STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Computer-related gufuffle: PC & Mac

My morning at work has once again been filled with the joy that is teachers and their laptops. Being a workplace with flexible guidlines as far as staff and technology is concerned, teachers are free to select and purchase their own laptops, and then turn around to me and say "Here is an obscure piece of hardware, please configure it to work seamlessly with our network setup." Right now (aside from my own personal machine of l33t), I have on my desk an ancient Dell Pentium II laptop someone was donated by a "kind" family member, and an Apple G3 Powerbook that has been discarded by one member of staff, and picked up by their spouse, who also happens to be a member of staff. For all those who aren't getting the picture, this is not quality hardware...

For those of you who are semi-computer boffinish, we run an Active Directory-based network setup. Being a school, centerallised management is paramount. Students try to break stuff constantly, and staff are not keen to train, but have little idea about basic computer useage. So basically, we have to make sure the system does everything for them, and we decided that AD's Group Policy coupled with Windows XP clients was the best way to achieve this.

So then one of these users who likes everything done for them goes out and buys a brand spanking new Mac Powerbook without bothering to consult with the IT as to whether this a good idea for her. Now, we can happily make Macs play on our network, but the user needs to have some fairly solid computing knowlege. You need to know how to mount an SMB share(linked for those of you that don't!) in OSX for a start, and although it's fairly straight-forward if you know how, for those people who like to just doubleclick "My Documents" and have all their network data be in there, it's a fairly substantial leap in logic. And on that note, most of the users here get offended if you suggest they should have to know how to do anything other then click on an icon.

So why am I writing this? Because I need to vent my frustration at the fact I'm setting up yet another laptop that will be back in a couple of weeks with it's owner for an explanation of why it's not working exactly the way they imagined that it would. Users suck, I swear...

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