

    That will solve his problem lickety-split

    > I still couldn't browse network shares and I tried joining
    > our Active Directory domain using Admit Mac but it
    > wouldn't let me join. ...
    > don't know when this happened but I could now browse
    > through the servers and mount them on my desktop. I
    > ran back to IT again asking if they had turned on Services
    > for Mac, which I had asked them to consider.

    What is he *doing* with ADmitMAC? It's simple, click on Finder, select "Go" from the menu and select "Connect to Server". No need for "Services for Mac" or any other BS.

    > Then I downloaded Outlook 2001 for OS 8-9 and it
    > connected instantly and ran much smoother than either
    > of the two methods I used previously. The only downside
    > is that Outlook for Mac does not render HTML email
    > properly. But that is a small price to pay.

    The name for the OS X version of Outlook is ENTOURAGE. He'd know this if he actually bothered to get Office X (which was probably pre-installed on his machine as a 30 day trial anyway).

    Did he even TRY to search the net for tutorials on how to get his machine hooked up to a windows network? It *really* is NOT hard. I'm probably being a bit hard on the guy, but COME ON. It's a completely new OS and he's treating it like the 10 years out of date OS 9.
  • Never a Problem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nycroft (653728) on Monday October 13, 2003 @04:36PM (#7201889) Homepage
    I was hired as a the in-house graphic artist for a Fortune 500 company. As a result, I was to be the only Mac user out of the 45,000 employees this organization had world-wide. My job was to administer the logo database and create newsletters and ads for the company on a regular basis. This involved my needing to be set up with e-mail and digital proofing via PDF (since most of my superiors were scattered around the world).

    When my computer (a dual 1.25 Ghz MDD with 1 GB of RAM) arrived, the whole of the IT department was there, at my desk, to greet it. Since none of them really knew how to get it to connect to their network (Windows NT), they let me have the first go. They watched, in amazement as the OS X setup took me through the network settings when I created my account. All I needed from them was a IP address number for my computer, and a few other numbers for the router, subnet mask, etc.

    Needless to say, I showed them, without anymore settings involved how I could "see" the entire network and connect to anyone's computer via SMB and the proper password.

    It was seamless No trouble at all. The only hurdle I faced was geting my Microsoft Entourage to work with the Exchange server. Now, some of those very same IT guys have bought some Macs of their own for home use. They were pretty blown away when I showed them the Terminal app.

One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word. -- Robert Heinlein

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