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

EtreCheck 3.1.5 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
WALTR 2 2.0.8 - $39.95
WALTR 2 helps you wirelessly drag-and-drop any music, ringtones, videos, PDF, and ePub files onto your iPhone, iPad, or iPod without iTunes. It is the second major version of Softorino's critically-... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.12 - Easy-to-use...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
Dropbox 16.3.27 - Cloud backup and synch...
Dropbox is an application that creates a special Finder folder that automatically syncs online and between your computers. It allows you to both backup files and keep them up-to-date between systems... Read more
Microsoft OneNote 15.29 - Free digital n...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
Spotify 1.0.44.100. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
SpamSieve 2.9.27 - Robust spam filter fo...
SpamSieve is a robust spam filter for major email clients that uses powerful Bayesian spam filtering. SpamSieve understands what your spam looks like in order to block it all, but also learns what... Read more
VueScan 9.5.62 - 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
Fantastical 2.3.2 - Create calendar even...
Fantastical 2 is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event... Read more
PCalc 4.4.4 - Full-featured scientific c...
PCalc is a full-featured, scriptable scientific calculator with support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Galaxy on Fire 3 and four other fantasti...
Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore brings the series back for another round of daring space battles. It's familiar territory for folks who are familiar with the franchise. If you've beaten the game and are looking to broaden your horizons, might we... | Read more »
The best apps for your holiday gift exch...
What's that, you say? You still haven't started your holiday shopping? Don't beat yourself up over it -- a lot of people have been putting it off, too. It's become easier and easier to procrastinate gift shopping thanks to a number of apps that... | Read more »
Toca Hair Salon 3 (Education)
Toca Hair Salon 3 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Winter comes to Darkwood as Seekers Note...
MyTona, based in the chilly Siberian city of Yakutsk, has brought a little festive fun to its hidden object game Seekers Notes: Hidden Mystery. The Christmas update introduces some new inhabitants to players, and with them a chance to win plenty of... | Read more »
Bully: Anniversary Edition (Games)
Bully: Anniversary Edition 1.03.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.03.1 (iTunes) Description: *** PLEASE NOTE: This game is officially supported on the following devices: iPhone 5 and newer, iPod Touch... | Read more »
PINE GROVE (Games)
PINE GROVE 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A pine grove where there are no footsteps of people due to continuous missing cases. The case is still unsolved and nothing has... | Read more »
Niantic teases new Pokémon announcement...
After rumors started swirling yesterday, it turns out there is an official Pokémon GO update on its way. We’ll find out what’s in store for us and our growing Pokémon collections tomorrow during the Starbucks event, but Niantic will be revealing... | Read more »
3 reasons why Nicki Minaj: The Empire is...
Nicki Minaj is as business-savvy as she is musically talented and she’s proved that by launching her own game. Designed by Glu, purveyors of other fine celebrity games like cult favorite Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Nicki Minaj: The Empire launched... | Read more »
Clash of Clans is getting its own animat...
Riding on its unending wave of fame and success, Clash of Clans is getting an animated web series based on its Clash-A-Rama animated shorts.As opposed to the current shorts' 60 second run time, the new and improved Clash-A-Rama will be comprised of... | Read more »
Leaks hint at Pokémon GO and Starbucks C...
Leaked images from a hub for Starbucks employees suggests that a big Pokémon GO event with the coffee giant could begin this very week. The images appeared on Reddit and hint at some exciting new things to come for Niantic's smash hit game. | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Never Settle for Low Performing Wifi With iOS...
AppYogi Software has announced the release of WiFi Signal Strength Status App 1.0, the company’s new utility developed exclusively for macOS. WiFi Signal Strength Status App features a unique, single... Read more
New 2016 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros in st...
B&H Photo has stock of new 2016 Apple 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro models, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray: $1999 - 13″ 2.... Read more
New 2016 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock...
B&H Photo has new 2016 Apple 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro models in stock today including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray: $2799 - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
DietSensor App Targeting Diabetes and Obesity...
DietSensor, Inc., a developer of smart food and nutrition applications designed to fight diabetes and obesity and help improve overall fitness, has announced the launch of its DietSensor app for... Read more
Holiday 2016 13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro sales...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MLL42LL/A): $1449 $... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple TVs for $51-$40 off MSRP,...
Best Buy has dropped their price on the 64GB Apple TV to $159.99 including free shipping. That’s $40 off MSRP. 32GB Apple TVs are on sale right now for $98 on Sams Club’s online store. That’s $51 off... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refurbished, n...
Apple has restocked a full line of Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ Retina MacBooks, now available for $200-$260 off MSRP. Refurbished 2015 models are available starting at $929. Apple will include a... Read more
Holiday sale: 12-inch Retina MacBook for $100...
B&H has 12″ Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1199 $100... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $849 $... Read more
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

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
US- *Apple* Store Leader Program - Apple (Un...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on Read more
Automotive Detailer - *Apple* Used Autos -...
We are currently conductinginterviews and will be accepting applications for a part-time detailer. Apple Used Autos is a great place to work andstart a career. We Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Trumbul...
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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.