HELP Does my son have to ditch his iBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by JW Pepper, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. JW Pepper macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2002
    My son is about to change schools and the school has sent out a letter nominating a PC lap-top supplier, the specifications are Win Xp & Office 2003, that seems fine to me the iBook can cope with Office documents etc, but the letter goes on...

    "The machine... will, of course, be fully compatible with our school system and be connected to the network with fast wireless capability.'My Documents' files on the school system will be automatically synchronised so that they will be available... even when a pupil is working from home. further,the school IT department will only be able to support machines supplied by *******."

    Wireless and Office compatibility should not be a problem, but it's the "My Documents" thing that bothers me, what technology is being used here and is there a workaround so that my son can keep his iBook?
  2. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    i wouldn't worry about that. It is probably the same thing as it is at my school, you get some webspace server thing on the schools servers, you can access it anywhere as long as you know the password. Mostly it is in my opinion for people with desktops that can't bring their files and computers with them everywhere they go. I have yet to have an issue with this at all since i use my own webspace for documents if i needed to use another computer, which i haven't had to, i just bring my laptop to class with me. And don't worry about the IT department at most schools they are not the most intelligent people in the world. And i always see at least 15 people go there with windows problems within 30 minutes. Never seen an Apple there thou.

    but what i have always wondered is schools that say only windows computers, is that helping a monopoly or discriminating against other types of computers :/
  3. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2005
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    I think that the request sounds like an aid for desktop owners. My university requires laptops only, so we have no large system for storing student files, apart from the 50MB or so we are given on a file server via login & password.

    But it's interesting that you say they are suggesting a certain laptop provider. Perhaps, they don't wish for students to take their computer along with them. It would be something to call a computing representative on campus about to get more information for.

    Just make sure that any software he uses will be able to run on the Mac. My mechanical engineering field has some Autodesk Inventor Pro compatibility requirement (received the software at a huge discount, of course) so I actually bought a simple Dell just for that need. I do have Virtual PC 7, but running Autodesk through an emulator like VPC is very time-consuming and exhaustingly slow. As an engineering student, I was "required" to have an XP machine, but was surprised at how many of my professors had 15" PowerBooks.

    After the first year which involved lots of orientation to CAD software and a few other new applications, I really have not touched my Dell. All I use now is Office 2004 for school and Adobe Creative Suite for personal use. Just be sure that the whole My Documents stuff isn't a necessity - having a laptop assumes a level of portability which their suggestions seem to deter.
  4. JW Pepper thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2002
    I am worried that the masters are going to have access to the "My Documents" to review the students progress or to place assignments there for them to complete.

    I am not familiar with the synchronisation of "My Documents" I presume that each student will get a username/password and domain (Can OSX cope with Domains?)
  5. Hattig macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2003
    London, UK
    I imagine that it is merely synchronising with a SMB/CIFS share, Mac OS X does support accessing these, so there must be an application available for Mac OS X that will sync between a local directory and the remote share.
  6. themacman macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2004
    my school is all pcs. and when i borrowed the schools ibook to do homework on i just put in my domain and it brought up all my files on the network. The domain is something you do not need to worry about.
  7. JW Pepper thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2002
    Put it where, in the connect to server dialogue?
  8. nate macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2003
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    When I was in school (last year), they pulled the same thing... we "had" to lease laptops from the school, which were Toshiba Windows XP machines (heavy and clunky).

    I had no choice in the matter; the school said it was part of the program and I "had" to use the Toshiba computers.

    To say that the Macs will not work with the school network is both BS and true. It will work, but each computer is has some sort of ID and if your computer doesn't have permission to be on the server, the computer won't log in correctly.

    I brought my Powerbook to school a few times, and it worked for basic internet stuff but I couldn't log on to the server because my computer was denied. The server contained teachers' notes, assignments, and other things for class.

    In order for my Mac to work, I would need to register my computer into the system. The school, of course, refused to do that and said I must use their computers... blah, blah, blah (politics).

    The school, by the way, had several Mac labs and they were testing ibooks with a few students, which worked fine and log into the server fine because those computers had the correct permissions.

    So, a Mac will work fine... it's just that the school didn't want students to have the choice to use their own computer. We had the choice of lab computers or our school issued (and leased) computers. By the end of the lease, you end up paying double the price of a new laptop!

    The school, therefore, made us get the Toshiba XP machines not because my Mac is incompatible, but they had a deal with Toshiba to make every student lease their computers. In turn, the company gave kickback to the school and the school made money off the leasing process.

    Students, by the way, could not keep their leased laptops after they left school. Well, there was an option to buy the laptop at full retail price but with all of the software cleaned off it. So, you end up paying triple the price for a older, used computer (not worth it).

    To be fair, the laptops came with software needed for the class... in my case, Microsoft Office, Pagemaker, and Illustrator. We eventually just ended up using Office because we got into Quark Xpress and Adobe CS on the Mac machines. I was lucky enough that I could do my homework on my Powerbook, while others had to book lab time.

    So, I'm went to school using the Toshiba in half of my classes for notes and getting assignments off the server (oh, and using Messenger and games, stuff teachers hated because students were doing that all through class). And, the other half of my classes were on a Mac computer, using it to design layouts and work on photo stuff.

    Kick-backs and school branding are becoming really popular now. Our school, for example, only sold Coke and Coke-related products. You couldn't find any thing Pepsi or Pepsi-related on campus. Same with other things that were sold around school. Large companies pay big money to brand themselves into the school and into student's lives.

    I hate to say it, but your son will most likely be forced to use what the school says because of politics and marketing, not because the ibook "can't work."

    And, it wouldn't even matter if you had a Windows laptop or even the exact same brand... most likely they are going to direct you to a certain reseller or lease it through the school IT department. I had several friends with Windows-based laptops that were told, "you can't use that computer -- you must use the one we say you should use."

    Politics. Branding. Money. That's what it's about.


    P.S. Don't ditch the iBook, keep it at home. If his school was anything like mine, they wouldn't let student keep the laptops over winter/spring break or during the summer unless you paid an extra fee. So, the iBook will be handy then, and no doubt, your son will probably use the iBook outside of the classroom environment for other things.
  9. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Yeah same problem here. I have to use Autodesk Inventor 9 Pro, but it works "ok" in VPC running 98. I have a DELL as well as my laptop, which run them fine though, too.
  10. shadowmoses macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2005
    Had the same problem at my college just used the iBook anyway along with virtual PC it did everything fine and i had no problems, so don't ditch that iBook!!!

    ShadOW :cool:
  11. jaseone macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Houston, USA
    It was probably just looking at your MAC Address, you should have been able to just get a valid one from one of the other students and spoof it on your Mac - Scroll down in this article
  12. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    also, most routers provide this functionality built in.

    just go buy a cheap wireless router somewhere and you set it's MAC to that of a registered system. You can't use the registered adress when the router is on, but if you use it behind the router you are fine. Also, this will only work when connected to the router...
  13. jaseone macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Houston, USA
    Correct but you don't exactly want to carry your laptop and your wireles router to school with you and connect to the school network somehow through it.
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    If they use Active Directory, then you won't have a problem if you use Tiger. It'll automagically sync your local files with those on the mounted AD server.

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