Can I avoid buying a windows laptop?! I want a mac.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by brobson, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. brobson macrumors 6502

    brobson

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #1
    I have all my AOL saved favorite lessons (art teacher) on my iMac and for some reason can't get them on my windows computers.

    I was all set to buy an ibook but found out our school isn't set up for wireless.
    The apple salesperson says that means I can't plug my eternet cable into the school's internet (digital) line?

    I guess I could make desktop copies of each lesson page and transfer them that way but what a pain.

    Any advice? I am about to give up and get a windows which I don't want!

    Brenda in Dallas

    :confused:
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    I think you need some more info on your school's network. Windows and Macs can definitely co-exist on the same network via ethernet.
     
  3. zim macrumors 65816

    zim

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    #3
    The school should be accommodating to you, the teacher. Do not let them force you into something that will make you feel uncomfortable about you job.

    Mac's do not need to be wireless, they have ethernet as well.
     
  4. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #4
    I am kinda confused, so u download lessons off the internet using AOL, and you cannot move them between computers?
    Also the Apple Sales rep sounds pretty stupid, if your school network has ethernet jacks then you should be fine, the iBooks have an ethernet jack so you can surf, you don't need wireless to surf. Check out the general forum which has a guide to Windows and Mac networking, we need some more info about your situation.
     
  5. scottwat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Location:
    Ohio USA
    #5
    Talk to your network person

    The best way to handle this is make friends with your network guy. I have worked at several schools and we didn't use what is called DHCP this is thing on your network at school that assigns your computer the information it needs to be on the network. If it does use DHCP, then you should just be able to plug the ethernet cable into the ethernet port. Now you wont be using your aol dial up, but you should be able to get into your aol from there, I dont know exactly how, you may need to call aol or someone who uses AOL here could tell you. Now if the school doesnt use DHCP, the network guy will need to assign you an IP address. You can think of it like your home address. You have to have the IP address to send and recieve information just like you need a home address to send and recieve mail. They may or may not accomodate you in this. It depends on your network guy and how paranoid on security they are. But where I worked we liked it when teachers really wanted to do work and made sure they could.
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #6
    What a bizarre thing for an Apple rep to say.

    The fact that your school isn't wireless has nothing to do with your computer's ability to join the network. As others have said, an ethernet connection is an ethernet connection. So your iBook could connect physically to the network, no problem. To connect logically - i.e., to be recognized by the network - shouldn't take any more effort than it would with a Window's machine. Have you talked to the network people at the school? Do they seem competent? If so, there is no reason I can fathom as to why you could not get connected to the network there. None.

    Now, this assumes that there is a network - ethernet ports - as opposed simply to digital phone lines. Do others plug in Windows laptops with no problems and access school files, Then it's an ethernet network.

    Also, just out of curiosity, why do you need access to the network at school? If you already have your lessons, is there more on the network that you need access to?
     
  7. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #7
    Hook up a Airport Extreme to your ethernet port in your room and you can have wireless networking for both Windows and Mac based laptops.
     
  8. brobson thread starter macrumors 6502

    brobson

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #8
    Oh lordy, lordy I am confused. Thank you for your postings.

    "I am kinda confused, so u download lessons off the internet using AOL, and you cannot move them between computers?"

    Yes this began my dilema. I tried upgrading a 333 imac from 6gb to 60.
    Bought Appleworks and still can't convert text even using RTF, word, html
    It doesn't open hardly anything. It comes up massive letters. no sense.
    I tried downloading to a mini harddrive and put it on the windows (files filled with lessons and sites) it said it couldn't find a way to open it.
    :confused:

    Anyway I decided to just buy a laptop, transfer them, and that would be that. JSW (thanks) got me all excited and ready to go buy and when I went to the apple store thats what they told me. I need a wireless rowter to tap into their line because it's digital. I can't just plug in a mac. I asked if I got an airport and plugged it in then went wireless wouldn't that do it? They said not if they aren't set up for wireless. Do I just need to talk to someone else there???
    My computer guy at school said we aren't set up for wireless and the server won't accept Macintosh stuff that's sent.
    This person is the dean of our 800 k-12 school and the computer guy.
    It is very frustrating because he is so busy and doesn't seem very interested in Mac problems. I think if I approached him about an IP address he would fear I will cause him more work. Maybe not though. He just really isn't an expert.

    "Also, just out of curiosity, why do you need access to the network at school? If you already have your lessons, is there more on the network that you need access to?"

    I have to sign in their network don't I? They won't for instance let me check my email on AOL's homepage at school for fear of viruses.
    I thought I could just plug in, go on AOL and avoid windows and their slow server too.
     
  9. AmnesiacOpera macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    #9
    At the high school I attended, Macs were not allowed on the school network. The TV station at the school owned three Macs used for Final Cut Pro editing and we needed to get online to download updates. We got around this by talking to the network guys to open the network once a month after school just so we could download updates, but we were not allowed to stay on the network. The reason was that the school's network was running Novell, and they didn't want to buy licenses for Novell for mac.
     
  10. Manzana macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #10
    I'm sorry Brobson, I just cringed when I read this. Unfortunately, this is an all too common occurrence and it's exacerbated by the fact that the dean/IT does not really know what's going on. I hate to say it, but it's true.

    I work in a laboratory, and IT most of the time gets in the way when it comes to our lab computers. They do a great job on the business side, but are lousy when it comes to our labs, and sometimes we just don't expect them to be able to service all our needs as it takes forever just to get anything accomplished.

    Ok, macs are great at living in windows networks. What I have done is just plug it in to the network and it automatically configures itself to the network, so it can access the net. I have plugged in windows, macs, and linux machines doing this. Actually configuring it within the network to access it's printers and servers actually does take more work.

    I believe the reason they told you that a wireless solution would not work is because they are not willing to support it; they don't want to take the time to encrypt it and don't want to be broadcasting WI-FI due to security risks. I would not do this at work either as it might get me in some hot water.
     
  11. brobson thread starter macrumors 6502

    brobson

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #11

    So that's it. We have Novell too.
    Where does that leave me I wonder?
     
  12. brobson thread starter macrumors 6502

    brobson

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #12
     
  13. AmnesiacOpera macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    #13
    I would suggest talking to the IT guys at your school and see what they think. Sometimes even if your school doesn't use macs, a school in the district does (or the administration building for the district, depending on how big of a district you work for), and then they may have extra licenses lying around.
     
  14. brobson thread starter macrumors 6502

    brobson

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #14
    Manzana

    I meant to reply Manzana and not just quote your so here goes.
    So do you all suggest I buy my ibook and cable and plug it in and see if it works? I could return it if it doesn't and it won't hurt the modem using the ethernet cable with a digital line? Forgive me for being redundant.
    I have sent an email to 3 other computer saavy people at our school.
    I am going to make sure we have an ethernet network.


    Brenda
     
  15. brobson thread starter macrumors 6502

    brobson

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #15
    Novell


    So you think my pluggin it in idea won't work with Novell?
    I doubt seriously we have a license lying around because we are a small independant private school that is struggling financially.
    Brenda
     
  16. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #16
    I guess what I meant was that you don't sign in now, right? The iBook would still connect to projectors, monitors, etc. And I'm not sure you could get to AOL via the school's network anyway - can you do so on a Windows system now?

    Of maybe you do need the Windows laptop to sign on. I guess in that case you could just keep the darned thing there for logging on for whatever reasons and still use the iBook for lessons.

    God, it amazes me that people use Novell. It's just a hassle. Even where I work, which has one of the most confoundedly bizarre and anti-user IT environments I've seen, I can still get to the network when I bring my Mac PB in on occasion.

    I'm still absolutely confused by the advice that you can't plug a Mac into the schools "digital" network. If it's a digital phone line or something else unusual, then, fine, understood. But if you can plug in a run-of-the-mill PC laptop, then it's ethernet, and your Mac will plug in too. In any event, you getting a wireless router isn't going to make a single bit of difference except, I guess, getting you to buy more stuff at the Apple Store. Seems pretty sleazy for an Apple salesperson, but I guess they come in all shapes and flavors. Either your iBook would plug in just as well as a router, or neither will plug in. All the router would do is give you a wireless link, which seems to be against school policy.

    As to the network "not accepting Macintosh stuff that's sent"... that's more likely ignorance talking than reality, although I guess it can be the case in Novell networks.
     
  17. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    #17
    The apple store will usually charge you a 10% restocking fee for returning a computer that has been opened.
     
  18. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #18
    Just to be clear:

    The modem only plugs into a standard phone jack. You can tell it's a standard phone jack by plugging in a cheap phone and listening for a dial tone. No dial tone? Don't plug your modem into it!

    The Ethernet port (see below - click on the picture to see a slightly larger view) is a bit wider and takes a different cable. Generally, if an Ethernet cable will plug into an outlet and fits correctly, it's an Ethernet port. In such a case, plugging your Ethernet cable into that port and then your iBook (or vice versa - doesn't matter the order you use) should be fine.
     

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  19. AmnesiacOpera macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    #19
    Plugging it into a Novell network will not work unless they set up the network to allow it. At our school they wouldn't allow us to use a computer without Novell due to security reasons, and the school couldn't afford to buy licenses for macs.
     
  20. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #20
    Your home Mac has Ethernet, right? Could you bring it in and see if it works? Which OS is it running?
     
  21. zim macrumors 65816

    zim

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    #21
    If the school insists that you use a PC with windows, then make them get you one. You should not have to provide your own computer. If they they can't afford to buy faculty computers then they should provide an open network.

    I am sure that there is a way you can transfer your files.
     
  22. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2002
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #22
    Just a thought, but could the inability to open the files on a windows machine be due to a lack of suffixes on the files?? By that I mean ".DOC" for a word document ".XLS" for a spreadsheet etc. which are not required on a Mac but very much mandatory on a windows box.

    If this is a silly thought or you have already thought of that, my apologies.
    Vanilla
     
  23. brobson thread starter macrumors 6502

    brobson

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #23
    I Need and Ethernet card.

    "You need an ethernet card; most of the new laptops have a combo card that is both a modem and an ethernet card. However, you will need to have the Novell Software loaded on your computer."


    This is what my principal emailed me. I wasn't mentioning whether or not I was going to get a mac.

    I can't ask them to buy me a computer or get a mac license because it is a want at this point not a need.

    And Appleworks is supposed to change the suffixes right? Or do I have to change them manually?
    Brenda
     
  24. AmnesiacOpera macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    #24
    The iBook has an ethernet card that will work fine.

    The only thing you would need is Novell for mac, if you wanted to connect to the network using the iBook. You could save your lesson plans to the iBook harddrive and bypass the school network completely, but you might consider the cost of the iBook to be too much to do just that.

    As far as Appleworks, it SHOULD export the files so they are able to open on a windows machine. I haven't used Appleworks in months, and I don't have it on my Powerbook, so I can't test this to be certain.
     
  25. gauched macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #25
    The Novell client that you would probably need to connect to the schools network is here, if that helps:

    Prosoft NetWare Client for Mac OS X

    Maybe your school already has a license for it, maybe not.
     

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