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Method to My Madness

By PeteDude ·
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What's Apple Really Up to with the Intel Switch?

by PeteDude In reply to Method to My Madness

It's taken them a long, long time, but Apple is rapidly learning how to play along with others. From incorporating standards such as USB to making their new OS offerings play well with Windows, Apple is no longer completely an outsider.

Steve Jobs is nothing if not canny, and likely realizes that if his company is to make further inroads into corporate enterprises they must not only play well with others, but be MVPs on the team. Microsoft's delays with Vista are going to give Apple an opportunity to get into the game.

Just how will they go about this? Think back to the late 70s, early 80s, where PCs started sneaking into offices. IT departments (then MIS, IS, CIS, whatever abbreviation du jour) resisted, but eventually enough of these easy-to-use/reasonably priced and close-to-the-user machines were around IS just _had_ to support them.

Fast forward to 2006. Apple brings out an Intel PC that not only can run a very easy-to-use, stable Unix-based OS that interoperates well in the enterprise, but can be dual-booted to run whatever Microsoft OS of the user's (or IT grumps') choosing. Before long, the highly reliable/well-performing/stable hardware garners many a place in the IT departments, and starts sneaking onto users' desks.

These users, some departments, maybe even a few companies, become switchers without even knowing it. All before Microsoft even gets a shot off from Vista.

And the crafty Jobs again makes his team a winner.

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Macs can be secure, too

by PeteDude In reply to Method to My Madness

A friend of mine (also a TechProGuild member) forwarded this gem to me a while back about a much-hyped Adobe/OS X vulnerability.

"Due to the way Apple has implemented Bash, a shell used in Mac OS X,
it's possible to create a local root exploit if practically any Adobe
product is installed. The Adobe products install with scripts that are
suid (Set User ID to) root, and don't verify what they are processing,
so you can use them to do pretty much anything you want. "

He followed this with a comment:

"Mac in inherently safer and virus free"??? Suuure, Riiight."

To which I feel impelled to comment.

Macs ARE more inherently secure and virus-free, if nothing else for the numbers. . . a smaller audience means a less targeted platform. But that's even denying the real strength of Macs in secure environments-- BSD Unix. OS X is based on BSD, a tried and true environment of many years' standing. Yes, Apple still finds issues to correct in this code, but the sheer fact that this flavor of Unix has been running for years at colleges and other institutions gives credence to it being a more inherently secure platform than many others. OS X's Unix heritage also means it can get security patches far more quickly than most proprietary OSes.

Next you hear someone diss Mac security, whether a bystander or Symantec, you can weigh the merits based on a bit more than a little bit of recent news hype.

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Re-think Your Desktop Support/Help Desk Philosophy to Get Better Results

by PeteDude In reply to Method to My Madness

function (match)
{
return match.toLowerCase();
}>?? ?Many IT departments are struggling today with that oft-encountered situation problematic software, anxious users, small budget.? But how to rise above the dilemma?function (match)
{
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}>function (match)
{
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}>? ? In many larger organizations, help desks and desktop support teams are handled with the ideology that such support is a "necessary evil".? After all, your servers are handling all the critical data of the company and your "minicomputer" UNIX boxes handle the accounting, so what do you need these lowly desktop support "hacks" running around your premises for?function (match)
{
return match.toLowerCase();
}>function (match)
{
return match.toLowerCase();
}>? ? If you take a look at the situation from a different perspective, one of the primary reasons for having IT is to enable the business to get the most from its employee dollars.? So why not structure your IT? philosophy closer to that of a service business? function (match)
{
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}>function (match)
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}>? ? Your company likely has customer service and marketing functions that not only obtain the incoming business transactions, but provide transaction-related support and escalation for issues that arise.? In many cases, these teams are enabled to go to extraordinary measures and obtain support from management when difficult situations arise.? If you structure your IT philosophy-- most specifically your desktop support groups-- along the same lines, you might not only achieve better morale, but better PR and furthered acceptance of your "business mission".function (match)
{
return match.toLowerCase();
}>function (match)
{
return match.toLowerCase();
}>? ? Let's look at this notion more closely.? Your help desk could be considered the same as a customer service desk-- they take employee requests ("customer orders"), are given issues to escalate ("customer service issues").? They are, in effect, the front line for daily interaction with the internal employee base.? Why not treat them as such?? Give them the empowerment, support, encouragement and political backing they need to represent your department in an effective fashion.function (match)
{
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}>function (match)
{
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}>? ? A similar approach serves with the desktop support teams.? In many business paradigms where customers need on-site assistance with service issues, specialists are dispatched to address their needs and are often given priority support and backing of management.? You can probably think of a number of firms that function similarly-- and this by no means is limited to IT-related activities.? Some easy examples come to mind Firefighters, paramedics, utility support technicians.? If you treat the desktop support teams as having similarly important roles to the success of your IT "enterprise", they could likely be far more successful.function (match)
{
return match.toLowerCase();
}>function (match)
{
return match.toLowerCase();
}>? ? By rethinking your desktop support strategy, you may not only improve internally your department's effectiveness, but make for yourself smoother sailing when new project and budget requests are needed.? As one well-known IT pundit puts it, the biggest mistake in IT departments' handling of desktop support is to ignore the fact that these teams provide IT's direct interaction with the employee base. In avoiding that mistake, you can make your teams not only more successful, but more well-regarded within your organization.function (match)
{
return match.toLowerCase();
}>

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Re-Invent Your Desktop Support/Help Desk Philosophy to Get Better Results

by PeteDude In reply to Method to My Madness

Many IT departments are struggling today with that oft-encountered situation: problematic software, anxious users, small budget. But how to rise above the dilemma?
In many larger organizations, help desks and desktop support teams are handled with the ideology that such support is a "necessary evil". After all, your servers are handling all the critical data of the company and your "minicomputer" UNIX boxes handle the accounting, so what do you need these lowly desktop support "hacks" running around your premises for?
If you take a look at the situation from a different perspective, one of the primary reasons for having IT is to enable the business to get the most from its employee dollars. So why not structure your IT philosophy closer to that of a service business?
Your company likely has customer service and marketing functions that not only obtain the incoming business transactions, but provide transaction-related support and escalation for issues that arise. In many cases, these teams are enabled to go to extraordinary measures and obtain support from management when difficult situations arise. If you structure your IT philosophy-- most specifically your desktop support groups-- along the same lines, you might not only achieve better morale, but better PR and furthered acceptance of your "business mission".
Let's look at this notion more closely. Your help desk could be considered the same as a customer service desk-- they take employee requests ("customer orders"), are given issues to escalate ("customer service issues"). They are, in effect, the front line for daily interaction with the internal employee base. Why not treat them as such? Give them the empowerment, support, encouragement and political backing they need to represent your department in an effective fashion.
A similar approach serves with the desktop support teams. In many business paradigms where customers need on-site assistance with service issues, specialists are dispatched to address their needs and are often given priority support and backing of management. You can probably think of a number of firms that function similarly-- and this by no means is limited to IT-related activities. Some easy examples come to mind: Firefighters, paramedics, utility support technicians. If you treat the desktop support teams as having similarly important roles to the success of your IT "enterprise", they could likely be far more successful.
By rethinking your desktop support strategy, you may not only improve internally your department's effectiveness, but make for yourself smoother sailing when new project and budget requests are needed. As one well-known IT pundit puts it, the biggest mistake in IT departments' handling of desktop support is to ignore the fact that these teams provide IT's direct interaction with the employee base. In avoiding that mistake, you can make your teams not only more successful, but more well-regarded within your organization.

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