Powerbook on Corporate Network -> You get Fired!

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by RedMacMan, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. RedMacMan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    Ok so I totally need to vent...

    I'm working as a consultant at a large company for a couple weeks, working with both my powerbook and the company-issues laptop via a hub on my desk. Last night I took both computers home to work at the hotel, and when I tried to hook everything back up this morning, nothing was working. After wasting an hour msesing around, I finally call tech support. Some mousy, creepy guy comes over and explains that the ports are older and not standard ethernet, so if you don't plug exactly the right cord in in exactly the right direction nothing works. This explanation is interspersed with snide comments about the ethernet cables I brought not being standard length and a disgusted tossing aside of my hub.

    About 15 minutes later, this creep comes back with a pissy network admin guy who proceeds to chew me out in the bitchiest way about how having a non-managed non-corporate issued computer on the network, or using my own personal hub/router is one of the biggest violations of corporate policy possible and grounds for immediate dismissal. This explanation is interspersed with disgusted nods toward my Powerbook, which is positively gleaming next to the miserable little Compaq labtop that is the "official" corporate computer. "All we need is for someone to bring in their dirty machine and one virus to get on the network." he says. I felt like saying "Um, yeah, but - this isn't a windows machine. It doesn't get viruses."

    So basically, I'm totally screwed. My manager and everyone I worked with knew I had the Powerbook plugged in, and nobody cared. The network admin left with a veiled threat to monitor all the traffic to my cube, and "cut off my port completely" if he sees any unauthorized MAC address. So now I'm a marked man - a Mac user! I'm seriously so pissed right now. Corporate America and their virus-laden wintel world can go to hell. Someday I'm going to start my own company and use only macs!
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    I'm not in the least bit surprised by this. Large corporate companies/networks are very managed. Everything must be approved before connecting to the network. You must have company standard (and managed) versions of IE, AntiVirus etc. They don't care if it's a Mac, at the end of the day it is still a computer from an external source that for all you and they know could have anything on it.

    Vent all you want, your network admins are right. You should not bring home computers in to work and plug them in on the LAN (well maybe small business allow it, but large ones will not).
     
  3. RedMacMan thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Kinko's allowed it. I'd say they were a large company...
     
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    Never heard of them...but that's not the point. Corporate companies want control over their networks, most will not allow the use of anything other than their own image of Windows (or chosen OS, Linux, Solaris) near their LAN/WAN.
     
  5. machan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    wisconsin
    #5
    well, kinko's is a large american on-demand printing shop. they use a mix of macs and pcs in their environment and have outside disks and files coming in all the time, so it makes sense that they wouldn't have a hissy fit over something like this.

    as for working in a large corporate environment and putting up with this sort of stuff...i really don't know why anyone would do that to themselves.
     
  6. RedMacMan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #6
    I wonder. I've got an Earthlink dial-up account. Do you think it woudl be "legal" if I connected to that over their phone line? I don't really care about being on their internal LAN, just getting onto the internet in general from in here...
     
  7. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #7
    My company (I cannot divulge the name for security reasons) has no problems with you using your own personal computer on the corporate network, they just don't help you set it up. Also if it runs Windows it has to have AntiVirus, and if it has XP in has to have a program that severs all communication between your XP box and M$. On a Mac they don't care, they just ask that you turn on the OSX Firewall.

    It also helps that I have 3 Network Ports in my cube. Personally, I'd talk to your manager, and explain your possition. Your manager may help you out by telling the IT guy to allow the use of your PowerBook for a project. Also, I doubt that you could be fired without a warning from a Manager. The IT guy has no real power, and will probabily forget about it in a few days anyway.

    TEG
     
  8. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #8
    im sure your company has a code of conduct/use of their IT/LAN. if you're in violation then tough. it doesnt matter if the admin is a retard, the fact is if u break the rules its your fault.

    its too bad they dont support macs
     
  9. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #9
    I can't imagine that'd be a problem, as you wouldn't be putting them at any risk. It's just the cost of a phone call.
     
  10. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #10
    First of all, the network admin is an idiot to think that a mac can bring virus on the network. On the other hand it seems like he is doing a good job monitoring any potential treath and eliminating it even if there is no real danger (à la Bush...).

    What you should do: talk to your manager. If he knew that you were using the PB I guess that you were not violating anything so he should be on your side. He could then call the netadmin and ask him to put you on the network after ensuring him that mac are virus free (tell him to do some research).

    Admin guys always think that they are all powerfull because they 'control' the network, its a typical issue with them. They cultivate this by misleading the management of other divisions. You should not be scared of him, just show him that you understand his concern for his network and that you can provide him information on how secure your PB is compared to pcs.

    Just dont over do it. PC zeallot are as bad as the mac ones!
     
  11. sparks9 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2003
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    #11
    Why don't you just install an antivirus programme on your PB to make them happy?
     
  12. Maritan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    #12
    Why would you want that? Is it because only the company you work for should manage all the Windows updates on the corporate box?
     
  13. RedMacMan thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #13
    Obviously I understnd the security issues and the challenges of maintaining security in a corporate network with thousands of machines, I just think this particular policy is bone-headed. Maybe I will follow up my manager.

    Actually, what made me the most angry was what a jerk the admin guy was, ilke totally patronizing and sarcastic. Pretty much your typical a$$hole network admin. I'd feel a lot better about the whole thing if he'd just pulled me aside and say "Hey, Look man, don't mean to be a hardass but we really can't have 'wildcard' machines on the network here - you know how it is..."

    Ugh. Somehow I ended up in my own little Dilbert cartoon today.
     
  14. SiliconAddict macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

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    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #14
    The admin was being an ***hole. But unfortunately I have to side with the admin here. You are plugging an unknown, untested computer on a LAN or maybe WAN. I too would go ape **** if someone decided to bring their personal computer into our network without asking. I don't care if OS X doesn't have a virus track record it's not your network that you are managing. Imagine what would happen if everyone on that network did the same thing? The guy can't make an exception for one Mac user. I've seen instances of where Appletalk had chattered enough on a network to effect network performance. You look at it from the perspective of a user vs an IT admin perspective. The two can differ drastically.
     
  15. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #15
    I guess that you should have asked first. I am working for a huge company as well and its definitly needed to ask first if its ok.
     
  16. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #16
    i don't think it's a part of his job to know about Macs.

    if you had to manage a (windows) network as your job and had to make sure your network is secure because your bosses are being paranoid after seeing all sorts of M$ virus/worms, i can understand why he would get annoyed and downright nasty if anyone brings in their own laptop and has it on the network. if something was to happen to the network, he is the one who will be held liable, not you. he's paid to maintain it, "but that guy brought it in without asking me" is a very poor defense.

    other managers and co-workers being ok is irrelevant - they have no stake in maintaining the network. so what do they care?

    "But it's a Mac, there's not virus" sounds as convincing as "it's my personal PC, i maintain it and i know there's no virus on it." the laptop being a Mac is not the issue, the fact it was not under the admin's control is.

    each company has its own policy - however boneheaded/retarded it may seem, it's there for a reason and someone is being paid to adhere to it. as long as you work there, it would be best for you to know what the policies are and adhere to them.

    how would you feel if someone randomly started throwing in applications on your laptop? "oh, don't worry, none of them can do any harm" - would you take the guy's words? wouldn't you feel a bit uneasy about someone messing with your laptop? imagine worrying about that on a bigger scale as a job...
     
  17. RedMacMan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
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    Chicago
    #17
    Never know so many windows network admins read these forums...

    Sheesh.
     
  18. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #18
    precisely. the aim of the admin is to be the singular point (or an entity) of responsibility for maintenance.

    btw, i'm not a windows admin. i was basically pointing out that you will encounter many more of these "boneheaded" policies like the one you mentioned; it's best to be "logical" and in general, mature, about them. it's not as easy as you're thinking when the number of people/machines involved increases.

    if you think policies are boneheaded, make sure to heed the call and not make your policies boneheaded should you climb the ladder to the point of making them yourself.
     
  19. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #19
    The only thing I find weird is that M. Paranoia is not using MAC adress filtering to control computer presence on the network.

    As I said before, these guys generaly have no social skill which is the reason why they started working on network in the first place! I maybe over exagerating but I have yet to find a network admin with social skills and I have met more than 15...

    The point is, as some people have pointed, you should have asked first but at the same time you learned a valuable lesson.
     
  20. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #20
    We use it... It is aptly named "XP Nuter" to keep sensitive data from being sent from Windows to M$. Also, it keeps anything from comming into the computer, like a good firewall with out interfereing with Symantec's Firewall program (A required Install on a PC).

    You can still run Windows Update, it just keeps Windows from being a liability to our system.

    TEG
     
  21. Metatron macrumors 6502

    Metatron

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    #21
    My Two Cents

    Well, just use your PC Laptop as a mini server. If it has a firewire port, you can network it and it will still be listed as the PC with all the traffic. Be sure to turn off Windows Networking though our you will show up. But I to agree with the Admin. How does he know that you have no intent of unleshing some virus on the network. With all the major viruses lately, I can see him wanting to put your head on a stake. His job and his family rely on his income, which depends on him keeping his network up and running.

    Oh, if you do not have a firewire port, you can buy a network card to go in one of your pcmcia slots, or a usb one. It would probably be easier that way to setup then firewire.
     
  22. ExoticFish macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    #22
    i am the LAN admin, i can use my PowerBook all i want!! :D but seriously, a lot of LAN admins know windows and that's it because they are either ignorant or because that's all they learned in class... but big business is like that a lot although i think that those guys sounded like absolute snobs.
     
  23. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #23
    It's the print/copy/mailing desk unit of a well known US-based international shipping company -- Fedex.

    So they be really big now.
     
  24. tomf87 macrumors 65816

    tomf87

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    Sep 10, 2003
    #24
    Social skills aside, that would quite a chore to maintain 100,000 MAC addresses on some large networks.
     
  25. mmmmmk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    #25
    I use my PB everyday here. In fact some of the people here want me to plug it in so they can play the songs from my iTunes list. The admin does have some reason to be mad, but I would think he would be ok with it. How does he know the laptop he gave you doesn't have anything on it. Shiat you took it home, you could have added a few things.
     

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