IT Guy Says Macs Aren't Compatible With Network???

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Horrortaxi, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I've found that a lot of IT professionals know nothing at all about the Macintosh. Is this one of those cases?

    My school has just connected all the classrooms to their network. In my classroom I have 2 233 G3's (10.2.8) and my iBook. Yesterday was the first day we realized we are connected so I spent a lot of time fiddling around. On my iBook and both G3s I accessed the web, pop email, our school's Exchange email, ftp, and Finder found every other machine on the network. Sounds very successful, doesn't it?

    Today the guy in charge of the network came to see me and said my Macs aren't compatible with the network. I told him they're on the network now. He said I wouldn't be able to access email. I told him I'd done it. He said there were "other things" I wouldn't be able to do on a Mac. I can't imagine what he could be talking about. Then again, I've never been on a network like this before. What could he be talking about? Or is he, as I suspect, full of crap?
  2. mklos macrumors 68000


    Dec 4, 2002
    My house!
    Is there anything else that you need to do with your Mac on the network that you can't right now? I personally think he's full of ****! He is just one of those PC IT know-it-all's who think they know everything about PC's, and absolutely nothing about Macs except they are overpriced pieces of junk that can't do anything. Oh and one more thing I get from these kinds of people all the time, "There isn't any software for a Mac and there never will be because companies aren't going to spend the money for 3% of the market". That is also crap!

    As long as you can log into the network, browse the web, check your mail, and anything else you need via the network then your Mac will work perfectly fine.

    Mac OS X.3 (Panther) apparently will bind with Active Directory, but I have yet to get that working. I think the IT guy would have to set something up so you may be SOL there.

    Oh...Did I say he was full of ****???
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    In general terms, I'd guess if the guy changed his story while you were talking to him because he'd been proved wrong, then reverted to a generic "you can't do stuff" statement, he probably just doesn't know what he's talking about.

    I'm not an expert (hopefully someone who is will fill in for me), but as far as I know the only things you might have trouble with are either properly connecting to Windows machines (I've periodically had trouble with that on my campus network, though it sounds like you're ok), or some issues with a completely Microsoft-based directory system.

    That said, if you've already been able to connect and use the network, it sounds like the second issue won't be a problem, either. I've heard of situations where a Mac could flood a network with junk packets, but I think those days are long gone. So long as the network is just using DHCP, it should be plug and play.

    Besides, if there is anything you can't do, is there anything wrong with that so long as you're not causing anybody else or the network as a whole harm? That is, if you're just quietly using the network, even if you can't access such-and-such a server or whatever, what's the issue?
  4. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    he did the mac thing

    He didn't bost that he was on the network. Just said yeah, I have done that when ever the IT guy said he wouldn't be able to do something. I would have just asked him what else you would need to do, and if you can say yes or no right there you can or can't do it, and if you don't know, you can come back here an ask. Otherwise, if they are all yeses, I would say to him,"You have never used a mac lately have you."

    Are you running any software for grading system that is only PC only. Might want to look into that because that would be the only thing that comes to mind with education that could cause a problem for a platform not having something.
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Re: IT Guy Says Macs Aren't Compatible With Network???

    Your school may have installed certain network-based applications for Windows computers. My work site recently implemented "managed" Norton Antivirus. IT people love to "manage" things.

    Bottomline: If you can do everything that you want to do with your Mac, then don't worry about it. If you are required to run some network-based Windows application, then install Virtual PC on your Mac, and don't worry about it. As an aside, my IT people don't quite know what to make of VPC. It ... should ... not ... work, ... but ... it ... does.... I ... am ... confused....
  6. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    I'm in education, a Director of Technology. Just give me his e-mail address. Or not!
  7. Horrortaxi thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    The replies so far pretty much back up my initial reaction--fulll of crap.

    I can't think of anything I need to do on the network that I haven't already done. If I can get email and web then I'm happy. No telling what other plans they have. There's no special software for grades or anything else. There is a Q&A database but I don't think I even have access to it. If I do have access, I have happily lived without it for 7 years. I do have VPC though, so I could use that if worse comes to worse. They want to give me a PC--if they do I'll make sure it either gets covered in dust or runs Linux.

    I don't get the idea that this guy is a computer guy at all. He's a manegerial type and struck me as exceptionally un-tech. He's not a cable-routing/setting things up type IT guy, he's a "count how many computers, how many printers, and how many mice we have" type of IT guy. That makes it much worse when he says my Macs can't do something I know they can do.
  8. ephramz macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2004
    You'd be amazed...

    You (or more likely the IT guy at your school) would be amazed the way a Mac can maneuver in a PC network. I work at a large scientific institution where the majority of the people there use PC's, including the IT dept. who refuse to give any support to Macs. There are some people that do genetic computations that ONLY run on Mac's, but the IT dept. doesn't care.

    Their big thing is this who Novell Netware network they have set up for file servers. I was recently able to even get my Pismo Powerbook seeing this entire network using a neat little program called ProSoft Netware OSX. I just had to pry a single IP # out of the IT dept that was the top of the server 'tree' and then everything was amazingly easy. The woman who reluctantly gave me the number then wanted me to test out the system for a month or so "just to make sure it didn't do anything bad"! It's been fine.

    I also regularly print out to PC's shared printers from my PB, something I don't think anyone has even done between their PC's!

    In other words, anything PC's can do, Mac's can do better. Just ask here about any services you need to run and I'm sure someone has a solution to it.
  9. KingSleaze macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2004
    So. Cal
    A good friend of mine IS an IT guy. Makes his living setting up networks, fixing PC's, etc, you get my drift. He graciously accepts all of my kidding a Windoze problems, his reply? Job Security! My experience about it is, that since Apple has recognized its smaller user base (tho much more fanatical), they have gone to great lengths to ensure that the Mac can access a lot of the file formats that Windoze uses. What amazes me is how few people are needed to maintain a Mac network compared to a Windows network, how much the IT people get paid to maintain the network productivity---its cheaper on the Mac. Just buy the cheaper PC, it'll cost more in the long run.
  10. tomf87 macrumors 65816


    Sep 10, 2003
    Re: You'd be amazed...

    Well I wouldn't quite agree with that. PC's do have things they do better, like some games and Novell networking. If you have to get the IP of the master server, I wouldn't say that the Mac handled it better.

    Each device does some things better than others. But, for the cause, I have a PB I use to maintain our Windows/Unix network without any compatibility issues. :)
  11. mvc macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2003
    He is spouting cr@p…

    IT People (Yes this means UNIX nerds too) are a priesthood, pure and simple.

    They exist as an intermediary between mortals like ourselves and the "holy source of information", traditionally a god or oracle of some sort, but these days the network server will suffice.

    In order to stay in this position, and remain prosperously employed with all the status and power over other mortals that they currently enjoy, they always spread FUD and fear of hellfire or worse, viruses, if anyone attempts to bypass them.

    They also use only the most incomprehensible secret languages to communicate amoungst themselves and their God, so as to guarantee that other mortals cannot directly reach the holy source of information. Languages like UNIX, where the user must memorise the cryptic and virtually meaningless commands before they can chant them at the command line.

    Nothing has changed in 10,000 years of human history.

    And the priests still can't get laid…
  12. tomf87 macrumors 65816


    Sep 10, 2003
    I think the people you speak of come in all flavors, whether it be Unix, Windows, Linux, or Mac. I do manage our network but to be honest, I'd rather things go smoothly and go home happy. I don't play the goofy games some like to play to make them feel powerful. I could care less about knowing everything on the network. It's just doesn't do anything for me.

    So I wouldn't say all IT people are bad...
  13. mvc macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2003
    Yes there are many different religions for the priests to practice to further confuse and divide the masses and keep them from acquiring strength through unity.

    But I am only kidding really, although I have met many IT pros who act this way. I remember more bad ones than good; maybe because the bad ones are busy making life difficult for others, and the good ones are making it easy, so they don't get noticed. ;)
  14. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Please relay the message to him that as one IT pro to an IT weenie he is a moron. If this network is IP based there is NO reason you can't access the network. You yourself have stated you are already on the net. In addition to that if your mail account is POP, an across the board standard, again no reason you can't access your e-mail. The only possibility I can image is if part of the e-mail system is Exchange based. As I understand it there are workaround for this but out of the box Macs can’t easily access Microsoft Exchange servers. It boils down to this: The guy is being a colossal ***.
  15. altair macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Re: Re: You'd be amazed...

    Heh, I think being less able to handle Novell networking is a plus for Mac's. Novell is horible, however it is very easily possible to network mac's on a Novell network under OS X, most times the server managers just have to turn a couple things on. At the university where I was working, the server admin's however were affraid to turn those things on, since the servers were already crashing at a nice and steady rate.

    Novell suxors
  16. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Feb 20, 2004
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    Sadly that's what the guys here told me, and I thought he was a buffoon. Curses!

    But I still intend one day to slip in at the weekend under the cover of daylight and fire up my iBook to see if I can access all my work. I'm not recommending that to everyone, I'm also looking to fill some free time on my Sunday mornings.
  17. Nik_Doof macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2003
    St Helens, UK
    Heh, same as our guys here... but they say only 3Com network cards are compatible with the network and if you have anything else and you have a problem... they tell u to go away.

    riiiight, thats why we have standards like 802 :)

    The guys here had a Linux box removed off the network cause it was incompatible.

    They dont understand Macs or Linux, i do, they refuse to accept my opinion and i work in the IT dept.
  18. tomf87 macrumors 65816


    Sep 10, 2003
    Ah, but with Panther, Mail can access Exchange servers. I use it here. The only problem is with the calendaring. If you use Entourage, you can get access to Exchange servers after the 10.1.5 update.
  19. tomf87 macrumors 65816


    Sep 10, 2003
    Re: Re: Re: You'd be amazed...

    Depends on the version of Netware. I had an old 3.12 server that ran for 3 years. Then through 4.x and 5, it seems reliability had hit a low. However, critics are claiming that Netware 6 is so much better now, but who knows until it is put into a production environment.
  20. Sparky's macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2004
    Damn I hate poking my neck out when I really should shut up and just read, BUT at a recent seminar in Boston Where Apple was touting it's G5s and Panther, Adobe was pushing CS suite and Quark was showing off 6.0, along with numerous other vendors I asked this young lady who was wearing an Apple type badge and explained that I now had a small LAN with 2 G3s a UMAX clone 2 PCs one on WIN 2K pro the (our platemaker RIP) on WIN NT 4.0, and various other shared printers, connected via an ethernet hub. The PCs have PC-MAClan installed and with appleshare on I have seamless communication from any machine to another. I asked her how OS X would handle this network situation and she simple told me "without PC-MAClan easy..." just go to network in the preferences choose the machine to connect and click! (assuming the PC has file-sharing enabled.
    Sounds pretty easy to me

    OH, sorry that young lady turned out to be Susan Bozek an Apple senior technician in the Northeast
  21. AnotherMortal macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2003
    As a former Network administrator of a Windows-Only network with 2 Netware 5.1 servers (I was a CNA in a former life) I understand this "It doesn't work" mentality that some IT professionals have in regards to Macs on their network.

    I probably would have said the same things they say in my younger years, but I now work for an academic institution and prefer to use Macs over PCs for the simple reason that they *work*. No driver downloads (Curse you Compaq!) and little threat of viruses. That alone makes my job 10 times easier.

    Yeah, we like job security, but the truth is we also fear what we cannot control. Windows-based machines have a tremendous amount of system lockdown and control via group policies and system policies. In a Netware environment, we could prevent you from even changing your background. (Or changing it to screw with your mind.....hello BOFH) We cannot control Macs the same way, (emphasis on *same way*, there are different ways on a Mac) so we shun it, and badmounth it.

    Am I out of a job because I support Macs and PCs? Hardly. At my university we have departments outside of our normal support coverage *begging* us to help them because the Central IT department memorized the mantra "We don't support that(tm)". Besides, most Mac users don't want to be bothered with the trivalities of setting up a file server, maintaining appropriate security access, keep it up to date, etc.
  22. besson3c macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Entourage only works with single server Exchange environments, making it useless in many (most?) Exchange environments.

    If you need calendaring, check out GroupCal (, and get the Exchange admins to enable LDAP so that you can query ADS (and access Exchange's global address listing).
  23. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    DKWYM by "single server" Exchange environments. Can you elaborate? Even in a single-server environment you have to get the IT people to enable IMAP, and they refuse to do it because the PCs don't need it. They'd just as soon stick to the old-fashioned proprietary MAPI protocol.

    When I get my own company, I am going to start out by outlawing any proprietary protocols on my LAN - then force the PC people to find out how to turn them off! Ha ha!

Share This Page