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 send money to a friend with the F...
Facebook is already a lot of things to a lot of people. It's a social network, sure, but also a tool for catologing memories, chatting with friends, and much more. [Read more] | Read more »
Pocket Arcade Story (Games)
Pocket Arcade Story 1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.00 (iTunes) Description: Here comes a new challenger: it's the arcade simulation game you've been waiting for! Build your very own gaming... | Read more »
How to get coins faster in Rodeo Stamped...
There comes a time in a cowboy or cowgirl's life when all the riding and lassoing skills in the world aren't enough. You're going to need some cold, hard cash to keep your sky zoo expanding in Rodeo Stampede. [Read more] | Read more »
How to out-do Cam Newton in Can You Dab?
The thing about dance crazes is that you're never really sure when they've run their course. Take the Dab, for instance. Propelled by its adoption as the touchdown celebration of choice for Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, the Dab seemed... | Read more »
Artik Games releases Splashy Cats for An...
Splashy Cats had us hooked from the title alone, and when we found out the game was literally just zig-zagging one of our favourite pop-culture references, guised as a playable cat character, down a river – our appetites were whetted to say the... | Read more »
Battle Cars (Games)
Battle Cars 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Welcome to the world of Battle Cars. Battle Cars is a classic arcade top-down racing game with fast mini cars and funny weapons to... | Read more »
How to get started with live.ly
One could be forgiven for thinking that there are already plenty of streaming video apps out there. It's just that the App Store charts would insist that you're mistaken. [Read more] | Read more »
Rodeo Stampede: Guide to all Savannah an...
A "gotta catch 'em all" joke seems appropriate here, even though we're talking animals in Rodeo Stampede and not pocket monsters. By now you've probably had plenty of rides, tamed some animals and built yourself a pretty nice zoo | Read more »
Is there cross-platform play in slither....
So you've sunken plenty of hours into crawling around in slither.io on your iPhone or iPad. You've got your stories of tragedy and triumph, the times you coiled four snakes at one time balanced out by the others when you had a length of more than... | Read more »
Rodeo Stampede guide to running a better...
In Rodeo Stampede, honing your skills so you can jump from animal to animal and outrun the herd as long as possible is only half the fun. Once you've tamed a few animals, you can bring them home with you. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Why Use Indie Opera And Vivaldi Instead Of Sa...
For many years my web browser workhorses were various permutations and spinoffs of the Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox Open Source platform, and the Norwegian indie browser Opera, which I took a shine to... Read more
Western Digital Launches Worlds Fastest 256GB...
At the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai Western Digital Corporation this week introduced a new suite of 256 gigabyte (GB) microSD cards, which includes the new 256GB SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I... Read more
KeyCue 8.1 Integrates With Typinator To Displ...
Ergonis Software has released KeyCue 8.1, a new version of the company’s keyboard shortcut cheat sheet. KeyCue 8 introduced a new way to define a wide variety of triggers, which can be used to... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
21-inch 2.8GHz iMac on sale for $1199, save $...
Amazon has the 21″ 2.8GHz iMac (model #MK442LL/A) on sale for $1199.99 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (Apple refurbished...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for up to $50-$100 off M...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 11″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $849 $50 off list price - 11″ 1.... Read more
Brexit Vote Result Forecast To Slash UK 2016...
Uncertainty and economic volatility can be expected to increase over the next nine months, as the Brexit and concerns over the future of the EU hit IT investment, say Canalys market analysts, with... Read more
13-inch 256GB MacBook Air on sale for $1149,...
Amazon has the 2016 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (model MMGG2LL/A) on sale for $1149.99 including free shipping. Their price is also $50 off MSRP. Read more
Haven App Launches New Age Of Wirless 911 Eme...
Haven from RapidSOS represents a transformation in access to emergency services from a phone call solely dependent on voice to a robust data connection for voice, text, medical/demographic data.... 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
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Willow...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.