TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacTech Spotlight Dave Schroeder, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Volume Number: 23 (2007)
Issue Number: 08
Column Tag: MacTech Spotlight

MacTech Spotlight: Dave Schroeder

University of Wisconsin-Madison


http://das.doit.wisc.edu

What do you do?

Senior Systems Engineer. My role is designing and supporting systems that support primarily research and enterprise environments at the university. Many of these systems are based on Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server, and incorporate other Apple technologies, like Xserve RAID. Another cool part of my job is just keeping current on all the latest developments in the Apple and Mac universe, which means access to a lot of the newest Apple gear and gadgets as a part of my job. And I get paid to do it!

How long have you been doing what you do?

I have been working professionally in Macintosh system administration since 1991, when I went to school at the University of Michigan - a big Apple campus - for four years. I have been in the central IT organization at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1995. UW-Madison is a great place to be in general, and we have around 15000 Macs in use on campus.

Your first computer:

A Macintosh 128K in January of 1984. It's still in my office at work today, along with a 20th Anniversary Mac, a Motorola CHRP box, a NeXT cube, a PowerBook Duo 2400c with Duo Dock, my first 20 MB - yes, megabyte - hard drive and various other historical items.

Are you Mac-only, or a multi-platform person?

Multi-platform. Mac is my primary platform and my primary job, but it pays to keep abreast of other platforms and technologies as well, especially in an environment as mixed as a big research university.

What attracts you to working on the Mac?

It's really Apple's attention to detail, design philosophy, and tight integration of the hardware and software. Apple really benefits from this marriage between the two worlds. For a long time, it was because Mac OS "wasn't Windows", but in the past few years, it's been because Mac OS X brings the best of a UNIX-like environment and melds it with a usable productivity OS. Today, Mac OS X has a great appeal for many researchers and typical UNIX users, who also want an OS they can use for their day-to-day work, but still do scientific tasks - and now they can, even when they're on a plane or at a conference.

What's the coolest thing about the Mac?

The transition to Intel has been the single biggest benefit in the enterprise education and research markets. Most new Mac users are moving to the platform because they have an interest in Mac OS X, but now know they can easily run Windows, Linux, or pretty much any other x86 OS seamlessly on one nicely designed hardware platform. Under Steve Jobs, Apple has really done a lot of things right that make Mac really appealing to new users, or those returning from long ago.

If I could change one thing about Apple/OS X, I'd:

I'd make Apple finally take a real plunge into the enterprise marketplace, instead of just the accidental visitor. As primarily a consumer company, it might be a difficult commitment for Apple to make, but a real commitment to the enterprise market and its needs has the potential to pay off big for Apple.

What's the coolest tech thing you've done using OS X?

An IP cable television distribution system using Xserves and QuickTime streaming, called the Digital Academic Television Network (DATN, pronounced "Dayton" after the street our building is on). We deployed it for a fraction of the cost of any other alternative solution, and our project was featured as a session at WWDC three years in a row (<http://datn.wisc.edu/about/).

We deliver television channels and other content using QuickTime, and wrote custom applications that allow a TV-like interface, searching of closed captioning data, thumbnails, and video archives, almost like a central "TiVo". The system has been up and running at the university for about four years now. We're looking forward to switching to even higher quality H.264 video soon.

Other cool Apple-related happenings at UW-Madison include a 200TB array of Xserve RAIDs <http://alienraid.org/article.php?story=200TBatUW>, and even Xserve RAIDs at a research station at the South Pole <http://alienraid.org/article.php?story=icecuberaid>! Unfortunately, I didn't get to travel there to, er, "help set it up".

Where can we see a sample of your work?

You might see me in many places...Slashdot and other forums, various interviews and articles here and there, and Apple and MacEnterprise.org mailing lists. You might also have used various tools such as the original Grants.gov client for Mac OS X, or visited web sites like alienRAID.org and ipodbatteryfaq.com.

The next way I'm going to impact IT/OS X/the Mac universe is:

I hope to continue expanding the use of Apple products in enterprise and research environments at the university where they are a good fit, and expanding Apple use in datacenter and server environments, alongside more traditional server hardware from IBM, Sun, and Dell, and traditional server operating systems like AIX, Solaris, Linux, and Windows. Mac OS X Server has grown into quite a nice general purpose UNIX server. There is a bias against Apple in many areas - sometimes warranted, sometimes not - but Apple has many offerings in these areas that deserve a second look.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to build a successful civilisation i...
GodFinger 2 grants you godlike powers, leaving you to raise a civilization of followers. In the spirit of games like Black & White, the GodFinger games will see you building bigger and better villages, developing more advanced technology and... | Read more »
How to get all the crabs in Mr Crab 2
Mr. Crab 2 may look like a cutesy platformer for kids, but if you're the kind of person who likes to complete a game 100%, you'll soon realise that it's a tougher than a crustacean's shell. [Read more] | Read more »
How to be a star in Britney Spears: Amer...
If you've ever wanted to be a star, baby, then you've probably already checked out Britney Spears: American Dream and are happily making your way up the charts. But fame doesn't come easy, and everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. So we've got... | Read more »
AppSpy is hiring a part time Staff Write...
| Read more »
How to save lives in ER Surgery Simulato...
A serious earthquake has struck a nearby town in ER Surgery Simulator - Emergency Doctor, and it’s up to you to save the victims. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a high score in G...
Ketchapp Games loves the endless runner genre. And its newest game, Gravity Switch, is no exception. Gravity Switch takes a fresh approach, though, as you move a block, suspended in zero gravity, safely through a maze of shifting pillars. If the... | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a high score in S...
Smash Fu is a high-paced tile-tapping game that requires quick reflexes and some practice. You’ll have to smash bricks with the skill of a seasoned black belt to get a high score. To raise the stakes a bit, you’ll also have to avoid tapping any... | Read more »
How to keep the ball rolling in Dropple
If you're new to the minimalist puzzler Dropple, you may find yourself struggling to make it beyond the first couple of steps before your ball falls into the endless abyss below. [Read more] | Read more »
Game Craft releases new Legend of War ti...
Set for release at the end of this month, real time strategy title Legend of War seems sure to delight with a veritable feast of sweet features to get stuck into. Developed by Game Craft, the game is due for release through both the App Store and... | Read more »
How not to die in Traffic Rider
Traffic Rider, an Out Run-esque game in which your ride a motorcycle recklessly into trffic, might not seem particularly complicated. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
Textkraft Professional Becomes A Mobile Produ...
The new update 4.1 of Textkraft Professional for the iPad comes with many new and updated features that will be particularly of interest to self-publishers of e-books. Highlights include import and... Read more
SnipNotes 2.0 – Intelligent note-taking for i...
Indie software developer Felix Lisczyk has announced the release and immediate availability of SnipNotes 2.0, the next major version of his productivity app for iOS devices and Apple Watch.... Read more
Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman Laun...
Grand Rapids, Michigan based Skunk Tank has announced the release and immediate availability of Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman 1.1, the company’s new business app available exclusively on... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro (model #MF841LL/A) on sale for $1599 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP. Amazon also has the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks available s...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on leftover 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $999. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
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
New 2016 13-inch 256GB MacBook Air on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the new 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (model MMGG2LL/A) on sale for $1149 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Amazon has the 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2: $499 - 64GB Wi-Fi iPad... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Nissan Service Technicians - Apple A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
ISCS *Apple* ID Site Support Engineer - APP...
…position, we are looking for an individual who has experience supporting customers with Apple ID issues and enjoys this area of support. This person should be Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Support Technician II - Worldventure...
…global, fast growing member based travel company, is currently sourcing for an Apple Support Technician II to be based in our Plano headquarters. WorldVentures is Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.