TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacEnterprise, and Behind the Macs at Yale

Volume Number: 22 (2006)
Issue Number: 2
Column Tag: Interview

In The Trenches

MacEnterprise, and Behind the Macs at Yale

by Schoun P. Regan

Interviewing Philip Rinehart: I spoke with Philip over the phone somewhere in the swamps of Jersey (with apologies to Bruce Springsteen). Philip Rinehart is co-chair of the steering committee leading the Mac OS X Enterprise Project (macenterprise.org) and manages Macs as a support specialist at Yale University.

Schoun Regan: Tell me about your job.

Philip Rinehart: I support the Macintosh computers that students use and whatever software and is on them. I'm responsible for the care and feeding of them if you will so that anyone can sit down at the box with a relative degree of confidence that one, it will work, and two, that it will be secure.

SR: What about MacEnterprise?

PR: The goal of the project is for Mac IT professionals to communicate and share information relating to the deployment of Macs in the enterprise and really talk about what it means to drop it into an Active Directory environment or a Netware environment. It's a pool of knowledge...that fosters collaboration between MacIT professionals.

SR: Is it primarily education based?

PR: It started out as...primarily education based...but we're trying to get more enterprise involved. Part of it is that enterprise does not have large Mac deployments relative to education, and typically people who are doing these sorts of things keep their heads down and stay off the radar so they don't get hammered for running Macs. People are posting from all sorts of businesses and we are trying to allow a way for them to communicate.

SR: This gives your more clout as a group with Apple when an issue arises.

PR: That's precisely it. One of the things we want to launch is a bug tracking database which allows people to do the "me too" factor. For example if I post a bug about launchd...then others can chime in. So then a problem that affects me with only $x million in Macs now affects more than $25 million. It means a lot more to Apple Marketing.

SR: The collaboration is really the key

PR: Exactly. This then becomes a priority one instead of a priority five.

SR: How would one join MacEnterprise?

PR: Anybody is welcome. You can have a deployment as small as 10 or as large as 10,000, we pretty much don't care. To a certain extent, if you think about it, the difference between 10 and 10,000 isn't as large as one might think. The issues are essentially the same. We like to get the smaller folks in because it gives them a voice, which they may not otherwise have.

SR: Let's talk tech for a moment. What's the easiest way to shoot an image out back to other Macs?

PR: Use...either command line asr...or Mike Bombich's NetRestore. They use a disk image and they bump it down to the drive.

SR: So I know on a PC using Ghost from Symantec, the way the license fees are structured, it's horrible in my opinion. And Apple's?

PR: As long as you own the operating system and have a site license, you can do what you want. Now that asr is part of the OS, it does not cost you a penny.

SR: What about Radmind?

PR: I'm a user of it myself. Let's say you have an asr image from six months ago, you can take that image and make some changes, test it, and roll back if necessary to that perfect machine state.

SR: Bingo. The word for today is Rollback.

PR: And that to me is the biggest power of Radmind. If you screw something up, you can roll back to the perfect image.

SR: C'mon, your users never screw something up.

PR: (Laughs out loud for a long time) Riiiiiiiiiight.

SR: What scripting language is used by most of the group?

PR: Shell

SR: AppleScript?

PR: That too. The combination of the two and Automater is exciting. I think Automater has the potential to do some very cool things.

SR: And scripting for you personally?

PR: I'm a huge Python fan. I used to use PERL but now I love Python.

SR: So what do you say to the high school teacher who wants to lock down the computers for their students? Do they need to know the command line?

PR: There are two ways off the top of my head. If you are using some sort of non-directory setup, you can use the Parental Controls. The better way to do this would be using a directory structure like Open Directory, which allows much more flexability on controls.

SR: If Apple were to call you up and say, "Philip, what one thing can we change on Mac OS X Server to make it better?"

PR: Take Workgroup Manager and give it a complete overhaul. Since half my life is spent in Windows, directory management is a lot easier to use than Workgroup Manager. There are some paradigms that just don't work. Delegated OUs. I've seen articles on AFP548 and Michael (Bartosh) has sent me information on this. I think they (Apple) have made it better but...want more flexibility.

SR: Same question on Client.

PR: Hmmmmmmmm. I would like to see an integrated groupware solution. I think the Outlook interface went out about 10 years ago. I think Apple could take their designers and come up with an excellent interface for it. Mail, iCal, Address Book are nice, but it needs to be better integrated.

SR: What about Windows Server?

PR: That's a tough one. (Pauses) If Apple had better policy based management. Leverage institutional policies and group policies.

SR: How would you walk into a Windows based company and sell them on Macs for their desktop machines. Convince them to swap their Windows desktops with Mac desktops.

PR: To me, it's TCO. It's much lower on the Mac side.

SR: Why?

PR: Initial cost might be more but continued support will be lower. I know that licensing comes into play too. One of the other things I think about is the virus/malware/adware problem. The cost of buying and supporting the software to rid yourself of these problems, costs money. Those costs are not looked at is direct costs, and they should be. You will likely buy Windows Server and now you have more licenses.

SR: I think what happens sometimes is that software purchasing after the fact is not rolled into the initial cost. If IT managers can swoon over low computers prices, then once they arrive, the "I need this and this and this" is now too expensive NOT to implement, because the computers are already there.

SR: Last question. What are your top five favorite movies? Movies that you could watch over and over and over again. No order is necessary, just the top five.

PR: This is tough (laughs): The Third Man, Citizen Cane, Rushmore, Midnight Cowboy, Apocalypse Now.

SR: Philip, thanks very much for speaking with us.

PR: No problem Schoun.

Vital Stats

Years in IT industry : 9

Spoke at Macworld 2004

Information: Philip Rinehart is co-chair of the steering committee leading the Mac OS X Enterprise Project (macenterprise.org) and manages Macs as a support specialist at Yale University. He has been using Macintosh Computers since the days of the Macintosh SE, and Mac OS X since its Developer Preview Release. He presented on OS X security at MacWorld 2004, and is an active member of the Mac OS X Lab project. He has contributed to many areas of the project. Before coming to Yale, he worked as a Unix system administrator for a dot-com company.

Computers: All flavors

Programming Languages: Shell Scripting, AppleScript


Schoun P. Regan is CEO of ITInstruction.com, which specializes in Mac OS X training and consulting. He speaks regularly to CEOs and CFOs on how to control IT department spending, the myths surrounding cross-platform integration, and the lunacy of expected lost revenue stemming from a culture bred to tolerate IT staff and operating system inadequacies as "normal". He seeks to change self-fulfilling IT departments that breed complacency for their jobs and contempt for the end user, neither of which are conducive to business.

 
AAPL
$102.50
Apple Inc.
+0.25
MSFT
$45.43
Microsoft Corpora
+0.55
GOOG
$571.60
Google Inc.
+2.40

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.1.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.505 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more
Get Lyrical 3.8 - Auto-magically adds ly...
Get Lyrical auto-magically add lyrics to songs in iTunes. You can choose either a selection of tracks, or the current track. Or turn on "Active Tagging" to get lyrics for songs as you play them.... Read more
Viber 4.2.2 - Send messages and make cal...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device,... Read more
Cocktail 7.6 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
LaunchBar 6.1 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
BBEdit 10.5.12 - Powerful text and HTML...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Qube Kingdom – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Qube Kingdom is a tower defense game from DeNA. You rally your troops – magicians, archers, knights, barbarians, and others – and fight against an evil menace looking to dominate your kingdom of tiny squares. Planning a war isn’t easy, so here are a... | Read more »
Qube Kingdom Review
Qube Kingdom Review By Nadia Oxford on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: KIND OF A SQUARE KINGDOMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Qube Kingdom has cute visuals, but it’s a pretty basic tower defense game at heart.   | Read more »
Fire in the Hole Review
Fire in the Hole Review By Rob Thomas on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: WALK THE PLANKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Seafoam’s Fire in the Hole looks like a bright, 8-bit throwback, but there’s not enough booty to... | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwi...
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwide Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Dodo Master Review
Dodo Master Review By Jordan Minor on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEST EGGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Dodo Master is tough but fair, and that’s what makes it a joy to play.   | Read more »
Motorsport Manager Review
Motorsport Manager Review By Lee Hamlet on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MARVELOUS MANAGEMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite its depth and sense of tactical freedom, Motorsport Manager is one of the most... | Read more »
Motorsport Manager – Beginner Tips, Tric...
The world of Motorsport management can be an unforgiving and merciless one, so to help with some of the stress that comes with running a successful race team, here are a few hints and tips to leave your opponents in the dust. | Read more »
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Add...
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Adds Lots of New Stuff Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Baseball Battle Review
Baseball Battle Review By Jennifer Allen on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SIMPLE HITTINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Simple and cute, Baseball Battle is a fairly fun baseball game for those looking for something... | Read more »
Checkmark 2.1 Update Released, and it’s...
Checkmark 2.1 Update Released, and it’s on Sale for a Limited Time Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Labor Day Weekend MacBook Pro sale; 15-inch m...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
Labor Day Weekend iPad mini sale; $50 to $100...
Best Buy has the iPad mini with Retina Display (WiFi models) on sale for $50 off MSRP on their online store for Labor Day Weekend. Choose free shipping or free local store pick up. Price is for... Read more
13-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air on sale for $899,...
Adorama has the new 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
It’s Official: Apple Issues Invitations To Se...
Apple has issued one of its characteristically cryptic press invitations for a special event to be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in hometown Cupertino on Sept. 9, 2014 at 10:00 am... Read more
Tablet Shipments To See First On-year Decline...
TrendForce analyst Caroline Chen notes that when the iPad launched in 2010, it was an instant hit and spurred a tablet PC revolution, with tablets so popular that that notebook PC sales stagnated and... Read more
SOBERLINK Releases Apple iOS Compatible Handh...
Cypress, California based SOBERLINK, Inc., creator of the first handheld Breathalyzer designed to improve recovery outcomes, continues to show prominence in the mobile alcohol monitoring space with... Read more
New 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale again for $999, s...
Best Buy has the new 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999.99 on their online store. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pick up. Price is for online orders only, in-... Read more
Smartphone Outlook Remains Strong for 2014, U...
According to a new mobile phone forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, more than 1.25 billion smartphones will be shipped worldwide in 2014,... Read more
Save up to $60 with Apple refurbished iPod to...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Many, but not all... Read more
12-Inch MacBook Air Coming in 4Q14 or 2015 –...
Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that according to Taiwan-based upstream supply chain insiders, Apple plans to launch a thinner MacBook model either at year end 2014 or in 2015, and that... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.