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
$518.09
Apple Inc.
+0.13
MSFT
$40.02
Microsoft Corpora
+0.27
GOOG
$547.50
Google Inc.
+11.06

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

PDFpenPro 6.2 - Advanced PDF toolkit for...
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Create... Read more
PDFpen 6.2 - Edit and annotate PDFs with...
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
Monolingual 1.5.9 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... 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
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 1.1.1.180...
Download the patch by launching the Starcraft II game and downloading it through the Battle.net connection within the app. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a strategy game played in real-time. You... Read more
Sibelius 7.5.0 - Music notation solution...
Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software for Mac. It is as intuitive to use as a pen, yet so powerful that it does most things in less than the blink of an eye. The demo includes... Read more
Typinator 5.9 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more
MYStuff Pro 2.0.16 - Create inventories...
MYStuff Pro is the most flexible way to create detail-rich inventories for your home or small business. Add items to MYStuff by dragging and dropping existing information, uploading new images, or... Read more
TurboTax 2013.r17.002 - Manage your 2013...
TurboTax guides you through your tax return step by step, does all the calculations, and checks your return for errors and overlooked deductions. It lets you file your return electronically to get... Read more
TrailRunner 3.8.769 - Route planning for...
Note: While the software is classified as freeware, it is actually donationware. Please consider making a donation to help support development. TrailRunner is the perfect companion for runners,... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Knights of Pen & Paper is Free for a...
Knights of Pen & Paper is Free for a Limited Time – Don’t Wait for a Natural 20, Get it Now! Posted by Rob Rich on April 16th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
R.B.I. Baseball 14 Review
R.B.I. Baseball 14 Review By Blake Grundman on April 16th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RETRO REVIVEDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad What was old is new again, as the MLB attempts to taking baseball gaming back to its retro... | Read more »
Noodlecake Studios Places Mikey Hooks on...
Noodlecake Studios Places Mikey Hooks on Sale, Releases Sneak Peek Trailer for Upcoming Sequel Mikey Boots Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 16th, 2014 [ | Read more »
Cosmic Mechanic Review
Cosmic Mechanic Review By Blake Grundman on April 16th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SLIGHTLY CREDIBLE MACHINEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Creatives folks love the opportunity to have their wits tested, but there isn’t... | Read more »
ClutchPlay Games Releases Trailer for it...
ClutchPlay Games Releases Trailer for its Upcoming New Game, Skullduggery! | Read more »
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Th...
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – The Official Game Review By Rob Thomas on April 16th, 2014 Our Rating: :: OUT IN THE COLDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Strike Wing: Raptor Rising to Get a Huge...
Strike Wing: Raptor Rising to Get a Huge Update That Adds New Mode, Improved Graphics and More. Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 16th, 2014 [ | Read more »
Don’t be a Pygon, Download Horn Right No...
Don’t be a Pygon, Download Horn Right Now While it’s Still Free Posted by Rob Rich on April 16th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile Review
RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile Review By Jennifer Allen on April 16th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DISAPPOINTINGLY WEAKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise finally comes to iOS, but it’s a rather... | Read more »
148Apps Live on Twitch: Pivvot’s Looper...
On our latest Twitch stream, we’ll be playing a pair of minimalist arcade games, one that just got a big content update in Pivvot, and another that was inspired by it in 15 Coins. Whitaker Trebella, creator of Pivvot, will discuss the new modes... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Microsoft Blinks – Drops Microsoft Office 365...
Microsoft has dropped the annual subscription fee for Microsoft Office 365 Personal – which is needed in order to create and edit documents in Microsoft Office for iPad. However, Apple’s iOS and OS X... Read more
New AVG Vault Apps for iOS and Android Help K...
AVG Technologies N.V. an online security company for 177 million active users, has announced the launch of its latest mobile application, AVG Vault. The free app introduces an innovative user... Read more
Free Local Carrot iPhone App Helps Find Fresh...
I love fresh vegetables. I’m not a vegan, although I was for several years in the 1980s, but fresh vegetables and other whole foods are still my dietary mainstays as a matter of taste rather than... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Airs available startin...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. The following Airs are available today: -... Read more
21-inch 2.7GHz iMac on sale for $1179, save $...
B&H Photo has the 21″ 2.7GHz iMac on sale for $1179 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. Add an iMac to your shopping cart, and B&H will offer an... Read more
Download our app, iTracx, for iOS and Android
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
Education discounts shave up to $300 off the...
Purchase a new Mac at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and all... Read more
Save $50 on Mac mini Server
B&H Photo has the 2012 Mac mini Server on sale for $949 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Read more
PhatWare’s “Ultimate Writing App For iOS” Ren...
PhatWare Corp. has announced it has renamed its new WritePro word processing app for iPhone and iPad: WritePad Pro. The decision to change the app’s name to leverages the strong brand awareness and... Read more
Full Resolution Photo Editor Tint Mint 1.0 Re...
California based independent developer, Jeffrey Sun, creator of the iOS app Modern Editor, has released Tint Mint, a new photography app for editing enthusiasts. The app costs a dollar, and it packs... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Manager - Apple (United Sta...
Job SummaryKeeping an Apple Store thriving requires a diverse set of leadership skills, and as a Manager, you're a master of them all. In the store's fast-paced, dynamic Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Retail - Market Leader - Cincinnati...
…challenges of developing individuals, building teams, and affecting growth across Apple Stores. You demonstrate successful leadership ability - focusing on excellence Read more
*Apple* Retail - Manager - SoHo - Apple (Uni...
Job SummaryKeeping an Apple Store thriving requires a diverse set of leadership skills, and as a Manager, you're a master of them all. In the store's fast-paced, dynamic Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Every day, business customers come to the Apple Store to discover what powerful, easy-to-use Apple products can do for them. As a Business Leader, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.