Monday, July 16, 2007

What a crock.

Over the last weekend, and for 4 months previous for the design phase, I got to use a modern MAC with its modern Operating System (OS). I was offered a job setting up this network of computers and during a discussion with the man he requested Apple hardware and a MAC OS. Hmmm. Still, that is what he wanted and that is what he got. All told there were 23 computers including the server that held the Internet connection. Three other machines did the web serving, mail serving and a few other tasks. One further machine did file file serving that services the remaining machines that had a desktop role. Once in place everything gelled perfectly first time. Now those using those desktop machines will have to learn how to use them as their previous desktops were all a mix of MS Windows 98 and MS Windows XP. I am sure we all know how different from the user perspective these OS's are hence the learning curve their boss(es) have forced them into. The setup itself is not mission critical nor is this learning period going to have an affect on their business but I cannot help thinking they should have been given some time to learn this new OS before being thrust headlong into it. It seems unfair to do it this way but this way they decided to do it. On the Sunday I had a few of the desk workers in to show them the very basics of this new, to them, OS and I have to say they seemed on the face of things to manage very well. There were some who had issues with various parts but all told they seemed comfortable with it, That was the end of my job with this company apart from a contract that runs for 1 year that gives me unfettered access should something go wrong. Plus a login once a week to do some housekeeping. I highly doubt anything will go wrong, save for hardware failing, but as a safety net for the company this contract will suffice. You have to realise I deal almost exclusively in the Linux OS and while I am totally comfortable in dealing with any other OS available, either as a whole netowork or as a mixed enviroment, I much prefer a Linux OS for many reasons I am not going into today in this post. So, what is a crock? The MAC OS is that is what. I saw nothing innovative. I saw nothing special at all. Oh sure, all the machines gelled into one network with consummate ease but the actual OS itself compared to what a well configured Linux distribution offers or a well setup MS Windows box offers was nothing special at all. Sure is has 'ease of use' written all over it. It has some wonderful applications, the hardware is nice and the lack of viri and malware etc on that platform is a positive plus, but then none of those things are any different to a well configured Linux based OS nor in fact a well setup MS Windows OS (not including Vista as that has issues of its own). In fact I told the boss of this company how much he could of saved not only on the hardware but on the OS as well by choosing a Linux distribution instead and yet he still insisted on this well over-hyped setup. It was his call and he made it so I went ahead and designed the network layout on paper, well actually on a computer, then bought the hardware (being given money, a lot of money, prior to any actual work is a major plus to a small time network/system administrator/hardware guy like myself) and finally installed it all into a working environment. Only time will tell how his workers get along with this OS but I guessimate that within a year, during the lifetime of my contract with them, that they will change this crock of an OS to something else. And yes, I will say it again. What a crock MAC OS is for what one pays for it. Totally overhyped and totally expensive.

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